Monday 26 September 2011

Good to Know Features and Facts about Windows 8

Windows 7 has become one of the most popular operating systems from Microsoft. However, as popular as it is, and as many features as it has, there is always room for improvement. Microsoft is working diligently on releasing a new version in around a year or so, and it’s called Windows 8, naturally. Most of its features have not been confirmed yet, so we’ll only be covering those that have a high probability of showing up in Windows 8. Until an official press release is launched and features are confirmed, all we can do is comment on rumors and released screenshots.

Windows 8 ISO Mounting Feature

The first feature that we’re going to be taking a look at is the ISO mounting feature. This means that no third party apps will be required to load disc images. This may not seem like a big deal to many, but it is an extremely important feature for some. Windows 7 only allowed users to burn disc images directly but didn’t offer any way of loading them into a virtual drive. Windows 8 however may offer complete support for both mounting and burning disc images.
This also means that third party applications such as Nero and Daemon Tools may not be as successful on Windows 8 as they were on previous versions. How that will affect sales, as well as if this is in fact true, remains to be seen!

Internet Explorer 9 Not Preinstalled

The fact that Internet Explorer comes preinstalled on any PC with Windows isn’t a surprise. Don’t expect to find Internet Explorer 9 installed on Windows 8 though. A newer version, called Internet Explorer 10 will be released in time for the Windows 8 launch. New features will be added and interface changes can be expected as well. With building pressure from Chrome, Firefox and Opera, Microsoft is trying hard to make Internet Explorer 10 as popular as possible. Screenshots show that Microsoft has reduced the number of menu options to a minimum in an effort to make it as user friendly as possible.

SmartScreen Download Filter – Check and Track Downloaded Files for Infections

Internet Explorer 9 users probably know the SmartScreen download filter. This allows users to check any file they downloaded, or any site they opened, against a database of malicious sites and files. Internet Explorer 10 makes this even more effective and will go as far as preventing files from being launched if they don’t pass the SmartScreen filter. This will effectively reduce the number of infected computers out there and will prevent novice users from infecting their computer by not knowing what they’re downloading or what file they’re running.

Guest Mode Account in Windows8

A guest mode is also expected to be available but testing shows that introducing a guest account may not be as easy as expected. It needs to have sufficient privileges to allow users to run programs or browse the Internet, but it also needs to be secure enough to prevent security threats. Has Microsoft been able to create such an account? We’ll have to wait and see, but chances are high that they have and that we’ll be seeing it in Windows 8.

Facial Recognition with Windows 8

The most expected feature for those with security issues is facial recognition. There are reports that Microsoft is working on facial recognition technology for Windows 8, but nothing is certain yet. Instead of using a password to log on, users can simply step in front of the webcam and the computer will unlock once it identifies their face. Such attempts have been made in the past but the results were not pleasing, so it may be a while until Microsoft gets it right and releases this feature. We wouldn’t be surprised if it came in a service pack, after the initial launch of Windows 8.
Check back for more details as we’ll be posting them as soon as we get them!