Windows 8

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Windows 8
Part of the Microsoft Windows family
Windows 8 logo and wordmark.svg
Developer
Microsoft Corporation
Website windows.microsoft.com
Releases
Initial release 26 October 2012; 17 months ago (2012-10-26) [info]
Stable release 6.2 (Build 9200) (1 August 2012; 20 months ago (2012-08-01)) [info]
License Proprietary commercial software
Kernel type Hybrid
Update method Windows Update
Platform support IA-32, x64, and ARM[1]
Preceded by Windows 7
Succeeded by Windows 8.1[2]
Support status
  • Start date: 30 October 2012[3]
  • Mainstream support: Until 9 January 2018
  • Extended support: Until 10 January 2023
Further reading

Windows 8 is the latest Microsoft Windows computer operating system. The latest version released is Windows 8 Pro which has enhanced features. In September 2011, Microsoft released the Developer Preview version. It was released for developers. The final version for everyone was released everywhere on October 26, 2012[4]. The president of the Windows Division Steven Sinofsky said: "With this system we shall make the biggest change from Windows 95", as they have removed the Start button/menu (they were first put in Windows 95).

On February 29 2012, Microsoft released a Beta version of Windows 8 known as the Consumer Preview. After the Consumer Preview, a final preview named "Release Preview" was released on May 31st, 2012, and the final release was on October 26 2012.[5]

Features[change | edit source]

Bootable Windows To Go USB flash drive

New features include a Windows Store where users can buy Metro style computer programs or download them for free. Windows To Go allows users to run the complete Windows system from a USB drive.

Windows 8 provides a new graphic user interface – Modern (also called Metro) UI (suitable for phone, tablet, notebook and classic PCs). This interface is characterized by “tiles” which work as links and also as interactive widgets (RSS, weather, e-mails). Modern UI is optimized for touchscreen, but can be controlled by mouse and keyboard. Windows 8 still offers the classic desktop interface as an option.

Microsoft reworked the booting process, replacing classic BIOS with a new system called UEFI. This provides secure boot, which is protection against viruses.

Although Windows 8 is lighter than Windows 7, it demands more pixels on the screen. The minimum is 1366 x 768 pixels, which affects many users of laptops that have a maximum resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. Some users with old hardware have for that reason continued to use windows 7.

File Explorer, formerly called Windows Explorer, has a new ribbon bar interface. It can pause and resume a file transfer, and has an improved method to resolve conflicts when two files have the same name.

In Windows 8 will enable logging in through face detection and voice control or especially hand gestures, which senses camera system Kinect.

In the leaked test versions of Windows 8 were discovered the foundations of future cloud applications, which is the possibility to use different services and programs via Internet. For example, it allows for saving user settings on the Internet. This can then be used on another computer with Windows 8 and synchronize it. For example, if you lose your laptop you do not lose programs or information, including system settings.

Hardware requirements[change | edit source]

PCs[change | edit source]

Minimum hardware requirements for Windows 8[6]
Criteria Minimum Recommended
Processor 1 GHz clock rate
IA-32 or x64 architecture
Support for PAE, NX and SSE2[7][8]
x64 architecture
Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) support
Memory (RAM) IA-32 edition: 1 GB
x64 edition: 2 GB
4 GB
Graphics Card DirectX 9 graphics device
WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
DirectX 10 graphics device
Display screen 1024×768 pixels 1366×768 pixels
Input device Keyboard and mouse A multi-touch display screen
Hard disk space IA-32 edition: 16 GB
x64 edition: 20 GB
Other USB 3.0 port
UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B with Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in its database
Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Internet connectivity

Tablets and convertibles[change | edit source]

Hardware certification requirements for Windows tablets[9]
Graphics Card DirectX 10 graphics device with WDDM 1.2 or higher driver
Storage 10 GB free space, after the out-of-box experience completes
Standard buttons 'Power', 'Rotation lock', 'Windows Key', 'Volume-up', 'Volume-down'
Screen Touch screen supporting a minimum of 5-point digitizers and resolution of at least 1366x768. The physical dimensions of the display panel must match the aspect ratio of the native resolution. The native resolution of the panel can be greater than 1366 (horizontally) and 768 (vertically). Minimum native color depth is 32-bits.
Camera Minimum 720p
Ambient light sensor 1–30k lux capable with dynamic range of 5–60k
Accelerometer 3 axes with data rates at or above 50 Hz
USB 2.0 At least one controller and exposed port.
Connect Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE (low energy)
Other Speaker, microphone, magnetometer and gyroscope.

If a mobile broadband device is integrated into a tablet or convertible system, then an assisted GPS radio is required. Devices supporting near field communication need to have visual marks to help users locate and use the proximity technology. The new button combination for Ctrl + Alt + Del is Windows Key + Power.

Windows 8.1[change | edit source]

Two months after Windows 8 was released, there were rumors that Microsoft were making a major update to be codenamed "Blue". In May 2013, Microsoft announced that "Windows Blue" was the codename for the forthcoming Windows 8.1.[10]

On June 26 2013, Microsoft released build 9431 as the Windows 8.1 Preview which can be downloaded from the Windows Store or as an ISO file.

On August 14 2013, Microsoft announced that Windows 8.1 will be released digitally on October 17 and released at retail and in new computers on October 18.[11] It included greater customization and new bundled apps such as a calculator, sound recorder, and file manager.

References[change | edit source]

  1. "Microsoft Announces Support of System on a Chip Architectures From Intel, AMD, and ARM for Next Version of Windows". Microsoft. January 5, 2011. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2011/jan11/01-05SOCsupport.mspx. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  2. Microsoft 'U-turn' sees Start button back on Windows 8, By Dave Lee, BBC, May 2012
  3. "Microsoft Product Lifecycle". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?sort=PN&alpha=Windows+8&Filter=FilterNO. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  4. http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/43952/windows-8-october-2012-launch
  5. http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/18/windows-8-will-be-available-on.aspx
  6. "Windows 8 system requirements". Windows Help. Microsoft. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/system-requirements. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  7. "PAE/NX/SSE2 Support Requirement Guide for Windows 8". http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh975398.aspx. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  8. "What is PAE, NX, and SSE2 and why does my PC need to support them to run Windows 8?". Windows Help. Microsoft. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/what-is-pae-nx-sse2. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  9. "Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements". MSDN. Microsoft. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh748200.aspx. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  10. http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/05/14/windows-keeps-getting-better.aspx
  11. http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/08/14/mark-your-calendars-for-windows-8-1.aspx

Sources[change | edit source]