Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shared some new Windows 8 features during a recent speech at Dell World in Austin, Texas. Ballmer demoed multiple key features of the new OS to the crowd of 2,000, reminding them that this was just the tip of the iceberg and there was still a lot more to come.
One new feature in Windows 8 is a lock screen that activates after a set period of inactivity. As the user is away from their desk, the lock screen keeps a tally of new incoming emails, social network updates and other important application information. When the user returns, they can quickly see what has happened since they have been away before even logging back into their machine.
Ballmer also showcased the Metro UI for those who might not have seen it before. There wasn’t much new here – a quick rundown of how the tiles can be customized to show various data at a glance such as news alerts and stock tickers. One of Microsoft’s key goals with the Metro UI is to allow users to gather a wealth of information in a short amount of time. Or as one of my journalism professors, “Mr. Magazine” used to say, “More information in less time and less space.”
Windows Server 8 was demoed running 32 virtual processors with more than 100GB of RAM. The Microsoft team also showed off how users could move a virtual machine from one location to another without the user even noticing. This is done by moving much of the application and system data to the new location in advance. When the move is ready, the local instance is suspended and finally moved to join the new location with the other data. This is said to happen seamlessly, allowing the end user to carry on as if nothing had happened.