Windows 8 Developer Preview: a look into the future

Week ago at BUILD conference, Microsoft unveiled the first public version of Windows 8. Interestingly, when kompaniyanbsp, first showed Windows 7 at a conference Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October 2008, a pre-release OS was available only to visitors, and public beta then only promised for next year. However, after only a few hours after the official Windows 7 Preview show was on file-sharing services.

Well, this time the pirates were out of work. Windows 8 Developer Preview is available for download from Windows Dev Center. The system is available in three versions: 32-bit (2.8 GB), 64-bit (3.6 GB) and 64-bit with the tools for developers (4.8 GB), includes an SDK for application interface Metro, a preliminary version Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express, etc. All editions are available in the form of images ISO.

Release has the status of a pre-beta and is aimed primarily at developers who can now create applications for the new OS, using the recommended tools. These applications can be written in XAML, such as C # and Silverlight, or HTML 5, CSS and JavaScript. They will be able to use the new API to share content with other applications, search within applications, data from GPS and access to the file system.

However

Windows 8 Developer Preview, certainly interesting for users. This is – a great chance to look at the fact that the Redmond company is preparing, not on other people’s screenshots and videos from the presentations, and my own eyes. Of course, we also could not resist the temptation and installed the new system, despite the warnings of Microsoft: laquo; software is supplied as is, and you run the risk of using it. It may be unstable and not work properly is not so, as will be the final run versiyaraquo;.

The first thing you need to be prepared, since familiarity with Windows 8 – it is not like any of the systems produced by Microsoft for the past 25 years. Of course, there is a control panel, Explorer, Internet Explorer and other usual ingredients, but the concept of the OS completely changed. Windows 8 focuses on the use not only on computers and laptops, but also for netbooks and tablets. And it has to work fast and there and there. Special attention is given to devices with touch screens – a new Metro-interface, as well as many other elements of the UI, imprisoned just for them. This means that you can now get access to many familiar features much faster.

This suggests another important feature of the new OS – unlike its predecessors, Windows 8 is not too demanding on system resources. In particular, it will work well on all computers running Windows 7 today. To install the Windows 8 Developer Preview will only have 1 GB of RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit) and 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit) free disk space.

In Windows 8 over three hundred innovations, so tell all in a single review impossible. And do not forget about the fact that the presented version of Windows 8 Developer Preview – this is just a pre-release, and a lot more can be changed before the final version. That is why it is hardly worth now focus on the little things, or is that while incomplete, instead we try to describe the main improvements from the point of view of the user.

new interface

Loading new OS is much faster than its predecessors – it takes less time than to load Windows 7. But in fairness it must be said that such a beautiful laquo; woo-x! Raquo;, which demonstrated, in a video we have not seen.

Once downloaded, you can watch the Welcome screen where you enter the credentials for an account. The window is very similar to the lock screen of mobile devices – a huge clock, date, battery status, have an Internet connection.

After logging into your account you can see that the Conservatives shocked and happy geeks – the new interface Metro, migrated to Windows from the Zune and Windows Phone 7. It replaces the menu laquo; Puskraquo, familiar to users of previous versions of Windows. And despite the fact that it was designed primarily for touch screen devices, it runs by default in the Windows version for traditional PCs.

Instead

Menu laquo; Puskraquo; proposed startup screen, which displays a mosaic of installed applications, as well as other elements (for example, to go to the desktop or control panel). Tiles that do not fit on the screen, are transferred to the next page. Navigate the mosaic it’s best with the finger, but you can also use the arrows on the keyboard or the mouse wheel to rotate.

Main difference of tiles from the usual icons – to display dynamic information on them without having to run the application. For example, the icon for Windows Live Mail can display information about unread messages, the icon for the program to work with social networks – notifications about different events on the application of tiles weather – the forecast for the next few days.

Tiles can be of different sizes. To change the size, simply click on the icon, right-click, and then at the bottom of a menu. With it, you can change the icon size, delete a tile or even uninstall the application.

Tiles can be controlled by its own discretion: add new, rearrange them by dragging your finger or the mouse to another location.

At the top right of the screen icon is placed person. Clicking on it, you can change your user name, and sign out of your account.

Unfortunately, the Metro interface supports only applications written for it. The operating system will be installed idle until the store Windows Store, and it is from him you can download applications. All applications, posted in the store, will be checked for stability and compatibility.

But do not think that applications for Windows 8 will need to look only in the Windows Store. The new system supports all the software written for Windows 7, but to work with them through the puzzle start screen will not work – you need to switch to the desktop.

Desktop

Spite of the fact that, at first glance, the appearance of the desktop, compared to Windows 7, is not changed, it is anything but.

If the cursor to the lower left corner of the screen displays information about the date, time, battery level, and shortcuts to the new controls system charms, which replaced the menu laquo; Puskraquo.; Charms, which are patented Microsoft, allows you to quickly configure specific applications, and to alter the general system settings, such as volume and screen brightness.

Total

Are five sets of options: Start, Search, Share, Devices and Settings. Start button does not open the menu laquo; Puskraquo, as some might think, and gives the opportunity to return to the start screen.

Clicking on Devices, you can see a list of connected devices. Share element provides access to the applications with which you can share content over the network and element Search allows us to go to the window, search for files, applications and system settings. It is assumed that the new metro-application will build charms. For example, a developer can build a program command to automatically indexing the contents of the processed it, and then using the Search element it can be detected.

The Settings provides access to the most important system settings. You can quickly change the desktop settings, notifications, Internet connection, and change the volume, and keyboard, turn off your computer or send it to reboot.

Way, there is a much faster way to turn off the computer from Windows 7 – remember the key combination Alt + F4. Pressing this key combination displays the familiar window where you can select one of the following options.

Icons in the notification area, similar to those to which users have become accustomed Windows 7. However, if you click on, say, the status icon for network connections, you can see a brand new window in the style of technology charms, occupying half of the screen.

When inserting removable media appears as an updated window, though no new features it lacks.

Explorer

One of the most frequently used programs Windows – Explorer – has been redesigned, making file operations can be carried out much more quickly. No, the Explorer has not yet become two-pane – the developers of alternative file managers do not worry. Instead, an application for working with files received ribbon-style interface MS Office. Thanks to all the commands for working with files in mind, they are no longer to be found in the context menu or elsewhere. As with office applications, a set of commands on the ribbon change, depending on what the user is doing in the program. Advantages ribbon interface is extremely useful when working with touch screens.

Default tape Explorer three tabs – Home, Share and View. The first contains all the basic commands for working with files: copy, paste, move, delete, copy path, rename, select all the files, invert the selection, viewing properties, create a shortcut.

Tab Share collected commands related to the transfer of the file to others. You can send it by mail or fax, archive, burn to disk, print, open to access to certain users or groups. Single button to quickly close the access to the file.

View tab contains various tools to change the display of files in Windows Explorer, and to customize the appearance of the window as a whole. You can hide or show the navigation pane, the preview display detailed information about the files, change the way you sort the files, turn on extensions and hidden files.

When the link is clicked Computer tabbed view changes completely – there are commands to work with the network to access the Control Panel, System, and an element for uninstalling applications.

Tab Disk tools, which is also active in the allocation of any disc that allows you to format, optimize, defragment the disk, gives you access to tools Bitlocker, and if the selected disk is a DVD, it allows you to start playing it and even grow old contents (if DVD Rewritable).

In allocating

Image files in Windows Explorer Image Tools tab appears and it is possible to set an image as your desktop background, rotate it or run your files in a folder as a slide show.

If

Highlight application executable file, it is possible to verify its compatibility with Windows 8, to run the program as administrator and attach it to the taskbar.

As in MS Office, there is a place on the tape to secure the commands and access to a user would like to have the time. Quick Access Toolbar can make any team from the tape. It is also worth noting the presence of the menu File, which, in particular, makes it possible to run a command line to open an additional copy of the Explorer as a separate process.

Ribbon interface – not only improving the Guide. Microsoft has also improved the setup. First, now all the copy displayed in one window, where you can control the process, suspending, canceling or re-starting each operation.

For

Process can be monitored in real time: for each copy displays information about the data rate, how much data was transferred and how much is still left to copy. However, as you can see in the screenshot, so far everything is working not as it should be.

Task Manager

All honesty, we must admit: the task manager on all versions of Windows, including in laquo; semerkeraquo, does not stand up to scrutiny. Perhaps, perhaps the only job he knows how to do – stop busy tasks and processes. But in order to get detailed information about running programs, most of us are used to using various additional tools, for example, the same Process Explorer. Well, in Windows 8, we finally get a full built-in process management, and applications.

Task Manager in Windows 8 has two views – short and full. In short, only a list of running programs (for clarity, there is an icon next to each), and there is a button for the completion of the job.

But if we click on the button More details, and a new task manager appears in all its splendor.

In Advanced Task Manager, as in Task Manager earlier, there are several tabs. Processes tab processes and applications presented separately from each other. Next to it is a visual icon for each of them you can see the information on the consumption of memory, CPU, disk space, and network resources. Total consumption is shown in the top of the window.

Performance tab completely redesigned compared to the same in Windows 7. Performance graphics have become much clearer, all information on the form.

New Tab App history includes information about the history of the use of the applications after installation. Statistics at any time to reset.

Finally, the main point Task Manager – tab Startup, which displays a list of applications that start with Windows. In previous versions of Windows, as we know, this information is completely in a different place, and now the list of startup is integrated in the task manager, which is quite logical and convenient.

recovery systems and other control panel functions

With the task manager has been updated is another important component of the system – the control panel. Its appearance once again has changed – now in default, only the most popular features, and to return to the usual form, which includes all options, you need to click on the link More Settings. Below we look at some of the most interesting, in our view, the new features available in the Control Panel.

Example, with the Personalize section will be to configure the startup screen, by adding items such as calendar, music, mail, etc. Provided the union of elements in the group.

One of the most interesting innovations hiding under General. New features Refresh and Reset PC allow to bring the system to its original state without having to reinstall. The value of both functions is clear: you can now get laquo; chistuyuraquo, and stable operating system, without wasting time re-installing.

The Refresh PC allows you to reset all the settings of the system to its original state and remove all third-party applications. In this case, all user files, as well as metro-applications downloaded from the store Windows, will remain intact. Thus, with this function you can get rid of the malicious applications from add-ins for IE and other programs.

The Reset PC – it is even more crucial way to clean your system. After her engagement Windows 8 will be exactly the same as after the initial installation. It should be borne in mind that when you use the Reset PC not only removed all applications and all user files, so before it Capitalize need to back up to removable media.

Finally, another interesting feature in Control Panel for Windows 8 to create passwords based on the images. Instead of the standard password in the new operating system, you can use gestures, drawing on the screen, lines, circles, and just touching it in certain places. As you might expect, the new feature is intended primarily for those who will use Windows 8 for devices with touch screens, although traditional mouse can be useful for creating such a password.

The Picture Password located under Users. For her engagement to first enter the current password, and then select any image file, which is used for orientation. The graphic password consists of three gestures. You can use any combination of lines, circles and touch, placing them in different parts of the screen. Need to remember the size of graphic elements, their position on the screen, the direction and the order of creation. As is the case with the creation of a plain text password, then need to re-draw the figure for the system to remember the password and make it active.

Built-in backup software

Probably after Windows 8 will be released and will settle on the users’ computers, many third-party software developers will have to think hard about what additional features give their applications. The fact that so many features previously available only in the alternative solutions are now implemented in Windows by default.

This includes backup. Instead of paying for the program to create a backup, you can use the new built-in File History, lets you back up libraries, favorites, contacts, and desktop. Turned off by default, and its engagement is necessary to connect to a computer removable media on which you will create a copy, and then go to System and Security section of the Control Panel and select it there. This section is only available in the extended version of the control panel.

After you enable File History is possible to choose a location to save the file (except for removable storage, you can use a network drive), and specify a folder, the exceptions specified intervals and backup options for saving copies of files. After that, backups will be created automatically.

improved support for multiple monitors

Another welcome improvement Windows 8 – enhanced support for two or more monitors. Capabilities that were previously available only through alternative applications are available in the new Windows by default. For example, you can now display the taskbar on the second monitor, stretch wallpaper across two monitors, to display on one screen, start menu, and on the other – a desktop.

Addition, simplified switching between monitors. On the main screen there is a button Start, and on an additional shy; – button Switcher. Clicking Switcher turns it into a button Start, and at the same time will be a major additional monitor.

updated virtual keyboard

Virtual keyboard is a must for touch screen devices. In Windows 8 on-screen keyboard has been completely redesigned and now recruit it can help you more quickly. First, it works autocompletion while typing. Real-time displays the word completion. To insert the word you want just enough to touch him.

Addition, the virtual keyboard has built-in spell checking to help prevent entry errors. When you run the keyboard automatically adjusts to the language that you selected in Windows.

Conclusion

So, what does the future hold for Windows 8? Will it be accepted by users as positive as Windows 7? It is already clear that no matter whether the majority wants to update their desktop operating system laquo; semerkiraquo, on laquo; vosmerkuraquo, the operating system is sure to become popular at the expense of netbooks, tablets, and other devices with touch screens. To contribute to the rising popularity of Windows 8, the average user will not need to install the system on your computer, it will be enough to buy a tablet based on the new OS.

But in fairness it should be noted that, despite the clear emphasis on devices with touch screens, Windows 8 has something to offer to those who will continue to sit at the desktop screen and use the good old mouse and keyboard. However, while that to think about switching to a new operating system early. According to the latest data, the release of Windows 8 is scheduled for late next year. Here then we’ll talk.

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