What’s New in Windows 8 RTM?

Microsoft has released the final version RTM version of its new OS Windows 8, which is available to purchase or download a 90-day trial from the official Microsoft Website.

Windows 8 comes with lots of new features and enhancements such as new Metro UI, Ribbons in Windows Explorer, Charm Bar, Start Screen, No-Aeroglass effect, sleek and simple GUI etc.

In this topic we're going to talk about the new features and changes made in the Windows 8 RTM version, so let's start :)

First Logon Animation

Microsoft has added a new animated tutorial (aka First Logon or Sign-in Animation) which is shown when Windows setup is finished and Windows is creating user profile and preparing the Desktop. The animation shows some images containing the text "Hi, while we're getting things ready, check out the new way to use Windows" to help users how to access Charms Bar and other new features.

This animated tutorial is actually an HTML file called "FirstLogonAnim.html" which is stored in "C:\Windows\System32\oobe\" folder.

You can press Alt+F4 keys together or simply press Esc key to skip this tutorial.

If you want to completely disable this first sign-in animation for all new users, you can do this by setting "Show first sign-in animation" to "Disabled" under "Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Logon" section in Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc).

You can also turn this animation off by setting value of EnableFirstLogonAnimation DWORD to under following key in Registry Editor (regedit):


Boot Screen

Microsoft has changed the Boot Screen in Windows 8 RTM Version, It now shows Windows 8 Logo along with an animated dotted circle.

Windows 8 Boot Loader

Some of the interesting things we’ve noticed about the new Windows 8 bootloader:

  1. The new look
  2. Completely new process of loading an OS
  3. Integration of repair tools into the bootloader itself
the new boot menu is more than just a visual overhaul, it’s virtually a complete rewrite of the BOOTMGR/BCD bootloader that was first revealed during the Windows Longhorn/Vista beta program.

You can use your mouse cursor to select the entries. It also allows you to change the timer and default boot entry which is a welcome change.

Login Screen

Windows 8 login screen is very simple and clean. It shows a big tile containing your user avatar along with your username and password box if you have set the password:

Start Screen

Once you log in to Windows 8 RTM, you'll be facing the new Start screen. This is where your Metro apps live, and where you'll be doing the vast majority of your navigating from.

Windows 8 Desktop

Windows 8 Desktop looks similar to Windows 7 but one of the small changes is you can not go to the Desktop directly, whenever you start-up your windows 8, it gets you to the Start Screen not the "Desktop" .

To access Desktop you need to click on the Desktop Tile in the bottom-left corner of Start Screen.
Another difference which you'll notice is the removal of good old Start button from Taskbar. Microsoft has replaced Start button with a small Start Screen thumbnail which is shown when you move your mouse cursor to bottom-left corner of screen:

Clicking on the bottom-left corner shows a hidden Quick Access Menu (also called Win+X menu) with some useful tools.

The Desktop screen is where all non-Metro applications run in Windows 8, and it's where you need to go to access more advanced setup features for the OS. Just as with the Start screen and Metro apps, the "charms" come up on the right side of the screen.

We can access the charms from the desktop, Start Screen or any application we are using on Windows 8. At the time of opening Charms bar we are also able to see the date and time. The Charms bar content 5 options.
  1. Search: Search option will help you to search among Apps, Settings and Files of Windows 8. You have to manually expand the Search category (Apps, Settings or Files) to get the better search result.
  2. Share: it will help you to share the current app or Webpage or anything else within the web.
  3. Start: It will take you back to the Windows 8 Start Screen.
  4. Devices: This will help you to share your Screen with another Screen/Projector etc.
  5. Settings: This will let you to modify the Wifi, Volume, Brightness, Power, Keyboard and notification Setting with the Shortcut for the “Change PC Setting“. It also contain some required setting for the open Application.

Windows 8 Explorer

the successor to Windows Explorer, includes a set of drop-down ribbons similar to the Office interface for file and folder-related tasks.
Also Microsoft has removed the so called "AeroGlass Trasparency" effect.

Windows 8 Explorer also comes with new improved file management UI. The copy / move dialog box has been redesigned. Now you can pause/resume the copy/move operation.
It helps you deal with disk processes that are crushing something else you're working on. You can pause a file copy from the progress bar or kill it outright with button controls within the window.

New AeroLite Theme

The AeroLite Theme is a replacement of old Windows Vista and 7 theme "Windows Basic".
If your computer does not support the Aero Theme, AeroLite Theme will be chosen by default.

Aero Auto Colorization Feature

In Windows 8, Microsoft has introduced a new feature called "Aero Auto Colorization" .
It automatically changes the colors of the Windows Explorer, Taskbar and other elements to match the current wallpaper.

Windows 8 Metro UI Control Panel

Windows 8 comes with 2 Control Panel, One with Metro Touch showing some Basic setting and the Traditionl one in Windows 7.

If you want to access old classic Control Panel, scroll down to the bottom of new Control Panel and there you’ll have a link “More Settings” to old Control Panel which is similar to Windows Vista and 7 Control Panel.

Windows 8 Task Manager

Speaking of tasks, Windows 8 features a new Task Manager that gives much more detailed views of what applications are stealing away your system's performance. First it shows only running applications but when you click More Detail button then it shows the new Task Manager.

It also allows you to direct restart Windows Explorer which was not possible in earlier Windows versions.

Lock Screen

Windows 8 comes with a different Lock Screen other then Logon Screen. It shows current Date and time along with Battery and Network Status:

Internet Explorer 10

Windows 8 comes up with the new version of Internet Explorer "IE10" with many improvements and a few UI changes.

File History Checker Feature

Windows 8 also comes with a new feature "File History" which automatically saves copies of your selected files so you can restore them if they're lost or damaged. You can access this feature using Control Panel.

Windows 8 Recovery Feature

Refresh PC option reloads Windows 8 without loosing your files, photos, videos, music, etc. Its like reinstalling Windows but better than it as you don’t have to worry about your documents and files.

Reset PC option puts your computer back to the way it was originally. Keep in mind, it’ll remove all your files. It might come handy when you want to clean your hard disk due to virus infection, etc. You can access this feature using Control Panel.

App Store

Microsoft has introduced the App Store in Windows 8 which have thousands of apps which are Paid Or Free. Also Microsoft has added the support of Xbox Live. Now you can also play Xbox games you PC. You can connect to Xbox live via your Xbos live ID.

Also if you have to download an app from app store you will need a Microsoft account. You will  love the app store as it contains many useful apps also along with Entertainment apps like ESPN Live, WWE Universe, etc

New Bing App

The Bing app is just as slick as it looks. The app shows search results in the same tile interface, with horizontal scrolling, to match all of the other Windows 8 apps and the Start Screen. It takes a bit of getting used to, at least compared to the standard search engine list results, but it’s still enjoyable. The app also has infinite scrolling, so you don’t need to click to move through pages and pages of search results.

People Makeover

The People app has been a central feature of Windows 8 since the Consumer Preview version, but now it’s gotten a bit of a makeover. Instead of having tabs for “What’s new” and “Me,” Microsoft has made it so you can see a thumbnail of yourself next to a scrollable page of all of your friends. You also have one-click access to an entire page of all of your notifications, as well as “What’s new,” which is now its own page. It’s not the biggest change, but it does look more organized and makes browsing your latest updates easier. You can connect the People page to your Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, Outlook, Linkedin, Google and Sina Weibo accounts.

Tattoo Your Screen

Now you can customize your Start Screen with more than just colors. More than a dozen different “personalization tattoos” made their debut in Windows 8 RTM, featuring everything from psychedelic flower designs to minimalistic curved lines. Of course, you can always choose to just go with a bare screen.

Windows Store Search

A minor update to Windows 8 RTM makes it possible to search for apps without having to swipe to the Charms bar and actually tap or click the Search button. You can just start typing while you’re in the Windows Store app to enter the Search function. It’s the same quick search access that has been available from the Start Screen.

New In-Store Microsoft Apps

Microsoft isn’t forgetting about its classic games. All those hours you spent playing Solitaire and Minesweeper can now be relived in Windows 8 with updated style. Unlike in previous versions of Windows, you do need to actually make the effort to go into the Windows Store and download the games, which will show up as Windows 8 apps on your Home Screen like any other app. Microsoft has made available a Solitaire collection, Minesweeper, and Mahjong. Xbox SmartGlass also makes its debut in Windows 8 RTM.

Windows 8 BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death)

One thing hasn't changed about Windows's "Blue Screen of Death"—it's still blue. But Microsoft has added an emoticon to show that they feel your pain. The old BSOD used to show more details which helped in identifying the issue quickly and easily.

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