Windows 8 is the upcoming version of Microsoft Windows that follows Windows 7. It features a new Metro-style interface that is designed for touchscreen, mouse,keyboard, and pen input. It also adds support for the ARM processor architecture in addition to the previously supported x86 microprocessors from Intel and AMD. Its server counterpart is codenamed Windows Server 8. A release date for the finished version of Windows 8 has not yet been announced. The most recent prerelease version is the Consumer Preview, which was released on February 29, 2012.
A desktop app will be included for running legacy non-Metro applications. However, the Start button has been removed in favor of a hotspot in the bottom-left corner that opens the Start screen.
Internet Explorer 10 will be included bothas a Metro-style app, which will not support plugins or ActiveX components, and a desktop version which resembles Internet Explorer 9 and will maintain legacy plug-in support.
Ability to sign in using a Windows Live ID. This will allow for the user’s profile and setting to be synchronized over the internet and accessible from other computers running Windows 8, as well as integration with SkyDrive.
Two new authentication methods: picture password, which allows users to log in by drawing three gestures in different places on a picture and PIN log in, which allows users to authenticate usinga four_digit pin.
Windows Explorer will include a ribbon toolbar, and have its file operation progress dialog updated to provide more detailed statistics, the ability to pause file transfers, and improvements in the ability to manage conflicts when copying files. Hybrid Boot will use “advanced hibernation functionality” on shutdown to allow faster startup times.
Windows To Go will allow Windows 8 to be run from a bootable USB device (such as a flash drive).
Two new recovery functions are included, Refresh and Reset. Refresh restores all Windows files to their original state while keeping settings, files, and Metro-Style apps, while reset takes the computer back to factory default condition. Native USB 3.0 support. A new lock screen.
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