Windows is the most used OS with around 90 % OS market share as of March 2012. Latest Windows version Windows 7 has performed extremely well since its release back in October 2009 and currently holds most popular OS throne surpassing WinXP and Windows Vista. While Vista was complete failure it still has better market share than Apple’s Mac OS X.
Currently Microsoft is working on Windows 7 successor Windows 8 and we can already see first results demoed on Windows YouTube Chanel and if you like to experiment you can also download Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Windows 8 is till at least half a year away from its official release but first impressions promises amazing user interface called Metro. Metro closest relative can be found on Windows Phone OS and the best example currently is Nokia Lumia 900.
New user interface
Windows 8 compared to its predecessor will get massive UI redesign and this new UI is called “Metro-style”. This new user interface is created to simplify overall user experience to make it intuitive. Microsoft claims that Windows 8 Metro will remove boundaries between tablet OS and desktop OS, so we will get the same user experience between tablets and desktop computers. This also means that we will be able to use the same files, applications and settings across these devices. This is major step forward into unified user experience.
Support for both x86 PCs and ARM processors
One new thing is that Windows 8 will support both x86 and ARM processors. Windows 8 will be the first Windows version that will work on both ARM based tablets and traditional x86 powered computers. What does it mean for users? ARM processors are cheaper and more efficient but not as powerful as x86 processors but still some very cheap but long-battery-life laptops could be made based on these chips.
Windows To Go
The “Windows To Go” seems one of the most exciting new features. Basically this technology will allow Windows 8 to boot from USB device. This means that all your settings and files will be there. This feature doesn’t require very fast USB device and will work with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 standard drives. More details about this innovate approach we will find one Windows 8 will be closer to release date.
Windows App Store
To fight against Apple’s success Microsoft has decided to create App Store called Windows Store. The store will be just like Mac App Store, which allows to browse and buy apps directly from store and also it will help developers to distribute their apps and games via store.
Just like everything else in Windows 8 the Windows Store will also get Metro user interface so it means very good looking design and categories for easy navigation. Bellow you can see first Windows Store demo:
Windows 8 Minimum System Requirements:
Microsoft haven’t yet confirmed minimum system requirements but they claims that Windows 8 will be compatible with any Windows 7 PC out there without any exceptions so the requirements should be close if not the same as for Windows 7:
- Processor: 1GHz or faster 32-bit or 64-bit processor
- RAM: 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit)
- HD Space: 16GB for 32-bit (or 20GB for 64-bit)
Windows 8 Cloud Storage
Windows 8 will have Microsoft’s SkyDrive service preinstalled so most of the important files or at least system backups can be stored on could can be accessible from any other computer and the most importantly files can be synced between two or more computers. Great for those who regularly use more than once computer or tablet. SkyDrive currently offers 25GB of free storage and will be enough to store all your documents and some pictures and other important files.
Windows 8 Release Date
Windows 8 is still in consumer preview phase so it’s too early to say when exactly will be released but Microsoft is concentrating to finish development by fall and release Windows 8 on October 2012. Only time will show if Microsoft be able to stick with their plans.