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New features and enhancements in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

Last Updated: 1/11/2017

This section of the document describes enhancements and new features that can improve both the users' and the developers' experience. A few of them, however, have impacts that developers need to be aware of regarding their existing and new products. Below is the list of new features and enhancements, grouped by feature area:

Security

  • Early launch antimalware
  • Secure boot feature signing requirements for kernel-mode drivers
  • Measured Boot

Performance

  • Startup apps
  • Resilient file systems
  • File server API support
  • Automatic Maintenance

Usability

  • Third-party input method editors

Storage and file system

  • Tracking modified ranges of a file in Windows 8.1
  • New API allows apps to send "TRIM and Unmap" hints to storage media
  • Multipath I/O now supports extended storage request blocks
  • Resilient file systems
  • File server API support
  • New File History feature
  • Operating system now controls power to optical disk drives

USB

  • Support for USB 3.0
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