Cool new features and tidbits in Windows 8 CP

So have you downloaded the Windows 8 Consumer Preview yet or not? You must have heard that within a day of Windows 8 Consumer Preview release, there were more than million downloads of it. In this article let us see some cool new features in Windows 8 CP.

  • The Windows 8 Lock Screen which has to be swiped from bottom to top or the Mouse has to be moved from bottom to top can now be  unlocked by pressing Ctrl key or ESC key or its turning out to be any key.
  • You can login via the Microsoft Account (aka Windows Live ID), and after typing your password, when you keep your mouse pressed on that small icon as shown in the pic – it displays your password.


Its recommended to sign-in using Microsoft Account, as your PC gets connected to the Cloud and thus people, files, and devices. Your contacts from Hotmail, twitter, Facebook etc gets automatically updated too. Using Microsoft Account, your personal settings are synced to any PC running Windows 8 CP.

  • The Windows Experience Index (WEI) in Windows 8 CP now ranges from 1 to 9.9. While it was 1 to 7.9 in Windows 7 and if I remember correctly it was 1 to 5.9 in Windows Vista.


  • We regularly take screenshots and for this we either use some tools or we use our PrntScr key to take the screenshot and then we have to paste that in Paint or such application before saving. Now Windows 8 CP has provided a fantastic way to get a screenshot. Just press WinKey+PrntScr, your screen will flicker for a moment indicating the screenshot has been captured and the Screenshot gets saved in Picture folder as .PNG file and it gets named as Screenshot (#) .PNG

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  • Windows 8 CP comes with Internet Explorer 10 which now has the option to install new version automatically.

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  • When you are copying/moving/deleting large amount of data files, then click on ‘More details’ to show the real-time graphical display of the data transfer.

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  • Windows 8 CP comes pre-installed with collection of App and provides App Store to access lots more. There are lots of interesting Apps to try out. But remember these Apps are still work-in-progress as some of them are labeled ‘App Preview’, so you might have some glitches while trying these Apps.
  • One of the interesting App is the ‘Reader’ App which supports PDF files. At present it doesn’t have much options. There are many, many more interesting Apps which you can give it a try.

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  • With No Start Button in Windows 8 CP and being more Touch friendly, there are many new keyboard shortcuts which we will take them in a separate post. Remember the screen corners are Hot and provides various option when Mouse cursor moved to corners. One of them I’m mentioning here – just Move your Mouse Pointer to bottom left (Where earlier Start button was there) and Right Click to get access to various System management tools and settings.

  • To display Administrative Tools on your Start screen as apps, Move the Mouse cursor to bottom right to open Charms menu, Click Settings > then again Settings under Start and move the switch to Yes for ‘Show Administrative Tools’


  • This is the icon of the Hard disk drive where Windows 8 CP is installed. Note the new Windows Flag icon.


On booting, Windows 8 CP displays this image –


  • As in Windows 8 DP, if one wants to start in Safe mode, use Shift +F8 when booting. If you are dual booting you’ll be getting the Graphical Interface menu


By choosing ‘Change Defaults or choose other options’ and from the various Subsequent screens , choose Choose other options > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Windows Startup Settings >


And when you restart you get the ‘Enable Safe Mode’ and various other options to choose. This was there in Windows 8 DP also, only very minor changes.

  • To run the Metro apps you should at least have a resolution of 1024 X 768 . So Netbook users, please make a note before installing Windows 8 CP. Minimum RAM requirement is quite impressive – 1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • A feature where you can snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768.
  • If you are one of those who use msconfig for managing various Startup programs, please note that this section has been moved to Task Manager. Yes that’s convenient.Screenshot (27)
  • Windows 8 CP comes pre-installed with Windows Defender (Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials have been combined into a single tool called Windows Defender) to keep your PC secure.

So these are some Windows 8 CP tidbits, we will take tips related to Keyboard shortcuts, gestures, mouse in a separate post. If you know other such tidbits on Windows 8 CP, do share them here.

Go here to see some more cool tidbits about Windows 8.

30 more facts you need to know about Windows 8 may also interest you.

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The author has been a Microsoft MVP awardee in various Windows categories (2006-2016) and currently a Windows Insider MVP. A Technology Enthusiast, interested in anything technical and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products. He is actively associated with various Microsoft online communities, forums, Newsgroups and has been actively involved in Beta testing various Microsoft products and bug submissions.