Microsoft

Infographic: The top 11 features of Windows 8

Dot Com Infoway shares its thoughts on the Windows 8 operating system.

The infographic below came across my desk yesterday and I thought it would be interesting to the TechRepublic audience. I know a lot of you love to hate on Microsoft Windows 8, some to the point of irrationality, but the operating system is very capable. I have not been able to find any major flaws in Windows 8, at least at the technical level, yet.

The only thing wrong with Windows 8 is that, unless you have a mobile or tablet device, you don't really need it. While Windows 8 is an acceptable operating system for a desktop it is not really much different than Windows 7. Therefore, I don't see many companies adopting Windows 8 on a grand scale anytime soon.

The exception

On the other hand, you have companies like the one that put this infographic together who are apparently adopting Windows lock, stock, and barrel. So much so, that they feel compelled to share what they consider the 11 top features of the operating system.

See if you agree with the assessment of Dot Com Infoway.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

69 comments
Brian Bevan
Brian Bevan

I got it with a new laptop from ACER as a gift for my Xmas & 75th B'day I do not like either I do not see win 8 as any improvement over Win 7 which I enjoy! The new laptop no indication of hard disk working? Lousy battery life 1 hour and 59 minutes despite their claims. there are a few others. The one excellent property is the hidden partition which enables a reinstallation. Good because I have had to do it no less than 3 times, but it did not recover all some inbuilt apps did not appear and on doing several searches established that they were no longer in the m/c. Meaning that both ACER and MS did not do their jobs correctly

jonxdoe
jonxdoe

"The only thing wrong with Windows 8 is that, unless you have a mobile or tablet device, you don’t really need it. While Windows 8 is an acceptable operating system for a desktop it is not really much different than Windows 7." I'd rather have more than acceptable.

PasiPTL
PasiPTL

It is king of funny how we see things differently. Since I first loaded the Win 8 DP in my PC I felt that it is going to be best MS OS thus far and loaded it promptly to two others at home for a great benefit for the users. I have also used most PC OS's since early DOS days and for my opinion Windows 8 is the best OS so far from MS. Now considering how my family uses Pc's and laptops it might not be something that others do. On the other hand we use all the office applications and if counting every one for the addition for general, what people I know do, we use them for multimedia including editing, CAD, photo editing and games. Might have forgotten something. It works with lots of legacy programs that I use from around 2000. Don't know much about older programs as I don't use them any more. Some companies are bad for older device drivers like for printers and scanners, but the those didn't work on Windows 7 either.

1ronman
1ronman

Gisabun hit it on the head and I think is one of the things people hate the most about new versions of Windows. most of the functionality we have grown accustom to is still there but moving functions and tools, splitting them up, changing how you get to them, renaming them, hiding them...come on Microsoft, thats dumb

sanchez_alfred
sanchez_alfred

I hate the Win 8 interface from the screen with all the apps to the complications to enter commands.. Bring the start menu and search\ type in box. Microsoft, if its not broken stop trying to fix it. KISS - Keep it simple stupid. The only reason I'm using Win 8 is because it came with my brand new laptop. Thinking about "downgrading" to Win 7. Well I don't consider it a down grade.

gishmonster49
gishmonster49

I have had my W8 laptop for 2 months. It has locked up or crashed at least a dozen times. I upgraded to Pro right away. I have 6 Gig and a I7 with a 500 gig hd. I should run rings around anything out there short of a SSD. But it is slow and unresponsive. It reminds me so much of Vista I had to look at the tag to make sure what I had. It crashed and locked up a lot, which looked like it was associated with App updates that I did not even ask for and had set my Windows updates to Download but let me install. I got worried about system stability so I did a SFC and it found 13 corrupt system files. It was able to fix them. I ran it again to make sure. I have set up WLMail by downloading Windows Live and using it on the desktop. I do not want the Metro and it is always trying to get in the way. Microsoft needs to bring out SP1 for W8. And like everyone else we need the Start Menu and the X in the Apps. KG

Gisabun
Gisabun

Here is one idiotic but simple reason why Windows 8 will have problems. I was at someone's house yesterday and was asked how to change the profile picture. Seems simple enough. Go to the Control Panel, select User Accounts and change the picture for the account. Nope. They pulled that option. It is now in PC Settings in the charm "menu". Why? Keep everything in one place! Even better, if you want it in a new place, that's fine but leave it in the old place as well. Like in windows 7 and before you could access the Device Manager from the Control Panel or right clicking My Computer on the desktop. But to split user account settings in two?

Slayer_
Slayer_

Apparently Windows 8 gets about 1 or 2% faster frame rates. But then it still loses to Linux which gets about 10% faster frame rates. http://steamforlinux. com/?q=en/node/74

tom0s
tom0s

Replying to dl@: [sorry: seems 'reply' and 'edit' only work here if I right-click and open in new tab (FF 18.0.1 w. java uninstalled)] a heading like "Whining objections to Windows 8 Easily Overcome, when not pure fiction" comes across as trolling, but you do make some valid points: security (mostly this isn't seen and therefore not appreciated); and stability (although 7 is very stable here). I'm not sure what exactly you mean by 'forgiving behaviour', but I can report running a pretty big piece of software from 1999 (Freehand 9), and it runs better than on XP or 7 (minor 'dysfunctionalities' are gone in 8). The other side of the coin is that I think you must have gotten the bug free version of 8 :-) In mine: (1) random mouse movements activate the charmsbar (and tell me the time). I've tried registry fixes to no avail. This is the killer for me and I'm not alone (although there appear to be variations on this one - maybe hardware is a factor). Simple fix: - MS gives us ability to turn it off. (2) I get (what feels like) randomly thrown from one interface to the other. If they weren't so visually different this might be easier to cope with - but it would be just that - "coping". I dont want to cope with my OS, I want it to help me get things done. [technically not a bug - but it's the kind of behaviour that normally would get removed before moving from beta]. Not such a simple fix for MS. (3) I have found a successful work-around to MS forcing the Tiles on us and can now boot to desktop ("coping" anyone?) [again, not a bug - unfortunately it's more like getting the finger from MS. See quote below, and 1ronman's full post]. A simple fix for MS: choice please. (4) there is no reasonable excuse (apart from maybe quote below) for removing the start menu. It affects me *relatively* little (I'm keyboard friendly, & for years now I've used an app launcher) but for the things I seldom do where there's a shortcut in there, I need a workaround (btw thanks for your recommendation, I'm unhappy with classic start menu). A simple fix for MS: choice please. ~ the above (mainly 1 & 2) are enough to stop me using it - thankfully I have a choice ;-) I pray for the day that MS will decide they've done enough advertising for 'the Tiles' and allow desktop users to be just that. Quote from "1ronman" (More Windows 8 hating): "With Windows 8, it appears that Microsoft has provided a user interface that you have to bypass or work around to use your computer. So far, everything seems like change so we can get some more of your money. I hope time proves me wrong..."

the_tech_mule
the_tech_mule

I'm just not seeing the value of moving to Windows 8 on my business desktops or laptops. There is no must have feature there, there are training demands that my users really shouldn't have to go through, and Windows 7 still has a long life ahead of it. There will no doubt be a point when something comes out that will only work on Windows 8 and above. At that point, there may be a reason to upgrade. I just don't see that happening for at least two more years for any applications that we use here.

carlsf
carlsf

Sorry Microsoft, we will not be moving to Windoze 8. Does Not ft our computing model, no Touch and Mobiles are phones. Also the UI is ###p and this is the MOST unproductive O/S I've come across. We will also NOT be moving to Office 2013 we are happy with 2007/10.

RocRizzo
RocRizzo

It's not that price any more. It'll cost you two Franklins now.

David.Heng
David.Heng

I can't believe they left out the new File History feature.

dl
dl

I get a real kick out of those whining about Windows 8. The whines take two forms: (1) Loss of the Start button and menus -- easily overcome with StarDock's Start8 or a dozen other free or low-cost utilities that restore the Start button and menus to the desktop and easily enable you to boot directly into the desktop. I've been using Windows 8 Pro since early November along with Start8 and I pretty much ignore the Modern UI. Same for the five or six follk for whom I've built a Windows 8 computer. (2) Steep learning curve and missing features. Well, if you use Start8, there is virtually no learning curve because Windows 8 works like Windows 7, but on steroids with much faster boots and shutdowns, greater stability, more security, and a much more forgiving behavior. As for those missing features like a scheduler some object to -- pure fiction. They're still there in Windows 8. They may have a different name, but they still exist. Unfortunately articles like this one tend to use too much short hand. I imagine that "Multiple Storage Devices" refers to the ability of Windows 8 to configure several hard drives, for example, as a single drive -- so you could have two or three hard drives appear as a single drive to Windows. All in all, I've found Windows 8 to be a significant step up from Windows 7 and well worth the $40 to $70 it cost until Feb 1. Is it worth $199 to upgrade now? That's for each person to evaluate on their own.

rocket ride
rocket ride

I'm sorry, but the idea of trying to cram the same UI onto laptops and cellphones is just plain stupid. Gesturing on the screen of a cellphone or tablet held in one's other hand is comfortable, doing the same on a laptop, with arm held straight out is just painful after a while. "Gorilla arm", anyone? Do people even want to do the same tasks on a 4" screen as on a 15" one? But, then I don't get the appeal of watching a movie on a cell, maybe that's just my eyes.

allenfalcon
allenfalcon

The infographic seems to confuse "new" and "improved". "System Boot Time and Performance" is hardly a NEW feature, it is a flaw in the Windows operating system that Microsoft has been trying to fix since Vista (how many years is that?) "User Friendly Print and Search Options" ... other than acknowledging Microsoft's poor design over the past 2 decades, this again is fixing a competitive disadvantage ... not really anything new. I could go on, but what's the point? Those that fear anything but Microsoft will continue to overspend on technology that is overly complex and goes mostly under-utilized.

1ronman
1ronman

I’ll admit right up front that I only have a week in with my shiny new (clean install) Windows 8 Desktop so maybe I just have not “seen the light” yet. I've been in the business since the DOS days. I've seen a lot of new OS’s from M$ and so far...this one wins! It’s the worst! While I understand the need to “make improvements” to your product so people will continue to buy new ones, there is a difference between taking something that works and making it better, and taking something that works and making it worse (yeah, seems simple, I know). I use my Win 7 laptop to wirelessly remote into the wired desktop in my home office across my home LAN. Same old hardware and connections, just a new OS. As long as I don’t use metro its seems pretty stable, but soon as I start trying to figure out the new user interface, remote desktop starts crashing and losing its connection to the point where its unusable. Was searching last night and while I found lots of people complaining about it, found very few answers. And what is up with IE? Did anyone notice that the IE you launch from your desktop (which looks and feels like IE) is dramatically different from the IE you launch from the broken tiles start page? No controls, full screen only???what a bunch of knuckle heads. And someone please tell me why it was necessary to remove the X to close an app or window? Please explain how its better to make it so difficult to move back and forth between apps or shut something off that your done with???.anybody? And where is my stinking RUN bar? People grumbled and hated Windows 95. It was a huge paradigm shift from Windows 3.x and everyone hated it. It was too different, they changed too much and I remember friends that are in the computer business saying they "Will never go to Win 95" :-) yeah, we laugh now but back then, it was pretty heated. Time has shown that it was an immense improvement. That said, some OS’s were stinkers right from the get go and you could hear the flushing sound early on. Anyone remember Millennia? Ha, yes, I hear that snort of derision. When we went from 98 to Win 2000, no one understood the need for all the changes. Again time has shown that from a systems management point of view Win 2k was a good investment of the effort required to learn the new OS. Then along comes Vista . With Windows 8, it appears that Microsoft has provided a user interface that you have to bypass or work around to use your computer. So far, everything seems like “change” so we can get some more of your money. I hope time proves me wrong but right now all I can hear is

criedel
criedel

Learning curve: We all had to learn Win95, then 98, Mil, XP and 7 followed with same format. To run 8 you have to reinvest for the new age. If you don't like 8 you won't like 9,10, etc. either. Invest in the new OS (eventually) or move to Chrome, Apple, Linux, etc. It is pretty clear. Regardless, it is time to reinvest. Win8 is a new OS and Linux would be a new OS also that you would have to invest time in to learn it. Hope that you can understand and appreciate my point.

rindi1
rindi1

The faster bootup time is also a myth in my point of view. If I compare windows 7 and windows 8 on the same hardware, it is just about the same. Windows 8 might arrive at the desktop slightly sooner, but showing the desktop doesn't mean it has finished booting, it is still loading services etc., and reacts slowly to user input at the beginning. So you still have to wait for about the same time like you do with Windows 7 to actually start to work with it. IE10 is still IE and insecure. I never use m$'s browsers. So that isn't an argument either. Search? What for? I usually know at least approximately where my files are. Also the installed software is easier to find via a menu system (like the start button), than having to enter it's name (which I might have forgotten and then a text search is more difficult) in a search bar. For me it is like going backwards in time to the days of DOS where you had no GUI and had to type in everything. Task Manager? The one you get in Windows 7 is good enough, and if it isn't there are 3rd party tools like Process Manager available... SkyDrive? I can use that with Windows 7, XP, Linux and probably most other OS's too.... Metro? Totally useless crap if you don't have a touch enabled device, and also then I'd Question it's usefulness. The same applies for the store, there isn't anything there for which there aren't any better real Windows programs. Support for UEFI? What would anyone need that for??? The only useful stuff that is left is: 1. the Hyper-V Host (and that really can only be used on hardware that has virtualization support and enough RAM). Also, most people don't need that. You can also always use a type 2 hypervisor like Virtualbox, it is good enough for virtualization on a desktop system as that normally only makes sense for testing purposes and then you can live with the lower performance. 2. WindowsToGo, which I haven't come round to testing yet though.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...and all it looks like to me is an attempt to rationalise a huge expense that brought no tangible gain. But then we know the business world is full of people stroking their own egos and imposing their way in order to "make their mark".

nick
nick

W8 has nothing NEW to offer W7 users who have a Laptop or Desktop. What do I mean? 1. Boot time is done or twice a day or week. Win 7 from hibernate or sleep is just as fast as W8 and I can get at it easily. 2. There is no learning curve, W7 just works the way I like and want it to. 3. The multiple Storage options are all available on W7. 4. If you really want IE10 (Why?) Its available on W7. 5. Task Manager. W7 task manager. If I found my users playing with that they would be shown the door. I employ people to USE the machine not fiddle under the hood. 6. Hyper V. Not of any use to mainstream users, just tech/geek stuff. No productivity gain. 7. Search under W7 is much Better. W8 you have to look up, fail, try settings, etc. 8. Skydrive is not as good as many of the free alternatives in the wild. 9. Windows to go. There many better ways and upgrading (!) Is not one of them. 10. Metro. No valid or usable Business or productivity purpose. 11. Windows Store. Just a way to spend money with Microsoft! I tried W8 and to summarise Windows 8 FAIL! Life is too short.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

HDD activity light, battery life, hidden reinstallation partition, "crapware" apps - these are all provided (or not) by the manufacturer. The debate on these pages is more about the stupid, confusing (and, despite what they say, *ugly*) interface that MS have chosen to foist on us. Since the blog post that originated this discussion, I have have more opportunities (forced on me) to work with W8 and I am still not liking it. And neither are the users whose computers it is running on. One of them, admittedly also somewhat above the median age, has been close to tears of frustration more than once. Really not a clever move, Microsoft.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

... a *lot* different. There's that desktop to fool you into thinking it's the same, but in reality there are so many changes that you are living in a fool's paradise if you think of 8 in the same terms as 7. It's like they built on a whole annex to the house, and added that front entrance hall at the same time - one door takes you to the (renovated) old part of the house - Win7 - and the other two doors take you to the completely separate new sections of the house, built on those ugly blue screens. I'm tempted to add "of death" but that would be unkind, wouldn't it?

Slayer_
Slayer_

And bloating. Consolidation is a good thing. For example, in Windows 7, there is two user control panels. One under "control panel" and the other under "control panel/all control panel items" The only way to get to all panel items is to change the view to icons. That's pretty counter intuitive. In Windows 8, type DPI, and you get two options for DPI settings, one is desktop, other is Metro, why did they do this? And it doesn't tell you which is which. Same happens if you type printer. Windows has been a mess for a long time, and MS keeps making it worse.

Panwo1
Panwo1

I had similar issues on one of my machines. I found out the cause of the lockups/crashes was that I needed to update my BIOS. Once I updated the BIOS I reinstalled Win 8 and it has been smooth ever since.

Slayer_
Slayer_

At least comment why you negged me.

rjdbnet
rjdbnet

Ha! Gotcha beat! I'm happy with 2003! And 2003 is "not compatible" with Windows 8. Does that mean I use Windows 7 for the rest of my life?

1ronman
1ronman

I only paid 39$ for my 2 licenses. If I had paid 200$ a pop, and had to put up with this Beta quality OS, I would be popin some veins in my neck right now. I am so happy I did a clean install on my backup drive, rather than make changes to my Win 7 drive. Windows 8 is so bad,.....it made my disk crash. Had to hook my Win 7 drv back up as my primary. :-) maybe after SP1, I'll give it another chance.

ben@channells
ben@channells

While file history does work backing up my assigned libraries at up to 500Mps, the Win7 backup never complete due to a Vista style fault with the Windows Virtual shadow copy. the client backup in Windows 2012 and 2011 also fail to backup Windows 8 PCs but have not problems with Win7 ,,,,??? there is a major problem with Win8 which needs to be fixed

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

it doesn't work "just like Win 7" if you install Start 8. *Part* of it works like Win 7, but you still find yourself inexplicably in one or another of those confusing Blue Screens all of a sudden (until you find out about edge swipes. Even then they can still take you unawares) and in those awful full-screen applications with no menus and no context menus... eugh. This is the first windows I've not been able to figure out on my own. Improvement? Really?

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Elderly people who only just managed to get what they wanted done under XP cannot grasp the three modes (Desktop, "start", app tiles - I don't know how else to describe them except as modes) of Win8. This is not a whining objection; it's pointing out just another Microsoft Change for the sake of Change "innovation". Don't mistake "new" and "improved", like the compiler of the infographic did.

rjdbnet
rjdbnet

Re: "Multiple Storage Devices" refers to the ability of Windows 8 to configure several hard drives, for example, as a single drive -- so you could have two or three hard drives appear as a single drive to Windows. Is this the same as mount points in the Unix file system, from the 1970's or 1960's.

fubeca6
fubeca6

Lol gotta love StarDock - adding Linux features to Windows since 1993 :D

tom0s
tom0s

please see my reply below titled "struggling" (meaning struggling with win 8) - apparently this site is struggling too: simply clicking on reply doesnt work, 'reply' and 'edit' only work as expected here if I right-click on the links and open in new tab (FF 18.0.1 w. java uninstalled)

mckinnej
mckinnej

You realize your argument basically boils down to "Win8 is fine once you buy additional software to fix it"? In other words, you like Win8 once you make it work like Win7. I'll leave you to ponder the logical fallacies in that. You can find some comfort in knowing you are not alone. I have heard similar stories in several places. It really leads me to one logical conclusion. Win8 is a good upgrade if you moving from XP or Vista or you really need touch. If you're already on 7, then 8 isn't going to do much for you, even at $40. Now that the price has skyrocketed to $200, expect Win8 sales to tank horribly.

Panwo1
Panwo1

Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are not the same and do not have the same interface. The infographic was wrong. They are however built upon the same core which does bring many adavantages for app development and porting, but none of the disadvantages that you speculated about.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I did not hate Win 95 when it came out. I liked it. It was a vast improvement over 3.11. When I was learning NT, the first thing I did was install the Win 95 interface for it. I still despise Metro.

dogknees
dogknees

"Time has shown that it was an immense improvement." The point is that we did something stupid back then. Let's not repeat the stupid behaviour every time a new version with a new interface comes out. Let's learn from our mistakes and those of others.

Graphic Equaliser
Graphic Equaliser

Windows 8 is the first MS OS which, on shutdown, powers off the monitor before disk activity has finished - to give the semblance of it shutting down "faster"! :-) Unbelievable! On booting up, all network drives are only attached when they first get called up "on demand" so it looks like it's booting up faster! Jeez!

seanferd
seanferd

someone grew up on powerpoint

Sensei Humor
Sensei Humor

But really you've said everything that needs to be said. I hate the new interface, and got stuck with this (Wind 8) when I bought a new laptop. Seriously wish I could upgrade to Windows 7.

dogknees
dogknees

It's no more complex than having two doors in your house. You know where they are and you choose the one that's closest. If you have the option of a keyboard shortcut, a button on a ribbon and a custom toolbar, you use the toolbar or ribbon if your hand is on the mouse already and the keyboard shortcuts if your hands are already on the keyboard. The fact that the old commands/procedures are still there is a good thing. Many people complain about having to learn new ways of doing things. In many cases, you don't have to because the vendor leaves that old stuff there for you.

1ronman
1ronman

Office 2003 goes EOL april 8th of next year. no security patches after that.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Works fine, as far as i have been able to see

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm not sure why one would want to do that on a personal system, but I know it's another feature that has no appeal to me personally.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

TR has filed a bug report with Mozilla. The problems you notice began a few weeks ago and exist only when viewing the site in FF 18 or higher. You have a couple of options. One is to open the Reply and Edit links in a new tab. If you use TR heavily, you may want to reinstall FF 17.

dogknees
dogknees

Not necessarily you, but a lot of people do this every time. It just gets old. Like me I guess!

hillelana
hillelana

Yeah. I wanted to unplug my win 8 machine to test another computer. The monitor powered off. When I reached down to unplug the computer - lo and behold - disk whirring noises. I wait - and wait - and wait. Give up and go away.

kchristos760
kchristos760

I got stuck with Windows 8 when I bought my new laptop as well. I love XP, and Windows 7 was ok. But 8 has proven to be a real let down. It is incompatible with much of the programs I need for college, and it is easier to find a needle in a haystack than it is to locate controls in Windows 8. I did, however, find online a list of shortcut keys that really helped. But why was this necessary? It's a shame I have to borrow a computer with win7 just to do my homework. What a waste.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's more someone added a foyer inside the front door when you didn't want one. It's an unnecessary room with nothing in it that interests you, but you have no choice but to pass through it and open another door to get to where you really wanted to be in the first place.

dogknees
dogknees

But my back door opens into a different room to my front door!

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