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 finished his graduation in the field of IT and is currently mastering at the University of South Florida. He also loves watching cricket, listening to music and travelling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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