A rundown of Windows 8 features you should know about

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In our bid to keep readers updated about the Windows 8 operating system, we've covered a fair amount of ground about Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) upcoming operating system here. The large number of new features may have proven confusing for some, however, and some useful features may have been sidelined in mainstream reports.

After spending a few months with the developer preview release, John Brandon of Computerworld has put together 13 less-discussed features about Windows 8. Here they are, with some links to our past coverage for more details.

Fast boot-up: Significantly improved boot time over Windows 7. (Windows 8 to feature significantly faster bootup time)

Reset and refresh: Quick step-by-step wizards to reset (or refresh) without having to reinstall. (Windows 8 to feature 'push-button' reformatting)

Windows To Go: Essentially allows a user's local install to be loaded into a flash drive. (Check out Windows 8 could be booted from a USB Flash Drive)

The Windows Store: Will basically mimic the Mac App Store; free trial version expected for many apps and games. (Windows Store could be the next big thing)

Ribbon interface: Will appear in places like Windows Explorer and the Hyper-V management app.

Wi-Fi Direct support: Support for Wi-Fi Direct now natively built-in.

NFC support: Support for near field communication.

Native ISO image support: Double-click on ISO image file to view image as a virtual optical drive.

Side-by-side apps on tablets: Run two Metro apps on the screen at the same time.

ARM processor support: Expect devices with a longer battery life. (Windows 8 will be available in ARM)

Windows Live SkyDrive integration: SkyDrive will be integrated directly into Windows 8.

Hyper-V: Hyper-V now appears on the client version of Windows.

Task Manager improved: A redesigned Task Manager that streamlines management of processes.

So which of the above features are you most looking forward to? I've outlined some of my personal favorites in today's editorial.

For more:
- check out this article at Computerworld