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8 amazing things Windows 8 will do

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PC users have been speculating on the features that might be offered by Windows 8 for some time. However, thanks to Microsoft planning documents shared with HP and other OEM partners that were leaked online recently, we've been to take a wholly unexpected sneak peak at Windows 8.

Use iPad-like touchscreens

Microsoft is telling partners it will outdo Apple by building a better touch screen for slate PCs. Windows 8 will also support accelerometers and location-awareness for gaming and other functions, while adjusting the screen brightness to changes in light.

"Users are able to hold their slate/tablet PCs in any orientation and Windows will smoothly and automatically change the screen orientation to accommodate," Microsoft says.

"Users never have to think to interact using touch on their slates. Users can type confidently and efficiently on the soft keyboard with touch. The soft keyboard is easily launched, text prediction is more accurate, the UI is more usable, and throughput is increased for everyone. We can adapt to changes in ambient light, so that the display is always easy to see."

Watch HD movies on your wireless TV

Windows 8 will integrate with a variety of technologies to let users pick out TV shows and movies and stream them to any screen. Turn on your laptop, find a movie online or in your hard drive, and with a click of a button you'll be able to watch it on whichever TV screen you choose.

"Users can easily discover and connect to a wide variety of modern displays like wireless televisions and monitors, wireless docking stations, and USB-connected monitors," Microsoft says.

"The user can easily light up displays around him with all his content and media, whether it is online or local. Developers can build modern experiences around display devices by leveraging Windows 8 support for premium media experiences, such as stereoscopic 3D and wireless TVs."

Download apps from the Windows App Store

A new app store based on the model made popular by Apple is mentioned in many of Microsoft's Windows 8 slides. While Microsoft insists that users still need an operating system in the age of the internet, the App Store is one of the ways in which Microsoft is adapting Windows to the web world.

There isn't a lot of information about what types of apps the store will contain, but Microsoft is trying to appeal to developers by letting them create apps in whichever language they prefer. The hope, obviously, is to provide a wide array of applications to rival the offerings of the Apple and Android stores.

NEXT PAGE: Keeping data safe

  1. Log-in with your face
  2. Pad–like touchscreens
  3. Keeping data safe

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