37 Facts About Windows 8


Windows 8 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft.

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Windows 8 introduced major changes to the operating system's platform and user interface intended to improve its user experience on tablets, where Windows was now competing with mobile operating systems, including Android and iOS.

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In particular, these changes included a touch-optimized Windows 8 shell based on Microsoft's Metro design language and the Start screen, a new platform for developing apps with an emphasis on touchscreen input, integration with online services, and Windows 8 Store, an online distribution for downloading and purchasing new software, and a new keyboard shortcut for screenshots.

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Windows 8 is the first version of Windows to support the ARM architecture, under the Windows RT branding.

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Windows 8 removed support for non-SSE2 CPUs and devices without NX.

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Windows 8 was ultimately succeeded by Windows 10 in July 2015.

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Windows 8 development started before Windows 7 had shipped in 2009.

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The Windows 8 Store was announced during the presentation, but was not available in this build.

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Alongside other changes, the build brought over the big change from build 8195: removing the Start button from the taskbar for the first time in a public build since its debut on Windows 95; according to Windows manager Chaitanya Sareen, the Start button was removed to reflect their view that on Windows 8, the desktop was an "app" itself, and not the primary interface of the operating system.

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Windows 8 was made available to Software Assurance customers on August 16, 2012.

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Windows 8 was made available for students with a DreamSpark Premium subscription on August 22, 2012, earlier than advertised.

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Windows 8 became generally available for download to all MSDN and TechNet customers on August 15 and for retail purchase on October 26, 2012.

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In May 2013, Microsoft launched a new television campaign for Windows 8 illustrating the capabilities and pricing of Windows 8 tablets in comparison to the iPad, which featured the voice of Siri remarking on the iPad's limitations in a parody of Apple's "Get a Mac" advertisements.

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New features and functionality in Windows 8 include a faster startup through UEFI integration and the new "Hybrid Boot" mode, a new lock screen with a clock and notifications, and the ability for enterprise users to create live USB variants of Windows (known as Windows To Go).

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For easier management of files and folders, Windows 8 introduces the ability to move selected files or folders via drag and drop from a parent folder into a subfolder listed within the breadcrumb hierarchy of the address bar in File Explorer.

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New security features in Windows 8 include two new authentication methods tailored towards touchscreens, the addition of antivirus capabilities to Windows Defender (bringing it in parity with Microsoft Security Essentials).

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Windows 8 provides integrated system recovery through the new "Refresh" and "Reset" functions, including system recovery from USB drive.

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Windows 8 provides heavier integration with online services from Microsoft and others.

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Windows 8 incorporates improved support for mobile broadband; the operating system can now detect the insertion of a SIM card and automatically configure connection settings, and reduce its Internet usage to conserve bandwidth on metered networks.

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Windows 8 adds an integrated airplane mode setting to globally disable all wireless connectivity as well.

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Windows 8 introduces a new style of application, Windows Store apps.

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Developers of both Chrome and Firefox committed to developing Metro-style variants of their browsers; while Chrome's "Windows 8 mode" uses a full-screen version of the existing desktop interface, Firefox's variant (which was first made available on the "Aurora" release channel in September 2013) uses a touch-optimized interface inspired by the Android variant of Firefox.

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Development of the Firefox app for Windows 8 has since been cancelled, citing a lack of user adoption for the beta versions.

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Windows 8 introduces significant changes to the operating system's user interface, many of which are aimed at improving its experience on tablet computers and other touchscreen devices.

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The Start button on the taskbar from previous versions of Windows 8 has been converted into a hotspot in the lower-left corner of the screen, which displays a large tooltip displaying a thumbnail of the Start screen.

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Microsoft released minimum hardware requirements for tablet and laplet devices to be "certified" for Windows 8 and defined a convertible form factor as a standalone device that combines the PC, display, and rechargeable power source with a mechanically attached keyboard and pointing device in a single chassis.

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Each edition of Windows 8 includes all of the capabilities and features of the edition below it, and add additional features oriented towards their market segments.

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Windows 8 Enterprise contains additional features aimed towards business environments, and is only available through volume licensing.

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Windows 8 was distributed as a retail box product on DVD, and through a digital download that could be converted into DVD or USB install media.

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Several PC manufacturers offered rebates and refunds on Windows 8 upgrades obtained through the promotion on select models, such as Hewlett-Packard, and Acer (in Europe on selected Ultrabook models).

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Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 was distributed at retail in "Upgrade" licenses only, which require an existing version of Windows to install.

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Some of the included apps in Windows 8 were considered to be basic and lacking in functionality, but the Xbox apps were praised for their promotion of a multi-platform entertainment experience.

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Windows 8 noted that while forcing all users to use the new touch-oriented interface was a risky move for Microsoft as a whole, it was necessary in order to push development of apps for the Windows Store.

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However, intake of Windows 8 still lagged behind that of Windows Vista and Windows 7 at the same point in their release cycles.

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In May 2014, the Government of China banned the internal purchase of Windows 8-based products under government contracts requiring "energy-efficient" devices.

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The Xinhua News Agency claimed that Windows 8 was being banned in protest of Microsoft's support lifecycle policy and the end of support for Windows XP, as the government "obviously cannot ignore the risks of running an OS without guaranteed technical support.

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Yang Min, a computer scientist at Fudan University, stated that "the security features of Windows 8 are basically to the benefit of Microsoft, allowing them control of the users' data, and that poses a big challenge to the national strategy for information security.

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