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13 Windows 8 Features Worth Knowing About

John Brandon April 11, 2012
13 Windows 8 Features Worth Knowing About

Windows 8 will introduce a slew of interesting features, but will they benefit you?

Upgrades, system migration, support headaches -- IT folks are probably dreading the next major Windows rollout. Yet Windows 8, which is scheduled to move to the beta stage in late February and will likely launch in the fall, does offer several compelling new features for both IT and end users.

By far the most talked-about aspect of Windows 8 is the Metro interface. Designed for touchscreen computers and tablets, and built to use HTML5 and CSS3, Metro ties into Internet apps like SkyDrive and Flickr. As with Windows Phone 7, you can swipe to navigate through tiles showing live Web info like stocks and news as well as more traditional apps.

But Pund-IT analyst Charles King questions whether businesses will really see benefits from Metro, saying it is mainly just a new paint job over the existing Windows interface. "Metro is yet one more interface for employees to learn and get used to," he says. "In the current economic environment, businesses will consider that more of a nuisance than a benefit."

Some features in Windows 8 are of clearer business value, say King and other industry analysts. After spending a few months getting to know the developer preview release, I've scouted out 13 less-discussed features and talked to experts to get their take on whom, if anyone, these features will benefit.