10 Things you may not know about Windows 8

Look at thisYou probably know that Windows 8 is available October 26th, but what don’t you know?

1. There are two editions of Windows 8 available: Windows 8  and Windows RT

Both versions allow people to download apps from the store (so everyone with Windows 8 can download your Windows store apps.) Windows RT runs just the new Windows 8 Store apps, and there are Windows 8 apps for Office. Windows 8 runs the new apps, and also allows you to run all the apps you’ve been running on Windows 7. I like the simple way this blog by Eric Nelson explains the difference. But here’s the official explanation as well.

2. You won’t miss the Start button

You can launch an app by hitting the Windows key and typing the name of the app to launch. You can also use Windows+X to bring up the start menu. More great keyboard shortcuts here

3. The Surface rocks, but there is other great hardware for Windows 8 too

The Microsoft Surface is getting some great reviews, here’s a review from Wired. But if it’s not what you are looking for, there are a lot of manufacturers releasing awesome Windows 8 and Windows RT devices. Tablet? Hybrid? touch laptops? Find the device that is right for you.

4. Students can publish Windows Store apps for free

Just like the Windows Phone store, the Windows Store offers free accounts to students through the DreamSpark program. Instructions on how to create that account are here.

5. Windows 8 enables Hyper-V

This means I no longer have to have Windows Server running on a laptop in dual boot so I can use Hyper-V virtual machines to set up different developer environments.

6. How to print from Windows store apps

It’s on the charms, under devices.

7. Windows 8 isn’t just boxes and squares

When you buy Windows 8 (not Windows RT), you still get the desktop which you know already so the apps you’ve been running on Windows 7 run on Windows 8 as well. So, if you are used to Windows XP or Windows 7, you won’t find it difficult to transition to Windows 8.

8. Windows 8 is for business too! not just for consumers

Most of what you’ve heard has been about consumer features like video, Skype, Xbox and Music. But Windows 8 is for business too. There is actually a Windows 8 for business website where you can find out more.

9. Canadians are already building great Windows 8 apps

Canada has amazing developers, and already their apps are starting to appear in the Windows store. Tetes a Claques, Tou.tv, games from Sad Cat, WayTwoGood, to name a few. Will yours be next, find out how to get started.

10. It boots faster than Windows 7

A lot of people ask me how well Windows 8 will run on their existing laptops. I installed it on my laptop which was my Windows 7 machine. It boots up faster.

Be a part of Windows 8, build a cool app, get it published, get some help building your app, join us at one of the upcoming WOWZapp events on November 9-11th in Canada, part of a worldwide Windows hackathon! Our main WOWZapp site will be in Vancouver, but there are students organizing WOWZapp events for students across the country. Register today!

Comments (4)

  1. Peter says:

    Why can't I change the country in the billing section of the Windows store to Canada? Am I not allowed to purchase apps because I'm Canadian?

  2. Susan Ibach says:

    Hi Peter, chances are your device thinks it is in the United states. try checking the Region in the control panel and make sure it's set to Canada. I had that happen to me when I bought my Surface.

  3. Fredrich Ulrich says:

    There is no place for Canadians to use their credit card to buy apps on the Microsoft App store, There is only 'STATE" and "zip code". Help we want to

    buy the apps too.  

  4. Susan Ibach says:

    @fredrich often when you buy a computer with Windows 8 the region is set by default to the US instead of Canada. You can find and change this one of two ways. Launch Control Panel and go to Region – change Location to Canada. Or go to Search from the charms bar, select Settings (so you are searching Settings) and type Region in the search text box, then change the location to Canada. Then you should be able to set up your credit card to buy apps from the store.

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