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What’s coming with Windows 8?

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What’s your take on Windows 8? What have you heard? What would you like to see?

Here are some highlights from the article if you don’t want to read the whole thing:

When Will Windows 8 be Released?

According to the article, Microsoft currently plans to ship Windows 8 by mid-2012; thus, the first beta should be released by mid-2011 and public beta should follow by the end of 2011. Windows Server “8″/2012 is also being developed concurrently.

User Detection

Windows 8 will likely support detection of which user just walked in the room so that it can automatically turn on your PC, log you in, and play your favorite music. When you get up and leave, Windows will automatically log your PC off for you.

Emphasis on Appliance-like Power On

System bootup speeds will probably improve a little (especially since SSDs are becoming standard) but Microsoft plan to emphasize the current power-saving features: Sleep and Hibernate, which they’ll probably rename to something like “Pause” or “Low-power Standby”.

Digital Media Support

Windows 8 should support the following emerging digital media formats:

  • AVC HD (with chapter seek.)
  • 3D video.
  • Multiple MPEG-4 formats for the web.
  • Improvements to MJPEG (webcams and still cameras.)
  • MPEG-2 (decoding/encoding.)
  • H.264 (encoding.)
  • WMV Improvements .

Windows 8 should also come with native TV tuner support so third-party cards and software wont be needed for TV tuning (possibly to coincide witht he RJ45 digital media standard, which is coming.)

Next Generation Device Support

Windows 8 will natively support the USB 3.0 standard (and devices with USB 3.0) and Bluetooth 3.0 (but not Bluetooth 3.0 + High Speed.) Microsoft is also considering deprecating Firewire/IEEE1394 support (i.e. Firewire/IEEE1394 devices will still work but enhancements to support will cease.)

Software Purchases Through the Windows Store

It’s looking likely that Microsoft will adopt a similar (albeit a little less restrictive) software similar to Apple’s App Store. Software and upgrades will be available for purchase through this store. I look forward to the development of this feature.

Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9 will be part of Windows 8 (IE 9 beta is expected in August 2010 with a Released to Web version date TBD.)

Windows Live Wave 5

Windows Live Wave 5 be shipped/developed concurrently with Windows 8. (Windows Live Wave 4 will ship sometime in late 2010.)

Factory Reset Mode

Currently, if Windows goes pear-shaped, a quick solution (i.e. to not waste time troubleshooting non-hardware issues) is to format your drive and re-install Windows, which blows away personal settings, files (how to avoid this), and programs. The article alludes to a feautre that will provide a factory reset without losing personal settings — yes please!

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