Windows 8 is an Microsoft operating system which was released to the public in October 26, 2012. It was mostly replaced by Windows 8.1 just one year after its release. Windows 8 was marketed as a "landmark development", in operating systems, made by Microsoft, trending towards a more "mobile" interface (compatible with Smartphones and tablet computers). Windows 8 was be the first Microsoft operating system which supported ARM processors since Windows NT 4.0 (1995), which were also trending towards the mobile phone market.
Windows 8 was first announced in early January, 2011, at the Consumer Electronics Show. Shortly after, it was shown first time, at the Taipei (Taiwan) Computex 2011. By April, 2011, the first version of Windows 8 was leaked, to Beta Archive, a popular peer2peer website. Uploads to websites like the Pirate Bay soon followed, regardless of legal threats by Microsoft. By the end of April, Microsoft realized it was fighting a losing battle, and publicly made Windows 8 available on its website.
- Metro UI, the new User Interface, that will be more appealing to mobile phone customers. It was written in C++, with large portions of C libraries being recycled. New apps for it can be acquired through the upcoming Windows Store.
- Internet Explorer 10, which will act as an app, not as a full blown application. It will run of the Metro UI libraries.
- Integration with SkyDrive. This will allow users to log in with their Windows Live Profiles. It is believed that the same can be achieved with an Xbox Live account.
- Mobile Phone authentication methods. Following Linux Android's suit, users will now be able to log in with a graphical drawing, by connecting dots, or a 4 digit pin, in addition to the password.
- Hybrid boot, to allow the computer to boot faster.
- Refresh and Reset, that allow a computer to be either "refreshed", brought back to ordinary settings, without losing files, and reset, which formats the hard drive, and returns it to an OEM state.
Surveillance and Privacy
Windows 8 can aggregate "sensitive user information" that could be used to "understand the conditions and activities of our national economy and society", and alleged that per documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the U.S. government had worked with Microsoft to retrieve encrypted information.
- Bright, Peter. (2011-09-18) Making the lives of IT easier: Windows 8 Refresh, Reset, and Windows To Go. Ars Technica. Retrieved on 2011-10-14.