5 Windows 8 features IT pros will love

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At Microsoft TechEd 2012 Europe, Bill Karagounis, Group Program Manager, Windows Performance, took the stage and explained why not just businesses or developers will love Windows 8, but why IT pros will go wild for it.

Here are 5 key takeaways from the Microsoft demo:

Performance

Microsoft boasts yet again about Windows 8's performance and the improvements they've made in the Release Preview build 8400. According to Karagounis, a freshly installed Windows 8 machine consumes a total of 330 MB of memory -- and that includes the Windows Defender antimalware solution. In comparison, a clean Windows 7 setup (without any AV product installed) takes up more than 550 MB.

My take: In my tests, I couldn't really reproduce this kind of massive difference (usually, they vary around 10% in favor of Windows 8). However, what really struck me is that Microsoft didn't do a whole lot to stop third-party applications from slowing down the system. Sure the new Task Manager (see below) is capable of analyzing the impact of startup applications, but that's just the start. Usually, third-party programs install services, scheduled tasks, explorer hooks, browser plug-ins, toolbars and startup pograms that slow down the OS. It happened to Windows 7 and it will happen to Windows 8.

Startup time

Starting up Windows is always a typical benchmark for PC performance and another sector in which Windows 8 simply blows its predecessors and even Mac OS X away. They demoed a UEFI-based machine with "just" a 2nd generation Core i-processor and, lo and behold, the system booted in under 8 seconds. According to Microsoft, even several generations old systems should see improvements of up to 40%.

On the Samsung Series 7 slate, which was handed out to the press today, Windows 8 Release Preview boots up in 9 seconds.

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