Before writing the actual content of the post, I would like to share my joy with you. I was very much yesterday because I was not able to get updated about Windows 8 and Surface event of Microsoft Corporation due to some network issues of my PC. But today I was really lucky as I was able to get my hands and eyes on a freshly packed Windows 8 Pro (Windows 8 Professional) Laptop in a Windows 8 launch event conducted in my nearest city. So let me share my total experience and what I knew about Microsoft Windows 8 which is expected to rock in the PC/Laptop market as well as the Tablet PC’s being an Operating System capable of various devices; Personal Computers which are being suppressed by the sudden & popular spreading of the second ones; Tablet PC’s.
What is Windows 8? The question will be absolutely weird in between mad PC and tech geeks as Tech world and Geeks (Non geeks as well) have become very much familiar with Windows 8 as the Developer, Consumer, and Release Preview versions of the new revamped OS has been highly noticed by the Tech world, mainly because of significant changes and improvements from the previous versions XP, Vista (No need to notice actually), and Windows 7. There are a bigger number of both good and bad changes which could simultaneously change your way of handling your PC or Laptop. There are also some noticeable changes such as Windows Store where you can get wonderful Apps for PC. Still, the new OS and the new User Interface have to be introduced to at least some of you. So, let’s start from the beginning of Windows 8 in a simple form.
Windows 8? What?
Yeah! As said before, Windows 8 is the current latest version of Microsoft’s Operating System series. But sources say that the development of Windows 8 was started before the announcement of its previous one, Windows 7. What makes Windows 7 different from the previous version is its revamped, colorful, and simple but great User Interface. We know the 3 previous versions, XP, Vista and Windows 7 was bundled with almost same features which includes a great start menu and all of the stuff were linked with it. Unlike from those Operating Systems, Windows 8 is having a more fluid, compact and entirely different User Interface where all of the other stuff has been replaced by Tiles, which altogether gives a better design. There is also another interesting feature included in Windows 8. The OS is built for both PC and Tablet PC’s which will in-turn help Microsoft to expand their field to the Smart Devices as well.
While talking about the New User Interface, obviously there is a need of mentioning Tiles which are the backbones of Windows 8 UI which was known as Metro UI at the starting. Those tiles are spread over your whole PC and bring you the news about what is happening on your PC and Internet Services as well if you’ve connected those accounts with the OS. As we’ve been using on Smartphones and Tablets, the tiles are some indicators of each process running on your PC as it’ll be remembering you when there is a new email message. Of course the smooth design and wonderful use of Tile view has contributed a numerous fans from the design community. Altogether, all these systems are making your PC/Tablet PC easier to use. Of course, it’s hardly sure that the new Interface can be more effective on touch screen powered devices but still there is a need of clearance in how Desktop/Laptop(without touch screen) will accept the new ones. Anyhow, as I saw in the demonstration, the UI was working great on the PC.
Should I Upgrade to Windows 8? If yes How?
There are several chances and modes using which you can get the new features of Windows 8. But what you’ve to do before upgrading is taking a small research on Windows 8 and find whether the OS and its interface will be nice for you to work around. Let me say that fact first, if you’re not familiar with the Release preview or Consumer Preview of Windows 8, most probably you’ll be scared when starting to use the OS as it won’t be the same thoughts when you upgraded from XP/Vista to Windows 7. Notice following things.
- You’ll be taking around 1,2 or 3 weeks for you to get familiar with the new User Interface and it’s different kind of managing the PC. For example you can’t easily find the familiar Control Panel until you register your Microsoft Account. The spokesman selected Control Panel option by going to control and then from System Properties.
- Windows 8 will be working more finely if you’re moving with a touch screen device.
- Definitely you’ll love Windows 8 if those simple designs and new UI can impress you.
- Whatever the rival words are, altogether Windows 8 is flexi, smoother and obviously faster than previous Windows 7.
- The OS is quite simple. But the simplicity is gained by losing something which you’re familiar with in the former versions of Windows. Just take the case of Start Button; it has been removed from Windows 8 (I think it was available in the Consumer Preview) so you may reject OS due to these changes (Major for you if you’re a Windows Power User).
- The spokesman in the demonstration told that all the Windows 7 apps will be supported by Windows 8 though the new UI Based apps are available from Windows Store. Still, Windows Store doesn’t bear a massive number of Apps. Even though the simplicity makes those apps easier to use, a number of users may not able to digest the simplicity.
Have you read the all things listed above? If you’re ready to move straightforward with the OS, you can just go to the website and upgrade to the OS. Otherwise you’ll have to wait a little bit of time in which you can actually accept or decline the OS from your favorite list.
In the above section, we told you about taking your own decision about upgrading to the newer OS from Microsoft. Suppose if you’re agreed with all the stuff listed above, the next decision is of your PC. We want to know whether your PC will be able to move on with the OS. So, the basic system requirements for Windows 8 are as follows.
- Processor with 1 GHz or more.
- 1 GB RAM (32 Bit). 2 GB for 64 Bit
- Microsoft DirectX Graphics Card with WDDM Driver
If your PC is ready to bear these requirements, you can start upgrading to the newer OS, Windows 8. Th upgrade option through download will have been started from today (Friday) 12:01 morning.
Microsoft’s next aim through the OS is Tablet PC’s being an Operating System working fine both on Tablet PC and PC. And there is also a special version for Tablet PC’s dubbed as Windows 8 RT which in turn says that the OS will be supporting Tablet PC devices powered by ARM Cortex processors. And the twin of Windows 8, Microsoft Surface is also running on Windows 8 RT in which you can run a numerous number of Windows based Applications smoothly. There are custom changes from the Pro (Professional) version such as in keyboard layout.
Different Versions & Pricing
As mentioned in the above content, Windows 8 has three different versions. When Windows 8 was launched, there were 5 versions, Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. But when it comes to Windows 8, it’s Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise for Tablets.
Windows 8: It’s the basic version of Windows 8 and there are no suffixes or initials for the name. Unlike from other versions, Windows 8 doesn’t bear features like Encryption and Windows to Go. No words about the pricing the option is currently available from Microsoft.
Windows 8 Pro: Here is the version which is being promoted in the market by Microsoft; the same was shown in the launch event. All the features of Windows 8 are packed with the version. So I prefer all of you to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro and not to Windows 8.
Windows RT: It’s the most discussed version of Windows 8 as it’s the one which is able to power Tablet PCs and it’s the most basic version as well. The version is designed for device which run on ARM based processors which results in AMD or Intel based devices will not be able to run the OS. In turn Windows RT has some limitations. Windows RT couldn’t run x86 Applications on it which means if you’re buying a Windows RT powered Surface, you can’t run famous x86 programs including your favorite and only some competitive ones are distributed over Windows Store. Because of being simple, the OS is oriented for Tablet PCs which will result in better battery life and simplicity of use.
Windows 8 Enterprise: The version is oriented for high end features and is aimed at system administration purposes in large companies.
Next is about the pricing of upgrading your OS to Windows 8’s various versions. As they’ve done in the number of versions, here you’ve numerous number of upgrading plans.
If you are a one who bought Windows 7 powered PC after 2 June, 2012, you have to pay just 699 Rs (around $14) for upgrading to Windows 8 Pro if you’re brand has such a package for you (The package was available from months ago.) You can use this chance until 2013, January 31st. Upgrade will cost around 1999 Rs when it’s from Windows XP, Windows 7 or Vista. Validity of the offer is also 31st January 2012.
But one thing! All these features are applicable for you only if you’re download the installation disk from Official Windows 8 Website. There are also some offers for who want to buy a physical disk. The disk will cost around 4000 Rs until 31st January 2012 and the cost will change to around 11000 Rs after that date.
There is more!
There is something really wonderful features of Windows 8 OS. One of the interesting ones is the Windows Store which works as the Google Play in Android Devices. From Windows Store, you can download a lot of Windows Based Application directly to PC. Since it’s from Microsoft, we don’t have to fear about security threats. And when the spokesman told about this, my mind thought Microsoft is trying to set up a mobile based download palace as Google has done through Google Play services.
Other ones are add-ons and Xbox Music, which is a music service run by Microsoft allowing users to subscribe music channels, to stream or download music to their PC. Smartglass is also a nice feature regarding the integration between Xbox and your Windows 8 PC/Tab. Using the clean interface, you’re able to control Xbox’s options and getting a gaming experience through splitting your PC’s screen into two. Other than publishing an exclusive application, Microsoft Corporation has set a new strategy of a quite open approach to their tight competitors. So, the feature is available for both Android and iOS devices through corresponding applications.
What I found Interesting?
There are a number of Windows 8 features attracted me a lot in the demonstration. Let me share it to you as a list.
- Revamped Windows Explorer: The new Windows Explorer of Microsoft Windows 8 works very well through its ribbon features on top. Use of right click has been probably avoided in Windows 8 through the clever use of ribbon.
- Sharing: The latest version includes Internet Explorer 10 along with more features. We know, sharing has more significance nowadays either you’re a marketer or a power user. It’s very much easy to share contents from Windows 8 while browsing a site, there is an option on the Champs to share the website via email, or any other Social Networking Websites. Services will be appearing there as you add them to Windows.
- Better Performance: Of course there is a great difference of performance in between Windows 8 and the former versions. And the improvement is also present on the file transfer.
- Picture Password: Except from putting some words or phrases as the password, Windows 8 has a new one; Picture Passwords. You can mark 3 spots on a selected picture in a specific order. You’ll have to mark those spots again for logging into your PC. And the locked screen is also an interesting one as users don’t have to log into user account for knowing current statistics of PC at current moment such as Network Connectivity or Battery Charge.
- Reset & Refresh: There are two options Reset your PC and Refresh Your PC. Refreshing your PC won’t affect your files or documents which mean that only the apps will be cleared by that task. In other hand resetting your PC is almost like re-installing the OS and files may be subjected to deletion.
- Dual Accounts: There are two accounts for you in Windows 8. One is your Microsoft account and the other one is Local Account. You’ve activate windows with Microsoft account for getting the maximum features of your Windows 8 OS. You’re able to use Windows 8 through the local account but if you need more, you’ll have to sync Microsoft with PC. I felt like syncing our Google Accounts when we start an Android Device.
- Skype: Skype integration has been added to Windows 8 and the communication between friends is now made simple.
This is what I found regarding Windows 8. But preference goes to your opinion about Windows 8. We said that various upgrading plans are available for Windows 8 and it seems comparatively cheaper to upgrade to Windows 8 unlike from last versions. So, are you going to upgrade to Windows 8 from the current state? Share it through comments. Share your opinion about Windows 8 as well.