A lot of people seem to think that Windows 8 is just about touch screens, and is rubbish when just using a mouse and keyboard. This isn’t true in the Consumer Preview (the beta), but even if you want to completely avoid metro-style apps etc., the desktop offers a lot of improvements over Windows 7 that makes it worth upgrading:
- Windows Explorer has the ribbon - this makes file management a lot easier and quicker. Also, the copy experience has been improved (pause/resume, multiple copies in one window) and deleting, for example, no longer requires confirmation (the file is sent to the Recycle Bin so it can be recovered, and confirmations can be turned on).
- Faster startup: true, this isn’t really a desktop feature, but it certainly makes Windows boot faster (restart, unfortunately, is as slow as ever :()
- Improved task manager: the default interface is simpler and more user friendly, and clicking a button gives power userswaymore features. This is perhaps one of Windows’ most used features, so it’s good that it has got an update.
- Built in anti-virus software: you may have heard of Microsoft Security Essentials. Well, it’s got a new name and is built into Windows 8 – yes, you don’t need to install another anti-virus program. You can if you want to, though – it will automatically disable if you do.
- Finally, pin to start. Even quicker access to your files!
So those are just a few improvements to the Windows 8 desktop. All Windows 8 computers can run both the desktop and metro apps if they have a resolution of at least 1024×768 – this means netbooks are stuck in the desktop environment.
I recommend you take a look at Paul Thurrott’s article on the Windows 8 desktop: