Windows 8’s Anatomy (Part 1)

12/22/2012 9:12:21 AM

Windows 8 was released and it has represented the biggest change since Windows 95. Jim Martin took a closer look to the final version.

Windows 8 was released in October 26th when it would become the most installed operating system on new PCs and laptops. Its variant, Winndows RT is also available for tablets among which is Microsoft Surface. Concurrently, Windows Phone 8 was due to appear on smartphones. In the following, we would keep talking about everything related to Windows 8 – except for Windows Phone 8 which was not available at then.

System requirements: 1GHz processor, 1GB (2GB for 64bit version) of RAM, 16GB (32GB for 64bit version), 1024x768pixel resolution, DirectX 9, Internet connection, multi-pointing screen for interactive inputting.

Everything changed

An entire change

You may have been accustomed to, at least, one of Windows versions used in most PCs at present: Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Improvements have been made through years but those versions share common foundation with Windows 95. Now, there are 2 different operating systems: Windows 8 (and Windows 8 Pro) for PC/laptop and Windows RT for ARM-based tablet.

Windows 8 represents a thorough change. The conventional home screen is now replaced to make room for new “Moder UI” (dubbed as Metro UI before). The interface is optimized for touch-sensitive interaction, making it easy to input data by hand for keyboard with mouse. However, in this environment, only specially coded apps are compatible.

Windows 8 or “Modern” apps can be downloaded from new Windows Store or third-party websites. Like App Store and Google Play, Windows Store appears shows free and budget apps for downloading. There may be few apps at first. This will be changed when more and more people upgrade operating system or purchase new PC installed with Windows 8, or tablets run on Windows RT.

You can still execute old programs on Classic Home screen in Windows 8 PC/laptop, but not in devices run on Windows RT.

Windows 8 upgrade

You don’t need to buy any new PC/lap to have Windows 8. Like previous versions, you can upgrade your current Windows version up to Windows 8 though there will be some limitation in file formats and settings.

Those who are using Windows XP can only transfer data while Vista users are able to transfer settings. Only Windows 7 users continue using installed programs, some of which may be incompatible. The system’s installer will notify you of what to do or which program needs uninstalling.

Windows 8 vs. Windows RT

We must be clear that: Windows 8 is coded for x86 processor (Intel or AMD) which can be found in your present PC/laptop; Windows RT is built for ARM processor appearing in smartphone/tablet. Except for the fact that it cannot run on your smartphone, you need to get along with Windows Phone 8. Windows 8 and Windows RT are not the same though they share common operations.

Windows 8 vs. Windows RT

Windows 8 vs. Windows RT

One bearable thing is that you can’t purchase Windows RT like you can’t, either, with iOS from Apple. It is, by default, installed on the tablet.

Windows RT is compatible with apps downloaded from Windows Store, like Windows 8. However, RT version includes Microsoft Office while Windows 8 doesn’t.

Windows RT doesn’t feature conventional home screen for running programs but Windows 8 does. Besides, two standards version of Windows 8 and RT lack some features which appear only in Windows 8 Pro. They are Windows Media Player, BitLocker and domain support. Although Remote Desktop is available, it functions as a client app thus you can gain remote access to Windows RT tablet.

Windows RT has Internet Explorer 10.0, Office 2013 suit, Mail, Calendar, Maps, Photos, Music, Videos, Weather, People, News, Travel, Finance and SkyDrive. There’re also Windows Defender, Exchange ActiveSync and support for VPN.

Microsoft confirmed that IE 10.0 (in RT version) would support Flash. It has been widely used in many websites on the Internet. Flash is also included in Windows 8 (desktop version).

Microsoft’s Surface introduced uses Windows RT.

Microsoft’s Surface introduced uses Windows RT.


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