Though the usual waiting period is only a matter of seconds, it can feel like an eternity as a computer wakes up from a complete shutdown and finally reaches the Windows login screen--especially if you're at a meeting, where every second counts.
In tests run on the same PC, with fresh installations of each operating system, Windows 8 booted up in less than half the time that Windows 7 took. Windows 8 averaged 17 seconds, compared to 38 seconds for Windows 7.
Real-world mileage can vary significantly depending on the hardware you use. My Samsung Series 7 Slate PC with Windows 8 Pro boots in just over 11 seconds. A faster boot time means that users can get down to business faster when they show up in the morning, or when they boot up an Ultrabook or tablet to share information with a customer.
5. Dual-monitor support
It's not exactly mainstream in most fields of business, but using multiple monitors can greatly improve productivity, and Windows 8 comes with a number of enhancements to simplify managing and using such setups. Using multiple displays is like magnifying the productivity benefits of the Windows 7 Aero Snap feature. Instead of splitting the workspace in half on one display, you can extend your Windows desktop across more than one monitor.
When it comes to handling multiple displays, Windows 8 significantly improves on Windows 7's capabilities. You can configure the taskbar for each display to make it easier and more efficient to get to the applications you want on each display. Windows 8 also treats the corners and sides of each monitor as active hot zones for accessing things like the charms bar and the app switcher.
6. Better security
Windows 8 introduces some security tricks to help protect data and let IT managers sleep at night. First, Microsoft takes advantage of the Secure Boot feature of UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). Secure Boot allows only software signed by authorized certificates to boot up, which prevents BIOS- or kernel-level malware from sneaking in.
With Windows 8, Microsoft has also incorporated the antimalware capabilities of Microsoft Security Essentials into Windows Defender, so Windows 8 provides more-comprehensive protection against malware right out of the box.