More Windows 8 Consumer Preview secrets revealed

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview build has been out in the open for over a month now but there are still quite a few features that have gone unnoticed or undocumented since its release. ZDNet.com posted up some hidden features a few days after the Consumer Preview was released and now they have discovered quite a few more while playing with Windows 8.

One of them relates to Windows 8 accounts. While you can still sign onto Windows 8 with a local account just like previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 also has a second Microsoft Account option. Using that account lets the Windows 8 owner sign in to a secure service. It also lets users sync up their settings for more than one PC. You can switch between the local account and the Microsoft account in the Settings under the Users tab shown above.

If you hate the fact that a lot of Windows programs insist on putting themselves in your Start folder, the article states that Windows 8 makes it easy to manage those programs. The Windows 8 version of the Task Manager lets folks disable those pesky programs from showing up in the Start menu, which speeds up the PC's boot time in the process. Just select any program on the Task Manager and then click on the Disable button at the bottom of the Task Manager box.

Yet another useful but somewhat hidden feature is the new Events tab in Windows 8's Device Manager. This feature lets people check on the actual history of the drivers that have been installed for each device, which can be very helpful in case something goes wrong. There's also a View All Events button that brings up another selection where all the events in a Windows 8 device's life can be seen. These are just a few of the nifty little secrets the article has for Windows 8 power users.

Images via ZDNet

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ahhell said,
These features aren't exactly secrets.

they're definitely not. LiveID is asked during Windows setup and I think is required to use Store and install Metro apps. I don't even want to talk about the rest of the "secret", such a stupid article.

Sraf said,
Yeah, hell if you have an internet connection during setup, it'll ask if you want to use a WLID instead of a local account

MS Account.
rebranded.

Been there done that since I've been using Windows 8 as my primary OS since CP came out. However, I am still trying to get used to using Windows 8 with dual monitors.

I'm quite eager to get the final version. Just hope drivers and compatability will be up to date by that point.

I know this sounds completely off topic but it would be nice if Microsoft provided Windows 8 stickers with their copies of Windows retail that are sold - be able to replace ones old Windows 7 sticker with a Windows 8 one.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
I know this sounds completely off topic but it would be nice if Microsoft provided Windows 8 stickers with their copies of Windows retail that are sold - be able to replace ones old Windows 7 sticker with a Windows 8 one.

Why? Are you unsure what OS you are running?

Mr Nom Nom's said,
I know this sounds completely off topic but it would be nice if Microsoft provided Windows 8 stickers with their copies of Windows retail that are sold - be able to replace ones old Windows 7 sticker with a Windows 8 one.
Those are device certification stickers. You can get them with OEM copies, but not for retail copies.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
I know this sounds completely off topic but it would be nice if Microsoft provided Windows 8 stickers with their copies of Windows retail that are sold - be able to replace ones old Windows 7 sticker with a Windows 8 one.

It would be nice to warn laptop or desktop users, who have to share their computers, that Windows-7 is not the installed OS. Failing that, maybe the "owner" of the computer could make up a sticker that says "Warning: Windows-8 Installed."

How is the Windows Live account login a secret?

It offers that to you as the preferred option if you have an internet connection on startup.

Good work there, ZDnet.

Wakers said,
How is the Windows Live account login a secret?

It offers that to you as the preferred option if you have an internet connection on startup.

Good work there, ZDnet.

I didn't realize you could add it to a local account though. Well I did, but I wasn't sure if it let you log in locally and then use the cloud features, or if it turned your local account into a cloud account.

stevember said,
The fact that people are finding things after a while like this is a testament to how badly it is all organised.

Don't be silly.

jakem1 said,

Don't be silly.

It's a beta man. However, I imagine the final release won't document much either. I'm still looking forward to it.

stevember said,
The fact that people are finding things after a while like this is a testament to how badly it is all organised.

The other day I found out about 4 finger swipes letting you move between apps on the iPad and i've had the thing for over a year - doesn't mean it's badly designed though.

stevember said,
The fact that people are finding things after a while like this is a testament to how badly it is all organised.

What a stupid comment. So any new features that have been added should automatically be common knowledge?

stevember said,
The fact that people are finding things after a while like this is a testament to how badly it is all organised.

^this.

stevember said,
The fact that people are finding things after a while like this is a testament to how badly it is all organised.

Really? So you have never actually participated in a beta test, have you?

Microsoft didn't give out a 'tutorial' on purpose, just as they offer only 'pieces' of information during betas and then will cycle through 'test guides' of features to explore and test.

This is how they can see what users are finding themselves easily and what needs work. So your 'assumption' is EXACTLY why they didn't provide a full featured guide, as they want things to be as intuitive as possible and know what is working well and what is not. This is also why things will continue to change in usability between the CP and the release, as the leaked builds are ALREADY showing these changes.

PS The items revealed in this article are not as 'hidden' as the article presents. For example, the non-local account, that is specifically a part of the installation process is not that anyone MISSED seeing the feature, but might have been reluctant to try it in a alpha/beta build. Event he driver history, if anyone opened up the Driver properties, like users would normally do, they would have noticed the driver version history, but only after they had an updated driver to have a history.


Wow...

me gusta. however i really wish they had done a dead split with the desktop and tablet os's. having the two combined is gonig to kill it

jasonon said,
me gusta. however i really wish they had done a dead split with the desktop and tablet os's. having the two combined is gonig to kill it

The reason there has been that chasm between tablets and *regular* PCs is because the hardware and OS were so tightly tied together as to preclude anything else (especially in the case of tablets and slates).

Guess what - between netbooks, the Ultrabook which will replace most of them, and slate PCs, the lines have gotten decidedly blurred (let alone hardware like the ASUS TransFormer Prime and SAMSUNG Series 7 - the first of which is Tegra-powered, while the latter is an Ultrabook-alternative powered by a Core i5). Why do I call the Series 7 an Ultrabook-alternative? It's got a lot of the same hardware as an Ultrabook - down to the CPU and GPU - yet it's priced less than most Ultrabooks. Unless you're going to use a slate as a niche device - and I wouldn't; it's why I have no use for the current generation of tablets or non-x64-based slates - you'll want to run the same applications/games/etc on both your desktop and your mobile device (be it notebook, laptop, tablet, or slate. That means Windows 8 - plain and simple. (Why not Windows 7? Simple - I don't run Windows 7 on my desktop today; Windows 8 Consumer Preview is sole OS.) And I didn't goof on the x64 part of the equation, either - I switched to x64 hardware two years ago. And I'd therefore take a step backward *why*?

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