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New Windows 8

windows-8 So, Microsoft will finally be ending support for Windows XP in April 2014. Although the announcement is not new (XP should have faded out a good while ago), many home users and large companies still rely on this operating system. However, one result of the longevity of XP is the huge amount of malicious software it is vulnerable to, and, as of next year, there will be no more security updates. It’s time to start thinking about a new operating system.

XP’s successor was Windows Vista; a reasonably unsuccessful operating system that was replaced about two years later by Windows 7 which is probably the most widely used operating system for PC’s today. For those who use XP, Windows 7 is probably a very good choice as there’s not too much to adjust to.

But what about the latest version of Windows; Windows 8? Windows has presented us with a new user interface Metro , with its large tiles rather than the icons we all know well, it’s a completely different desktop than we’re used to. And whist Metro on devices with touchscreens is great, it’s not so suitable for desktop PC’s. Fortunately, however, pressing the start key + d gives us the option to view the “normal” desktop. There are ways of permanently switching the desktop, but this requires advanced computer knowledge. The next update, Windows 8.1, will probably give the user the option to choose their preferred desktop.

But what about the latest version of Windows; Windows 8? Windows has presented us with a new user interface Metro , with its large tiles rather than the icons we all know well, it’s a completely different desktop than we’re used to. And whist Metro on devices with touchscreens is great, it’s not so suitable for desktop PC’s. Fortunately, however, pressing the start key + d gives us the option to view the “normal” desktop. There are ways of permanently switching the desktop, but this requires advanced computer knowledge. The next update, Windows 8.1, will probably give the user the option to choose their preferred desktop.

Rather surprisingly, even in “normal desktop” mode, the well-known Start Button that has always been found in the bottom left corner of the screen, has always given us access to our different programs, the control panel and other functions, has disappeared! However, there is a free program called Classic Shell  that offers us not only the classic start menu, but a number of ways to personalise our desktop, and is compatible with Windows 8, 7, and Vista. It may be possible that the Start Button will reappear with the Windows 8.1 update, but it’s not yet certain.

Benefits of the new operating system include speed and stability, and security has also been improved. Windows 8 comes with incorporated antivirus software which means you can connect to the internet without be immediately attacked by viruses, although installation of a separate antivirus program is recommended nonetheless. Even older PC’s and notebooks can benefit from Windows 8. The compatibility tool  will tell you if you have the necessary system requirements.

Some of the most encouraging improvements are the backup and system restore options. Backing up is performed while the system is idle and pauses when the computer is being used. The user can also set the backup and restore options so that it is possible to restore individual folders or files without needing to perform a full backup. Those who deal with Windows a lot will be very pleased with this new feature.

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