Windows 8 Overhauls Wi-Fi, Mobile Broadband Experience
The Building Windows 8 blog claims Windows 8 to be the friendliest version of Windows yet, and the latest improvement is a complete overhaul to the Windows 8 wireless experience. If Wi-Fi and mobile broadband connections once stressed you out, Windows 8 promises it won’t any longer. Read on for the details …
Windows has always been snail-pace slow to join wireless networks when waking from sleep or standby mode. But Windows 8 has essentially done away with the time lag thanks to intense optimization. According to the Building Windows 8 blog, “… we looked at the fundamentals of wireless connectivity and re-engineered Windows 8 for a mobile and wireless future, going beyond incremental improvements.”
Said improvements include the following:
- Improved UI Switches: Microsoft has made it super easy to manage your wireless connections from a single, streamlined location. In addition, airplane mode is now a systemwide feature for Windows 8. Apparently, Windows 8 will also get “smarter” and remember your preferences. For example, if you’ve manually disconnected from a Wi-Fi access point, Windows will no longer automatically attempt to connect to that particular network and mark the next connection made as the preferred network.
- Automation Everywhere: If you’re using a mobile broadband connection but come in range of a preferred Wi-Fi network, Windows 8 automatically will switch over to the Wi-Fi network. If you’re using a mobile broadband connection, Windows automatically will turn off background network tasks such as Windows Update to ensure no data is “wasted.” Microsoft also has worked with mobile broadband USB device manufacturers for automatic detection and installation of drivers, so connection is as simple as plugging in the unit.
- Advanced Data Monitoring: Mobile broadband solutions are as convenient as they are expensive: very. Microsoft has incorporated built-in estimated data usage on a per-connection basis, so you can keep tabs on your mobile data plan. This data usage also works for Wi-Fi connections, which is helpful if a hotspot works on a per-megabyte basis. Windows 8 also includes a feature for all network connections (even hard-wired) Microsoft calls “reduce data usage,” which will curb unnecessary network activity such as the aforementioned Windows updater.
Many mobile devices have instant-on and instant-connect capabilities and Microsoft is continued to deliver a “no compromise” Windows 8 by blending mobile and traditional computing paradigms. I’m cautiously optimistic Windows 8 could be one of the best operating systems Microsoft has ever built, but I’ll reserve judgment for the final product.