Windows 8 will implement Family Safety for worrying parents…

President of Microsoft’s Windows Division, Steve Sinofsky, this morning announced– via the Building Windows 8 Blog, that the next iteration of Windows OS will cater more efficiently to families who wish to keep tabs on their children’s IT footprints.

Shipping with the upcoming Windows 8 Release Preview, Microsoft Family Safety is a tool that parents can use to record and manage application and internet usage for specific Windows User Accounts. Sinofsky notes that activating Family Safety is as simple as “creating a separate user account for each child, and then checking the box to turn on Family Safety. As soon as you do, you’ll receive a welcome email followed by weekly email reports summarising your child’s computer activities“.

Screenshot of a sample weekly activity report showing most popular websites, latest searches, PC time used, most used apps and games, and more

As you can see, a typical Weekly Activity Report includes information relating to:

~ Popular website visits
~ Search Engine entries
~ The amount of time spent “logged-in”
~ Application usage
~ Windows Store Downloads.

For those parents who want “more control”, Windows 8 will also add an array of new restrictions that can be placed on account holders, including:

~ Web Filtering: Web Filtering will allow PC Administrators to restrict what websites Standard Account holders can and cannot visit, and can even be configured to send alerts to Administrators when “suspicious” sites are visited.
~ Time Limits: In addition to Windows 7’s Bedtime Limits, Windows 8 will introduce options that will allow Administrators to restrict the amount of time each Standard Account holder can spend on their PC.

Can you see yourself using Microsoft’s Family Safety feature? In addition, what would you like to see added to Family Safety– do you think Microsoft have excluded something you feel is important? Leave a comment below, and tell us.

  • Nexus_28

    I have a big problem with letting my children “learn” they cannot be trusted and have to be supervised even when we are not physically around. Worried? Educate your child, don’t spy on them.

  • techau

    I think monitoring younger kids is fine, but agree that as teenagers grow to adults, education is the best policy.

  • Nexus_28

    I can see where you’re coming from; as a parent I cannot say I am not worried about my children’s online activities. However, I would suggest that instead of monitoring a younger kid, doing the online activities together with them is better. I will admit to not having found the golden path, though…