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Windows 8: Features, System Requirements, Download Links, Videos and more

Yesterday, Microsoft raised curtains over all new Windows 8 at their (BUILD) developers conference in California. The entire event is focused on introducing the new version to Windows software and hardware developers. The first impression about Windows 8 is – Great – but how this OS creates impression on masses through usability and performance will be a point of interests whenever launched for public.

Windows 8 is a temporary code name given to this version and might be renamed at the public release. Because Microsoft has redesigned the entire OS, my guess is – if they decide to make it bolder & louder they will change the name to something which will clearly describe this is more (or other) than Windows we know since many years or if they want to go conventional way to tell its the improved Windows that 90% of computer devices have then it will be Windows 8.

This new OS is packed with features tailor-made for touchscreen devices & tablets to compete with Apple iOS and Google Android.

“From the chip-set to experience, Windows 8 re-imagines what Windows can be,” said Steven Sinofsky, President of Microsoft Windows Division at the presentation.

Looking at the fast and slick user interface, Microsoft is definitely trying to cater to the users currently fond of Apple or Android devices. They (MS) are attempting to bring Microsoft in the center of attention in masses where Apple devices rules.

“It will be driven by Quality and not by a calendar date” – This is what Microsoft is speaking about the launch date for Windows 8 which did sound good but manufacturers will start selling devices built-with it starting from June-July 2012.

Windows 8: Features, System Requirements, Download Links, Videos and more

First things first: Features of Windows 8

This new OS is in pre-beta stage at the moment and we can expect many new features added later but lets see what we know so far.

  • Windows 8 is optimized to run on both Intel and ARM architecture. Which means it can run smoothly giving top-notch performance even on tablet devices and net-books with 1GB memory.
  • The new system boots really quick in about 7 seconds.
  • Features a home screen filled with colorful tiles taking the user directly into applications such as Facebook, messaging or news feeds.
  • Colorful tile-based Metro style interface similar to Windows Mobile 7
  • It uses less memory to run than Windows 7 allowing more free space for apps. Windows 7 SP1 runs with 400 MB memory & 32 processes while Windows 8 will run on about 280MB memory & 29 processes.
  • The whole new IE 10 browser (Sorry, I don’t use IE at all)
  • Windows Online App Store: For the first time Microsoft has introduced a dedicated App Store for Windows devices like what we already have since ages for Linux, iOS, Android & BlackBerry.
  • Though it is primarily designed for touch devices, it will be usable on PCs with Mouse and Keyboards as well.
  • Split keyboard feature for tablet devices like what iOS 5 will have for iPads
  • Split screens to use multiple applications at the same time & stretch windows on multiple screens
  • Re-constructed task manager and control panel
  • NFC (Near Field Communications) support
  • Built-in Hyper-V virtualization simialr to VMware’s popular Hypervisor
  • Improved security with built-in Windows Defender
  • Syncing photos, email, calendar and contacts with other devices through the Cloud storage
  • System-wide spell check and auto-completion
  • Integrated full featured Search module to find pictures, videos, files, notifications from storage, emails and social networking profiles , similar to spotlight search on iOS devices.
  • Metro style apps built for Windows 8 will be the focus point which fills the entire screen so there are no distractions.
  • Everything that works on Windows 7 will work on Windows 8 and Hardware that could run Windows 7 can run Windows 8 too. (This was very different when Windows 7 was launched demanding many changes in hardware and software)

System Requirements

All other standard drives and devices are required including

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

Windows 8 Preview Download – ISO files

Download links to preview versions for – Windows Developer Preview (English) 32-bit (x86) – 2.8GB ISO, Windows Developer Preview (English) 64-bit (x64) – 3.6GB ISO, Windows Developer Preview with developer tools (English) 64-bit (x64) – 4.8GB ISO are no longer available.

Read details here before installation.

Screenshots

Windows 8: Features, System Requirements, Download Links, Videos and more
Windows 8: Features, System Requirements, Download Links, Videos and more

Windows 8 Video

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Note

Microsoft is entering in the tablet software segment too late I guess. They should have tried all this in 2009 when Windows 7 was launched that way Microsoft could have collected much larger mileage in the segment through all these days.

The overall look and feel is cool and would work in casual, fun like tablets but how beneficial would it be in a production environment is questionable because shifting to Windows 8 will be a major task for many enterprise users those are not yet shifted to Windows 7.

None the less, Microsoft is changing Windows and adapting with the World is now real. 🙂

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