Windows 8 was introduced to PC users back in 2012. Now that Windows 8 has arrived and made its way into new Windows computers, some people wonder what the major differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8 are. Why bother going to 8 when 7 is doing just fine? Is this just a money grabbing attempt by Microsoft, or is there any real value in making the jump? Let’s go over the differences so you can see for yourself.
8’s Got the Touch
One of Windows 8’s most popular, and most frequently reported, features is its touch screen ability. While Windows 7 had dabbled with touch screens in the past, it didn’t feel nearly as smooth as Windows 8. More importantly, Windows 8 was built with the touch screen being the primary use. The menus, the new start screen, and the way certain programs are run work best with the swipe of a finger instead of a mouse click.
The Start Screen
Speaking of the start screen, let’s talk about what’s so different about this screen on 8 compared to 7. 8’s start screen is a lot like the start up screen used in Windows Phones. For example, with Windows 8’s start screen there are:
- Block shaped application launchers
- Complete customization options
- User Interface capabilities
As well as the absence of the programs button.
Multiple Monitor Support
For computer users who own more than one monitor, Windows 8 not only allows multiple monitor support, but it allows you to take complete control over what backgrounds can be used for the monitors. There is even an option to put the Windows 8 start screen on one monitor while having the Windows 7 desktop on the other. It grants access to the best of both worlds and shows enough support for each to be run on its own merit.
The Windows Store
The Windows Store is a fun feature only available on Windows 8 and Windows phones. With the store, applications can be bought, downloaded and used immediately. It’s easy to find, easy to use, and has a number of application types including apps for television, music and games. There are many applications that are completely free, so it never hurts to give the store a shot and discover if you like what you see.
Going to the Cloud
Especially important is Windows 8’s dedicated to the cloud. The cloud is where files and programs are saved without the need for being put on a hard drive or even a UMD device. The data is able to do this by synching with SkyDrive, the home of the cloud storage program that Microsoft supports. These synchs also work with Microsoft Office 2013 and numerous other devices that also have Windows 8 support. Now photos and videos can be stored on multiple computers at the same time without any need to physically transfer the data. The future is getting big, and Windows 8 is hoping to make it bigger.