now comes the successor Windows 8.
Three years may seem like a short time, but in the world of technology, it’s less of an eternity. In 2009, there were no tablets, and smart cell phones were still uncommon. We had not yet gotten used to controlling our gadgets by touching the screen but still used mouse and keyboard.
Now that Microsoft is launching Windows 8, the world looks completely different than it did three years ago, and the same goes for Windows.
– Windows 8 is a generational change, says Antoine Leblond who is head of Windows Web Services. Unlike Windows 7, it is not built on the same foundation as Windows 95.
No, Windows has changed, and the inspiration has been taken from tablets and smart phones. The big news is that Windows 8 works just as well on desktop computers as it does on thin tablets. Microsoft therefore hopes to take back the initiative from Apple Ipad and Google Android, which have so far completely dominated the tablet market.
The next few months will see a series of launches of tablets running Windows 8, and even regular PCs are now starting to be equipped with Windows 8. But is it worth upgrading your existing PC? And what can we expect if we do?
On the next page, you can read about the biggest reasons to upgrade – and the biggest reasons not to not upgrade.
We have also compiled the answers to the most common questions about Windows 8. You can find these here.
10 reasons to upgrade to Windows 8
1. Works on tablet
There have been tablets that have run Windows 7 in the past, but none of them have performed particularly well. In and with lthe consideration of Windows 8, on the other hand, gives Microsoft an operating system that is suitable for both computers and tablets.
The secret is that Windows 8 has been given an interface suitable for touch screens. So you choose yourself whether to control the computer with a keyboard or mouse
or the fingers.
2. Utilizes social media
The connection to various social media is an important part of Windows 8. The point is that all updates and communication are gathered in the same place, regardless of which service you use. In other words, you see a person’s address details, Facebook updates and Twitter posts in the same feed.
3. Connected to the cloud
Windows 8 is intimately connected with the cloud and Microsoft’s network hard disk Skydrive. This means, among other things, that your contact lists, calendars and settings are easy to sync between different computers. You can also share pictures with others in no time – without sending large files via email.
4. Run apps
A big novelty in Windows 8 is the built-in Store. Here you can buy apps (which is another name for programs), just like in iPads and Android mobile phones. It is possible both to buy apps and to download ones that are free.
Windows 8 apps can integrate both with Windows and with each other.
5. A personal homepage
The new interface in Windows 8 is more modern and fresher than before and Microsoft has put a lot of effort into colors, fonts and the like.
In addition, you get completely new possibilities to customize your computer and make the start page more personal. For example, you can enter news updates, weather forecasts, calendars and your friends’ Facebook posts. The start page updates itself, which means that it is always up to date.
6. Log in with picture
Windows 8 offers many fun details. For example, you can replace your boring password with a picture! To log in, draw a pattern in your image. How the pattern should look and which image it should be, you of course choose yourself!
7. Built-in antivirus protection
Windows 8 has built-in protection against viruses and other malware, and it’s turned on if you don’t install another security package. In addition, the computer is already protected at the moment of startup.
8. Cold start – in 8 seconds
Windows 8 starts faster than previous Windows versions. On Microsoft’s test computers, it took just eight seconds to boot up the computer that was completely turned off.
Is eight seconds too long? Then put the computer in the advanced sleep mode. In this mode, it draws almost no power, but is still connected. It comes to life if, for example, an email arrives, and can be connected for several days before the battery runs out.
9. Easy to empty and refresh
With the help of Windows 8’s Remove function, all information can be deleted and the computer can be restored to the same state as when it was new. This is good for you who are going to sell your old computer – and want to be sure that no private information remains. There is also a similar function to reinstall Windows, but keep all documents.
Both of these features have existed in the past, but they are now easier to use and much faster.
10. Simpler Task Manager – and harder
It has long been possible to bring up the so-called Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del.
In Windows 8, it remains, but in a new form. Namely, you choose between a simple viewing mode, where the only thing you can do is close programs that cause trouble. In the advanced display mode, however, you get to see a lot of technical information about everything that happens in the computer.
… and 3 reasons not to
1. Odd appearance
Although you can run Windows 8 in roughly the same interface as Windows 7, there are still some differences. In the beginning, this can feel difficult, because you have to learn a new way of working.
And one problem that Windows 8 struggles with is that it’s fragmented. Actually, it is not one system but two.
2. Requires touch
The new interface in Windows 8 works great for touch screens. However, if you have a traditional computer that is only controlled with a mouse and keyboard, navigation is a bit more complicated. It takes a lot of mouse movement to move between the different corners, where the menus are now.
In other words, as soon as you have to switch to the new interface, using a regular computer feels cumbersome.
3. Few apps
So far, Microsoft’s app store is anything but well-stocked. At the time of writing, for example, popular apps such as Runkeeper (training), Instagram (photo sharing) and Whatsapp (free SMS) are missing. How many there are when you read the article remains to be seen.
This is how Windows 8 works
When you switch on a Windows 8 PC, you are greeted by a colorful welcome screen (lock screen) that shows, for example, the time and date. Click with the mouse, press the keyboard or touch the touch screen and the login page will open.
You log in both on the computer and on Microsoft’s web services. You can choose between a regular password and a picture password, where you log in by drawing a pattern in an image of your choice. After logging in, you will be taken to the Start page.
If you switch to Desktop mode, Windows works exactly as usual, but the corners get a new function. The right corner brings up the Windows 8 menu, the top left corner shows your apps, and the bottom left corner takes you to the Start page.
If you right-click on a tile, you can make various settings. You can add or remove the icon from the Start page and Taskbar, and you can also completely uninstall the program/app. Other possibilities are to change the size of the tile and to control the automatic updates of, for example, weather forecasts or new emails. You use the All apps button to display all programs and apps that are installed on the computer.
On the Start page, all content is displayed in the form of “tiles”. To start, just point with your finger or click with the mouse. To move a tile, click/point on it, hold down the mouse button/finger and drag. The colorful tiles show apps while the dark blue ones are traditional Windows programs. As you can see, the app tiles can show weather forecast, new email, news update and similar things instantly.
If you use a mouse, the corner of the screen has gained importance. If you move the mouse cursor to one of the corners on the left, you can switch between your open programs/apps, while the right corners bring up a menu. If you use a touch screen, swipe your finger from the edges instead (see fact box on the right).
Windows 8 menu
The menu that you get by clicking/swiping to the right contains five buttons:
Search allows you to search for programs, settings and files – but also among emails, on the Internet or in a certain app.
With Share do you share material with others via e.g. e-mail and social networks. The feature works in most apps.
Start takes you directly to the Start page, no matter where you are.
Devices shows which devices you have connected to the computer, such as cameras, mp3 players and displays.
Settings allows you to make settings – both in the app you have in front of you and in the system itself.
15 smart apps included
You can access the pre-installed apps by right-clicking with the mouse or by dragging with your finger from the top or bottom of the screen. Mail corresponds to the e-mail program Windows Mail and Internet Explorer is the app version of Microsoft’s web browser. Messaging is used to chat in both Microsoft’s own Messenger and in Facebook.
People is an amalgamation of the computer’s address book and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Here you collect a person’s contact details and updates in the same place. Of course, you also have access to any calendar in the Calendar app. To keep you up to date there are apps such as Weather, Economy and News.
In Skydrive you store music, pictures, movies and other documents. Maps show Bing Maps and Travel gives you guides to exciting travel destinations. With Photos you can access images on your hard drive and in cloud services. Music, Video and Games do the same with other material.