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The Windows 8 Device Manager looks a lot like its counterpart from earlier versions. On the Driver, tab, you can still see the exact version number of the currently installed driver, which is often useful troubleshooting information.
But this version has a new Events tab, which offers a historical view of what you and Windows have done with that device over time. Previously, you would have needed a Windows black belt to find these details in the Event Viewer. Now, you can just click to see when each driver update occurred.
In this example, I can see that Windows installed the original driver for this device on March 20 at 4:47 PM, and I manually updated the driver less than 10 minutes later. The View All Events button takes you to Event Viewer, where a custom view shows all relevant events. No ninja skills required.
This one surprised me, I confess.
By default, when you have two monitors installed, the taskbar is duplicated on both monitors. That's kind of ... wasteful, wouldn't you say?
So right-click either taskbar, click Properties, and look at the options under the Multiple displays heading. Clear the Show taskbar on all displays checkbox if you want only one taskbar on the main display. My preference, though, is to show all taskbar buttons on the main display and on the secondary display show only buttons for programs actually on that display.
If you use multiple monitors, try this. You'll like it.
Speaking of multiple monitors...
Windows 8 finally overcomes one of the most frustrating multi-mon limitations in Windows 7. You can now display a different desktop background on each monitor.
To make it happen, right-click the desktop, choose Personalize, and then click Desktop background to open this dialog box.
Right-click any image to see the very well hidden shortcut menu shown here. Pick one image for Monitor 1, another for Monitor 2, and you're done.
Bonus: If you choose multiple images and set them as a slideshow, you can change the pacing for each monitor so that it's constantly mixing images.