Windows 8 Task Manager An Impressive Update To Venerable Functionality - HotHardware
Windows 8 Task Manager An Impressive Update To Venerable Functionality

Windows 8 Task Manager An Impressive Update To Venerable Functionality

The Windows Task Manager has historically been a vital (if boring) workhorse in an OS not generally described with adjectives like "sexy." Windows 8 has set out to change that, and the preliminary information available suggests the new manager is a significant advancement over the old. Microsoft's research indicates that the most common actions performed in Task Manager both relate to ending programs/processes.

With that information in hand, the company has significantly changed the default behavior of the Task Manager, while overhauling the way advanced details are presented. The TM's default view is now entirely devoted to closing tasks.



Click on More Details, and a TM much closer to the classic version appears.



One of the improvements to the new default page is that applications are now gathered by type rather than by individual application instance. Sinofsky writes: "A big challenge with today’s Task Manager is that it is hard to know which processes correspond to an application (apps are generally safe to kill), which are Windows OS processes (killing some of these can cause a blue screen), and which are miscellaneous background processes that may need to be explored more deeply. The new Task Manager shows processes grouped by type, so it is easy to keep these separated while still providing an ungrouped view for situations where you need it."




The new TM can categorize threads depending on whether they're foreground or background processes and color codes column data to allow users to read pertinent information at a glance rather than trying to manually resort the information by column. Applications are now described by function rather than strictly by executable name (users can still choose to see actual executable names rather than relying on descriptions). If you've got 10 Microsoft Word documents open, all ten documents will be gathered and listed under "Microsoft Word" rather than showing up as separate processes.


If you've ever tried to troubleshoot a friend's system by having them read off the processes currently loaded in Task Manager, you know it's a frustrating, occasionally lengthy process of trial and error. One of the additional features of Windows 8's TM is a "Search the Web" option that's accessible from the process list. Some of Microsoft's proposed changes to Windows have been met with considerable skepticism, but the company's efforts to overhaul the Task Manager are intuitive and intelligent. The new color coding simplifies locating potential trouble spots, while the ability to search the web for additional information on an executable will significantly shorten the time it takes to make certain a system is only running what it should be.
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Nice, if only we could get that task manager for Windows 7. Man how grouping apps can make all the difference when it comes to ending apps that eat up a lot of memory/slow down your computer.

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TaylorKarras:
Nice, if only we could get that task manager for Windows 7

Very nice looking and much more user friendly. I would be much more likely to tell my users to go into this task manger and kill something off than the old version. I am thinking we just might be able to get this in Windows 7 at some point. From the looks of it he is actually running both task managers in Windows 7.

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Win8's Task Manager looks good. The MetroUI, on the other hand, looks like a kindergartner ate a box of crayons and then puked into an ice-cube tray.

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Well I suppose the MS crew have to prove that they've done something at work to get a whole lot of pay extra than they deserve to. I personally would not call it "sexy", but it is a change to what it looked like in windows XP operating system. I have not really bothered checking out my other operating systems to see what it looks like though, or I just guess that I forgot, since I don't use them as much as my windows XP OS's. At least they're doing something, but it does not look sexy enough to me.

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It's a change alright and maybe for the good. Although I do agree with gazd1 about the appearance of it, no way can you call it sexy at all.

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Gazd,

2001 called. It wants its OS back.

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Looks like a more robust Task Manger  to incorporate some of Systernals "Mark Russinovich' Process Explorer utilities in a more mainstream Metro UI.Hopefully they can work it out with the Win 8 Preview to use the new Task Manager with the Metro UI disabled.Maybe that will be so as the Preview Build develops or even better to get the updated Task Manager into Win 7  .as a free add-on along the way

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I think not. Why would MS (or any company) start back-porting features like this into old operating systems? When a company develops a game or a major software vendor updates their products, they don't start hanging out its features as back ports.

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Joel H:

I think not. Why would MS (or any company) start back-porting features like this into old operating systems? When a company develops a game or a major software vendor updates their products, they don't start hanging out its features as back ports.

Microsoft may not officially do it but chances are someone will be able to just copy over the task manager in Windows 7 with a copy from Windows 8 to get the features. If it ends up not being that simple I am sure that someone will figure out exactly how to do it.

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Looks great - now if they would only go back and fix Win7 ,,,,,

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