Windows 8 is an operating system developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablets, and home theater PCs.
Development of Windows 8 started even before the release of its predecessor, Windows 7, in 2009.
Release date of Windows 8
Microsoft announced Windows 8 at CES 2011 and was followed by the launch of three pre-release versions from September 2011 to May 2012.
Windows 8 was released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012, and with widespread availability on October 26, 2012.
Because of many issues and generally negative feedback, Microsoft introduced Windows 8.1, a feature update, released on October 17, 2013.
Windows 8 new features
Microsoft decided to completely change the user interface, especially the start-up menu. Moreover, the tech giant redesigned Task Manager to include a new processes tab.
Other more specific changes include:
- Support for USB 3.0 devices
- The removal of the Start button
- Heavier integration with online services
With Windows 8.1, the Start menu button was restored to the taskbar. Also, OneDrive was integrated into Windows.
Windows 8 Editions
Windows 8 has three editions. The first two were available in most countries.
- Windows 8
- Windows 8 Pro
- Windows 8 Enterprise
- Windows RT
All four editions of Windows 8 are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Windows RT was introduced for ARM devices, such as tablets.
Microsoft doesn’t release service packs for Windows 8/8.1, instead, it releases large updates. Although Windows 8 is no longer for sale on Microsoft official store. Still, the tech giant will offer support until January 2023.
Minimum requirements for Windows 8
- RAM: 1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Processor: 1 GHz or faster
- Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
Hardware limitations for Windows 8
Windows 8 in 32-bit versions support a maximum of 4 GB of RAM. Windows 8 Pro (version 64-bit) supports up to 512 GB, and Windows 8 (standard edition) supports a maximum of 128 GB.
Windows 8 Pro supports 2 physical CPUs, and the standard version supports only one CPU.
32-bit versions support 32 logical processors, while 64-bit versions support 256 logical processors.