Microsoft Evangelist Blain Barton Provides a Sneak Preview of Windows 8

Blain Barton, an evangelist for Microsoft, spoke at Rasmussen College about the new live features offered in the new operating system Windows 8. There were 27 students in attendance on August 30, 2012, along with several faculty and staff members. Barton gave a preview of all the features built into Windows 8.

The main feature shown was the redesigned user interface, optimized for touch screens, as well as mice and keyboards. A new "start screen", similar to the one in Windows Phone 7, includes live application tiles. The user can go to the regular desktop by choosing the "Desktop" tile or a traditional desktop-based application. The Start screen also displays the user's name and avatar.

Along with these cool features, Windows 8 comes with other features we have come to know and love in our mobile OS’s. It has system-wide spelling and grammar check, so you do not have to rely on a specific app to keep your writing top-notch, as well as a system-wide search feature that lets you search anything from your music library to your contacts to the web itself. It also has a feature for desktop users that lets you run the Metro UI on one monitor while running the traditional desktop on the other.

Lastly, “Windows To Go” is a Windows 8 Enterprise feature that allows users to create a bootable USB Flash drive with Windows 8 in it, including the user's programs, settings and files. Barton also spoke about the ease of upgrading from Microsoft Vista and Windows 7.

The session was an open forum where students, faculty and staff could freely ask questions about the new Windows 8. Barton was responsive to all questions and invited everyone to join him on his Blog. Rasmussen College has invited Barton to return in the fall 2012 quarter to speak about Microsoft Server 2012 to a select group of students.

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Russ Dulaney is a Full Time Instructor for the School of Technology and Design at Rasmussen College in Ocala, Fla. He has worked in the field of IT for more than 16 years. Russ also has a M.A. in Computer Technology from Capella University. He has supported the American Cancer Society for the last seven years by sponsoring a team at the Relay for life.

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