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Windows 8

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Windows 8
Part of the Microsoft Windows family
Windows 8 logo and wordmark.svg
Microsoft Corporation
Initial release 1 August 2012; 7 years ago (2012-08-01) [ info
Stable release 8.1 (14 April 2014; 5 years ago (2014-04-14))[source?]
License Proprietary commercial software
Kernel type Hybrid
Update method Windows Update
Platform support IA-32, x64, and ARM[1]
Preceded by Windows 7.x
Succeeded by Windows 10
Support status
  • Start date: 30 October 2012[2]
  • Mainstream support: Until 9 January 2018
  • Extended support: Until 10 January 2023
Further reading

Windows 8 (Windows 8.x) is the latest Microsoft Windows computer operating system. The latest version released is Windows 8.1 Pro (Windows 8.1 Professional) which has enhanced features. In September 2011, Microsoft released the Developer Preview version. It was released for developers. The final version for everyone was released everywhere on October 26, 2012.[3] The president of the Windows Division Steven Sinofsky said: "With this system we shall make the biggest change from Windows 95", as they have removed the Start button/menu (they were first put in Windows 95).

On February 29 2012, Microsoft released a Beta version of Windows 8.0 known as the Consumer Preview. After the Consumer Preview, a final preview named "Release Preview" was released on May 31st, 2012, and the final release was on October 26 2012.[4] Windows 8.0 is codenamed "Windows Server 8.0".


Bootable Windows To Go USB flash drive

New features include a Windows Store where users can buy Metro style computer programs or download them for free. Windows To Go allows users to run the complete Windows system from a USB drive.

Windows 8 provides a new graphic user interface – Modern (also called Metro) UI (suitable for phone, tablet, notebook and classic PCs). This interface shows “tiles” which work as links and also as interactive widgets (RSS, weather, e-mails). Modern UI is optimized for touchscreen, but can be controlled by mouse and keyboard. Windows 8 still offers the classic desktop interface as an option.

Microsoft reworked the booting process, replacing classic BIOS with a new system called UEFI. This provides secure boot, which is protection against viruses.

The desktop in Windows 8. It uses the same interface as Windows 7.

Although Windows 8 is lighter than Windows 7, it demands more pixels on the screen. The minimum is 1366 x 768 pixels, which affects many users of laptops that have a maximum resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. Some users with old hardware have for that reason continued to use windows 7. Windows 8 will work on resolutions lower than this, but some features will be unavailable.

File Explorer, formerly called Windows Explorer, has a new ribbon bar interface. It can pause and resume a file transfer, and has an improved method to resolve conflicts when two files have the same name.

In Windows 8 will enable logging in through face detection and voice control or especially hand gestures, using a camera.

Hardware requirements


Minimum hardware requirements for Windows 8[5]
Criteria Minimum Recommended
Processor 1 GHz clock rate
IA-32 or x64 architecture
Support for PAE, NX and SSE2[6][7]
x64 architecture
Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) support
Memory (RAM) IA-32 edition: 1 GB
x64 edition: 2 GB
4 GB
Graphics Card DirectX 9 graphics device
WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
DirectX 10 graphics device
Display screen 1024×768 pixels 1366×768 pixels
Input device Keyboard and mouse A multi-touch display screen
Hard disk space IA-32 edition: 16 GB
x64 edition: 20 GB
Other USB 3.0 port
UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B with Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in its database
Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Internet connectivity

Tablets and convertibles

Hardware certification requirements for Windows tablets[8]
Graphics Card DirectX 10 graphics device with WDDM 1.2 or higher driver
Storage 10 GB free space, after the out-of-box experience completes
Standard buttons 'Power', 'Rotation lock', 'Windows Key', 'Volume-up', 'Volume-down'
Screen Touch screen supporting a minimum of 5-point digitizers and resolution of at least 1366x768. The physical dimensions of the display panel must match the aspect ratio of the native resolution. The native resolution of the panel can be greater than 1366 (horizontally) and 768 (vertically). Minimum native color depth is 32-bits.
Camera Minimum 720p
Ambient light sensor 1–30k lux capable with dynamic range of 5–60k
Accelerometer 3 axes with data rates at or above 50 Hz
USB 2.0 At least one controller and exposed port.
Connect Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE (low energy)
Other Speaker, microphone, magnetometer and gyroscope.

If a mobile broadband device is integrated into a tablet or convertible system, then an assisted GPS radio is required. Devices supporting near field communication need to have visual marks to help users locate and use the proximity technology. The new button combination for Ctrl + Alt + Del is Windows Key + Power.

Windows 8.1

Two months after Windows 8 was released, there were rumors that Microsoft were making a major update to be codenamed "Blue". In May 2013, Microsoft announced that "Windows Blue" was the codename for the forthcoming Windows 8.1.[9]

On June 26 2013, Microsoft released build 9431 as the Windows 8.1 Preview, which could be downloaded.

On August 14 2013, Microsoft announced that Windows 8.1 would be released digitally on October 17 and released at retail and in new computers on October 18.[10] It included greater customization and new bundled apps such as a calculator, sound recorder, and file manager.

In April 2014, Microsoft released an update for Windows 8.1 with improvements for keyboard and mouse users. The update pins the Windows Store on the task bar. Each modern app has a bar at the top, and can be closed the same way desktop apps are closed.


  1. "Microsoft Announces Support of System on a Chip Architectures From Intel, AMD, and ARM for Next Version of Windows". Microsoft. January 5, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  2. "Microsoft Product Lifecycle". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  5. "Windows 8 system requirements". Windows Help. Microsoft. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  6. "PAE/NX/SSE2 Support Requirement Guide for Windows 8". Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  7. "What is PAE, NX, and SSE2 and why does my PC need to support them to run Windows 8?". Windows Help. Microsoft. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  8. "Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved April 22, 2012.