Windows 8 Consumer Preview Has Universal Spellcheck, Microsoft Account ‘Roaming’

So, while you wait for that Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO to download (you are downloading it, right?), here’s a brief and to-the-point rundown of the cool, more major improvements in the CP build.

Universal Spellcheck

Smug OS X users now have one less thing to taunt Windows users about; a feature that has been requested for a while now – universal, system-wide spellcheck – has finally been implemented in Windows.

Out With The Start Button, In With The Start Preview Thumbnail

One recent colossal change from a usability standpoint is the removal of the start button from the desktop (something that we have recently observed in leaked screenshots). While the functionality – though largely modified, in the form of the new Start Screen – remains, it’s still the removal of an iconic and well-known feature to users that has been there since Windows 95.

Nevertheless, while the actual start button is gone, they have essentially replaced it with something called a “start preview thumbnail” which can be accessed by hovering over the bottom-left corner beneath where the start button once occupied. Upon doing so, a small thumbnail will pop up that you can click to get to the start screen.

There will also be a menu that’s retrievable via right-click that will allow you to access a few important parts of Windows, such as Run,

Voosh! Flyout Notifications

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… wait, nope, it’s a Flyout notification! And it’s here to deliver a confirmation prompt, or some other notification that’s based off of your recent interaction with something. They can be dismissed via touch by tapping elsewhere, or by clicking on the “X”.

Boot Forward

So, since Windows 8 cold boots to the desktop so quickly, it’s near impossible to hit the F8 key in time to access boot options. There’s a new feature in the Consumer Preview called Boot Forward that will allow you to specify these boot options right before you reboot in Windows. 

Microsoft Account

Remember last week when Rafael Rivera discovered “Microsoft Your Account”, which is essentially a consolidated hotpot of various other billing portals of the company? It appears that this unified login service will play a big role in the OS. Imagine that you’re using a Metro app on your Windows 8 desktop, and you want to pick up where you left off when you take your WOA tablet to the toilet with you. Basically, thanks to Microsoft Account Metro app settings and states will roam between PCs.

You’ll also be able to utilize credential storage that roams across PCs as well, that will allow you to automatically log into websites using saved passwords.

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Paul Paliath

Paul Paliath is a designer. You should follow me on Twitter here.