Windows 8: 5 things you need to know



Microsoft recently previewed the first public demo of its new Windows 8 OS. Windows 8 OS is believed to change the way you have ever used your Windows PC. It is a completely different from the previous versions of Windows, be it the complete makeover of UI alongside the Metro UI of Windows Phone 7 or the new set of features about which everyone is puzzled and excited at the same time. People are still confused about what to expect, what is changing, what would still remain the same and so on. We are trying to answer all the major questions related to Windows 8 here, and the direct download links to download the ISO of the Windows 8 developer preview build would follow at the end of the post.

Windows 8: 5 things you need to know

1. Windows 8 is completely different

As being pitched by Microsoft, Windows 8 is a completely new OS and experience in itself. For the starters, it will work almost similar on both tablets and PCs. Your good old desktop is being replaced by a homescreen filled with live touchable panels or tiles like Windows Phone 7.

It is just a complete new UI makeover and there’s nothing to panic about. You still have your familiar task bar, file manager and apps. It would just be more fun playing around with your Windows PC now.

2. How does the new touch interface work ?

The startup screen in your Windows 8 screen would show just basic information like time and unread mails. You can start with swiping upwards to reveal your homescreen and the tiles. As in the Metro UI of WP7, tiles are the magic UX components which show you more information with lesser clicks. Swiping from the right side brings up a menu that takes you back to the homescreen.

Multitasking with apps is easier as well. Swipe from the left and you can switch between open apps. The coolest feature is that when swiping in a new app, you can place it next to the app that is currently running and can view two running apps at the same time. Pretty neat.

3. The old programs and applications are supported but there are new kind of apps as well

Microsoft has said that it has created new kind of apps that are specially suited to the new UI of Windows 8. These apps are a mix of HTML5 and JavaScript and will be best suited as tablet apps. Microsoft will distribute these apps through its own appstore.

Your old programs and applications running on Windows 7, Vista and XP are still supported. Starting any of these applications will bring up a version of Windows similar to Windows 7. And yes, you can run both your old programs and new Windows 8 apps side-by-side.

4. When is the Windows 8 release date and what are the recommended specs for a machine to run Windows 8 ?

Microsoft has already demoed a developer build of Windows 8 and the ISO of the build is available for download. We do not know the exact release dates but it is expected to hit the consumer shelves by 2012.

All the machines running Windows 7 smoothly should be able to run Windows 8 without any glitch, but here’s our list of recommended specs for a Windows 8 machine:

1. 1 GHz or faster, 32-bit or 64-bit processor.

2. 1 GB RAM for running the 32-bit version and atleast 2 GB RAM for the 64-bit version.

3. DirectX 9 compatible graphics renderer should be decent.

5. Links to download the Windows 8 Developer Preview build ISO

Windows 8 Developer Preview with developer tools (x64)

Windows 8 Developer Preview English, 64-bit (x64)

Windows 8 Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86)