6 New Features in Windows 8

Bios Out, and EUFI In | Enhances Boot Security

All of the new computers with Windows 8 installed will be required to have the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) to boot up with instead of the traditional Basic Input Output System (BIOS). This will speed up the boot times for Windows machines and protect against those pesky Rootkit Viruses that have caused problems for years.

This UEFI experience will help IT outsourcing departments drastically by saving time with Virus infections. Windows 8 will launch a Early Launch Anti-Malware (ELAM) that will allow IT consultants to perform Malware removals before the operating system boots. The UEFI also contains remote access allowing IT consultant’s access to a pre-Operating System environment. This reduces the need to send a technician on-site to perform many diagnostic repairs and removals of Malware, instead tasks can be done over a network. Many managed services can be performed through the EUFI.

In Windows 8 you will see much faster boot times than the previous versions of Windows. This will save IT administrator’s time because the restarts will not require as much downtime. The UEFI is facing some controversy because users will be required to the feature off for people who want to dual-boot their computers.

A whole new Tablet Experience

Windows x86 tablets will likely have full enterprise support like we have seen in the iPhone, iPad, and many of the Blackberry devices. Windows users will be able to use the full version of Microsoft Office 2013 and many more applications that fully install on Windows 8 platform. This is great for IT technicians as they will be able to use the full networking features identical to Windows 8. This may be different however on the Tablets with ARM processors bearing the Windows Run Time operating system. tablet

Take Windows to go

Very similar to how Linux can be loaded completely from a USB drive and ran on any individual computer, Windows will be able to have the same feature. In the new Windows 8 Enterprise a feature called Windows To Go that can install a full version of Windows 8 on a USB drive 32GB or more.

This feature is confirmed to run on Windows 8 PC’s and Windows 7 as well, hopefully this will be the same on Windows Vista and XP computers also. Windows To Go is specifically beneficial to IT technicians and temporary contractors because they will be able to use features such as Active Directory and BitLocker to defend against any information being lost or stolen. This might also be a very beneficial tool for Backups as it will provide an exact copy of your computer if you want.

New Network Types for Roaming and Wireless

Many new network types are now added for Windows 8. Features that accommodate to 3G/4G networks will be available through the EAP-SIM, EAP-AKA, AKA Prime protocols for network authentication. Windows 8 will also allow universities and enterprises to authenticate PC’s on their network and there will be no more reason to install 3rd Party software.  This will save both IT Technicians and users time and headaches.

Windows has finally solved roaming in between WiFi carriers just like cell phone carriers can change from tower to tower.  The Wireless Internet Services Provider roaming (WISPr) protocol will allow users to change from one hotspot to the next, regardless of their ISP carrier. Brilliant!

Network Improvements

IT Technicians and administrators will see the benefit of the new networking features that Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 includes. A new Server Message Block (SMB) protocol now improves file sharing, network availability, administration and security features by transparent failovers and encryption. Along with an improved SMB, Native network interface card (NIC) teaming provides network load balancing and failover protection by bonding multiple network interfaces.

Recovery Options – Refresh and Reset

Windows 8 brings two new recovery options to the table called Refresh, and Reset. This could save IT technician’s time and money when a PC gets corrupted or infected with malware. Both of these recovery options are available through the new boot Windows Recovery Environment.

Reset – This feature does exactly what it sounds like. It will reset your PC to a brand new PC by removing all data and reinstalls Windows. With the BitLocker feature enabled this process will take about 10 minutes, and 25 minutes if it is disabled according to Microsoft. One option allows users to simply erase and reformat, through the Regular Option; the other option scrambles code in the previous installation making it much more difficult to recovery any information, this is called Thorough option.

Refresh – This feature allows users to re-install Windows 8 but keeps their applications and user files while doing this task. All in under 10 minutes Windows will backup as much user information as needed and install a new version of Windows, keeping all of the programs in an HTML file, but not the licenses. If you create a Windows Image Backup before this process you can restore all settings and applications to normal again without sacrificing any loss of data.

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