Windows 8 has officially hit store shelves, and reviews are mixed. Microsoft has taken its popular operating system in a completely new direction with its latest update, and while some are praising the sleek new interface, others feel that the changes are too far-reaching.
Here’s a look at how Windows 8 will differ from Windows 7:
Say Goodbye to Your Start Menu
One of the biggest changes to Windows 7 is the demise of the familiar Start menu. Replacing it is something that Microsoft calls the Start screen—a collection of colorful, tablet-like tiles that allow users to launch programs and view live information such as email and weather instantaneously. Though this change will probably take some getting used to, Microsoft is betting that after getting past the learning curve, users will find this new way of interacting with their computers both easier-to-use and more intuitive than the old system was.
The Windows 8 interface is designed especially to be used with touch screens—users who install this OS on an all-in-one computer or tablet will likely find that the Start screen offers easy navigation simply by tapping.
More Changes from Windows 7
Some of the other changes are perhaps less noticeable, but no less important. These include faster startup times, ribbon-based internet navigation, improved security, an easy way to restore the system without deleting user files and settings, and a simplified Task Manager. These changes should make the operating system more user-friendly, overall.