Updated 22 May, 2013, 2:00 pm IST
10 things you need to know about Windows 8
| by Naina Khedekar
The highly anticipated Windows 8 is now available for download as a Consumer Preview, which is basically a pre-release of the operating system for people. So, Microsoft wants PC enthusiasts to use its new operating system, which is still in the beta stage, leaving scope for further improvements. So, obviously it could be buggy and the feedback would let Microsoft add in some improvements to the existing OS functionality. Microsoft’s announcement was followed by a series of downloads across the globe, already crossing the 1 million mark. We’ve jotted down 10 things you need to know about the new Windows 8 platform.
Who can download the Windows 8 Preview?
It’s a consumer preview, and so available for absolutely everyone. Tech fanatics eagerly waiting to lay their hands, rather fingers on new software or say Windows 8 should give it a try, as they may encounter error and should be knowledgeable to troubleshoot PC problems, if they arise. It is therefore recommended for users willing to try out something new, which isn’t completely ready to use and has a possibility of glitches.
Goodbye Start button
What are the System requirements?
Windows 8 is built on the Windows 7 platform, but promises a lot more than enhanced functionality and performance. However, it’s nice to see that Windows 8 hasn’t changed the hardware requirements much and allows easy upgrade, as the hardware specs are almost similar to those using Windows 7. So, your system requirements are 1GHz or faster processor, 1GB 32-bit or 2GB 64-bit RAM and 16GB 32-bit or 20GB 64-bit hard drive space. Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher meets the graphics card criteria. Besides, to use the touch functionality, one needs a monitor or tablet with multi-touch support. Accessing the Windows Store and downloading apps need a display resolution of 1024 x 768 and to snap apps, Microsoft recommends a display resolution of at least 1366 x 768.
What about the OS Support and duration of the Windows 8 Preview?
One can easily upgrade to the Windows 8 preview from Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and also from Windows Developer Preview. However, one may or may not be able to retain all files, programs and settings. For instance, upon upgradation to Windows 8 Consumer preview, Windows XP users could lose Windows Settings and Programs Windows 7, while Windows 7 users can retain all their Windows settings and user accounts and files. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available in English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, and Japanese. Obviously, you can’t go on using the Consumer Preview forever and it does come with an expiry date, which in this case is January 15, 2013.
How to install Windows 8 Preview?
Microsoft provides downloading options, like an automated installer, which downloads the file directly onto Windows 7. One can download using ISO images and also install using USB flash drive. Microsoft store offers the USB/DVD download tool. While using setup – one has to download 1.5GB 64 bit x64 file, 1.9GB 32-bit x86 and the 5 MB setup file. One can use the ISO image, which can be converted into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive. It requires one to download a 3.3 GB file for 64 bit x64 and 2.5GB for 32-bit x86 file. Follow the complete process on how to Install a Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Why cant I see the Start button?
Microsoft has ensured a different user experience, giving this version a major facelift. The main screen shows the tiled Metro UI. The icons will be in the form of tiles on the Start or Main Screen. Do not be surprised to see the missing Start button. So, in case an icon is accidentally missing, you need to Search for it and pin it to the Start screen. However, you can choose to deactivate the Metro UI. Microsoft also adds a lock screen, which seems like a tedious task - slide and unlock using the mouse on a desktop monitor, unless you are using a touchscreen display.
Tags: Windows 8 Consumer Preview , System requirements Windows 8 Preview , Windows 8 Preview OS , Windows 8 Preview frequent questions , Windows 8 Preview Install , Windows 8 Install , Windows 8 Store , Windows 8 Store apps , Windows 8 app , Windows 8 Metro UI , 10 things about Windows 8 Preview
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