Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What’s New In The Windows 8 User Interface

Windows 8 is the latest version of the Windows OS released by Microsoft, right on the heels of the highly successful Windows 7. But the user interface of the new version is almost completely different from that of the old one, right from the lock screen onwards. Will these changes incorporated in Windows 8 help in ousting the competition?

The new lock screen

The lock screen in windows 8 has a whole new look; one different from those in the previous versions of the OS. While those were plain and utilitarian, this one displays information ranging from the date and time to the number of emails you’ve received. To log in, you can tap a key or click the mouse, or swipe upwards if you’re using a touch screen. This brings you to the sign in screen, from where you select the account to login to, and enter the password and hit the Enter button.

The start screen

Though the design was at first called the Metro interface, Microsoft has since switched to calling it the Windows 8 Design. The big tiles and the horizontal orientation might not be endearing to Laptop and Desktop PC users, but then I’d suggest you get used to it because this is what you have now.

The tiles

A grid of colorful tiles makes up the Start screen and each of them represents an app. Clicking on a tile launches the app that it represents. Several simple new apps that have been built into the OS can be accessed using these tiles, which have the same look and feel as the Start screen. You can get more apps from the newly launched Windows Store website. They were initially called Metro apps but are now simply called Windows 8 apps.

The notifications

Some of the apps mentioned above retrieve info online and display them as updates called notifications. For instance, the Calendar app grabs info like upcoming events and friends' birthdays and displays them on the tile. The People app displays social media updates on its tile, and the Mail app shows the sender and subject of emails received and unread.

The Charms bar

Upon moving your mouse to either of the right corners of the screen, the screen is overlaid by a Charms bar, directly on top of the files or other content. From this, you can quickly access Search and other system setting options.

Hope this article about the new features in Windows 8 help you get some idea about the features and changes in this version of the OS. 

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