Monday, 5 March 2012

Windows 8

Windows 8 is the codename for the upcoming version of Microsoft Windows that follows Windows 7. It features a new Metro-style interface that is designed for touchscreen, mouse, keyboard, and pen input. It also adds support for the ARM processor architecture in addition to the previously supported x86 microprocessors from Intel and AMD. Its server counterpart is codenamed Windows Server 8.

Metro UI
Windows 8 will employ a new user interface based on Microsoft’s Metro design language. The Metro environment will feature a new tile-based Start screen similar to the Windows Phone operating system. Each tile will represent an application, and will be able to display relevant information such as the number of unread messages on the tile for an email app or the current temperature on a weather application. Metro-Style applications run in full-screen, and are able share information between each other using “contracts”. They will be available through the new Windows Store. Metro-Style apps are developed with the new Windows Runtime platform using various programming languages; including C++, Visual Basic, C#, and HTML/Javascript.

Other features
§ A desktop app will be included for running legacy non-Metro applications. Unlike the Windows 7 desktop, however, the Start button on the “Developer Preview” build opens the Start screen instead of the Start menu, and recent leaked builds leading up to the “Consumer Preview” revealed that the Start orb had been removed entirely, in favor of a hotspot in the bottom-left corner.
§  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 resembles Internet Explorer 9 and will maintain legacy plug-in support.
§  Ability to sign in using a Windows Live ID. This will allow for the user’s profile and setting 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.
§  Hybrid Boot will use “advanced hibernation functionality” on shutdown to allow faster startup times.
§  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.
§  Windows To Go will allow Windows 8 to be 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

Secure boot
Secure boot is a UEFI-based feature to “prevent unauthorized firmware, operating systems, or UEFI drivers from running at boot time”.
Microsoft will require new PCs to have the UEFI secure boot feature enabled by default to be given Windows 8 certification. Microsoft requires that manufacturers must offer the ability to turn off the secure boot feature on x86 hardware, but must not offer such an option on ARM hardware.

Hardware requirements
Microsoft says that the developer preview works well on hardware suitable for Windows Vista or Windows 7; these system requirements may change in the final release.

Minimum hardware requirements for Windows Developer Preview
Processor 1 GHz
Memory (RAM) 1 GB IA-32 (32-bit) 2 GB x86-64 (64-bit)
Graphics Card DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
HDD free space 16 GB IA-32 (32-bit) 20 GB 2 GB x86-64 (64-bit)
A multi-touch screen is recommended for touch input (single-touch screens are supported, but do not allow for multi-touch gestures).
For Metro applications, a screen resolution of 1024×768 or higher is required to run one app at a time, and a resolution of 1366×768 is required to run two app side-by-side using snap.
A blog post by Microsoft notes that the setup process is error-prone when installing in a virtual machine, and installing without hardware virtualization support can be particularly problematic. It is reported to work under VMware Workstation, VMware Player, VirtualBox, and Parallels Desktop for Mac — detailed instructions for installing in these environments have been published.

Software compatibility
Legacy applications
Windows 8 for x86/64 processors will run most software compatible with previous versions of Windows, with the same restrictions as Windows 7: 64-bit Windows will run 64-bit and 32-bit software while 32-bit Windows will run 32-bit and 16-bit software (although some 16-bit software may require compatibility settings to be applied, or not work at all). Windows 8 on ARM processors (WOA) will not support running, emulating, or porting existing x86/64 desktop applications.

Metro-style applications
Metro applications will also be cross-compatible with both x86/64 based systems and Windows on ARM.

Download Windows 8
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available worldwide for download in English, French, German, Japanese and simplified Chinese languages.
If you prefer ISO files, go to the following link to download the image files:
Or you can just go the following link let it decide which version would be suitable for you:

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