FIRST – Microsoft Windows 8 is first in many important ways

Posted: January 22, 2013 in Apple, google, Microsoft, Windows 8, windows phone 8, xbox

Windows 8 is a download, no disks, that means no booting from CD, no going to Best Buy, no extra trips or added expenses to upgrade your computer with more memory, no new video card required, etc. Windows 8 works on the computer you have today – only faster, longer and easier.

Windows 8 has a record number of firsts for the industry

Yes, Windows 8 has been totally redesigned and while many people are talking about how it was designed for touch screens that’s only HALF correct. Windows 8’s new Modern design was also designed to be used with your Mouse, trackpad and keyboard. Those who claim that Windows 8 only is needed for touch devices are cheating themselves of some of the wonderful new features in Windows 8 which are designed for everyone.
Yes you’ve already heard that it’s the first Windows to be redesigned to support touch screens, and it’s the first to support low per ARM chips, but here are some firsts you may not know.

1. Windows 8 updates are delivered from the web, download and install windows 8 without ever putting in a disk! Sit back and relax because for anyone upgrading from Windows 7, you don’t need to do a thing.

2. Windows 8 is actually faster than previous versions of Window. That means your 4 year old computer will not only start up faster than the day you first plugged it in, but your programs will load faster too – this is nothing short of a miracle for those people who do not feel the need to upgrade their PC every couple of years.

3. Windows 8 was redesigned to extended battery life – yes, install it on your laptop and you can spend less time charging your battery and more time untethered and less time worrying about where the closest power outlet is. Newer laptops will see better battery life than older ones, but something is better than nothing.

Do you own a license Microsoft Office? Well, if you upgrade to Office 2013 or Office 365 you will see even better battery life because the new Office allows your computer to rest more between keystrokes so if you use Microsoft Word all day, you can see as much as a 30% reduction in battery usage!

4. Manage your Windows account(s) from the cloud. Log-in to any Windows 8 computer or tablet running Windows RT with your Microsoft Account and your color preferences, your files on SkyDrive and all the files on your PC will be instantly available to you! – yes, even those files not stored on SkyDrive. You can now access the files on your computer’s hard drive from any PC in the world. Of course, all of this is password protected.

5. Family Safety: This too is managed from the cloud and you can create and edit what not only what your children have access to on your home computer, but these safety settings also follow your children to their grandparents computer(s), the computers at the library as well as the family Xbox 360 and their Windows Phone 8.

The main advantages with this type of system is that you do not have to set 15 or 20 restrictions on your child’s iPhone and again on their iPad. No, you set them in a friendly web browser with your mouse and full sized keyboard. Since you are using your computer to set these limits, you get full descriptions about each setting or restriction on screen and you do not have to look each setting up as you do with Apple’s solution.

You can begin by selecting Child, Teen or Adult and keep the default settings, or you can customize them to suite your family’s beliefs.
Using Apple’s parental controls, you can turn broad features off or on and restrict all access to certain features.

On Microsoft’s platform, you can do that too, but it is recommended that you set other types of limits. For example, your child can play 4 hours of games a week, or 4 hours M-F and 8 hours on the weekends. Instead of not allowing your child to use the web/internet, you can set limits based on age. Like I said, many of these settings follow them to other computers not at your home as well as to their own phone(s) when they are old enough to have one.

6. Windows 8 and RT are the first operating system parent’s weekly reports of their activity. Microsoft’s parental settings don’t just block your children from broad features of their phones and computer experience, no, it’s about letting them have more freedom to learn and explore and if their grades go up or go down, you can see if it’s because they played too many games or surfed the internet for hours on end following Justin Bieber.

No, Apple doesn’t give you or your children this type of freedom, it just allows a tech-savvy parent to prevent them from accessing features and programs and making purchased from the App/iTunes Store. Archaic especially since Apple prides itself for being family friendly.

7. Windows 8 is also the first Windows that brings the store to you. All new Winnows 8 apps are now purchased from the Windows Store, No more ordering software from Newegg or going to your local computer store to buy your programs. Now you can do it from your own computer at any time in the day or night. Need to research an app before you purchase it, or need to compare several? No problem, get sneak peeks at sample screens from the apps you are considering, read customer comments and many apps even have trial periods where you can try the app for free.

This is not like the way you currently purchase software over the internet, no, this is from a Store which is organized and searchable using Windows new universal search. All these apps have been tested for malware and go through certification from Microsoft before they are released into the Store. Safe, secure and easy.

Yes, you can still buy apps for Windows 8 on disks which you buy online or pick up at your store. Those apps will be around for some time to come, but are now called “legacy” or “desktop” apps. Windows 8/RT Modern apps can only be purchased from the new online Store.

8. Windows 8 and RT are also the first operating systems that defaults to saving and retrieving your files to/from the Cloud – more specifically, SkyDrive. This is where signing into your computer with your Microsoft Account really starts to make sense.

Once you log into a computer in a coffee shop or cruise ship, from your smartphone (Windows, iPhone or Android) or from your laptop, you will have access to all your files and photos. If you use SkyDrive as it’s meant to be used, you will never again be looking at two documents side by side – one on your PC and one on your laptop and wonder which file is newer? Which one has the latest updates? Which one can be deleted? Or worse yet, not know how to merge the two documents together to make one complete and up to date document.

No, you always have the most current version of your document because you are always accessing the one file on SkyDrive which is always kept in sync by SkyDrive and Windows 8’s apps.
Just a little more about SkyDrive

8a. The SkyDrive desktop app available for Windows and Mac OSX both keep all of your files that you designate on your computer up to date and provide all your devices with these always current files.
Here are devices that have SkyDrive client apps available for them and allow you to access your files when away from home/work. Windows 8 (laptop), Windows RT (tablet), Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android and not to be forgotten, the Xbox 360 also has a SkyDrive app.

With all of the above devices with client apps, you can create and edit Word and Excel files with a basic free web edition of Office which is integrated in SkyDrive.com. That means that even if the computer you are using doesn’t have a copy of Microsoft Office, you can still open, edit and create those office files stored on SkyDrive – even on a Mac or iPhone.

So while most people on the web are talking about how they wish Windows 8 was more like Windows 7 or Windows 95, I am focusing on how the changes Microsoft made to Windows 8 and all the new Windows versions were done to make your life easier and bring these many features to all their users, not just the ones who work in Silicon Valley or the ones who don’t mind tinkering and tinkering, and tinkering.

Upgrade to the first Operating System which was designed from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, easier to share around your home, easier to work as teams and easier to work with your existing keyboard and mouse as well as the computer or tablet you may be buying in the next few years.

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