Microsoft has added a new feature called Hybrid Boot to current builds of the operating system which appears to be active by default. Hybrid Boot has been designed to reduce startup times after shutting down the computer. For that, the shut down has been turned into a hibernation like feature to speed up the next start of the operating system.
It appears as if only the data needed to start the operating system faster is put into hibernation, not the data that the user is working on. This could be achieved with the default hibernation option instead.
Hybrid boot speeds up the start of the operating system considerably. Windows 8 Italia, the site that discovered the new feature, mentioned that it took 20 seconds to boot. That is definitely less than a standard startup takes, but since we do not know which system the site used to test the feature, we cannot really make a judgement on the average gain.
Dual-boot, or multi-boot system users will not see the default boot manager when they have shut down Windows 8 with Hybrid Boot enabled.
They need to disable the feature to enable the old shut down option again.
This is handled in the Windows Control Panel under Power Options.
To sum it up: The shutdown button in Windows 8 uses a feature called Hybrid Boot to speed up the next start of the operating system using a hibernation like system.
What’s your take on the feature?