Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Evolution of an Operating System (and my Windows 8 book)

I am finishing up my second book, a Windows 8 book for Pearson/Prentice Hall. Apparently, it will be published on October 12, according to Amazon (Link to my Windows 8 book here).

Delving in to the new operating system has been instructive for a few reasons. First of all, this version of Windows is going to change things. This rivals Windows 95 as the biggest change I've seen to Windows. Short summary: they have removed the Start menu and replaced it with a Start screen.

Wait, no, that is the Partridge family bus. You can see my confusion.

Yep, that's the Start screen!

You can of course add and move tiles. Notice my user name is my Gmail account. You can sign in with a Microsoft account and keep your files and settings "in the cloud". In other words, if I design my Start screen on my desktop, I can log in to my laptop and have the same screen. If I add bookmarks and pictures, they can follow me as well! Microsoft has also added the ability to log in using picture passwords and PINs, much like some cell phones.

The Windows Explorer interface has changed to include the Ribbon, which is the interface you may be used to from Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010.

Other key points: Windows 8 supports touch-screen monitors, so I am guessing in five years or so most people will have touch-screen monitors at home.

They've added new searching functions, gestures (like "pinching" on the screen to zoom), and basically ripped the heart out of the operating system.

There are many changes to be discussed, and a blog entry just won't summarize this. Just prepare to retrain!

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