What is Windows 8 ?

Microsoft’s Windows 8 was released on October 26, 2012. This version of Windows operating system is for personal computer use, which includes home and business systems, laptops, home theater PCs, desktops, and tablets. Windows 8 uses the 6.2 version of the NT kernel. Upon its launch, Windows 8 significantly changed the OS with primary focus on improving user experience. Windows 8 comes with touch shell and user interface, based on Microsoft’s Metro design, which features an innovative start screen and the start button, new application platforms, touch-screen, and a Windows Store. This edition also comes with in-built security features like anti-virus capabilities.

Hardware Requirements

Windows 8 is best compatible with x86 devices that are powered by INTEL or AMD chips. But, this version does not run on devices that are powered by ARM. Minimum requirements include 1 GHz processor; 1 GB RAM; DirectX graphics device; 1024×768 screen resolutions; and 16 GB hard-disk space.

Design and Interface

The Metro User Interface or the Metro UI features a start-screen that displays an array of tiles linking many desktop applications and various other programs. Using the additional feature called the Charms Bar, users can access applications and systems-related functions including search, settings, device management, and sharing. Through a start screen tile, users can access the desktop environment to rum desktop applications. The traditional start button found on the task bar is replaced by the start button on Charms Bar. Users can switch between desktop and applications by either swiping the left edge or by clicking the top-left corner of the tough screen.

Windows Store and Applications

Specialized and optimized Windows Store applications run either on full-screen mode or run docked on the screen side. To improve the dynamics of the content, Windows Store provides live tile and notifications on the start screen. Windows Store applications can also integrate with other services such as social networking services while photos applications aggregate photos from social networks and other services.

Web Browsers

In Windows 8, web browser applications can be found distributed along the desktop web browsers. Web browsers have access to other functionalities such as: a permanent run on the background; Windows API code usage; and utilization of multiple-background processes.  Web browser giants’ Chrome and Firefox have developed their own browser versions to run on Windows 8.  The Windows 8 Mode in Chrome utilizes the existing desktop interface while the Firefox uses touch-optimized interface.

Other Functionality and Services

Internet Explorer version 10 is included as touch-optimized application and a desktop program. The other functionalities of Windows 8 include 6 to 8 hours battery life, adobe flash player, multimedia applications, secure boot, and a cloud storage device for client applications.

Windows 8 has four editions to its name to buy.

Windows 8 Upgrade ( Available via download. Need fast internet connection)

Estimated Retail Price: Rs 7999

Windows 8 Pro Upgrade ( Available via download. Need fast internet connection)

Estimated Retail Price: Rs 12999

Windows 8 OEM DVD ( 32bit or 64bit – You can buy from retailers)

32bit Price: Rs 6600

64bit Price: Rs 6600

Windows 8 Professional OEM DVD ( 32bit or 64bit- You can buy from retailers)

32bit Price: Rs 11000

64bit Price: Rs 11000