Windows 8 the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system has many new features. Some of these are minor improvements to existing features. Others are entirely new. Many sites have already posted list of new features. But most of them are only about new touch gestures or metro interface. Here is a list of top 10 features that are really useful:
1. Easy screenshots
Up till now to take screenshot you would press Prt-Sc and paste the result in Paint or any other image editor. Now you can take and save a screenshot simply by following key combination:
Win + Prt Sc
The screenshots are saved automatically in PNG format in Pictures folder and are also numbered.
2. Hidden start menu
Well it’s not actually a start menu. But a menu containing very useful options like Device Manager, Disk Management, Admin Command Prompt and many more. Hit the following keys to pop up this menu:
Win + X
3. Mount ISO files without any external software
Now there is no need for any external software to mount/view ISO files. Just double click the ISO file or right click and select ‘Mount’. A new virtual drive will appear in Computer.
4. Built in Anti-virus and Anti-spyware
Now there is no need for external Anti-virus as it is built into Windows 8. The Windows defender has now bee upgraded to a full fledged Anti-virus. It uses the same definitions as Microsoft Security Essentials. The detection rate is also very good. I recommend it over external Anti-virus. Moreover if you install any third party solution like Avira Or Avast then it will automatically turn off to prevent any conflict.
5. Reset and Refresh
When your mobile phone becomes slow or bloated you simply ‘Reset’ it to factory default setting . Now you can do the same in Windows 8. Hit Win + W and type ‘reset windows’. Select ‘Remove everything and rereinstall Windows’. Your PC settings will be restored to default and your files and apps will be removed. If you want to keep you files and apps then there is also an option to ‘Refresh’.
6. Inbuilt PDF reader
There is a default Reader App that opens PDF and XPS files. Only drawback of this app is that it takes full screen.
7. Better file handling
This is a welcome features. Now you can pause and resume while copying/moving files. You can also view a neat speed vs time graph by clicking ‘More details’. Moreover several file operation are grouped in one window.
8. Synchronize your settings
If you use Microsoft Live Account then you can synchronize you personalization settings, passwords, app settings and other Windows settings with your online account. These settings can be synchronised across multiple PC’s.
9. Improved task manager
The task manager is overhauled and now presents a lot of information. Also it tells the impact of startup items.
10. Faster boot
This is a major improvement in Windows 8. The boot tie in Windows 8 is under 20 seconds( even less for SSD). This is thanks to a clever optimization by Microsoft. Is is called Hybrid Boot. It is the best of both Shutdown and Hibernate. You must have noticed that the computer boots very fast after hibernation. This is because all the content of ram is saved to hibernate.sys and restored on boot. Now in case of Hybrid Boot when you shutdown the user applications are closed but the portion upto Kernel loading(device drivers, services, etc.) is hibernated. As a result the boot time decreases.