Yes, Microsoft’s gearing up to launch Windows 8, and the world is readying itself to get their hands on this new OS as soon as it comes out. If you’re still clueless about why the excitement around Windows 8 and want to know more about this latest offering, read on to get the lowdown on it and get prepared:
Remember the date, October 26th: This is when it’s officially launching, which means starting this date, it’s available for download from the Microsoft website. But if the online option doesn’t suit you, don’t worry; you can even pick it up from major retailers like Staples, Best Buy, from October 26th.
The price-tag: For those who already have a previous version of Windows on their systems – be it XP, Vista, or 7, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will cost just $40. This upgrade option is available across 137 countries and 37 languages, but you better hurry – this offer closes by January 31, 2013. What’s even better, for people who have picked up a new Windows-based PC or laptop between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013, an upgrade to Windows 8 will cost just $15.
The different versions: Microsoft is launching three new versions of Windows – 8, 8 Pro, and RT. Windows 8 is the starter version, which is convenient for home use, and features the basic apps like Mail, Music, Calendar, IE 10, as well as the Start screen and the Windows store. Windows 8 Pro takes it a step further, and in addition to everything the Windows 8 can do, it even features BitLocker, client hyper-v, domain join, encrypting file system, and other advanced features. Windows RT is quite similarly programmed, but runs on ARM-based processors, making it preferable for tablets and smartphones. You can only run software that you download from the Windows Store on this version, and will be available on the Surface RT tablet.
Hardware requirements: Windows 8 will run on a system with a minimum of 1 GHz processor, 1GB RAM for 32-bit processor (2GB for 64-bit), 16GB of free space, and DirectX 9 or higher. Windows Store apps require a minimum screen resolution of 1024X768 pixel to run. Windows 8 is designed to run on a touch-screen interface, but works well with regular desktops and laptops as well.
The Windows Store: For smartphone users, the app store isn’t a new concept – we’ve gotten used to this in iOS and Android, and finally, it’s here for our PCs as well. This is where you go to get new apps to download and use on your system, be it games, browser tools, or any other app.