Windows 8 has arrived. Highlights of this long-awaited operating system include a completely new interface, which Microsoft says is borrowed from their “Metro” style first used on Windows Phone 7 devices. The features include cloud-based storage (SkyDrive), an updated version of the Internet Explorer web browser, and a single-password sign-on that lets users access their email, address books and documents across a range of Windows-powered computers and mobile phones.
The new interface features blocks or ’tiles’ that can be moved around the screen or tapped to go straight into an application. Users will see updates in real time, and view email, voice message, or Facebook notifications at a glance. Because the new format may seem foreign to many Windows users, Microsoft has included an option to revert to the Windows 7 look to help people make a smooth transition.
With the launch of Windows 8 will come the Microsoft ‘Windows Store,’ where users can download applications for the new operating system. The new apps were all free for those testing out the beta version, but now that the operating system is released, some of them must be purchased.
There are several user-friendly features that come with Windows 8. For one, users will be able to put people, apps, and their favorite photos and programs right on their start screen. In addition, Windows 8 coordinates with SkyDrive so that music, photos, and documents can all be stored in the cloud.
Consumers have three versions to choose from: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT. Most people will go for Windows 8, which is an upgrade of Windows 7 for individual users. Businesses can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, which will feature encryption, virtualization and more. Then there is the inaugural version of Windows RT, which is created for ARM (for PC tablets and other machines with ARM chipsets). It will be bundled with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) that has been designed to run with touch screens.
CTL is offering several models with Windows 8 pre-installed:
CTL will also continue to support Windows 7 in many of their systems. For more information on all of our products, visit our website at http://www.ctl.net./