Microsoft has unveiled the details of its much-awaited Windows 8 OS and released the Windows 8 Developer's Preview for download.
Just after Microsoft released a video showing off how fast can Windows 8 boot from a cold start - in just 8 seconds! - and other rumors doing the rounds, Microsoft has followed it up by a release of a Developer Preview to the Public.
As this is a Developer's edition which is designed to make users familiar with this new OS and moreover to debug the errors that might come up while using this edition which when reported by the developers can be rectified by Microsoft for a flawless version of Windows 8 lined up for a 2012 release. But for those who can't stop themselves from getting their hands on this OS, they can simply download the different Developer Preview editions offered by Microsoft.
With the all-new Metro UI being the stand-out feature in this edition, Windows 8 would offer a lot more when released later in 2012. Some of its features are listed below:
- Aero Auto-Colorization : Here's something that doesn't address the critical nuts-and-bolts of Windows 8, but could be fun: Aero can be set to automatically change the colors of your Windows theme based on the primary colors of a desktop wallpaper image you use. There's already a program that does the same thing for Windows 7 called Aura.
- App Bar : A toolbar UI element in "Metro-style" applications that is typically hidden until needed and houses commands, which are generally UI elements like buttons and other graphical controls.
- Charms : A set of five icons - Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings - available from in the Edge User Interface, which appears when you swipe into the interior of the screen from the right side of the screen.
- Cloud Integration : The Windows 8 Explorer interface will access Microsoft's cloud services, possibly SkyDrive and Windows Live Mesh. SkyDrive is an online storage space that you can put your files in, and Mesh lets you sync your other Windows computers and mobile devices remotely.
- History Vault: Windows' long-time "restore to a given point in time" function will be renamed History Vault. It will be a more robust tool that takes a "snapshot" copy of the entire contents of your Windows 8 computer's hard drive and then lets you easily restore things to that prior system state.
- Internet Explorer 10 : The new version of Microsoft's web browser - IE 10 - will be available in a desktop version.
- Lock Screen : The new lock screen for Windows 8, which appears after you put your computer to sleep or restart or lock your computer. Notifications such as new email alerts, Wi-Fi availability and other essential, user-chosen information will be pushed to this screen.
- Picture password : A new method of logging in to Windows 8 that involves a photo or touch gestures and swipes.
- Refresh Your PC : A new service in Windows 8 that reinstall Windows from scratch as it automatically backs up all of your photos, music, videos, and other personal files and your Metro-style apps and then reapplies everything back to the system.
- Start Screen : Here is the start screen in the ‘Metro’ view (the classic start bar “desktop” view is still available). Users can scroll side-to-side, much as they would on an iOS or Android phone, for different groups of applications. Immediately to the right of this homescreen is the media hub.
- Tiles : These are the UI elements found in the Windows 8 Start screen that replace icons and represents applications in form of "tiles" also known as "Live Tiles". Tiles are said to be "pinned" to the Start screen & when removed they are "unpinned."
- Windows Store : Microsoft's online store for Windows 8 applications, which will consist of both Metro-style apps and traditional applications. Users can install Metro-style apps on up to five Windows PCs. Trial versions of Metro-style apps will be available.
- Zoomed Out View : Users can zoom out from this view to see all of their apps at once. This is also where you can move entire blocks at a time closer to the homescreen. For example, if you want Games immediately next to your homescreen, or on the homescreen itself, you can pick up the entire block and drag it to the left.
With so much to offer and the Developer's Preview edition already been downloaded over 500000 times, the truly innovative feature and UI are extremely compelling and do grab one's attention!
Blown away with this Metro UI? Interested in knowing more about this Windows 8 OS? Share your opinions and reactions . We'll surely get back to ya' soon..!!