After a long wait, finally, Microsoft released the Windows 8 OS officially in India in New Delhi on October 25, few hours prior to the launch in the US event. With the launch, Microsoft has entered into a direct competition with Apple and Google and their latest operating systems – iOS 6 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Commenting at the launch event, Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India was quoted stating, “It is deeply personalised, great for keyboards and mouse, and optimised for touch. We have huge number of applications and more are added every day.”
Also, Amrish Goyal, Director, Windows Business Group, Microsoft India said, ”We want to create a desire for the OS and an awareness of the product and how it works. We want to give the end user a good experience and make sure they they feel like they have made a satisfactory purchase.”
Microsoft has joined with 14 hardware manufacturers including Dell, Lenovo, HP, HCL, Acer, Asus and more and they will together on sale 250 devices running on the latest Windows OS. These devices would be available in across 2,500 stores in over 100 cities in India.
Consumers having PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, are eligible to download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of Rs 1,999. However, as claimed by Microsoft, those consumers who have purchased the Windows 7 PCs between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of Rs 699 with the Windows Upgrade Offer.
Further, Windows Store is also open, in order to let the users to download a plethora of free and paid applications.
Take a tour across the new features of Windows 8 OS below!
Innovative Tile Base UI
Not all consumers may like the new Start screen but it has some undeniable benefits including interactive tiles.
The tiles-based interface or the Metro UI will be the first thing that will open soon as the users log in to Windows 8. The UI seems to go intuitively with touchscreen devices like tablets and smartphones.
The interactive tile for the Mail application provides snippets from unread messages in your inbox, the Music tile shows which track is currently playing and the Calendar app displays forthcoming appointments in your diary. Also, users can customize the grid to add and re-arrange applications.
Windows 8 is the first gestural version as the OS supports intuitive simple touch gestures like swiping in from the left to switch apps, swiping in from the right for the Charms menu and semantic zoom.
While in the Start Screen or a specific app, like the People hub, users can navigate using the pinch-to-zoom gesture to get a high-level view with semantic zoom without the necessity of scrolling.
Other useful gestures include swiping in from the top of the screen for app-specific commands and settings and dragging an app from the top down to close it out.
Faster Boot and Load Time
Windows 8 has faster and better booting and loading speed as compared to the other versions including Windows 7. The main reason for such an improved speed is the presence of a technique of hibernating the system kernel when the device is shut down, hence, it becomes like a partial hibernation each time. This way Windows 8 reboots and loads faster as the memory of the previous session gets reinitialized quicker.
Split touch keyboard
Windows 8 offers two types keyboards - a keyboard that spans the full width of the screen and a split keyboard that makes it easier to thumb-type on larger tablet screens.
Interestingly, the split keyboard can be zoomed to different sizes and it cleverly places the number keys between the two banks of letters, leaving them easily accessible at the sides.
In addition to two soft keyboard options, Windows 8 also offers handwriting recognition, allowing stylus users to write in mails, notes and more.
No Need of Anti-Virus
In Windows 7, Windows Defender provided anti-spyware and anti-malware capabilities, but it lacked anti-virus functionality, a weird chink in the OS’s armor. So users needed to find and download their own anti-virus solution, and while Microsoft made its Security Essentials (MSE) program available for free, it was a silly extra step.
However, this is not the case with the new Windows 8 OS as it comes preloaded with Windows Defender along with anti-virus functionality, hence, consumers can stay away from the expensive anti-virus software.
Things to Know: Keyboard Shortcuts
Naturally, Windows 8 will work in a touch or gesture based environment, however, for those using traditional keyboard and mouse, Microsoft offers several keyboard shortcuts including the ones listed below. Take a look:
Windows logo key + start typing: Search your PC
Ctrl+plus (+) or Ctrl+minus (-): Zoom in or out
Windows logo key + C: Open the charms
Windows logo key + F: Open the Search charm
Windows logo key + H: Open the Share charm
Windows logo key + I: Open the Settings charm
Windows logo key + K: Open the Devices charm
Windows logo key + O: Lock the screen orientation
Windows logo key + Z: Open commands for the app
Windows logo key + PgUp: Move the Start screen and apps to the monitor on the right
Windows logo key + PgDn: Move the Start screen and apps to the monitor on the left
Windows logo key + Shift+period (.): Snap an app to the left
Windows logo key + period (.): Snap an app to the right