You have to hand it to Microsoft for blowing the status quo out of the water with Windows* 8. If you’re still on the fence about it or if you’re curious to know what some of the main differences are between Windows 8 and Windows 7, take a look at some of the examples below. They’ll give you a straightforward look at why Microsoft Windows 8 is being called the new standard among operating systems. But be warned: You’ll probably be so impressed that you’ll want to download Windows 8 immediately or run out and buy an Ultrabook™ with Windows 8. In that case, we can’t say we blame you.
Probably one of the biggest appeals of Windows 8 is that it’s a touch-based operating system that combines all of the appealing aspects of the tablet experience with the high performance elements of a fully functional laptop. Instead of double-clicking icons, a simple tap1 on your screen will launch the program that you want to use. If you have a convertible Ultrabook, you can switch back and forth between touch and the more traditional method of controlling your actions with a keyboard and mouse. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a touch-screen device to use Windows 8. In fact, you can upgrade your existing operating system to Windows 8 and still make full use of it. Even better, you can easily switch from the signature “metro” view to the traditional desktop view.
Nobody likes waiting around for their operating system to boot up, but a lot of people have come to accept this as a fact of life. When you download Windows 8 or buy a Windows 8 Ultrabook, lost time may become a non-issue thanks to a much faster startup time2 that puts even Windows 7 to shame.
One of the best bits of news about Windows 8 is it’s likely compatible with software and programs that you’re used to running on Windows 7. This means that if you want to upgrade your computer from Windows 7, you may not have any issues running your apps and programs. Even if you’ve never used Windows 7 and are interested in moving up to Windows 8, there’s a way to check and see if your programs and apps will be compatible. There’s even a feature that helps you run older programs with the new operating system. To learn more, read how to get your apps working in Windows 8.
Surfing the web without a secure browser is a major concern that can lead to identity theft. Windows 8 comes with Internet Explorer 10*, the latest update on the classic Microsoft browser, which has Enhanced Protection Mode that offers another layer of security and the SmartScreen* Filter app, which offers added protection against malware and phishing.
If you’re of the opinion that sitting in front of a TV to get your entertainment is old hat, you’re going to be excited about the features that come with Windows 8 Media Center*, which you can download if you’re upgrading to Windows 8 (additional fees may apply). With Windows 8 Media Center, you can connect your TV to your PC and watch or record from your computer. It can also be used to organize all of your media files—movies, music, and photos—in a central location.