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Desktop Control Panel

The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide
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Windows 8 is a tale of duality. Microsoft prepared versions for two incompatible processor architectures. It catered to two distinct input paradigms with a pair of user interfaces. And it enabled two sets of settings.

Fortunately for anyone adverse to all of the newness that Windows 8 introduces, the desktop Control Panel is basically unchanged from Windows 7, and all of the Windows 8 UI settings are segregated by the Charms Bar, far away from the Desktop. A few of the Control Panel's settings were merged, split, and renamed, but there are really only three major changes to discuss: File History, Location Settings, and Desktop Gadgets. The third one is pretty much self-explanatory, since Windows 8 ditches Desktop gadgets altogether.

File History

File History is Microsoft's answer to one of the killer features in Apple's OS X: Time Machine. Yes, Windows finally gets a mechanism to combat the accidentally-deleted file.

Windows 8 File History has to be run from a disk drive separate from the system drive, and it can either be local or networked.

Location Settings

Location Settings is where you go to enable/disable the Windows Location platform, as well as opt in or out of helping improve Microsoft's location services.

At first, two different mechanisms for controlling system settings may seem silly. But it works advantageously for casual and power users. If you only really use your PC to surf the Web and compose email, you should have little trouble getting around in the Windows 8 UI on its own, making the Desktop Control Panel unnecessary. By the same token, enthusiasts with an aversion to the Windows 8 UI have less need for the Windows 8 PC settings, since the familiar Desktop Control Panel is largely unchanged.

Microsoft also provides enough overlapping settings to ensure that either type of user can get by in the environment of their choosing.

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