Personal favourite geeky features of Windows 8

It really annoys me that Microsoft's PR isn't putting too much emphasis on the geekier/nerdier updates to Windows 8. It's a shame, as many people I meet that use my computer only seem to 'get' the upgrade once I show them a few awkward updates. Here they are. I apologise if a post like this has been made here before.

The Task Manager

This, randomly, seems to be the most impressive update to any of my friends that show scepticism to Windows 8. Seemingly dumbed down at first, clicking one button unleashes the kind of data that can make the nerdiest of the nerds feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It'll even tell you the resources that logged in user accounts are using! Also, something I personally consider to be a big deal, there's a new, far more accessible tab that lets you control the programs that start up on first boot, even giving you an estimated measure of that app's performance impact





N.B. taking these screenshots showed me something I never noticed before: is that a measurement of how long it took Windows 8 to boot?

Also, the file transfer UI update:



The Performance Upgrade (for netbooks mainly)

Installing Windows 8 on a POS AMD C-50 netbook, running Windows 7, transformed it from "break-it-with-a-sledgehammer-and-throw-it-out-the-window-frustrating" to running smoothly. Impressive.

The out-of-the-box drivers

This feature will probably worsen as time progresses, with newer hardware requiring newer drivers. However, a clean install onto my gaming computer led to my not having to install a single driver to get it up and running. I usually have to have a WiFi or Ethernet driver saved onto USB. Impressive!

Metro's seemingly unadvertised affinity for the humble keyboard

*Start key* "S O U T H P A R K" *Down key x7* (selecting netflix) = immediate South Park. Takes the most of ten seconds to watch anything I want. Honestly, the Netflix site takes longer just to load for me. The whole "whack the start key and type anything, then launch an app" thing also works great with eBay, Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the Amazon app. Once you start thinking of the Metro UI as the start menu stretched across the whole screen, it all begins to make a lot more sense.

Some of the metro apps

The News app is almost a desktop version of Flipboard. The mail app is brilliantly minimalist, with notifications and multiple accounts working very well. The Encyclopaedia Britannica app has a nice design, and has a relatively cheap subscription fee at the minute. Also, the Skype and Messaging apps are a very light and clean-cut way to be logged into multiple chat networks without necessarily being spammed with stupid notifications or random sounds. It's all not there yet, but there's great potential - even for desktop PCs.

Remote desktop

The Splashtop 2 app for android supports Windows gestures, completely removing the "fiddliness" of trying to control a desktop computer with a touch screen. Apps seem to support touch-swiping too, again removing the need for fiddly gestures or trying to drag the scroll bar with an emulated mouse input. Still waiting on the iPad version of Splashtop to get the gestures update, unfortunately. Once it does, I will never need to consider a Windows 8 tablet.

I've meandered between Windows and Macs, and I can honestly say Windows 8 presents the first OS that, in terms of its design, hasn't tempted me to dual-boot a hackintosh (lol). Are there any other geeky things I've missed? Let me know.