It’s time for Windows 8

By Praveen V. Nair on October 29, 2012


The next generation of Microsoft’s Windows is out. As usual like for their previous operating systems, this version was also in news and technology community forums and blogs for some time from 2009, but this time even before the predecessor Windows 7. On the day of October 26, 2012 Microsoft announced its release to the public, along with its revolutionary new products Windows surface tablets.

Sensing the pulse of technology advancement, this OS is meant for mobile devices, in addition to the usual desktops and laptops support. This becomes a turning point for Windows OS sequence by Microsoft because with an entirely different desktop screen, touch features, Windows App Store, Cloud storage and support to ARM processor based devices.


System Requirements:

Windows 8 can be installed on a PC with minimum 1 GB (2 GB for 64bit OS), 1GHz speed and 16 GB Hard disk space (20 GB for 64bit OS).

Major new features:

  • “Windows 8 style UI” – Formerly Metro UI, basically a customizable tiles-based interface.
  • Touch gestures – Windows 8 supports touch gestures like swiping from left to switch applications, swiping from right for the menu. Drag from top to down closes an application while down to top invokes the app specific menu
  • Semantic Zoom – to get a high level view
  • Charms – We can say this is kind of replacement for old Start Menu.
  • Performance – There is a significant increase in performance
  • The Windows App Store – Just like Google Play Store or Apple App Store, Microsoft also now have a place to download free and paid applications
  • SkyDrive – Windows 8 can sync data to the cloud, Microsoft’s own SkyDrive cloud storage service
  • Anti Virus – Built in Antivirus with Windows Defender
  • Lock Screen – The lock screen is now interactive with photos, and customizable apps like calendar, clock etc.
  • Task Manager – Task Manager has lot more improvement on Windows 8
  • Control Panel – Microsoft re-designed the traditional control for the new OS
  • Social Media Integration – You can share items to social media and emails and between apps.
  • USB 3.0 – Windows 8 supports native USB version 3.0


Different editions of Windows 8

  • Windows 8 – This is the basic edition, with tiled interface, IE10 etc.
  • Windows 8 Pro – Professional edition, specifically for business users and enthusiasts
  • Windows 8 Enterprise – Offers all features of Pro, with additional features for IT companies
  • Windows RT – For ARM microprocessor based tablets. It comes as pre-installed

As an introductory offer, Microsoft is running a campaign at the moment (Oct 2012) for upgrades from Windows 7 & Vista at a discounted price.

Windows 8 Application Development

You can get started with Windows Store Apps from here.

Windows Store Apps can be developed using HTML5-CSS3-JavaScript, XAML-C#/VB.NET/MC++ using Visual Studio or DirectX programming.

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