Windows 8 is the latest iteration of the Windows Operating System which is going to be released on the 26th of September, 2012. Windows 8 is definitely smoother and more responsive than any of the previous versions of Windows before, as evident from the various reviews of the Release Preview. The operating system is based on the foundation of Windows 7 which was universally well-received because of its speed, reliability, and security.
There are a lot of questions that come into mind when we plan to upgrade to Windows 8 as soon as it hits the shelves, here are answers to some of those frequently asked questions about Windows 8 which can help you firmly decide whether to upgrade or not?
Q: How many Windows 8 versions are there?
There are four versions of Windows 8; two versions simply called Windows 8 (with each having slightly different features) for general users, Windows 8 Pro for geeks and Windows 8 Enterprise for businesses.
Q: Which previous versions of Windows can be upgraded to Windows 8?
A: This recent blog post (windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/07/02/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx) from Microsoft clearly states that Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are all upgradeable to Windows 8 Pro.
Q: How much will the Windows 8 upgrade cost?
A: Users — who have purchased operating systems that are compatible with Windows 8 upgrade before June 2, 2012 — can download Windows 8 Pro from Microsoft for $39.99. New computers purchased after June 2, 2012, and before January 31, 2013, with previous versions of Windows can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro is $14.99.
Q: Can one purchase a DVD of Windows 8 or it will be sold online only?
A: Yes, the boxed version of Windows 8 Pro would be available for $69.99. If the downloadable upgrade is purchased, Microsoft would also offer an option to buy a DVD version for an additional $15. The upgrade installation process would also allow you to burn a back up DVD or a bootable USB without any extra charges.
Q: How is Windows 8 different from Windows 8 Pro?
A: Microsoft said in a blog post;
“For many consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice, while we designed Windows 8 Pro to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies.”
It means that Windows 8 Pro would come with many features that most consumers wouldn’t care about such as Client Hyper-V visualization software and Bit Locker disk encryption tool etc.
The entertainment software Windows Media Center would also be missing in Windows 8’s basic version. Windows 8 Pro users would not be getting it pre-loaded also but they could download it for free via a post-upgrade download.
Windows 8 basic version users can purchase a Windows 8 Pro Pack update which would upgrade them to Windows 8 Pro edition and would also automatically install the Windows Media Center. The price of Windows 8 Pro Pack has not been released yet.
Q: What are the hardware requirements for Windows 8?
A: The official hardware requirements for Windows 8 are:
- 1 GHz or faster processor
- 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available hard-disk space (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
- 1024 x 768 screen resolution for Metro-style applications
- 1366 x 768 screen resolution for snap feature
*Snap feature in Windows 8’s automatic resizing and positioning of applications when you drag them to the side of the screen.
Q: Will I face any problems with my old hardware or software when I will upgrade?
A: If you are going to upgrade from Windows XP or Windows Vista, you may have to reinstall some of your applications or software which you were using prior to the upgrade, but if you are upgrading from Windows 7 then most of your programs should work in Windows 8.
Microsoft has also a Compatibility Centre Website where a list, of certified Windows 8 compatible hardware devices and software, is maintained. An automatic runtime compatibility report would also get triggered at the time of the upgrade process.