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Windows 8 – Interconnected

In our third and final preview post for Microsoft’s new Windows 8 platform, we take a quick look at some of the new features available to users that may help increase group productivity and reduce downtime in the event of a system crash.

In another step towards the future, Microsoft has designed this new operating system to work fluidly in an increasingly connected world, incorporating things like Windows Store and its cloud storage system SkyDrive. It has features that allow you to collaborate on projects with others, and sync files and settings between devices, so you’ll always have access to the things that are important to you. The downside to this, of course, is that if you don’t have a mobile data connection or for some reason find yourself without an internet connection, a lot of useful features become pointless. You can’t download apps, download updates, work together or sync files without a connection, though you can use the operating system for the time being in offline mode. This, however, could be a massive step forward for some businesses, allowing people to collaborate simultaneously on documents and see updates in real time, even if they’re thousands of miles away.

Another bonus to this system is also the fact that your important files are stored in the cloud, as well as on your drive. While there have been applications and services around to do this for quite a while now (for example, from Dropbox,) it’s quite nice to see this functionality built directly into Windows. If you’re a light user or prefer to store your information away from the cloud, though, you may be annoyed by the attempts of the SkyDrive app to sell you more space or better functionality. The bonuses of cloud storage are quite large – especially if you have important data. While some people are concerned about the security of files stored in cloud systems and possible unauthorized access to sensitive information, these systems are being improved all the time, and the company you choose to store with (be it Microsoft or any other provider) will provide advice as to what types of information should or should not be stored in the cloud. With this kind of storage, if you were to lose an important spreadsheet or document that had taken hours to create, it may have quite an adverse effect. With cloud storage, you can quickly access this important data from another location, so all is not lost in the event of hardware failure or other computer problems.

There are quite a large amount of changes to functionality and a fair amount of optimisation has been done for Windows 8 – it seems to boot and respond faster than its predecessors. Although it is very much still a Windows platform, there is a lot to learn about how it works. This means that there’s probably going to be some kind of training schemes needed to update employees’ skills before businesses can really get the most out of it.

Posted on by Emily
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