As one of the biggest names in the industry anything ‘Microsoft’ is snapped up quite happily by the tech people or ‘techophiles’ in the world so it should come as no surprise that the latest leak from the offices of the household name has been sprung upon pretty quickly!
This time around it is a series of slides from an in-house presentation that are full of ideas and thinking regarding the latest incarnation of Windows, and they offer lots of very interesting insights into what Windows 8 features we might expect to see and how it might all work together. So let’s have a quick look at some of the more interesting points to come out of these slides (which although haven’t been confirmed by Microsoft, certainly look genuine):
Windows Identity Evolved
It would appear that a lot of thought has gone into how users will access windows, with continued focus on getting the user on quickly, and the ability to easily swap between user accounts. More interestingly is the idea that Windows accounts could be connected to the cloud, allowing users to carry their preferences and settings across machines which would ultimately make Windows more (as they aptly put it) more user-centric than machine-centric – could this be the real start of Windows-based cloud computing?
Another related feature is the introduction of face recognition on the login screen which would mean you could easily log in just by showing your face, something that we’ve recently seen implemented with third party software on the Alienware M17x gaming laptop. Of course this could prove to be a massive problem in families where people look very similar (as even by 2012 I’m not sure all webcams will be that good) but practicalities aside it looks like a very nice idea.
Windows Efficiency: Area of Focus
It would appear that Microsoft are also planning to put a lot of effort into making sure that Windows 8 is as energy efficient as possible which will be done through four main areas of focus: Efficiency, On/Off Transitions, Diagnostics and Measurement and Resiliency.
Perhaps the biggest effect that this will have on the user (other than the fact that their computers will in theory use less energy) is through the On/Off Transitions which we will come to in a minute, whilst as the slide shows there will be lot of work put into the hardware management with some interesting ideas to make the machines more efficient.
Windows Fast Start-Up
As new smartphones and laptops start to be ever more present with their instant-start capabilities Microsoft have obviously felt that they need to catch up, and the combined and as of yet unnamed ‘Logoff + Hibernate’ feature is their shot at this. By using the same cache-ing technology used in the standard hibernate feature they aim to be able to restore the desktop and post-boot actions in half of the time it takes for a cold boot whilst using ‘0W’ whilst in this state.
There are however still some issues with this which interestingly includes what to call it as ‘Logoff + Hibernate” isn’t especially snappy or clear, and evidently Microsoft wish to keep all previous ‘power down’ options.
Windows Push Reset Button
Another new feature suggested for Windows 8 is the inclusion of a ‘reset’ button which does exactly what it says on the tin – this will be used for if (or more likely when) your PC starts to slow down and you loose performance and don’t know/don’t have the time to fix it, and this will allow you to quickly reset everything whilst retaining all of your data.
This clearly demonstrates not only that Microsoft appreciate that performance is of great importance to their users, but also that they feel they cannot stop the performance of Windows from slipping over time (which is a shame) and would rather users had and easy fix.
So you might still just be getting to grips with your new Windows 7 computer system, but as you can see, Microsoft are already starting to think about and develop Windows 8 features – there are a few other bits and pieces ranging from what we already knew (like the IE9 beta release date in August) to the interesting (the idea of a ‘Windows Store’ to buy apps) an the frankly uninteresting (like the definition of a Windows Product Cycle) all of which has been sourced from one unfortunate employees email. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for them…
Via – Msft Kitchen