If you have followed the buzz surrounding Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 8 you may have noticed that the Redmond company has redesigned the Windows Task Manager. When you first open it it only displays programs that have been started by the user. While that's probably ok for the majority of users, it is nothing that experienced users would want to work with.
A click on More Details in the Task Manager expands the display to make it look more like the Task Manager known from previous Windows versions.
When you look closer though you will notice that there are fundamental differences that may make the Task Manager unusable for system administrators and tech savvy users. Lets take a look at the Task Manager in Windows 8:
And now as a comparison the Task Manager in Windows 7:
Probably the first thing that you will notice is that the Windows 8 Task Manager is dividing processes into groups like Applications, Background Processes or Windows Processes. This may provide a better overview of tasks, but some users may criticize that it is now more difficulty to look at all tasks as they are not sorted alphabetically anymore. You can change the display with a right-click on the status bar and a click on "Group by Type" there.
If you look closer, you will notice that Windows 8 displays service and application names instead of the process executable. Microsoft has removed the option to add or remove columns from the View menu. You now need to right-click on a column in the Task Manager to see the selection of available information that you can display in the window. Among the options is the process name which adds the file executable to the interface again.
Good thing is that Windows will remember the modifications that you have made to the Task Manager. It will launch the task manager in detailed view directly and with the layout changes that you have made in a previous session.
I personally dislike the way the new Task Manager is delivered to the user. The default state is absolutely useless and the detailed view only becomes a working solution once you make the modifications mentioned above. Once you have modified it it resembles the old task manager. Some users on the other hand may feel the need to switch to a task manager replacement like Process Explorer instead.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.