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Windows 8. First unveiled and released as a public beta in June , it was released to manufacturing on August 27, , and reached general availability on October 17, , almost a year after the retail release of its predecessor. Users who obtained 8 outside of retail copies or pre-loaded installations i. According to Microsoft ‘s software lifecycle policies, installation of Windows 8. Released as part of a shift by Microsoft towards regular, yearly upgrades for its platforms and services, Windows 8.

Visible enhancements include an upgraded Start Menu, additional snap views, additional bundled apps, tighter OneDrive integration, Internet Explorer 11 , a Bing -powered unified search system, restoration of a visible Start button on the taskbar , and the ability to restore the previous behavior of opening the user’s desktop on login instead of the Start screen.

Despite these improvements, 8. Windows 8 came to crisis in late , so a drastic plan was Needed, Microsoft created an update to this OS known as Windows 8. It, has some reliable changes such as, the start menu was back, and even a start looks like a tablet, no more crisis was back.

Starting October 31, , manufactured devices will no longer come pre-installed with either Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.

In particular, the report detailed that Microsoft was planning to shift to a more “continuous” development model, which would see upgrades for its major platforms released on a consistent yearly cycle to keep up with market demands.

Lending credibility to the reports, Foley noted that a Microsoft staff member had listed experience with “Windows Blue” on his LinkedIn profile, and listed it as a separate operating system from 8. The build, which was believed to be of “Windows Blue”, revealed a number of enhancements across Windows 8’s interface, including additional size options for tiles, expanded color options on the Start screen, the expansion of PC Settings to include more options that were previously exclusive to the desktop Control Panel , the ability for apps to snap to half of the screen, the ability to take screenshots from the Share charm, additional stock apps, increased SkyDrive integration such as automatic device backups and Internet Explorer Shaw officially acknowledged the “Blue” project, stating that continuous development would be “the new normal” at Microsoft, and that “our product groups are also taking a unified planning approach so people get what they want—all of their devices, apps and services working together wherever they are and for whatever they are doing.

On May 14, Microsoft officially announced that “Blue” would be named Windows 8. Following a keynote presentation focusing on this version, the public beta of Windows 8. Following leaks in January and February , Microsoft vice president Joe Belfiore officially announced at Mobile World Congress on February 23, , that a major update for Windows 8. The update was detailed in full at Microsoft’s Build conference on April 2 and given a release date of April 8.

On a device that lacks a touchscreen, traditional context menus are used as opposed to hidden toolbars , an auto-hiding title bar with traditional Minimize and Close buttons is displayed inside apps near the top of the screen, and the desktop is shown upon login instead of the Start screen. The taskbar can display and pin Metro-style apps, and can be accessed from any app without first switching to Desktop app. Finally, visible search and power buttons would also be added to the Start screen.

Belfiore also noted that the update would lower the minimum system requirements for Windows, so it can be installed on devices with as little as 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. At the edition of Build during the following April, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson unveiled further user interface changes for Windows 8.

Myerson stated that these changes would occur in a future update, but did not elaborate further. Microsoft also unveiled a concept known as “Universal Windows apps”, in which a Windows Runtime app can be ported to Windows Phone 8. While it does not entirely unify Windows’ app ecosystem with that of Windows Phone, it will allow developers to synchronize data between versions of their app on each platform, and bundle access to Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One versions of an app in a single purchase.

Microsoft does not refer to 8. This requires an 8. Another caveat of upgrade is that using Windows Store, each machine must download an upgrade package as big as 2—3. Unlike the traditional Windows service packs, downloading a standalone installer, which could be downloaded once and installed as many times as needed, requires an 8.

Paul Thurrott of Windows Supersite introduced a workaround to circumvent the pre-download key check sequence with a Windows 8 key. However, he noted that still not much can be done with this download as it requires an 8. New retail installation medias of Windows 8. Unlike Windows 8, which only supported upgrade installations, all retail installation media of Windows 8.

Microsoft stated that the change was in response to customer feedback, and to allow more flexibility for users. Pricing for the retail copies of 8. Many of the changes on Windows 8. The Start screen received several enhancements on 8. Additional customization options were also added, such as expanded color options, new backgrounds some of which incorporating animated elements , and the ability for the Start screen to use the desktop background instead.

Applications are no longer added to the Start screen automatically when installed, and all applications now have colored tiles desktop programs were previously shown in a single color.

The app snapping system has also been extended; up to 4 apps can be snapped onto a single display depending on screen size, apps can be snapped to fill half the screen, and can also be used on any display in a multi-monitor configuration. Apps can also launch other apps in a snapped view to display content; for example, the Mail app can open a photo attachment in a picture viewer snapped to another half of the screen.

Improved support is also provided by apps for using devices in a portrait vertical orientation. The lock screen offers the ability to use a photo slideshow as its backdrop, and a shortcut to the Camera app by swiping up. The on-screen keyboard has an improved autocomplete mechanism which displays multiple word suggestions, and allows users to select from them by sliding on the spacebar. The autocomplete dictionary is also automatically updated using data from Bing , allowing it to recognize and suggest words relating to current trends and events.

To improve the usability of the desktop interface, a visible Start button was restored to the taskbar for opening the Start screen, and the Quick Links menu accessed by right-clicking the Start button or pressing Template:Key press now contains shutdown and sign-out options. Users can also modify certain user interface behaviors, such as disabling the upper hot corners for using the charms and recent apps list, going to the desktop instead of the Start screen on login or after closing all apps on a screen, automatically opening the “All Apps” view on the Start screen when opened, and prioritizing desktop programs on the “Category” sort mode on “All Apps”.

Windows manager Chaitanya Sareen stated that the restoration of the visible Start button was intended to be a “warm blanket” for users who had become confused by the removal of the button on 8; the Start button was originally removed to reflect Windows 8’s treatment of the desktop as an “app” rather than the main interface.

The suite of pre-loaded apps bundled with Windows 8 were changed in 8. However, it does not support data loss protection, Group Policy , Lync integration, or creating emails with information rights management.

SkyDrive is integrated at the system level to sync user settings and files. Files are automatically downloaded in the background when they are accessed from the user’s SkyDrive folder, unless they are marked to be available offline. By default, only file metadata and thumbnails are stored locally, and Reparse points are used to give the appearance of a normal directory structure to provide backwards compatibility.

The SkyDrive app was also updated to include a local file manager. SkyDrive use on 8. A Bing -based unified search system was also added; it can analyze a user’s search habits to return results featuring relevant local and online content.

Full-screen “hero” displays aggregate news articles, Wikipedia entries, multimedia, and other content related to a search query; for instance, searching for a music performer would return photos of the performer, a biography, and their available songs and albums on Xbox Music. The Metro-style version of IE 11 also adds tab syncing, the ability to open an unlimited number of tabs, and Reading List integration. On compatible hardware, Windows 8. Encryption begins as soon as a user begins using the system; the recovery key is stored to either the user’s Microsoft account or an Active Directory login, allowing it to be retrieved from any computer.

While device encryption is offered on all versions of 8. A new kiosk mode known as “Assigned Access” was also added, allowing a device to be configured to use a single app in a restricted environment. Additionally, Windows Defender includes an intrusion detection system which can scan network activity for signs of malware. For enterprise device management, Windows 8. Remote Data Control can be used to remotely wipe specific “corporate” data from Windows 8.

Due to changes to improve its “security effectiveness”, the bit version of Windows 8. A Microsoft spokesperson noted that the change primarily affects systems with older AMD bit processors, and that “the number of affected processors are extremely small, since this instruction has been supported for greater than 10 years. These changes do not affect the bit version of Windows 8. In comparison to the original release of Windows 8, Windows 8. While Tom Warren of The Verge still considered the platform to be a “work in progress” due to the number of apps available, the impaired level of capabilities that apps have in comparison to desktop programs, and because he felt that mouse and keyboard navigation was still “awkward”.

He touted many of the major changes on 8. Joel Hruska of ExtremeTech criticized continuing integration problems between the Desktop and apps on 8.

Although praising the more flexible snapping system, he still pointed out flaws, such as an inability to maintain snap configurations in certain situations. Peter Bright of Ars Technica praised many of the improvements on 8. However, he still felt that the transition between the desktop and apps “still tends to feel a bit disjointed and disconnected” even though the option to use the desktop wallpaper on the Start screen made it feel more integrated with the desktop interface rather than dissimilar , and that the restoration of the Start button made the two interfaces feel even more inconsistent because of how different it operates between the desktop and apps.

Certain aspects of 8. In his review of 8. Leonhard considered this to be ironic, given that Microsoft had criticized Google ‘s use of similar tactics with its ” Scroogled ” advertising campaign. Data published by Net Applications in November revealed a usage rate of 1. Shortly after its release, Windows RT 8. The company released recovery media and instructions which could be used to repair the device, and restored access to Windows RT 8. It was also found that changes to screen resolution handling on 8.

Microsoft released a patch to fix the bug on certain games in November , and acknowledged that it was caused by “changes to mouse-input processing for low-latency interaction scenarios”. Official website. Template:Windows tablets. Template:Use American English. Microsoft Wiki Explore. Windows families. Windows Windows 10 Windows 8.

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