Eight things to look forward to in Windows 8

Want to know what's on tap for Windows 8? If a leaked slide deck is real, you can find out now. If the deck is true, here are eight things to look forward to in Windows 8.

The information about Windows 8 surfaced after Microsoft Kitchen blogger Stephen Chapman found them on a slide deck on the Italian Windows site Windowsette. Microsoft, by the way, has not confirmed whether the deck is real.

Among the more interesting details in the deck are these:

  1. An apps store. Apple's App Store has been a raging success, as has Android's Market. So Windows 8 appears as if it will also have an app store called, not surprisingly, "Windows Store." But there are no indications how Microsoft will manage the countless thousands of apps available for Windows, or many other details about the store at this point.
  2. Improved energy efficiency. The slides spend a good deal of time describing the many ways in which Windows 8 will be more energy efficient, including an update to the core kernel manager, reduced power use while idle, better sleep and resume, and more.
  3. Faster startup. Windows 8, according to the slides, will feature faster startup through a new feature that combines the Logoff and Hibernate states.
  4. Push-button reset. This will allow you to re-install Windows with the push of a button. Most important is that Windows will retain all of your files, settings, applications, and so on, without wiping them out.
  5. Face recognition. This new safety feature will let you log on using face recognition.
  6. Support for slates. Slates are one of the form factors Windows 8 will support. WindowsPad anyone?
  7. Better help and support. Every time a new version of Windows comes out, this seems to be on the punch list. We'll have to see if this time it actually happens.
  8. Better identity management. The decks lay out a vision in which user accounts don't just live on one PC --- you can carry them from computer to computer, and to other devices. Identities can live and be backed up in the cloud. As a slide puts it, "Identity evolves from machine centric to user centric."

Again, it's not yet confirmed that the slide deck is real, and Windows 8 is likely two years away, so a lot may change. But don't be surprised if most or all of these features are in Windows 8.

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