Windows 8 has lots of new features. If you want to compare Windows 8 to other mobile operating system like Apple’s iPad iOS, then I suggest you read this run-down.
Run-down of Windows 8 key features
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview was released yesterday but, if you’re the kind of person who likes to sit back while everyone else experiences blue screens and spinning timers, then The Verge have done a nice report on what is important on Microsoft’s latest public build of the OS.
According to The Verge, from the lock screen, users are greeted with the new Metro UI. The Consumer Preview sees a a number of minor changes in this area, with a “Semantic Zoom interface that allows tablet and touch users to organize and group their Windows Store applications.”
A fundamental change to the OS is that there is now no Start button/orb that has been synonymous with Windows since the 90s. Instead, the Charms bar is where this function can be found. “Swipe to the left from the edge of the screen to activate the charms that include the new Windows 8 logo.” The accents also change depending on what theme you are using, a feature which means users will see consistency across the OS.
The Start buttons functionality is also replaced by being able to switch through recently opened applications, accessed from the bottom left or top left. However, it does still exist and can be accessed from the Charms bar.
“Microsoft has overhauled its gestures in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview,” The Verge says, and there are quite a few:
- System commands, previously used apps: swipe from the right and you’ll reveal the charms bar with system commands, and a swipe from the left brings up previously used applications
- Swipe to close: Swiping from the top down closes apps, while bottom to top reveals app-specific commands
- Press and hold: Simply, holding down in app will bring up information before making a choice
- Slide to drag: generally used for moving for information, it can also be used for moving an app
- Pinch to zoom: two-finger pinch to zoom is in, and works as you’d expect – zooming out and in across the OS
- Rotate to turn: another basic gesture that’s self-explanatory
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