It may have been buried under a lot of other, more exciting, things but it is final — starting with Windows 8 the Microsoft OS is going to default to using IPv6 instead of IPv4 whenever possible.
Windows 8 Makes Move To IPv6 Official For Microsoft
As already announced officially, Windows 8 is going to use IPv6 by default and use IPv4 only when there’s no IPv6 option available. And by now many of you might be wondering what in the world are these things. Well, to put it simply, these are ways to individually identify devices through strings of numbers separate by dots. These are the system that create the IP addresses that you see on your devices when you are messing around with the network settings.
IPv4 is being phased out because it is simply too limited to give individual identities to all Internet enabled devices in the world. It provides only 4 billion such identities. Back in the 1970’s when it was first conceived, 4 billion was thought to be a lot. Not so any more though. We have already passed the time when we overshot 4 billion such devices. Now we are looking at no less than 15 billion such devices connecting to the Internet by the time we are writing 2015 on our checkbooks. That is for those of you who will still be using such things as checks anyway. Because right now, any gadget worth having is able to go online in some manner or the other. And with each single individual owning multiple IP enabled devices, it is not hard to see why we ran out of addresses to assign so quickly.
So now the question is — how many addresses can IPv6 provide? One of the best answers that I have come across so far is ‘enough to provide an IP address to each star in our galaxy’. Can’t remember where I came across it but it is quite fitting. The actual number is 2 raised to the power of 128 or 34 followed by 38 zeroes approximately. (3.4 x 1038)
But regular users will not have to worry because most system makers including Microsoft are working to make the transition as smooth as possible. So you might not even notice the change till you have to follow an IPv6 guide to troubleshooting your network.