Windows 8 streamlines searches

— 12:11 PM on October 20, 2011

Although many PC enthusiasts cringe at the touch-friendly Metro user interface that will be a big part of Windows 8, it's clear that Microsoft hasn't forgotten about power users. Over the past few months, the Building Windows 8 blog has highlighted a number of new interface elements designed to make the OS more efficient for notebook and desktop users. The latest to be outlined is the expanded search functionality built into the start screen. Microsoft Program Manager Brian Uphoff explains:

The blog post has an interesting breakdown of how the Windows 7 Start search function is actually being used. Searching for programs is apparently the most popular task, and Windows 8 will have a handy keyboard shortcut that does just that. There are also keyboard shortcuts to tailor one's search to settings or files exclusively. Each search type displays its results slightly differently, which makes sense given how everything has been segmented.

Keenly aware of its critics, Microsoft is quick to point out that this new search functionality doesn't replace the Run dialog box or a blanket Start search that includes applications, settings, and files. Those functions take the same number of keystrokes as in Windows 7, and the targeted searches should require even fewer.

In addition to tweaking the interface, Microsoft has also gone under the hood to speed up searching in Windows 8. Application searches reportedly execute 45-58% faster on notebooks and desktop PCs, and they're a whopping 78% quicker on netbooks. Haters gonna hate, but the more I learn about Windows 8, the more interested I become.

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