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Microsoft GUI Operating Systems Software Windows Technology

The 30 Best Features of Windows 470

Barence writes "PC Pro has picked out its 30 best features of Windows 8. Its countdown includes features such as the revamped Task Manager, the option to run ISOs and VHDs natively, and Windows To Go, which allows you to take a portable installation of Windows 8 with you." They've also listed ten features they'd like to see added to Windows 8, "including the return of the Start button on the desktop, virtual desktops and one-click sharing of optical drives."
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The 30 Best Features of Windows

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  • Re:Oh, yeah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wordsnyc ( 956034 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:00PM (#39990049) Homepage

    I was honestly not aware that Windows doesn't have "virtual desktops." Stunning. It's like a TV with one channel.

  • by mfearby ( 1653 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:06PM (#39990093) Homepage

    I'm not clicking through 8 pages, each of which seems to load a popup, just to read a list of 30 items. And judging from the first couple of pages I could stand to look at, the article is hyping up some very un-newsworthy information indeed! There's nothing worse than a site with tid bits of "information" surrounded by an orgy of advertising. Get lost!

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:18PM (#39990183)

    To me, where BitLocker or another disk encryption tool means the difference between a hardware write-off and insurance claim versus having to report to every manager up a chain, as well as the press, I consider the basic Windows 8 security upgrades to BitLocker important.

    It would be nice if they would allow non-TPM encryption without a USB flash drive, because not many machines have TPM/TCG compatible motherboards these days.

    However, I can deploy images that are already BitLocker encrypted, or just tell the machine to encrypt used space in Windows 8. With the new hardware encrypted HDDs, I can have BitLocker deal with those as well.

    Yes, this is boring, but anything that ensures that an attacker isn't going to get data should a laptop be stolen is important for day to day IT.

  • Lets break it down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HeliumHigh ( 773838 ) <> on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:22PM (#39990205) Journal

    I agree with number 1 (Bring back the start button) if only for consistencies sake. Windows has had a start button for years and years, and most graphical operating systems have some a main system button in one form or another. Why fix it if it ain't broken? (An argument that could probably be applied liberally to 8's new GUI...)

    Number 2: Blu-ray support would be nice, but I actually like how they have removed most of the optical media licensing crap to the media/media pro packs (or whatever they are called). By the time 8 is out, I would bet a majority of consumer-grade computing devices won't have an optical drive. Blu-ray should be supported in the media pack, but I have no qualms if it isn't in the default stack of cards.

    As for number 3 (One Click Optical Drive Sharing), I think this might be the most valid criticisms on the list, mainly for the same reasons stated above: optical drives are going away. I currently have one optical drive in the house and have it shared via samba and few other ways, but this is a read-only approach.

    Number 4 (Drag to open) doesn't seem like a very harsh criticism, it feels more like list padding. I don't use drag and drop for just about anything after having found the keyboard is much faster though, so I should recuse myself from commenting on this one.

    As far as Virtual Desktops go (Number 5), it is technically unfeasible, for reasons I don't quite remember. Something to do with the way Windows handles windows which has escaped me for the moment. Nevertheless, there are third party applications of varying quality that already implement this, to a varying degree.

    Bring back visualbasic? (Number 6) No. Just no. That thing was a mess. Friends don't let friends script VB, drunk or otherwise.

    Number 7: Fonts preview app: I have the win8 consumer preview running in vmware right now, and the font folder looks pretty much untouched from win7. It still lets you preview installed fonts. More list-padding?

    I've got an easy fix for 8 (Dual-pane explorer). Use two explorer windows, one on the right one on the left. Or feel free to use something like Total Commander or its variants. They still make those, right?

    As for 9, I'm sure Microsoft is going to give a little polish to the out-of-box-experience. Just cause the alpha doesn't have it, doesn't mean it won't be there.

    10 is valid. I don't like where the shutdown button lives on win8. Move it up one level, just so that it is a little easier to find. I don't like to hunt and peck for a basic system function.

  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:26PM (#39990241) Homepage

    Adblock is your friend.

    So is not getting your primary information from sites that exist solely to farm clickthroughs from aggregators like our once glorious /.

  • by scottbomb ( 1290580 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:28PM (#39990253) Journal

    That abomination that is Metro is enough to kill the deal for me. I will use Win 7 until it's end-of-support. Meanwhile, I'm dual-booting Xubuntu so that when 7 comes to an end, I'll already be comfortable with a different OS.

  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ifwm ( 687373 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:44PM (#39990351) Journal

    "The 30 Best Features of Windows"

    "Not a single *new* feature"

    Why would you be looking for new features in an article about the best features? You are aware they're not the same, right? And often, new features don't work very well right? So, from a logic standpoint, I'd expect many of the best features of most OSes to be anything but new.

  • Re:Oh, yeah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ifiwereasculptor ( 1870574 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:58PM (#39990429)

    It has to be a joke. First because some are quite funny (my favorite is the one where the guy had cancer and his family left him, but then he found MyCleanPC and everything was dandy). Second because creating multiple accounts to post on /. is a bit time consuming, especially given that this is arguably the worst site for spamming that sort of scam - it has a very high incidence of tech-oriented nerds, way too many running OSX, Linux or something weirder, and very few grandmas.

  • Err it sounds like you could save yourself a few headaches with Truecrypt.

  • Re:The real news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Sunday May 13, 2012 @10:21PM (#39990949) Journal
    It doesn't.

    There's almost nothing in that list that hasn't been available on other platforms for more than a decade. One item (Kinect for Windows) has no relevance at all to the new OS, apart from being available at the same time.

    Don't waste your time clicking through all the advert-ridden pages of banality. I'm sure even Microsoft will offer more novelty than this semi-article suggests.

  • by LifesABeach ( 234436 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @10:31PM (#39990999)
    Initialize the the disk platter with GRUB, load Ubuntu, and have m$ in VMWare.

    Otherwise? It's Mothers Day, appreciate the one that loves you; even when you search for a Start Button.
  • Re:The real news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @11:33PM (#39991289)

    >There's almost nothing in that list that hasn't been available on other platforms for more than a decade

    How does that stop something from being a feature?

  • Re:The real news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Sunday May 13, 2012 @11:52PM (#39991393) Journal

    I should have phrased it as "interesting" features.

  • by ignavus ( 213578 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @12:06AM (#39991463)

    I'm not clicking through 8 pages, each of which seems to load a popup, just to read a list of 30 items. And judging from the first couple of pages I could stand to look at, the article is hyping up some very un-newsworthy information indeed! There's nothing worse than a site with tid bits of "information" surrounded by an orgy of advertising. Get lost!

    Any article devoted to touting the "30 best features" of any commercial product already sounds to me like advertising, without the added "benefit" of third-party advertisements.

    But then, the technology press is full of advertisements masquerading as independent articles.

  • Re:Oh, yeah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <> on Monday May 14, 2012 @02:07AM (#39991969) Homepage

    The third party tools don't work very well, primarily because they are hacks and 99% of software isn't designed to work with them, including the base window manager...
    OSX used to be the same, under 10.4 and earlier the virtual desktop hacks were buggy, didn't fit in well with the rest of the system and most apps didn't expect them to be running. Since spaces was included by default in 10.5, osx apps awareness of multiple desktops has improved massively.
    X11 has always had virtual desktops, so its support for them tends to be the best of the 3 by far.

    I can understand how you would find virtual desktops less useful, having only used very poor implementations of them...

    As someone who has access to a desktop with 4 screens, i actually find virtual desktops to be better than physical screens in most cases... Off the top of my head:
    Less head movement, all the virtual screens are in the same physical place so i dont have to keep adjusting my viewpoint and dont get distracted by movement out the corner of my eye...
    Works on laptops - i use a laptop for a lot of my work, and it would be impractical to carry a second screen around with it..
    Lots more - you can have many virtual desktops - i tend to have 16, a similar number of physical screens becomes completely unwieldy both to physically look at, and to drive (you'd need a system full of videocards, or a cluster using something like xdmx).

  • Re:The real news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @02:32AM (#39992077)

    Where's the list of the 30 features that we wish we could uninstall, but can't?

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @03:21AM (#39992305)

    If Linux gets something Windows or MacOS have had for years, like, day, the ability to play sound from more than one program at a time without special setup or hardware mixing, that is a major improvement, something to be lauded, etc. However if Windows gets a feature something else has had, it gets looked down on, as though the first OS to get the feature should be the only one, ever.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @06:32AM (#39992977) Homepage


    Are you really THAT hateful toward a redesigned Start Menu?

    Yes. When it's designed for use on tablets with touchscreens and I'm sat at a desktop machine then it's going to suck rocks.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982