Microsoft Reveals Windows 8 Beta Changes

Published by Vladimir
October 17, 2011 at 04:12

Microsoft stuck its neck out when it released a very early build of Windows 8 to the world, likely knowing beforehand the level of complaint that it was going to receive from users who did not appreciate the changes implemented. But the company wanted to solicit early feedback to ensure that at launch, the product would not flop.

Microsoft has revealed more Windows 8 changes that it is planning for the beta stage of development. Microsoft has tweaked the use of memory in Windows 8 to help people juggle more applications and files with less physical RAM. Memory combining searches system RAM for duplicate content and then frees up the duplicates to hold just a single copy. If an app needs that freed-up memory in the future, Windows provides what’s called a “private copy.” Such a process can make anywhere from 10s to 100s of megabytes available.

Windows 8

 Windows 8 will be smarter about which allocated memory to keep and which to free up. For example, antivirus programs need memory when they check on files opened by other applications. Since this is typically a one-time allocation, that specific chunk of memory probably wouldn’t be needed again by the AV software. As such,Windows 7 might free up that RAM for something else if memory became scare. But such an action could drag down performance.

Windows Defender, which is a security solution for safeguarding Windows 8 is claimed to detect only some of the malicious code samples, according to Chester Wisniewski, a Senior Security Advisor at Sophos Canada, reports Softpedia on September 30, 2011. Wisniewski also held that testing of the anti-virus measures within the Windows 8 developer preview enable the provision of third-party protection on a test file from the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR). It allowed him to understand the effectiveness of Windows 8′s effectiveness without revealing himself to the real threats.

Here are some of the changes Microsoft did in Windows 8 Beta:

Customization improvements of the Start Screen

Microsoft is planning to allow users to customize the Start Screen more fully in Windows 8 beta. “The personalization of the Start screen is one of the features that we want to make great, and we’re still iterating on it and to make it better,” said Marina Dukhon, a senior program manager lead on the Core Experience team, in a blog post on Tuesday. Microsoft’s Windows 8 developer preview allows users to change their group sizes, unpin tiles and resize wide tiles to square ones. “In the Beta, you’ll also be able to use other improvements based on this dialog, in addition to creating, naming, and rearranging groups,” revealed Dukhon.

Improved apps screen

Microsoft revealed it is planning to improve the Apps screen in Windows 8. Applications are now organized into groups in the latest builds of Windows 8. This moves away from the alphabetical list found in the developer preview. “This way, if you are looking for something that you know came in your Visual Studio suite, but can’t recall the exact name of the app, it should be much easier for you to find,” explains Dukhon. The view will also become a lot more denser, fitting more content on the screen.

Windows 8 apps improvements

Jump lists and live tiles

Microsoft answered several questions about the use of jump lists from Windows 7. “We knew it was important to keep jump lists on the taskbar for your most commonly used desktop apps, says Dukhon. “We wanted to build something more customized for Metro style apps.” Microsoft’s view of Windows 8 jump lists is more application-centric. Microsoft predicts that application developers will follow the Windows Phone route and create pinable items inside their applications. Live tiles will also enable developers and end users to interact with their applications in closer ways.

Better Start Screen experience on large monitors

Microsoft is looking to improve the experience of its Metro style applications on large screens. “Another thing that we’re doing is increasing the number of rows of tiles that you can see on large monitors,” revealed Dukhon. The improvements will allow Windows 7 users to fit even more apps on the Start Screen and closer to their mouse to make it faster to launch apps.

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