It goes without saying that Windows 8 is very different from previous versions of the Windows Operating System. A lot of small businesses liked Windows XP, skipped Windows Vista and now love Windows 7.
With Windows 8 being released in October 26th, a lot of businesses will be curious about some of the new features that this OS will bring. Of course we recommend that they start with our Windows 8 Tutorials but in addition, I wanted to go through 5 of the Windows 8 features that I think small businesses will really like.
The Metro User Interface
Windows 8 is set up a little bit differently than its predecessors. For starters, Microsoft is integrating Metro, their tablet and phone design language, into the new Windows 8 OS to an unprecedented extent.
Metro is not completely new since elements of the program have been present in all Windows operating systems after 95, but back then, they were much more contained to certain parts of the system.
Some people have expressed their concern over the Metro-based UI due to debut in Windows 8. However, the Metro UI is the design aesthetic that created the new, dynamic tile based interface.
The tile based interface is jarring at first but it can be useful because the tiles display the latest information from each app without having to open it.
If you have a weather app on your desktop, you can always see what the weather is without ever launching the program. You don’t have to open your email to see if you have any new messages, either. The tiles can be individually configured by each user, and are unique to each computer based on which apps are present.
Faster Boot Time
Computers have always needed a certain amount of time to boot up or start up. Microsoft engineers have worked hard for years to try and shorten this time.
Windows 7 boots pretty speedily, but businesses will love that Windows 8 boots even faster.
A new application of kernal-based memory allows the machine to keep your session in hibernation even when you turn it off so that boot time is minimized. Although workers may miss the time for a cup of coffee and a quick flip through the sports pages, a quick boot time increases productivity and decreases frustration.
There is a new and improved search function in Windows 8.
Instead of going to the start menu, which will no longer exist, the new search function pops up when the user starts typing. Search capabilities include displaying all of the matching files and apps instantly, and even searching within certain apps that are compatible with the Windows search function.
Finding a file or an email has never been easier.
Windows To Go
Large and small businesses are definitely going to appreciate the Windows To Go function.
From an enterprise or business perspective, this is my favorite new function in Windows 8. This great new feature allows businesses to save a standard Windows 8 profile image to a flash drive and distribute that.
When plugged into another computer running Windows 8, the settings all automatically transfer and it looks like the reference copy you created.
More importantly, from a provisioning perspective, this allows businesses to get contractors up and working on day one. Instead of having to find a computer and workspace for a contractor, they can bring their own computer and just attach the USB drive to start working immediately.
The USB image will be safe and virus/malware free and manageable by System admins. All on day one.
The Windows Store
The Windows Store, which will be launched along with Windows 8, has a lot of potential for small businesses.
Just like applications that are used on smart phones and Apple computers, Windows apps will be available for purchase and developers will be allowed to post new ones. This could provide a great resource for business-specific apps that increase productivity.
Instead of having to wait for a major software company to decide that there is enough of a market for a certain program, developers can help each other create apps for obscure functions that might be very useful in certain industries. Then everyone can benefit from access to these programs through the app store.
This is just scratching the surface of all the benefits and improvements that Windows 8 will bring.
Small businesses should start testing Windows 8 Enterprise right away, it’s available from Microsoft here.