For many folks Microsoft has led the evolution of the computer, desktop, or software in general for that matter. I mean, seriously, who hasn't used some variation of the Windows operating system or office suite? All of us, at one time or another, have relied on Microsoft as the leader in operating system and office suite software. Well then, you may ask, where have they been during the biggest technological revolution since the development of the computer chip? I'm talking about the mobile marketplace, and I'm wondering, like you should be, where Microsoft has been all this time. Apple released their first iPhone all the way back in 2007, and their first iPad in 2010. Even Samsung showed up with the first Galaxy phone released in 2009, and their tablet offering came in late 2010. Meanwhile, all seemed quiet at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond...
Although Microsoft is undoubtedly late to the mobile game, we now have several new offerings to be quite excited about. Across each device platform, Microsoft seems to have an answer for what you are looking for. Smartphones? Sure, they've got them. Tablets? Yup! In fact, Microsoft designed and marketed their Surface tablet from the ground up. However, I have, as I hope you do, just a few questions… Let me start with the obvious. So what? What's the big deal? Do we really need another slew of mobile devices? Let me introduce to you what may very well change your mind, Windows 8.
If it weren't for Windows 8, I would say that Microsoft had just unleashed nothing more than another choice of products in the already saturated mobile market. However, Windows 8 has recently made me a believer that Microsoft may be on to something. It kind of brings everything together, because it runs on all of their devices. This may very well be the hook in the line for the larger than life company. Across all of these devices, the experience is generally the same. Microsoft developed their very own version of "apps" and they call them "live tiles". Live tiles are sort of how you get around and perform your daily tasks using Windows 8. It comes with a small learning curve, but is a great improvement and major step forward over the traditional Windows 7. Why, you ask? Well, it's simple, this is the first operating system designed for touch-centric mobility that spans across multiple platforms, using multiple devices. This makes all the difference and could just carve that niche that Microsoft has been looking for.
Touch-centric devices are all the rage now. Everything is about the simple swipe or tap of your finger. Wouldn't it be great if my smartphone, tablet and desktop all had the same type of look and feel? Sure it would! I would then only need to learn one way of doing things across all of my devices. Fantastic, because that's exactly what Microsoft is counting on. Let's take a quick look inside the new features of Windows 8:
Live Tiles - As I mentioned before, live tiles are how business gets done in Windows 8. These tiles-based interface sits on what is now called the "Metro Interface" this is kind of your dashboard where everything starts from, even your desktop. It's also the first thing you see when you boot the computer
Live Apps - Live apps actually brings updated information to metro without you having to open each application. For example, if someone was to write something to you on Facebook, it would appear on the live app automatically.
Faster Boot Time - Due to the refreshed code, Windows 8 is now better at handling available resources. This is really a fantastic improvement over Windows XP and Windows 7. The boot time on Windows 8 is the fastest that we've experienced and is so refreshing to see.
Search That Works - Yes, I said it, the search field actually delivers relevant results. Looking for an application, document, photo or piece of music? Chances are, you'll be able to find it now
Windows To Go - This handy feature allows you to copy your entire operating system to a usb hard drive and use it on another Windows 8 computer as if it were your own. This makes for a much better experience the next time your machine goes on the fritz. **Feature available on Windows 8 Enterprise**
Windows Live Syncing - Using Microsoft Live ID, this feature allows you to open your personalized version of Windows 8 on another Windows 8 computer. So, the next time you forget that document at home, don't worry, you can print it from another computer. **Essential syncing options must be turned on to use this feature**
Microsoft may be in the right place at the right time. Windows 8 and Microsoft's cross platform experience could very well give the company the launch that they need to not only catch up, but to excel in both the mobile and computer marketplace.
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