Windows 8–it’s all it’s been hyped up to be, and more | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

It’s been quite a while since I’ve immersed myself in the world of Windows, so much so that every time I encounter a Windows-operated device, I always require a bit of support from my brother, who takes the opportunity to roll his eyes and scoff at my ineptitude.


Recently, we got to tour the Microsoft offices in Singapore, which has every gadget imaginable (there’s a giant TV screen that you can turn into a virtual closet, where you can try on dresses without removing what you’re wearing), plus the best office cafeteria I’ve ever been to.


We were given a glimpse of what Windows 8 can do, and one hour with the reimagined operating system would have you wanting to update to the software pronto.


Microsoft’s Public Relations Director Janelle Poole said of its development: “Our teams have thought very deeply about mapping how Windows works versus how people are using technology



Access, mobility


The team saw that consumers now have a need for 24/7 access and mobility, and that PCs have become cornerstones for entertainment, work and social media.


Though Windows 8 gives one a more robust experience when it comes to entertainment, all the fundamentals that have made it the preferred operating system of 1.3 billion users are still present, but amped up.


“We don’t want to compromise any type of experience, such as writing something like an Excel spreadsheet, but we want it to

be enjoyable and functional at the same time when you are in consumption mode,” Poole added.


The interface of Windows 8 has been completely overhauled, but is still easily accessible.


“We don’t want users to spend time opening different apps to see what one needs to attend to, so we have an ‘at a glance’ view of stuff you need, like unread e-mails or upcoming calendar events,” said Poole.


Security measures add a touch of fun to Windows 8. The picture password, for instance, is a new feature that lets you touch a photo three times specifically before the computer unlocks itself, like a puzzle you’ll find in an Indiana Jones movie.


The Start menu brings up colorful tiles, with the Start button expanding into a fast and fluid interface that allows for easy back-and-forth panning. The tiles themselves are “alive,” coming forward and presenting you relevant information, something applications developers can maximize in terms of personalizing the apps to tailor-fit each user.


Personalized interface


The interface is very personalized to the user. Your account loads preferred settings, colors, screens and apps. The account-based settings mean that it will be easy to “roam” across any PC, tablet or smart phone running Windows 8. All you need to do is log in, and all your settings and preferences are loaded seamlessly.


It’s a feature that is very useful for those who move workplaces or use different devices. All your content can be loaded anywhere, anytime—no more forgetting that file in the tablet you left at home, thanks to SkyDrive. The only caveat this feature offers is that users have to be

extra-vigilant with their accounts. Passwords must be strong and hard to crack.


Because of Windows 8’s homogeneity across different devices and platforms, it also makes it more economical to buy apps. One app is good for any device you have that runs on Windows 8, be it a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.


And since Windows 8 plays well with a lot of devices, the gadget world is your oyster. You can mix and match devices based on your preferences, both in terms of aesthetics and performance. Peripherals work the same, too, across different

devices, so no need to relearn keystrokes or gestures for keyboards and mice.


I really love the design and the simplicity of the typeface. The interface is simply gorgeous, and Microsoft really did something right with the updated user interface.


The folks at Microsoft also assure consumers there’s no need to upgrade hardware. Windows 8 can run on your current devices.


Relevant apps


In an effort to provide varied content to consumers, Microsoft is also working with local teams to ensure that there are a lot of locally relevant apps ready for its launch.


“At a global level, getting developers to build apps is a priority,” said Jonathan Wong, Product Marketing Manager. Developers can expect a revenue split of 70-30, and 80-20 for the lifetime of the app after a sales threshold of 25,000 is met.


These are truly exciting times for Microsoft and Windows 8, and I’ve no doubt that in time they will significantly take a huge piece of the smart phone OS pie as well. Of course, Windows 8 will only be as good as the hardware it’s built into, but brands like Samsung are on their way, too, to creating great devices that will play well with Windows 8.


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