updated 03:45 pm EDT, Mon June 28, 2010
Windows 8 to start faster, use sensors
A possibly telling leak has given away some of Windows 8's first features with an Apple-oriented bent. Seemingly targeted at PC builders, it would focus primarily on performance traits. Systems should boot faster and would particularly focus on resuming use: even a tablet or a notebook should be ready in less than than a second, Microsoft said.
Francisco Martín García's info notes that Microsoft should be adding a new mode, Logoff + Hibernate, that would save the extra sign-out step before the system goes cold.
Sensors would play an additional role. Windows would get official ambient light sensor support; webcams would borrow an element from the Xbox 360's Kinect and could automatically recognize users by their faces.
Other additions would bring a fully Internet-connected help system that gets the most recent information, a more complete and simplified restore system, and native 3D visual support without needing special support from a technology like NVIDIA's 3D Vision.
The speed and sensor additions appear to draw influences from Apple, where fast boot and wake times as well as sensors have been present for years. The presentation goes so far as to directly cite Apple and and claim that it's known for "high quality, uncomplicated" products and has a user experience designed around pleasing the user with value. Apple devices build satisfaction that in turn leads to loyalty, Microsoft said.
Microsoft has focused on improving its performance in the past, and as early as the Windows Vista era was working directly with PC builders on improving slow boot times and culling "craplets" from computers to avoid bogging them down.