Windows 8 release date and features: Microsoft Corp
Windows 8 is the official name for the next version of Microsoft Windows Operating System, a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, and media center PCs. According to unofficial sources, the release date for Windows 8 has been set for October 2012, three years after the release of its predecessor, Windows 7.
Windows 8′s server counterpart, Windows Server 2012, is in development concurrently with Windows 8. The most recent officially released pre-release version is the Consumer Preview, which was released on February 29, 2012. An almost-complete Release Preview is scheduled for the first week of June 2012.
Unlike Windows 7, which was intended to be a more focused, incremental upgrade to the Windows line, Windows 8 has been “reimagined from the chipset to the user experience” to connect more with the user. It features the Metro-style interface that is designed for touchscreen input similar to that in Windows Phone and on the Xbox 360. A version of Windows 8, called Windows RT, also adds support for the ARM processor architecture in addition to the previously supported x86 microprocessors from Intel and AMD.
Windows 8 FEATURES:
The traditional desktop environment, for running desktop applications, is treated as a Metro app. The Start button has been removed from the taskbar in favor of a Start button on the new charm bar, as well as a hotspot in the bottom-left corner. Both open the new Start screen, which replaces the Start menu.
Other features: Internet Explorer 10 will be included both as a Metro-style app, which will not support plugins or ActiveX components, and a desktop version which will maintain legacy plug-in support.
Ability to sign in using a Windows Live ID. This will allow for the user’s profile and settings to be synchronized over the internet and accessible from other computers running Windows 8, as well as integration with SkyDrive.
Two new authentication methods: picture password, which allows users to log in by drawing three gestures in different places on a picture, and PIN log in, which allows users to authenticate using a four digit pin.
Windows Explorer will include a ribbon toolbar, and have its file operation progress dialog updated to provide more detailed statistics, the ability to pause file transfers, and improvements in the ability to manage conflicts when copying files.
Hybrid Boot will use “advanced hibernation functionality” on shutdown to allow faster startup times.
A laptop showing Windows 8′s Hybrid Boot:
Bootable Windows To Go USB flash drive.
Windows To Go will allow Windows 8 to boot and run from a bootable USB device (such as a flash drive).
Two new recovery functions are included, Refresh and Reset. Refresh restores all Windows files to their original state while keeping settings, files, and Metro-Style apps, while reset takes the computer back to factory default condition.
Native USB 3.0 support.
A new lock screen.
New Windows Task Manager design.
Xbox Live (Including Xbox Live Arcade).
Storage Spaces will allow users to combine different sized hard disks into virtual drives and specify mirroring, parity, or no redundancy on a folder-by-folder basis.
|Architecture||x86 (32-bit)||x86-64 (64-bit)|
|Memory (RAM)||1 GB||2 GB|
|Graphics Card||DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver|
|HDD free space||16 GB||20 GB|
On February 18, 2012, Microsoft confirmed that in Windows 8 the Windows logo will be significantly updated to reflect the new Metro design language. The logo was designed by Pentagram partner Paula Scher. The formerly flag-shaped logo has been transformed into four window panes, perspective was added, and the entire logo will be rendered in a single solid color, which will depend on the user’s personalization changes.
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