10 Hidden Features in Windows 8

8. Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer is the next tool that received (quite) a UI overhaul and a perfect example of where Microsoft reduces the steps necessary to perform tasks: Like it or not, Windows 8 is likely to come with a ribbonized version of Windows Explorer, as first revealed by Windows experts Paul Thurott and Rafael Rivera. While actually working with this explorer for a couple of weeks we have to admit that, despite its hideous look, it's absolutely wonderful to work with. Day-to-day file tasks are simpler and the ribbon adapts to the file contents (for example, "Music Tools" below. Click here for a full-size image).

9. ISO mounting

Additionally, Windows 8 sports its own ISO mounting tool, thus eliminating the need to go and download 3rd party tools, which are often riddled with annoying toolbars and ads.

10: Windows Time Machine

Last but not least, Microsoft finally managed to give its "Restore Previous Versions" (Volume Shadow Copy) feature a usable and intuitive interface: History Vault lets you go back in time and restore earlier versions of a folder - just in case you accidentally made some unwanted changes or deleted some of its contents, which is pretty similar to Apples Time Machine in Mac OS X. Click here for a full-size image

This is the kind of stuff that'll make all the usability fanatics go wild: Technology that has been there before, but which is (for the first time ever) actually easy to use and accessible to beginners.

More to come?

Windows 8 won't be available next year, but even this early build looks promising and we believe there is still tons of hidden stuff to be discovered. We'll keep you posted on our findings and Sinofsky's predictions.

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