In the past, The Task Manager included in each version of a Windows OS has been a standard tool that is used to monitor processes and system usage. When the Windows 8 design team began to redesign the popular application that most use at one time or another. And to make this the most applicable version of The Task Manager the team took time to make the most user friendly graphic interface to date in the Windows OS family.
Even the most novice of computer users find themselves face to face with the task manager at one time or another. The problem was that often the listing of processes were very familiar to anyone who doesn’t make a habit of memorizing the executable file names. This made using The Task Manager a rather frightful moment.
After doing some research of their own, the Windows Development team decided to make the default view of The Task Manager an easier to understand interface that just about any PC user will be able to read over and quickly point out each process and if their are any issues to be dealt with by only listing the true names of the processes instead of the .exe files. If any processes are frozen or acting oddly, on this default view it will be pointed out.
The Windows Development team also found that an overwhelming number of users who utilized The Task Manager were doing so simply to shut down a process that would not shut down in the usual ways such as closing a program or application or exiting. Because of this, they streamlined that process as well so that users will no longer have to request the end of a process, and then confirming it each time as well.
For more knowledgeable users who prefer to see all processes running and not just the applications then there is the option to view a more complete view of processes that resembles The Task Manager of Windows 7. The listing of processes still shows actual process names, but also allows users to include the .exe file names as well.
Perhaps one of the most helpful additions to the old Task Manager is the implementation of grouping. By listing applications in use separately from background processes and Windows processes it takes no time at all to locate a particular process that may need some monitoring or a shut down. It alos helps to cut down the occurrence of mistakenly shutting down a process that is needed to run your Operating System properly.
In this detailed view users can also quickly determine if any applications are using more than is expected from your system’s resources. Of course the percentage usage listings have always been helpful but so that these overages can be found even quicker, a highlighting feature called a heat map will help determine with ease these system depleting processes and how severe the overage is.
Parent and Child Processes
When on the fence rather to not to shut down a process that is unfamiliar most will begin a web search to find out if it is safe or if the process, no matter how power hungry, is needed for the smooth running of your PC. To help make this easier the new Task Manager includes web search on the drop down menu. But for some precesses often the search provides little or no real answers. This is most often the case for a file like svchost.exe which covers a multitude of small process that run your OS. Closing out an svchost.exe could send you straight to the dreaded blue screen, cause an automatic shut down or simply freeze your computer.
Now in Task Manager users are not limited to just the initial process filename. Users can see for themselves which processes are listed under the parent process. This gives users a much better idea of what they can and can not close without disrupting the operation of their PC. It also has the potential to locate trouble within the processes with less guessing.
Good or Bad?
As someone who uses The Task Manager to check my computer’s system and health on a regular basis, I am looking forward to the regular implementation of many of these new features. I especially like that the designers took into account what most people, including myself, regularly use the task manager for. Finding and ending system processes that are slowing down the overall performance of the computer or device in question.
The design is familiar and should not put anyone off who is familiar with the Task Managers included in previous versions of Windows. At the same time it will be much easier for the average user to read and understand without having to guess or cross their fingers while checking out processes or shutting them down so that the system will run more efficiently.