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Windows 8 - Network Configuration

Microsoft might have given a huge face-lift to its Windows Operating System but the truth is that somewhere somehow it is the same old core with new visual user interface. Many of us who have been running Windows 8 Pro for sometime may tell this easily.

Working on Windows 8 Pro feels like running two operating systems in parallel - the new Windows Metro style and the old Windows 7 interface. For most of the functionality we have two ways to do a single task. Two different control panels, Internet Explorer and even different audio video players.

This is enough to confuse any naive user. But let's take this as a transition from the old to the new. Microsoft seems to be testing the waters. As the platform evolves, we have more apps, Microsoft may in the future drop support for one and continue with the other. But in due course of this evolution they need to understand that somethings will have to be changed. The earlier way of doing some particular thing will not work now.

A big example is the network configuration. Presently, most of our systems may have two or more network devices, umm...say a LAN port and a WiFi interface. This is very common with laptops. We configure the network adapter, say with an IP address and choose the network to connect. This is so weird!

Imagine a user having to connect to two networks one at home another at work using the same network adapter, say a WiFi one. For the work network the user has to configure IP address and may be a certificate for authentication. For the home network only a secure key is enough.

So, in order to use both the networks, the user has to keep on changing at least the IP configuration at home or work. Or, create two network adapters and disable and enable them one at a time. So confusing!

Take a mobile device on the other hand - a Symbian or an Android. You have to select the network, configure the IP and the certificate and you're good to go. Anytime you have to change the network, just select the particular network you want to connect to and that's it. No more changing IP settings or enabling disabling issues.

Not sure how Microsoft will manage this in Windows 8 or later versions, but this feature is a must to make users' lives easier.

Simplicity gives power to grow!

- Vivek


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