Windows 8 is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablets, and home theater PCs. Development of Windows 8 started before the release of its predecessor in 2009. Its existence was first announced at CES 2011, and followed by the release of three pre-release versions from September 2011 to May 2012.
Windows 8 introduces significant changes to the operating system’s platform, primarily focused towards improving its experience on mobile devices such as tablets to rival other mobile operating systems (such as Android and iOS), taking advantage of new and emerging technologies (such as USB 3.0, UEFI firmware, near field communications, cloud computing, and the low-power ARM architecture), new security features (such as malware filtering, built-in antivirus software, and support for secure boot, a controversial UEFI feature which requires operating systems to be digitally signed to prevent malware from infecting the boot process), along with other changes and performance improvements.
Top 5 features of Windows 8 PC :-
1. More Inbuilt Utility Softwares: Now there is no need to install a PDF reader and Image mounting software on your PC they are a part of windows now. The new PDF Reader is simply known as ‘Reader’ and if you want to open an .iso image just double click on the file – no need to install an application to open iso files!
2. Ribbon Interface: The ribbon interface that was introduced with Office 2007 is now extended all across the Windows; large icons which change according to the selected file are definitely a lot of help to any user.
3. Say ‘No’ to Antivirus: Yes, you read that right. The Windows defender app found in earlier editions of the windows has bloomed into a fully functional antivirus. So, you can save on the budget reserved for the expensive antivirus softwares.
4. Faster Boot Up: One thing you will notice is that Windows 8 runs everything faster. It is partially due to the fact that resource hungry AERO or transparent interface of Windows 7 has gone for good. It has now been replaced by a 2-D environment. The boot time is also significantly reduced. Now it takes less than 30 seconds to boot up your PC. My 5 year old PC just takes 22 seconds to boot after installing Windows 8. Earlier, it generally took around 90 seconds with Windows 7.
5. Refresh and Reset your System: Does your system have a problem and you want to format it? But, you are worried that reinstallation of OS and Software will eat up your time. Now there is an option to refresh your PC without losing your data and your PC will be as good as new. If you are still not satisfied then you can reset your PC to the original state similar to restore factory settings found in mobile phones. This mode requires no boot media at all.
Windows 8 Release Date
The operating system windows 8 was released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012, and is scheduled for general availability on October 26, 2012
Windows 8 Minimum System Requirements
It is reported that Windows 8 is expected to have the same system requirements as Windows 7, and will run on existing machines that run Windows 7. Here are the following minimum system requirements to run Windows 8:
Processor: 1GHz or faster 32-bit or 64-bit processor
RAM: 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit)
HD Space: 16GB for 32-bit (or 20GB for 64-bit)
Windows 8 & Cloud Computing
It has been reported in the official Microsoft blog that Windows 8 will be tied to Microsoft’s SkyDrive, which will allow users to access their digitally stored data via Windows 8 on their computers, laptops, mobile devices… The industry’s leading cloud computing provider, Rackspace explains exactly how cloud computing works.
Windows 8 Bringing Kinect to Laptops?
Microsoft is also planning to build Kinect sensors into laptops. Prototypes have already been released, and were confirmed to be official. The sensors would be placed where the webcam is currently placed, and there could be an IR LED at the bottom of the screen. If Microsoft techs manage to drive the price of sensors down, it might even become a standard feature. There are also talks of miniaturized Kinect hardware for notebooks.
Microsoft unveiled new Windows 8 features and improvements on the first day of the BUILD conference on September 13, 2011. Microsoft released Windows 8 Developer Preview (build 8102) the same day, which included SDKs and developer tools (such as Visual Studio Express and Expression Blend) for developing applications for Windows 8’s new interface. According to Microsoft, there were more than 500,000 downloads of the developer preview within the first 12 hours of its release. Originally set to expire on March 11, 2012, in February 2012 the Developer Preview’s expiry date was changed to January 15, 2013.
The new File Explorer interface in Windows 8
On 29 February 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the beta version of Windows 8, build 8250. For the first time since Windows 95, the Start button is no longer present on the taskbar, though the Start screen is still triggered by clicking the bottom-left corner of the screen and by clicking Start on the Charm bar. Windows president Steven Sinofsky said more than 100,000 changes had been made since the developer version went public. The day after its release, Windows 8 Consumer Preview had been downloaded over one million times. Like the Developer Preview, the Consumer Preview is set to expire on January 15, 2013.
At Japan’s Developers Day conference, Steven Sinofsky announced that Windows 8 Release Preview (build 8400) would be released during the first week of June. On May 28, 2012, Windows 8 Release Preview (Standard Simplified Chinese x64 edition, not China-specific version, build 8400) was leaked online on various Chinese and BitTorrent websites. On May 31, 2012, Windows 8 Release Preview was released to the public by Microsoft.
Major items in the Release Preview included the addition of Sports, Travel, and News apps, along with an integrated version of Flash Player in Internet Explorer. Like the Developer Preview and the Consumer Preview, the release preview is set to expire on January 15, 2013.