Windows 8

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

Windows 8, code-named Midori, is a version of Microsoft Windows released on October 26, 2012. This iteration contains the biggest changes Microsoft has made to their operating system since Windows 95. It features new programming and technology that makes run faster than the previous versions. It also has a more streamlined look and feel. Windows 8 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 replaced 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, for example the Task Manager, were redesigned.
  • Store - New app store that lets you install Windows apps.
  • Microsoft account login - Users can now utilize their Microsoft account to access the same Windows settings across multiple computers.
  • More login options - Can now 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 antivirus 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 resizing 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