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Photography by Jim Norton

Microsoft’s reimagined operating system ain’t your daddy’s Windows. Here’s our overview of the new OS, some apps optimized for it and the biggest selection of Windows 8 devices in Canada from Rogers.

What’s so great about Windows 8?

It’s the first platform to launch simultaneously on personal computers, smartphones and tablets, providing smooth synchronicity between all devices. But that’s just the beginning.

Start Screen
W8 replaces the old desktop’s small, static icons with customizable tiles. Called your Start screen, all the apps, contacts and info you need are now in one place – all updated automatically.

Multi-Device OS
Whether you’re on a W8 PC, smartphone or tablet, you’ll experience consistency on all devices. In fact, when you sign into any of your W8 devices, your settings and apps are automatically synced between them. You can start a document on one device and continue it on another, for example.

Rogers & Microsoft
As the preferred wireless partner of Windows 8 in Canada, and the first carrier to offer the new OS to Canadians, Rogers and its LTE network unlock the full capabilities of W8 on LTE-enabled devices. Plus, Rogers Anyplace TV, My Account and Rogers One Number apps are also available for W8 devices, and you can easily browse and buy new apps with the integrated Windows Store.

Putting People First
Accessible from the Start screen, the People app pulls up all your contacts and, for each one, shows phone numbers, email addresses and more, plus their social networking information and recent activity so you can stay up to date
more quickly and easily.

Secure, Safe & Private:
W8 ships with a full-featured and free anti-malware solution called Windows Defender, which protects you right from the get-go. An optional app, called Microsoft Family Safety, can filter and monitor your kids’ online activities and send you email reports with info, such as which sites they’re going to online and how long they’ve been online.

Hands-on with W8 devices

Rogers offers the largest selection of Windows 8 devices in Canada. Here’s what’s on the roster.

Samsung Ativ Smart PC

While Microsoft’s own Surface tablets seem to get all the attention, Samsung’s Ativ Smart PC (model 500T) is a Windows 8–powered tablet that offers the functionality of a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet.

For one, the Ativ offers an 11.6-inch LED touchscreen that snaps into a fitted keyboard base (not included) when you
need it, morphing it into a thin and light ultrabook.

Behind the scenes, the 1.65-pound tablet is powered by an Intel Atom Z2760 processor, 2 GB of system memory (RAM) and 64 GB of Solid State Drive storage. Unlike most tablets, the Ativ also offers 4G/LTE wireless for rapid, high-speed
wireless connectivity.

The Ativ Smart PC at a Glance:
Display: 11.6-inch LED touchscreen
Connectivity: LTE
Extras: 13.5-hour battery, dual cameras

Samsung Ativ S

As with other Windows Phone 8 devices, the Samsung Ativ S smartphone benefits from live tiles instead of static icons, builtin familiar Microsoft apps (such as Outlook & Internet Explorer) and integrated support for Microsoft’s SkyDrive (7 GB of free online storage).

Between the phone’s huge 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display and 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, this W8 device is great for movies and games. The sleek 8.7 mm metallic body also makes this the thinnest Windows phone to date, but it doesn’t sacrifice durability, thanks in part to its ultra-strong Corning Gorilla Glass 2 display.

The Ativ S Smartphone at a Glance:
Display: 4.8-inch touchscreen
Connectivity: LTE, HSPA+
Cameras: 8.0-MP rear, 1.9-MP front
Extras: Expanded memory, NFC

Windows Phone 8X by HTC

Powered by Beats Audio and a dedicated amp built into the phone, the 8X was made for music. In fact, this is the first Windows Phone to have Beats Audio technology to boost the audio power and quality from your device – including deeper bass, full mids and detailed highs.

Along with its sculpted design, HTC’s first Windows Phone 8 device also features a wide-angle front camera lens that
can capture everyone in a group shot, and a bright 4.3-inch HD display reinforced with Gorilla Glass 2.

The HTC 8X at a Glance:
Display: 4.3-inch touchscreen
Connectivity: LTE
Cameras: 8.0-MP rear, 2.1-MP front
Extras: Expanded memory, NFC

Nokia Lumia 920

This next-generation Windows Phone 8 device is quite the looker with its bright 4.5-inch screen and slender body. But what’s under the hood is what makes this smartphone so appealing.

Along with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, the Nokia Lumia 920 rocks high-speed 4G/LTE connectivity, near field communications (NFC) technology for mobile payments and wireless charging (when placed on a compatible battery dock).

Most impressive, perhaps, is the phone’s PureView camera. The 8.7-megapixel rear-facing camera offers exceptional lowlight performance (taking in up to five times more light than other smartphone cameras), optical image stabilization and support for a number of fun filters.

The Lumia 920 at a Glance:
Display: 4.5-inch touchscreen
Connectivity: LTE
Cameras: 8.7-MP Carl Zeiss rear, 1.3-MP front
Extras: Wireless charging dock, NFC

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