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Windows 8The successor of Windows 7 will support beside of the 32 bit and 64 bit Intel and AMD SoC (system-on-a-chip) architectures also ARM for a widest possible range of form factors on the market. NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are working on different SoC designs based on the ARM architecture:
- Snapdragon ARM system from Qualcomm
- OMAP ARM system from Texas Instruments
- Tegra ARM system from NVIDIA with main focus to high-performance graphic
Microsoft is porting basic-applications like the Internet Explorer and Office applications to the new platfrom. They are native ARM applications for Windows 8.
At the D9 conference of May 31 till June 2, 2011 in California Microsoft unveil the recent development state of the new Windows user interface. The whole interface is useable over touch screen but also still with keyboard and mouse. A few aspects are e.g. the tile-based start screen for launch of applications as replacement of the existing Windows Start menu. Live notifications from applications are also shown as tiles. Switching between running apps is done fluid and the resize and snap of application windows is convenient possible. As an alternative to Metro remains the familiar desktop interface of Windows 7 but with restrictions. The previously known Start menu was removed for example.
On 14th September 2011, Microsoft released the first Windows 8 Developer Preview (build 6.2.8102) for free public download. As a downloadable ISO image in DVD format, x86, x64 and x64 version including development tools are available.
Windows 8 Metro style user interface
One of the strengths of WinRT is the easy scalability of apps on mobile 7-inch display, large desktop monitors up to giant-screen installations.
The design doesnt includes anymore some of Windows Aero user interface known effects such as transparency, gradients and shadows. The window elements are flat, compact and reduced to a few colors. Rounded corners are a thing of the past.
High performance and frame rates for apps is done over the increased use of hardware acceleration depending on CPU and GPU and DirectX 11.1 support.
Apps that are not running in the foreground are paused through Windows 8 to consume no processing power until the application is reactivated.
Minimum hardware requirements
1 GHz 32-bit processor (x86) or 64-bit processor (x64)
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
A screen that supports multi-touch, screen resolution of 1024 X 768 or greater
USB 2.0 interface
Changes at a glance
New user interface Metro style
Internet Explorer 10
Windows Defender improved
Authentication by password or gestures
User profile can be synchronized online between multiple computers
Task Manager has been simplified
Improved dialog for file transfers
Mount of .vhd- und .iso-files directly possible
integrated automatic backup (File History)
Integration of Windows Store for Apps
Integration of SkyDrive to use storage in the Cloud
Integration of Xbox Live
Messenger to connect to various social media networks
virtualization Technology Hyper-V (only for 64-Bit-editions)
Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)
Support for Secure Boot with UEFI ab Version 2.3.1
Windows 8 Versions
Windows 8 for end users
Windows 8 Pro for professional customers and business
Windows 8 Enterprise for companies
Windows RT for computers with ARM-Architecture
Windows Server 2012 (with new file system ReFS)
The various versions are complemented with variant "N" without pre-installed Windows Media Player for the European region.
Date - Version
2011 Sept. - Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 6.2.8102 available to public for download2012 Feb. - Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Build 8250 available2012 Aug. 1 - Windows 8 Release To Manufacture, Build 92002012 Oct. 26 - Windows 8 available on market2013 Oct. 18 - Windows 8.1 available on market2014 April 8 - Windows 8.1 Update available