Windows 8

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope

Windows 8, codenamed Midori, is a version of Microsoft Windows released October 26, 2012. This iteration contains some of the biggest changes Microsoft has made to their operating system since Windows 95. It features new programming and technology allowing it to run faster as well as a more streamlined look and feel to users. Windows 8 also includes a tablet interface, called Metro, which is compatible with touch-screen displays and stills offers access to the traditional Windows Desktop. Below is an example of the new Windows 8 Start screen, which replaces the Start button and Start Menu.

Windows 8

New Windows 8 and 8.1 features

  • Metro interface - Completely new designed interface called Metro that helps Windows run better as a tablet. Other sections of Windows including the Task Manager and other settings areas also redesigned.
  • Store - New app store that allows you to install Windows apps.
  • Microsoft account login - Users can now use their Microsoft account login to login to their computer and have access to Windows settings across multiple computers.
  • More login options - Can no login to Windows using a Pin or picture password.
  • 32-bit and 64-bit - Windows 8 is available to be installed as either 32-bit or 64-bit.
  • Improved Windows Defender - Improved Windows Defender with anti-virus capabilities.
  • USB 3.0 support - Native support for USB 3.0.
  • Xbox Live - Microsoft has also built Windows 8 with Xbox Live integration in mind.
  • Internet Explorer 10 - Internet Explorer 10 is included.

Windows 8.1

On October 18, 2013 Microsoft released Windows 8.1. This free update added the features mentioned below to Windows 8.

  • Start button on the Desktop that opens the Start Screen.
  • More customization to the Start screen including the ability to resize tiles, new backdrops, and the ability to use the Desktop wallpaper as a backdrop to the Start Screen.
  • Improvements to the Apps screen.
  • Improved Search box that activates by typing anywhere.
  • New photo lock screen to show your photos when your computer is locked.
  • Better app splitting capabilities including the ability to put three or four on-screen simultaneously.
  • Ability to load straight to the Desktop.

Windows 8 system requirements

1 GHz processor or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)
1 GB of RAM for 32-bit or 2 GB of RAM for 64-bit
16 GB of hard drive space for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher.

What Windows came before Windows 8?

For the end user, Windows 7 came before Windows 8.

What version of Windows came after Windows 8?

For the end user, Microsoft Windows 10 came after Windows 8.

Operating system terms, Windows 7, Windows RT