So Microsoft have decided to release another OS, seems about the right time of year for that, Windows 8.

Unlike previous versions of Windows, lets talk about Win7 which was available in:

  • Home Premium
  • Home Permium N
  • Professional
  • Professional N
  • Ultimate
  • Ultimate N

Ok, so for anyone who is unaware of what the ‘N’ editions were, lets just quickly explain. I think you all will remember that in 2004 Microsoft were fined £331 Million by the European Commission basically for giving everyone IE, Windows Media Player and a whole host of other pieces of software for free and by default on all machines, claiming it was anti competitive. So Home Premium N and all other versions of N are the Windows OS without Windows Media Player, costing no more or less than the normal version of the OS. This is the Microsoft work around for the OS meaning people have a choice which OS they want, the one with Media Player or the one without (which in my opinion, the first thing your going to do is download Media Player since it’s free and it’s better than most of the other free media players out there).

Anyway back to the topic of this blog, Windows 8. So the new “versions” are set to be Windows 8, Windows 8 Professional (both will come in x86/64 varients) and the biggest news being a tablet based OS called RT (definition of RT yet to be explained, many theories exist most likely being that it stands for Real Time).

Now I have never really been a fan of any Windows OS since they moved away from what I feel was the best user friendly OS Win98. However, since we are now in a vastly more mobile and instant access world than we were back in 98 I have been looking forward to the next Windows OS.

So what improvements and new features will you see in the new OS? Take a look at this table (I may have copied direct from the windowsteamblog):

Feature name Windows 8 Windows 8 Pro Windows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium x x
Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate x
Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles x x x
Windows Store x x x
Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video) x x x
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) x
Internet Explorer 10 x x x
Device encryption x
Connected standby x x x
Microsoft account x x x
Desktop x x x
Installation of x86/64 and desktop software x x
Updated Windows Explorer x x x
Windows Defender x x x
SmartScreen x x x
Windows Update x x x
Enhanced Task Manager x x x
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs) x x x
Better multiple monitor support x x x
Storage Spaces x x
Windows Media Player x x
Exchange ActiveSync x x x
File history x x x
ISO / VHD mount x x x
Mobile broadband features x x x
Picture password x x x
Play To x x x
Remote Desktop (client) x x x
Reset and refresh your PC x x x
Snap x x x
Touch and Thumb keyboard x x x
Trusted boot x x x
VPN client x x x
BitLocker and BitLocker To Go x
Boot from VHD x
Client Hyper-V x
Domain Join x
Encrypting File System x
Group Policy x
Remote Desktop (host) x

 

It’s not as comprehensive a list as I was expecting to be honest, there are a few features on there that I am happy to see, the File History, Picture Password and an improvement to the Remote Access (client in 8 and host in Pro). You may ask “why are you not excited by the Windows Store (app store)?” basically because I work on a Mac which has the App-store desktop feature so this is nothing new.

If you’re interested in testing out the new Windows 8 OS you can download a consumer preview version here. Minimum system Requirement for running the system are as follows:

  • 1 GHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM (if 32-bit), 2 GB RAM (for 64-bit)
  • 16 GB disk space (32-bit), 20 GB disk space (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 device with WDDM 1.0 drivers
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution

I for one will not be installing the Consumer Preview, My windows machine at home is just being used as a media machine and will not require anything new to be honest so I will not be jepodising my current setup, also interesting to note, since the Consumer Preview has been released there have been more than 1000 changes and modifications made so I don’t hugely fancy being Microsoft’s guinea pig.

Leave a Reply