Windows 8 is an operating system that was created by Microsoft as a part of the Windows NT operating system family. The production release of the Windows 8 is released on August 1, 2012. Windows 8 operating system is the successor of the Windows 7 operating system. Like the previous Windows operating systems, Windows 8 uses the same license which is a closed source.
Windows 8 operating system introduced major changes over its predecessor operating system Windows 7. Windows 8 has a different GUI which is also designed for tablets, mobile devices, USB 3.0 support, Windows Store in order to download and install applications from a centralized market place, ARM processor support, etc.
Windows 8 Development History
Windows 8 development started in 2009 even before shipment of the its predecessor Windows 7. In January 2011 it is announced that the next operating system (Windows 8) will support ARM architecture and processors. Even some screenshots leaked during development they were very similar to the Windows 7 GUI and do not provide new features about the Windows 8 operating system.
The first official preview is released with build number 8045 but it was also similar to Windows 7. In September 2011 Microsoft unveiled more Windows 8 features which were also beta build. This build can be run on a Samsung tablet. This build also provided as 32 and 64 bit.
On February 19, 2012, Microsoft unveiled the logo for Windows 8. On February 29, 2012, Microsoft released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview with the build number 8250.
Windows 8 Releases and Updates
Windows 8 is released on August 1, 2012, with build number 9200. Windows 8 was available with 3 additions.
Windows 8 edition was the lowest edition where it came with basic features.
Windows 8 Pro was a higher edition where it provides BitLocker, Hyper-V, Join Active Directory, Media Center. Windows 8 can be upgraded into Windows 8 Pro with the purchase of a “Pro Black” license.
Windows 8 Enterprise is the highest edition where it provides additional features targeted for the business environment which can be only applied through volume licensing.
Windows 8.1 was a big update to Windows 8 and existing Windows 8 users can upgrade without an extra fee.
Windows 8 Features
Windows 8 was a groundbreaking operating system according to the previous Windows operating system versions with different new features.
USB 3.0 native support provided by Windows 8. With USB 3.0 faster data transfer and improved power management supported by Windows 8.
Task Manager has been redesigned by adding a new process tab and show fewer or more details about applications and resource usage.
PIN and Picture Passwords are added into Windows 8 as security features. Users can log in by using their PINs and Pictures easily and faster.
Windows Defender is another big step for Windows 8 security. Windows Defender became a very powerful antivirus and malware protection suite.
Family Safety feature can be used to configure parental controls over the children’s accounts to protect them.
UEFI Secure Boot is added for a faster and more secure boot for Windows 8 with digital certificates and prevent boot and firmware level attacks to Windows 8.
Login with Online Microsoft Account is a feature and effort to enable users with different Microsoft services account to log in their PC with online authentication. Office 365, Live.com, Microsoft.com accounts can be configured for online login.
Internet Explorer 10 is provided with Windows 8. This version of internet explorer supports HTML 5, CSS3, and hardware acceleration for graphic operations.
Automatic SIM Card Detection and Air-plain Mode is introduced with Windows 8.
Windows Store is a big change for Windows where a centralized market place can be used to install different 3rd party applications and software easily. Windows store provides different versions of applications like Desktop, ARM, Mobile, etc. Windows Store contains free and paid applications.
Windows 8 User Interface is completely a new design according to the previous version Windows 7. This new GUI was based on Metro design language and can be used for different platforms and screen sizes like Desktop, Mobile, Tablet, Smartphone, TV, etc.
Windows PC Settings is provided as an alternative to the Control Panel where Windows PC Settings provides basic configuration and less detailed interface for beginner and novice users.