Windows 8 RTM: Salient Changes & New Features


Since the release of the Developer’s Preview of Windows 8 in September last year, we have seen the operating system progressing a little bit in every subsequently-released package. During this time, we at AddictiveTips, have made sure to cover everything related to Windows 8, and you can read our detailed coverage of Windows 8 to find out everything you need to know. Yesterday, Microsoft released the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version of Windows 8 – the final version that will be available to the consumers once it is made public. Just like the Consumer Preview and Release Preview, the RTM version also comes without any surprises. Other than some new apps and a facelift for others, such as the new Bing App, the Personalization Tattoos, and revamped interface of the People app, there is not much that users have not seen before. In this post, we will look at all the new, as well as updated features and apps in the Windows 8 RTM release.

Personalization Tattoos

In the previous versions, the Start Screen was only customizable to the extent of changing the background color and choosing between a few designs, Now, you can change the look of your Start Screen by applying Personalization Tattoos onto the Start Screen. The good thing about these tattoos is that they can be used in combination with the background color feature. So, you get a large number of background choices by combining the two options.

Windows 8 Personlization Tattoos

New App For Bing

As anticipated, the RTM version includes the new app for Bing. It is designed to be in congruence with all the other elements of the operating system, including tiles and horizontal scrolling. The search results are displayed in a neat, tiled pattern, and infinite horizontal scrolling removes the need to click for getting to a new results page. You can compare it to the Image results page in Google where just scrolling through the results loads up the new images.

Some features, such as looking for directions to a particular place, are made more app-specific and taken out of the Bing app. For instance, if you have to look for directions, you have to open the Maps app instead of searching through Bing. This is a step down from the browser-based version of Bing that allows you to directly perform such functions as finding directions and looking for flights.

Windows 8 Bing App

Search Enabled In Windows Store

Previously, to search for an app in the Windows Store, you had to access the Start Screen, enter your search, and open the Windows Store to view the apps related to your query. However, in the RTM version, the type-to-search function has also been extended to the Windows Store, meaning that you can search for an app from inside the Windows Store. Just start typing and the search bar will appear, automatically removing the need to go to the Start Screen first.

Windows 8 Store Search

New Interface For People App

The People app has been revamped to look more organized than the previous versions. Instead of tabs for Me and What’s New sections of the app, now there are separate pages for accessing the notifications and updates from all your connected accounts. The Me page shows your own picture and all the updates and notifications related to your connected accounts, while the What’s New page displays all your friends and all their updates together in one place.

Windows 8 People

Aero Glass Effect Removed

The Aero Glass Effect introduced in Windows Vista has been let go in the RTM release of Windows 8. While some people might not like the lack of effects, in my opinion the Desktop looks very neat. The differentiation between multiple open windows is still possible as the edges of the selected window are colored, while others are greyed out. We believe this change will make the operating system more optimized for tablets.

Windows 8 Aero Removed

All in all, there are no major changes on the visual end of Windows 8 RTM, compared to Release Preview, and we might even see more updates for the default apps through Windows Store. For now, this is all that Windows 8 has to offer to its potential users.

  • Nice article.. great work!

  • The lack of Aero is going to drive me nuts. First thing I’ll do when I get this is find a hack that replaces Aero, and kills Metro.

    • The Muss

      There should be aero theme for that. Remember when some laptops came with “Basic Theme” which didn’t have some of those aero effects. You could change it aero theme and done. Just check it if it’s there.

    • The Muss

      There should be aero theme for that. Remember when some laptops came with “Basic Theme” which didn’t have some of those aero effects. You could change it aero theme and done. Just check it if it’s there.

      • grayscale00

        aero != glass. Aero theme is still there. In fact, it’s on by default. It’s the glass effect that is gone. There are those who were able to re-enable glass but since the blur effect is gone, title bar isn’t recognizable. Plus, it screws up the display so it is not advised.

        • Thanks for the info! I just installed the Release Preview of 8, and I like it so far. The sheer speed of it will let me overlook the lack of Glass… for now.

  • They had overcome many amazing changes that might be change the future of windows in the market

  • Been using win8 since cp, and now I’m on the 90 day RTM. I’m loving the new OS, and especially the fact that they got rid of ugly-ass Aero and its cheap, gaudy, wasteful effects. I’ve been an IT geek for 16 years, and this is the best direction windows has taken since NT became the primary OS core 🙂

    • bash

      it doesn’t matter how old are you and how long you’ve been using it. The question is WHAT you do on this computer. If it’s a tablet then ok, but if workstatio/development machine, then it’s far too…overblown.

      • I disagree. I’m using it on a laptop (Macbook Pro) and on 2 different desktops. It works great, I have zero issues with it 🙂

      • grayscale00

        Overblown in what way? Have you actually tried it? I’m asking because you can actually work on this without having bothered by any of the UI changes except the start screen when you use search.

    • I’ve been using Windows 8 ever since one of the very first milestone was leaked to the web over a year ago. It was way before they added metro to it or removed the startmenu. But I love it so much. I upgraded my laptop which was pre-installed with Windows 7 to Windows 8 RP and soon-to-be the RTM version. I agree with you on getting rid of the “ugly-ass Aero”. I’ve been a computer geek for about 11 years and I’m proud of it and I can’t wait for Windows 8 to be fully released and for Surface to be available.

  • GeorgiaCowboy

    This WHOLE concept is just better for phones and tablets.
    WILL be sticking with 7.

  • SkinyMikeOfDoom

    No no no no! You’re doing it even MORE
    wrong, I like aero, It is part of the new identity. If I wanted an ugly but
    functional OS I’d use a Linux distro. Thankfully Ubuntu is starting to look
    better and better and has aero like effects… and steam is moving to the
    platform… The times, they are a-changing. It’s also aiming for a mobile
    market, You can already run ubuntu on the latest android devices WITH AERO
    LIKE FEATURES! I am a Microsoft fanboi but I’m starting to doubt.

    • Aero is garbage. It wastes system resources–memory, CPU and GPU time-that should be freed for use by applications. I’m GLAD they’ve dumped aero, and I’ve never liked it.

  • bash

    Using Windows 7 makes me nervous due to flicking selection/underscoring lines and no ability to customize the most important user program that is Windows Explorer. Selecting anything on the left panel is no ergonomic at all. In the end, I use Windows 7 but without any Metro, Luna or whatever its named. If Windows 8 won’t have a “classic view”, then I probably move to Linux in the end. Well, I still can use XP as virtual machine and I’m even willing to pay for W7 for virtual machine than using….those “fantastic guis”
    By the way, if we already speak about ergonomics, I recently got one program that is damn egronomic one – you can use keyboard shortcuts, all in one place (under settings button) and really easy to use. It’s called Marxio File Checksum Verifier.
    Check it out and see youself.
    No, Im not connected with this program in any way, but simply like….simple interfaces.

  • Mustafa Farooq

    uhhh….shouldnt those names and email address be censored in the people app……just saying , i am a big supporter of avoiding Identity Theft……

  • Sukumargv

    Oh damn, This stuff looks awesome…I can’t wait to test it hands on! 😀

  • markiz

    You don’t have to go back to the start screen to search the store. There are charms!

  • All in all, I’m happy with Windows 8(grabbed RTM from Technet). It is much, much easier to just ignore Metro than people would have you believe. And there’s shortcuts and key combos to satisfy my missing of anything stripped out from Windows 7. (Win+r, then devmgmt.msc for device manager…. start+letters for quickly searching installed apps…. pinning control panel to taskbar for easy access to Windows Update, Control Panel, BitLocker, etc.)

    That said, I am a tech/sysadmin/enthusiast/whatever and very adaptive. I can see how Windows 8 will be a terrible nightmare for beginners, novices, and “I just want it to work”-ers. Things are thrown everywhere, hidden out of plain sight, and everything is very, very contextual.

    • Yeah, I’m in the same boat. I like it – but I can see it being very confusing, and very frustrating, without a touchscreen or hotkey skills.

  • vision33r

    Need a good shutdown app or tweak, so difficult to shutdown Win8.