Home » News » Software News » Windows 8 Features Leak

Windows 8 Features Leak

Gordon Kelly by

Windows 8 Features Leak

Microsoft certainly pulled a rabbit out of the hat with Windows 7, but given its traditional one-good-one-bad release schedule we're somewhat cautious about Windows 8...

Consequently it is a pleasant surprise - though not entirely unexpected given Microsoft's Swiss cheese security - to see official company slides leak this week detailing numerous features for the impending OS.

The main things we learn are Microsoft remains keener than ever to keep Windows lean and mean after shedding the flab from Vista. It claims "Windows 8 PC's turn on fast, nearly instantly in some cases, and are ready to work without any long or unexpected delays." The focus is wider interoperability, including the tablet sector (or 'Lap PC' as Microsoft's slides bizarrely refer to it) meaning it will need to compete with mobile platforms like Android and MeeGo.

Taking another step towards this is talk of 'Windows Store' - an inbuilt application store similar to Apple's App Store from which users can download and update software. Interestingly it appears Windows 8 will also be able to reinstall itself and Windows Store downloads as well as keeping user settings intact - which could prove a handy way of fixing any serious platform crashes.

On top of this a visual login is proposed using webcams for facial recognition with the option to automatically lock, unlock or switch user profiles depending on who is sitting in front of a computer. Meanwhile it looks like support for FireWire (IEEE 1394) is under threat.

Lastly Microsoft has unveiled an all-in-one hybrid that looks like something from an Apple design reject pile (or the set of Wall-E), but we won't put much stock in any specific hardware at this stage.

In fairness we wouldn't put too much stock in any of this since many slides are stamped "Windows 8 Discussion - this is not a plan of record", but it does give some serious insight into Microsoft's thoughts with coding on the OS only just underway.

With private and public betas of Windows 8 not expected until mid and late 2011 respectively and a release sometime around Q3 2012 expect a lot to change - and even more to leak out...

Sources:

Microsoft Kitchen

Engadget

Go to comments

Drazisaurus

June 29, 2010, 12:42 pm

For my money, microsoft need to ditch the registry, the start button, do something about the awful system tray, the awkward windows update and the fact that windows 7 just feels like a new skin for the same old underlying windows architecture. A decent windows explorer wouldn't go amiss either.

MSIC

June 29, 2010, 12:56 pm

@Drazisaurus I 100% agree - also if windows wouldnt insist on requiring to poll the optical drives before opening explorer that would change my world. When I have 2 DVD drives, one of which may have an older burnt CD in it (ie takes 30 seconds to read), when I open exporer *each and every time* i have to wait 30 seconds before I can read something from my hard drive. Sure, I could remove the disc, but that's not the point.

kaworu1986

June 29, 2010, 1:22 pm

Oh, good: even Windows is going to be infected by the app store paradigm. Are we going to have to jailbreak our PCs next?


In all seriousness, I find this scary as hell: MS and Apple are having so much success selling locked down mobile products they are trying the same trick on the desktop. Are people who care about owning their stuff going to be forced to use Linux in the future?

Ryan131

June 29, 2010, 1:36 pm

So... take a photo of someone, hold it up to their PC, and you're in?





Add voice recognition, surely! Then we can play at being all cool with phrases like "Computer, Log in!" X¬D

Kaurisol

June 29, 2010, 1:59 pm

using facial recognition to change user profile? what if you only have 1 profile set up on the machine; what if one regular user is showing another regular user something (would it change profile 1/2 way through?)?...





Just a couple of questions that spring to mind...





@Ryan


If they can get the voice recognition working well, then yes it could be useful.





I'm just waiting for implants to become available so you just have to think something... - and then why bother with the pc and put everything on an omnipresent cloud?

BobaFett

June 29, 2010, 2:44 pm

@kaworu1986: Agreed, the future you foresee is a scary one but I doubt Apple or Microsoft would try the same on the desktop. Currently it would be hard to develop software without the flexibility that a conventional desktop operating system offers. And as you mention yourself, it would probably make Linux a much more attractive proposition. I'm guessing the Windows Store is a feature intended mostly at the 'Lap PC' form factor.

Jay4d0

June 29, 2010, 3:52 pm

@MSIC: are you going through My computer instead of going to your *username* folder or a library.





and I like the start button it hides everything away while taking up minimal screen space and everything is searchable just with a press of the (keyboard) start button and type away.





but whatever happens I have win7 pro so support is until 2019 so I can skip over any OSs that I dont want.

kdot

June 29, 2010, 3:55 pm

I actually like the thought of a central place to get applications from, dont see how an app store on a pc is going to be anything like an iPhone (as people have made that comparison). Even if certain apps arent allowed - you get them the old way, if you dont like the app store - you dont install it, etc etc. I personally just see the benefits of a new install, loading an app store and having all my apps ready to be downloaded installed, if it remembered settings aswell it would be awesome.

gredawarha

June 29, 2010, 4:15 pm

"Taking another step towards this is talk of 'Windows Store' - an inbuilt application store similar to Apple's App Store from which users can download and update software"





Many Linux based operating systems have been doing this for years.

HarryGlass

June 29, 2010, 4:37 pm

Nice to see people bashing Microsoft for something that's only at the discussion stage, let alone coded and being used. I know it's not trendy or perhaps even logical, but I have faith in Microsoft. Sometimes they miss the mark but I feel they are always well intentioned and at least (lately) they seem to be learning from their mistakes.





Facial Rec - I imagine it'd use 3D & sensors to ensure a living moving 3-dimensional person and not just a photo. It would also be an option so it would only run for when you wanted it for different accounts. Be great if we could finally get some voice recognition in there as well as suggested to order around our computers.





App Store - I think this is something Windows has always needed. Sure anyone with half a brain can use Google to find the program they want, but that is beyond a lot of people. But the added convenience - even for advanced users - of one click install of all your programs onto a fresh PC would be such a time saver.





Start button, registry, etc - with Windows Phone 7 having a fresh face and UI let's hope they can put most of those ideas into practice and give Windows a more modern and efficient look as you suggest.





The ideas MS seem to have here sound genuinely revolutionary and not just evolutionary like Windows 7. I think in the face of the iPad, MeeGo, Chrome OS, Linux and all the rest that is something they need as for all the improvements of Windows 7 the pardigm is getting tired.

HarryGlass

June 29, 2010, 4:39 pm

Nice to see people bashing Microsoft for something that's only at the discussion stage, let alone coded and being used. I know it's not trendy or perhaps even logical, but I have faith in Microsoft. Sometimes they miss the mark but I feel they are always well intentioned and at least (lately) they seem to be learning from their mistakes.





Facial Rec - I imagine it'd use 3D & sensors to ensure a living moving 3-dimensional person and not just a photo. It would also be an option so it would only run for when you wanted it for different accounts. Be great if we could finally get some voice recognition in there as well as suggested to order around our computers.





App Store - I think this is something Windows has always needed. Sure anyone with half a brain can use Google to find the program they want, but that is beyond a lot of people. But the added convenience - even for advanced users - of one click install of all your programs onto a fresh PC would be such a time saver.





Start button, registry, etc - with Windows Phone 7 having a fresh face and UI let's hope they can put most of those ideas into practice and give Windows a more modern and efficient look as you suggest.





The ideas MS seem to have here sound genuinely revolutionary and not just evolutionary like Windows 7. I think in the face of the iPad, MeeGo, Chrome OS, Linux and all the rest that is something they need as for all the improvements of Windows 7 the pardigm is getting tired.

AJ

June 29, 2010, 6:29 pm

@HK - I agree. Seems that people will now bash Microsoft no matter what they do, what they aspire to, or how well they do it. I for one will be hoping that now they have the Windows 7 base that they build on it well. Hopefully we won't be waiting too long for it either..

MrGodfrey

June 29, 2010, 11:08 pm

Since it was not very long ago that I had to pay for Windows 7 in order to have the operating system that Vista should have been, actually I hope we DO have to wait a long time for Windows 8...





On a more serious point, I have some faith in Microsoft - certainly more so since Win 7 - but I think there is something to the concerns voiced above by kaworu1986. And it's not just about having an App Store, but the general trend towards shiny minimalism that places "intuitiveness" above all else. I have no interest in an OS that enables me to be slightly more lazy, if the cost is the privacy of my data, the capability of the software and my ability to choose which software to run and how to use it. It seems I'm in a dying minority with this point of view, but I do hope the future of Windows is sensible rather than "magical". (P.s. yes that was a blatant dig at Apple, but I'm equally wary of Google).

Runadumb

June 29, 2010, 11:15 pm

Well I don't like the idea of the all seeing eye and would disable that promptly but these ideas sound promising. I think we can all agree MS will try it's best to make a tablet friendly OS for windows 8. Not a bad thing in my book. Also love the idea of a fresh install that returns all my programs and settings to how they were. I'm in no hurry to move from Windows 7 though.

chrismbroome

December 22, 2010, 7:11 am

This one thing I hate about large companys they once they make their way to the top they start to bring out software operating systems like- as if we need to. You can only change a operating system so much before it becomes so complicated in the code, not only to you because its a slow learning curve but also to the computer it self.





I dont really think of Bill Gates as the owner of Microsoft anymore- because I dont think he really wants to become apart of the creation that has now become the creator of its self.

comments powered by Disqus