The Windows 8 upgrade gives you a radical new interface, a touchscreen-friendly start screen and a fleet of charming apps.
GOOD-LOOKING AND SNAPPY: With a super fast start-up, eye-pleasing fonts and colours, there''s a lot going for its design. These details will go a long way in drawing users to the platform.
ALL-NEW START SCREEN: When you start the machine, rows of colourful tiles appear. Some of these tiles are "live" while others, static. Live tiles are probably the best feature of the start screen.
BUILT-IN CHARMS: The five buttons on the right side of the screen are called "Charms". The share charm lets you pass on information between apps, like copying a URL to the mail app. The devices charm lets you find devices connected to the computer and the settings charm lets you tweak and personalise the system.
A FAMILIAR TERRITORY: All Windows-8 style apps run only in full screen mode. Other apps run in window mode. If the new interface confounds you, hit the Windows key. You will see a familiar Windows.
IT GROWS ON YOU: Getting used to this, as well as the full-screen apps and navigating around the operating system will take time. But it grows on you. Once you are familiar with the basics, the interface will seem fluid.
Windows 8 Pro: This is the edition for power users and professional environments. Another Enterprise edition has additional features for businesses, but that is not available in retail.
TOUCHSCREENS: Another addition has been the touchscreen allin- one desktops. These are like an iMac, but with a touchscreen display.
Microsoft has developed a beautiful OS and some great default apps but the Windows platform has always been about great software by third-party developers.