Bitlocker drive encryption

The new Bitlocker is largely similar to the version included in Windows 7—it can be used to encrypt both internal hard drives and removable storage.The main difference is that Bitlocker will now offer to encrypt only the used portion of your hard disk, rather than the entire voume—as in Windows Vista and Windows 7, encrypting your laptop’s hard drive doesn’t require a TPM module, but it does work best with one. Bitlocker will also offer to save your hard drive’s recovery key to SkyDrive.

I'm really hoping that Windows 8's emphasis on security and mobile computing devices means that Bitlocker is extended to more Windows editions—in both Vista and 7, it was available only in the top-tier Ultimate edition and the volume licensed Enterprise edition. We don't know anything about Windows 8 editions yet, but the responsible thing for Microsoft to do would be to make drive encryption available for more of its users.

File History

Windows Backup as it existed in Windows 7 is now called “Windows 7 File Transfer,” and is used to restore backups and files created with the Windows 7 Backup control panel. You can still create backups of Windows 8 with this tool if you want, including file backups and full system images, but the new Windows 8 tool designed to keep your data safe is called File History (and, if you needed more proof that File History is intended to replace Windows Backup, the feature won’t work if you have Windows Backup configured).

File History combines the old Windows Backup functionality with the Time Machine-like ability to keep and easily restore multiple versions of old files. Using either an external hard drive or a network share (at least, in the Consumer Preview—home versions of Windows 7 were unable to use network shares for Windows Backup, and a similar limitation may apply here depending on how the Windows 8 product editions shake out), you can backup copies of files in your document, picture, music, and video libraries, as well as your favorites, contacts, and items on your desktop.

If you save your files to a network drive, you can also “recommend” that drive for use to other members of any homegroup that your computer belongs to.

Remote Desktop

There are actually two versions of the Remote Desktop client in Windows 8—the first is a new Metro-style app, pictured above, that can connect to any Remote Desktop host but is optimized especially for Windows 8 and Metro. The second is the classic Remote Desktop client, which despite being updated to version 6.2 is hidden away in a system folder (the exact path is C:\Windows\System32\mstsc.exe) and is not present either on the Start screen or in any of the Windows Search sections—its operation is basically the same as in previous Windows versions, and it doesn't include the special Metro-centric controls of the Metro-style Remote Desktop app. Take note of this if you need (or prefer) to use the older client.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender, a lightweight anti-malware product first integrated into Windows Vista, has also been given an upgrade. Older versions of the program scanned only for spyware, but the Windows 8 revision picks up the anti-virus engine from the Microsoft Security Essentials product that XP, Vista, and 7 users must download and install separately. Microsoft Security Essentials is my anti-virus product of choice for my computers at home, and it's nice to see this basic level of protection (finally) make it into a default Windows install. Anti-virus companies like Symantec and McAfee may cry foul, but this is a net gain for users and for the state of security in Windows.

Windows 8 and the Enterprise: Windows To Go, Deployment Tools, and a Business Perspective Under the Hood: Networking Improvements and Drivers


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  • yannigr - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    This is more of a funny post but.... do you hate AMD systems? Are AMD processors extinct? I mean 8 systems ALL with Intel cpus? Come on. Test an AMD system JUST FOR FUN..... We will not tell Intel. It will be a secret. :p Reply
  • Gothmoth - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link


    who is still using AMD?
    except some poor in third world countrys?

    no.. im just joking... AMD is great and makes intel cheaper.. if only they would be a real competition.

    but what about ARM?
    that would be more interesting.. but i guess we have to wait for that.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    In defense of Andrew's choice of CPU, you'll note that there's only one desktop system and the rest are laptops. Sorry to break it to you, but Intel has been the superior laptop choice ever since Pentium M came to market. Llano and Brazos are the first really viable AMD-based laptops, and both of those are less than a year old. AFAIK, Andrew actually purchased (or received from some other job) the laptops he used for testing, and they're all at least a year old. Obviously, the MacBook stuff doesn't use AMD CPUs, so that's three of the systems.

    As for the two laptops I tested, they're also Intel-based, but I only have one laptop with an AMD processor right now, and it's a bit of a weirdo (it's the Llano sample I received from AMD). I wouldn't want to test that with a beta OS, simply because it's likely to have driver issues and potentially other wonkiness. Rest assured we'll be looking at AMD systems and laptops when Win8 is final, but in the meantime the only thing likely to be different is performance, and that's a well-trod path.
  • DiscoWade - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    Last year, I needed to buy a new laptop. I wanted a Blu-Ray drive and a video card. I thought I would have to settle for a $1000 computer with an Intel processor. I had narrowed my choices down to a few all with the Intel i-series CPU. When I went to test some out at Best Buy, because I wanted to play with the computer to see if I liked it, I saw a discontinued HP laptop on sale for $550. It was marked down from $700. It had the AMD A8 Fusion CPU and a video card and a Blu-Ray drive. So I got a quad-core CPU with 4 hour actual battery life that runs like a dream very cheap. I was a little apprehensive at first with buying the AMD CPU, but a few days of use allayed my fears.

    If you say Intel makes better laptop CPU's, you haven't used the AMD A series CPU. It has great battery life and it runs great. How often will I use my laptop for encoding video and music? The dual-AMD graphics is really nice. Whenever I run a new program, it prompts which graphic card to use, the discrete for power savings or the video card for maximum performance. I like that.

    Yes if I wanted more power, the Intel is the way to go. But my laptop isn't meant for that. And most people don't need the extra performance from an Intel CPU. Every AMD A8 and A6 I've used runs just as good for my customers and friends who don't need the extra performance of an Intel.

    However, I haven't yet been successful installing my TechNet copy of W8CP on this laptop. I'm going to try again this weekend while watching lots of college basketball. (I love March Madness!) If anybody can help, I would appreciate if you let me know at this link:
  • MrSpadge - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    You do realize that Jared explicitely excluded Llano and Brazos from his comment? A8, A6, A4 - they're all Llano. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I'm actually shocked he didn't use an AMD E-series laptop (HP DM1z, Lenovo x120/x130, etc) as they have sold hundreds of thousands in the last 12 months. I see a DM1z every time I'm in an airport, and x120's are very commonplace in education.

    Remembering the Sandybridge chipset recall last year, this really gave AMD a head start selling low power, long battery life laptops, and they have sold very well, and belong in this review when you consider the only laptops you can buy new for <$400 are AMD laptops, and that is a huge market.
  • silverblue - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    This isn't a review. Also, he didn't have one.

    Quite open to somebody benching a DM1z on W8CP, though. ;)
  • phoenix_rizzen - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    While Intel may have the better performance CPU in laptops, they have the *worst* (integrated) graphics possible in laptops, and have 0 presence in the sub-$500 CDN market.

    You'd be surprised how many people actually use AMD-based laptops, especially up here in Canada, mainly for three reasons:
    - CPU is "good enough"
    - good quality graphics are more important than uber-fast CPU
    - you can't beat the price (17" and 19" laptops with HD4000+ graphics for under $500 CDN, when the least expensive Intel-based laptop has crap graphics and starts at over $700 CDN)
  • frozentundra123456 - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    A bit confused by your post. What is HD 4000 graphics? Granted Llano is superior to SB, but Llano is 66xx series isnt it? I though AMD 4000 series was a motherboard integrated graphics solution that is very weak. Intel SB graphics will be far superior to any integrated solution except Llano.

    I agree for my use, I would buy Llano in a laptop ( and only in a laptop) because I want to do some light gaming, but I dont understand your post. I would also not really call SB graphics "crap" unless you want to play games.
  • inighthawki - Friday, March 9, 2012 - link

    HD 4000 is referring to the intel integrated graphics on the new ivy bridge chips - nothing to do with AMD chips Reply

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