Saturday, 27 October 2012

Windows 8 Review, Features and Requirements



Windows 8 the most awaited Version of Microsoft was released on 26th October, 2012. This is developed to use on personal computers including home and business Desktops, Laptops, Tablets. It is developed towards improving its experience on Touch Oriented mobile devices such as Tablets, Laptops as well as traditional PCs. Microsoft also entered into PC Hardware market by launching its new "Surface tablet" alongside with Windows 8. According to Steven Sinofsky, President of Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, the work on Surface Tablet has started way back in Summer of 2009.



The previous version of Windows operating system is Windows 7, which was launched in 2009. Since then
development of Windows 8 had started. It has included several features to its new OS mean while removing some of its old features.

FEATURES OF WINDOWS 8: 
  • It is looking good compared to earlier versions of Windows.
  • Designed specifically to work on Touch Based Tablets, Laptops and Computers.
  • It is very Simpler to use and apps can be managed with ease.
  • It is faster and smoother compared to Windows 7. It boots 30% faster than Windows 7.
  • To simplify the user interface Microsoft has removed "Start" button in Windows 8. Instead it uses Start screen which provides similar functionality.
  • Windows Media Centre is not included in new version. Still you can get it by paying extra money.
  • Windows has launched Windows Store. Currently it doesn't have many apps but its apps are beautiful and simple to use.
  • Internet Explorer 10 with faster browsing speed and appealing design is included in the package.

VERSIONS OF WINDOWS 8:

Currently Four versions are released, they are
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 pro 
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • windows RT
Let us see about all in brief

WINDOWS 8: 
It is the basic version of Windows 8 and lacks many features as compared to Windows 8 Pro such as Encryption through Bit locker, Windows-To-Go.It is aimed towards Home users. They can work on x86 Intel and AMD PCs.     

WINDOWS 8 PRO:  
This is the version available with all the features of Windows 8 except some available in Enterprise version. Microsoft is currently pushing this version in the market. This version of Windows 8 is aimed towards power users and professional environments. If you want to upgrade to Windows 8, this is the version you should buy. It can work on x86 Intel and AMD PCs.

WINDOWS 8 ENTERPRISE:
This version of Windows is for Businesses which needs Volume Licencing. It includes many features needed for system administrators of Large Companies. It can work on x86 Intel and AMD PCs.

WINDOWS RT:
We cant buy this version of Windows in Market but comes pre-installed in ARM devices like "Surface Tablet". Yes, this version is reserved for ARM processor based Tablets or Laptops and cannot be installed on Tablets or Laptops based on x86 Intel and AMD Processors.

Similarly it cannot run application designed for x86 based Intel and AMD PCs ie. it cannot run applications such as VLC Media Player, Firefox designed for Intel or AMD processor based devices. It has its own set of compatible applications available in Windows Store.

Surface Tablet
HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS OF WINDOWS 8 PRO:
  • Processor speed: 1GHZ or above
  • RAM: 1 GB for 32 bit, 2 GB for 64 bit
  • Hard disk: 16 GB for 32 bit, 20 GB for 64 bit.
  • DirectX 9 graphics card with WDDM driver.
  • Screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768 is mandatory.

COMPATABILITY WITH PREVIOUS VERSIONS: 

Windows 8 can be installed on either 32 bit or 64 bit processor as you can infer from above hardware requirement. Those computers having Windows 7 can easily be upgraded to Windows 8 pro. Similarly softwares running on Windows 7 also runs on Windows 8, except the restriction that "64-bit Windows 8" runs 64-bit and 32-bit software while "32-bit Windows 8" will be able to run 32-bit and 16-bit software which is also applicable to Windows 7. For Windows RT, Compatible softwares can be downloaded from Windows Store, and are also provided through Windows update. Microsoft also developed special vesion of Office 13 compatible to Windows RT.


PRICING OF WINDOWS 8:

Microsoft announced various offers to the users of Windows and can avail these offers till January 31, 2013. These offers are listed below,
  1. If you bought your computer preloaded with Windows 7 (Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate) after June 2, 2012, you can can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro by paying Rs.699 ($14.99 USD). If it is not applicable to you you can avail next offer.
  2. If you are using Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro Online through Microsoft Website at discount price of Rs.1999 ($39.99 USD). This offer is valid till January 31, 2013.
  3.  For some reason if you cannot upgrade Online or if you want to buy a installtion disc or if you are not a user of Windows, you can buy retail box of Windows 8 Pro at discount price of Rs.4000 ($69.99 USD ). This offer is also valid till January 31, 2013.
  4. If you choose to buy Windows 8 after January 31, 2013 price will much higher and most likely to cost above Rs 11,000.
  5. The price of "Suface Tablet" preinstalled with Windows RT will be around $500 USD.  

AVAILABILITY:

Windows 8 is available Worldwide from 26th October 2012 in various retail stores. The installation package can also be downloaded from Microsoft Official Website.
   
In India:
It is available in India in range of Laptops, Tablets and Notebooks from 14 OEM  (Original Equipment Manufacturer) partners, including HCL, Dell, Fujitsu, Acer, Hewlett Packard, Wipro, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Lenovo and Zenith Computers. It is currently available in 2500 Retail stores across 100 cities in India.

Overall it is clear that Windows 8 has better User Interface, Performance and other features as compared to its predecessors. I think its good time to move onto windows 8. Microsoft also offers discount until January31st, 2013, so you've got some time to think about it. 

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