On October 26, Microsoft, device manufacturers, and retailers will begin selling Windows 8, the latest version of the Redmond software giant’s operating system. In many ways, Windows 8 is a large departure from what’s come before. The entire user interface – and, in many ways, the underlying architecture as well – has been redesigned from the ground up. In fact, one could safely call Windows 8 the biggest change in the history of Windows. There are enough similarities to past iterations of the OS that you’ll be able to run your existing applications and retain many of your computing habits, but if you intend to delve into the more modern aspects of the OS, you’re going to have to unlearn some of what you have learned.
Over the next ten weeks, this review will dig into the most important aspects of Windows 8, from the Start screen, Charms, and the Windows Store to desktop enhancements and personalization options. The primary focus will be on the consumer side, but Windows 8 also includes a number of more advanced features like UEFI secure booth, USB 3.0, Hyper-V, virtual hard drives, storage spaces, and much more. Apps will also be reviewed separately, since this aspect of Windows 8 will most likely remain in flux up through the October 26 consumer launch and into the future.
Windows 8, if successful, will change the landscape of computing. Microsoft hopes to usher in an age of no-compromise computing on any device, from powerful desktop PCs to thin-and-light laptops and tablets. Was the company successful? Stay tuned to find out.
First up (coming soon): the Windows 8 Start and lock screens.