The Windows 8 lockscreen is a new element introduced by Microsoft in the latest edition of the Windows operating system. Unlike its predecessors, Windows 7, Vista or XP, Windows 8 requires a lockscreen because it’s a touch-supportive OS. As in the case of all the touch screen smartphones, it acts like a barrier between accidental inputs and their concretisation. Apart from its main goal, this feature brings at least five new elements that can help you with your every-day routine, elements that can be customised to your own taste and need.
First of all, the Windows 8 lockscreen is made from two basic elements. The screen itself, where all notifications and visual elements meet, and the “password” maze. These areas are optimised for tablets and computers alike, the user being able to jump from one to another using a single swipe/click. Both parts can be customized easily, to adjust your needs and feel and to make your work easier. Until now, a computer “lock-screen” was meant for unlocking the computer only. Microsoft evolved the concept and brought it to a standard useful enough to the viewer.
We are going to show you how to tune every aspect of it and most of all, how a simple lock-screen can make your life easier.
Notifications: As you can see in the image above, under the clock there are some useful notifications, like the battery life, the number of unread emails, messages and the signal strength. Although some of these elements are not available for desktop users, staying in touch is primary. The lockscreen uses an email account that you configured when you first installed Windows 8, your SIM card and so on.
Security: That old, plain, “enter your password” field from Windows 7 is out of fashion. In 8, the user can log on by touching different parts of a picture or by moving the mouse in a predefined way, like in CyanogenMod 7. For example, you can only login if you touch the nose and then swipe the shoulders of your mother’s portrait. Melancholies can also choose the classic input-PIN to stay protected.
Socialisation: An update to #1 above, the lock-screen can be customized to support up to six additional applications, shown as widgets. If they meet the requirements and fit in the display, they will bring content and notifications right on first screen. These apps can be weather related or even social. A complete list of supported programs has yet to be published, but as the OS develops this feature will surely gain popularity.
Stay updated: As you probably hinted, Windows 8 can be updated. Personally, I am not a big fan of these updates in Windows 7, because they are so…mandatory. Each time the OS remembered it needed something a simple restart would put me in a 20 minute break where the blue screen begged me not to interrupt the process. Well, in Windows 8, if the update option is activated, the OS gives the user priority. You can choose when to install the updates and you have a two days minimal interval to make up your mind.
Relax: Last but not least, this lock-screen helps you stray bad thoughts out of mind. Because it is customisable, you can choose what image you want to display. Therefore, you can take some time off and chill while keeping the OS under lock.