What’s Going on with Windows 8?

Posted on June 21, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

People all over the world rely on Windows 7 as the operating system through which they run web browsers to plan their trip to casinos in Delaware and word processors where they write best-selling novels. The next version of windows, Windows 8 has unofficially been announced with a release date of October 2012, meaning that it will have had 3 years of development since the launch of a current incarnation, Windows 7.

In February 2012 we were treated to a sneak peek of Windows 8 with the Consumer Preview, and there will be another, more complete preview [Release Preview] in June. There will also be a server version of Windows 8.

Differences from Windows 7 

While Windows 7 was basically an upgraded improvement to the operating system, Windows 8 is intended to be a complete redesign and reimagining. Notable differences include:

  • Changes to the well-known interface. No Start button will be integrated into the task bar. There will be a tiled Start screen with tiles for applications. The user interface will be in a Metro environment and there will be a ribbon toolbar such as you might be familiar with from Office 2010.
  • Logon changes including a Microsoft sign-in account. This will mean users can synchronize their profile online with other Windows 8 computers. Other new logon methods, including a PIN and a picture password, are also included.
  • Faster startup with use of Hybrid Boot.
  • New functions for recovery. Refresh will only restore Windows files so your own files and apps are maintained while Reset will take the whole computer back to factory settings.
  • Support for USB 3.0.
  • Integration with X-box live.
  • A Windows Store where developers can sell Metro apps.
  • Changes to the task manager.
  • Virtualization of storage with Storage Spaces.
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The Consumer Preview was said to be suitable for anything that could already run Windows 7, e.g. a processor boasting 1 GHz, a graphics card with WDDM 1.0 at a minimum and DirectX 9, RAM at 1GB, and 16GB of storage for the 32-bit option. For the 64-bit version, you’re looking at 2GB of RAM and 20 GB of storage. However, these requirements may be higher for the full version.

While Windows 8 supports touch screen technology, this is obviously only implemented on touch screen devices. For Metro Aps, you will need a screen resolution of at least 1024×768, with a minimum of 1366×768 should you wish to run two apps simultaneously.

Will It be Worthwhile to Switch? 

That all depends on what you are looking for, but downloading the June release for a preview will give you a good idea of whether Windows 8 is up your alley.

Mary, a guest blogger, regularly writes about technology, including new software and online research for trips to casinos in Delaware.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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