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Windows 8

Example: "Windows 8 runs on both traditional PCs and touchscreen devices."

Windows 8 is the eighth version of Microsoft Windows, released on October 26, 2012. It includes several improvements to Windows 7, but the most notable is an updated user interface, which displays a grid of tiles on the home screen. These tiles provide one-click access to common programs, games, and utilities. Examples include Photos, Videos, Music, Internet Explorer, Maps, Weather. Several of the tiles, such as the Maps, Weather, and custom social networking tiles, display information that is updated dynamically.

The tile-based interface (formerly called "Metro") makes Windows 8 a suitable operating system for both traditional PCs and tablets. It also functions well on hybrid systems that include a touchscreen but also support traditional input devices. While the tile-based interface is a major part of Windows 8, Microsoft did not get rid of the standard Windows desktop interface. Therefore, if you prefer to use the familiar Windows Explorer, you can access the standard Windows interface from the Home screen.

Windows 8 is available in standard, Pro, and Enterprise editions. The Pro edition primarily offers additional networking and encryption options compared to the standard edition. Windows 8 Enterprise includes virtualization features and a utility called "AppLocker,\" that prevents unwanted software from being installed on the computer.

Published: October 26, 2012

Definition from the PC Glossary