Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky mentioned during the Windows 8 keynote at build, that Microsoft updates their task manager every 15 years or so.

What they have come up with  this time is absolutely fantastic.

Since XP there hasn’t been any major overhaul of task manager. Microsoft just added some features to the task manager in Vista and Windows 7.

But with Windows 8, they have decided to bring a major change in the look and working of task manager.

This time they have come up with something that simplifies the experience of an average user, by giving some great tools to the power user.

The task manager in Windows 8 has two views- Fewer details view  for the average user and More details view for the power user.

After studying user habits in Windows 7, Microsoft found that 85 percent of all Task Manager usage centers on the Applications and Processes tabs.

So they decided to add a Fewer details view to the task manager. This view gives the user at a glance option to see which apps are running and which apps are not responding.

It has also got an option of ending the not responding apps.

Power users looking for more information on what’s going on in their system can still get that by clicking the ‘More details’ button.

This action will open a more familiar tabbed view for the Task Manager, but Microsoft has made some important tweaks to this view as well.

The extended view includes Processes, Performance, App History, Startup, Users, Details, and Services tabs. Under the processed tab, processes are grouped by type, such as apps processes are kept in one category, background processes in another.

The Performance tab reveals how much CPU is being used by each app. For instance, When you select Memory, it displays total memory in use, available, committed, cached, paged pool, and non-nonpaged pool.

App History tab is a great new addition to Windows Task Manager. They show all the info about the apps which were launched earlier. They also detail how much CPU, data they used in updating the tiles and  providing you the latest content.

There is a new feature introduced in the task manager and that is the listing of Startup items. SO, instead of going to msconfig for disabling or enabling startup items, you can just go to the startup tab in the Task manager and can disable or enable apps.

Even this process has been made a lot simpler. Just right-click on the app that you want to disable and select disable. In the same way you can enable apps. You can also set the priority for launching apps at the startup.

Users tab show the list of users on the system. Whereas the details app shows a full list of apps that are currently running on the system. The services tab show all the services available .

The new task manager is an awesome tool to manage your Windows 8 PC. It is simplified for an average user and on the same time it is a great tool for the power user. I am really impressed with the work that Microsoft has done on this.

Here is a Building Windows 8 blog video, which explains about the improvements in the Task manager.

Have you tried the new task manager in Release Preview? Share your thoughts below.

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  • Rex

    I have to admit, this is one of my favorite parts of windows 8.  Much more helpful than previous versions for telling exactly what is wrong.