Friday, October 5, 2012

8 Reasons Why Windows 8 Will ROCK

We're sure you've heard a lot of buzz about Windows 8.  But is it really going to be that cool?

The short answer is yes. 

Want us to prove it?  Here are 8 reasons why Windows 8 will totally rock your world (plus, Kansas City, we're giving you the opportunity to build on Windows 8 before anyone else FOR FREE!).  

The Charm Bar.
1. Geek Out with the Charm Bar 

Looking for your home-base START button?  You won't find it on Windows 8!  Instead, you'll find something called the Charm Bar.  The Charm Bar is a universal toolbar in Windows 8 that can be accessed from anywhere no matter what you are doing or what application you are running. It is similar to accessing background applications in Apple's iOS devices. The Charm Bar is made up of 5 main elements: Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings.

2.  Run Awesome Apps 

Running apps on Windows 8 is a different experience than running them on Windows 7.  For one, browsers will allow touch-based controls like pinching, zooming, copying, and pasting as well as sharing, searching and additional settings in the Charm Bar. 

Apps can be run side-by-side.  In other words, you can do more all at once.  Watch a video and your news feed at the same time.  IM your best friend and play a game almost simultaneously.  Browse the web and write an email.  Dock an app to one side of the screen and dock another app on the other.  

3.  Run Awesome Apps Faster 

One of Windows 8's most beneficial features is its increased performance.  Skeptics fear that the interface will actually bog Windows down due to more processes.  Don't fear--Microsoft has addressed that fear.  Windows 8 will have better performance than Windows 7, especially when it comes to boot times.  

4.  Dream within Your Desktop 

The Windows 8 desktop.
It may not seem like it, but the desktop is one of the most important features of Windows 8.  And it's also one of the most unique.  Although the traditional desktop (i.e. what you would see in Windows 7) will still be alive and well, there will be some changes.  For example, the taskbar will only show apps that you have pinned.  Windows 8 will also feature an updated Control Panel, Task Manager and Windows Explorer.

5.  Organize your Life with the Home Screen

The home screen on the new Windows 8 platform looks a lot like the home screen on a Windows Phone.  Displayed is a set of tiles, each of which represents an application (as well as information that correspond with the app.  For example, if you have 3 event notifications, the number 3 will pop up near your calendar tile).  Rearrange the icons as you see fit just as you would do on any phone or tablet. 

Windows Store.
6.  Shop 'til you Drop in the Windows Store

The Windows Store looks a lot like the home screen, as tiles correspond to different categories and apps.  The store contains touch-based apps for tablet interfaces as well as traditional desktop Windows apps that you may be more familiar with.  No matter what interface you're using, there will be just one portal to conduct your discoveries.  

Currently, the Windows Store is full of free apps from Microsoft and many other partners.  Once Windows 8 is open to the public, more apps will be available for purchase.  The biggest benefit of the Windows Store is the ability to try apps before you buy them!  After you give an app a test-run, Windows allows you to download the full version without losing your place in the app or a re-installation. 

7.  Back Up on the Cloud

We all know that the cloud is a pretty big deal.  That's why Microsoft has built a cloud platform to correspond with Windows 8.  In Windows 8, your Microsoft account will drive all of the syncing--from address books to photos, from your data to third-party apps.  Plus, you can access the cloud on any Windows 8 device--just log in!  

8.  Simplify Your Life!

Windows 8 is just plain nifty!  With other awesome features like system-wide spell-checking (this writer's dream!), system-wide search features, "refresh your PC" buttons and extremely streamlined (and gorgeous) aesthetics, it's no wonder users everywhere are anxiously awaiting Windows 8.  

Now that you know all of the reasons that Windows 8 rocks, how can you get it? 

The bad news is, you can't...yet.  Windows 8 will not be available to the public until October 26, 2012.  

The good news is that Kansas City developers, entrepreneurs and startup founders have the opportunity to build on Windows 8 before anybody else!  Think Big Partners and Microsoft will be hosting Azure Cloud and Windows 8 App Kickstarts, a 2-day event that will give Silicon Prairie developers a first-look at Windows 8 and Microsoft Azure.  The event is completely free of charge and will take place October 16-17, 2012 at 1800 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO.  To register for the free event, click here.  Act fast!  Space is limited and will fill up quickly!  

Follow me! @AllisonThinkBig

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