After very successful Windows 7, for Microsoft its time to move forward. On September 13th, Microsoft gave developer preview of their latest operating system Windows 8. Windows 8 will be supporting all previous Windows 7 applications plus new Metro UI applications, Metro UI is totally reworked interface especially designed for finger touch. Windows 8 is designed for Tablets, Laptops, Netbooks and Desktops.
Windows 8 is claimed to be more lighter than Windows 7. Windows 8 run 29 processes using 281MB of RAM instead of 32 processes with 404MB of RAM in Windows 7 SP1. Its system requirements are:
- 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- 1 gigabyte (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
- Resolution of at least 1024×768 for Metro UI
Note that Windows 8 easily work on ARM based machines, they are not included in System Requirements because usually you don’t have to install operating system on ARM machines, they come pre-installed.
If you have used Windows Phone 7, you would know about Metro UI. Microsoft called Metro the future of Windows, it is not just a launcher or login skin but Metro is designed into the root of Windows 8 and Metro applications are as native as other classic Windows applications. The Metro user interface makes Windows 8 more modern and beautiful. With addition of Metro, Microsoft didn’t remove classic user interface, it is still available, named as Pro UI. Microsoft designed Metro UI for entertainment purposes and for work Pro user interface is more productive. There are some limitations also, resolution should be at least 1024×768 for Metro to work, at this minimum resolution Metro will only run one application at a time.
Metro UI is not like windowed design, this doesn’t mean that it is missing some functionality like working in more than one application simultaneously. Metro UI allows applications to share screens but for this functionality you should have at least 1366×768 resolution.
Keyboard, Mouse & Touch
Windows 8 touch has been reworked and optimized for finger touch, it is capable of all features that you expect like multi-touch, gestures etc. Windows 8 comes with on-screen keyboard which is optimized for finger touch and with split-screen mode keyboard is more accessible on wider gadgets. If you do not have touch screen capability on your device than you can use mouse without any problem on your Windows 8 machine.
In Metro UI instead of classic Start menu, there will be Charms element on the right side of the screen. In Charms element you will be able to do tasks like searching, tweaking, managing & sharing.
Reset & Refresh Option
Windows 8 comes with reset & refresh options, reset options reverts your device back to factory settings while refresh option will help removing problematic application without resetting your device. Reset & refresh option makes sure that you didn’t have to install Windows again even when your computer is infected by viruses you can just hit reset option and get back to factory settings.
Faster Boot Times
Windows 8 boot time is much lesser than Windows 7 because of improvements in loading process and partial hibernation mode.
Windows Explorer Improvements
Windows explorer have Ribbon UI (introduced in Office 2007), ISO mounting functionality, newly designed file copying dialog & Windows Task Manager, taskbar & wallpapers can span multiple monitors & In-Place PC refresh, which will refresh your PC after couple of clicks so you don’t need to hit refresh button again and again.
Now, Hyper-V is built in Windows, you don’t have to install extra software for virtual machines.
Windows Live integration
Sync, Mail & Skydrive are now integrated into Windows 8 but in developer preview Skydrive and Mail are not yet supported.
A typical AppStore application which will let you purchase and download all windows applications in one single place.
You can download Windows 8 in 32 & 64 bit flavors, also you have option to install Windows 8 with/without developer tools.