On x86 and x64 PCs, Windows 8 supports Windows 7 desktop applications and devices so you don’t have to compromise or give up what you’re used to. On these PCs, your existing Windows 7-based applications just work.
More for power users:
If you want to push the limits of your PC experience, we’ve invested in the features most often used by power users. We redesigned Windows Explorer and Task Manager to greatly enhance productivity, and developed new, flexible options for multi-monitor setups.
File management with ease
The Windows Explorer to make file navigation and common file management tasks straightforward. The ribbon organizes Explorer’s rich functionality, surfacing previously buried features and has new commands like ISO mounting and single-window move or copy. We’ve brought back a long-lost favorite: the Up button. We’ve also introduced a new enhanced copy experience so you can view and manage all of your file operations in one place.
The new Task Manager is your easy-to-use, all-in-one dashboard for monitoring and controlling your PC so you always know what’s going on with it. The information is presented in color-coded tiles to help draw your eye to items that are using the bulk of a resource. You can keep track of your system efficiently and in real-time, taking advantage of summary graphs and detailed information on processes, applications, and history. You can see the services associated with each process on one screen.
Using multiple monitors is more flexible than ever before. New options allow you to display the Start screen on one monitor and the desktop on the other. Display different desktop backgrounds on each monitor or stretch your image across both. There are also options to have duplicate or unique task bars on each monitor.
Multiple monitors now work as one big workspace
There’s nothing more frustrating than having a major PC failure and spending hours reconstructing your computer’s original state or paying to have someone do the work for you. Windows 8 comes with a number of options to restore your PC to its original state. You can do a basic reset, which gives you an easy option to restart fresh while retaining all of your documents, accounts, personal settings, and even the apps you’ve downloaded from the Windows Store.
Windows 8 also provides some new, advanced options. You can do a complete reset, which restores the PC to the state it was in when originally purchased. And you can also create a reset disk, which is great for power users who have invested time to personalize and configure their PC. Restore from USB Key restores your PC from a thumb drive, saving space and giving you a convenient backup tool in the event that your hard drive is damaged and needs to be replaced.
Windows 8 is built on the rock-solid foundation of Windows 7, and it features many improvements in performance, security, privacy, and system reliability. Everything that consumers, developers, and IT pros have come to love about Windows 7 is still there – only better. Refinements to the kernel improve system responsiveness, security, and performance. Improvements in the driver model and tools chain for driver development improve system stability and reliability. And Windows now runs on ARM devices as well as x86 and x64. You’ll benefit from innovative security features and your apps run faster on Windows 8.
Windows 8 works great on the same hardware that powers Windows Vista and Windows 7: 1 gigahertz or faster 32-bit or processor
1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Of course, taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch.
Apps run on ARM, x86, and x64 architectures!
Many apps benefit when you’re connected. For example, Windows automatically switches to the network connection with the best quality and enables your apps to throttle down their bit rate, which enables your apps to deliver the best possible user experience. On certain networks, as network usage approaches a customer’s usage limit (typically set by their internet service provider), Windows can automatically block further network connections to protect your customer from overage charges.
Wi-Fi and Mobile Broadband:
Windows 8 improves mobile network connectivity by making it easier to use Wi-Fi hotspots as an alternative to mobile broadband connections. Windows 8 treats a mobile broadband network as a metered connection.
Windows 8 also includes an integrated set of radio controls so you can turn network radios on and off, as well as control all of them at once via a convenient ‘flight mode’ switch.
Device companion apps launch when a user connects a Windows certified device, like a camera or TV, to
a Windows 8 PC. Hardware manufacturers can now use the device metadata XML to specify a Metro style device app that automatically downloads and launches when the device is plugged into the PC. These apps can provide more enjoyable customer experiences, such as sharing photos from a camera or connecting to a social network. Plus you don’t have to manage app distribution and updates. You can even design the Metro style device app to provide a unique experience for each country or region.
Windows 8 includes new built-in drivers that support a broad range of devices, including printers, sensors, touch-input devices, and displays. That means that, in many cases, you won’t even need to produce a device driver to accompany your hardware because Windows provides a class driver for you. When users set up their device, it will just work.
The new HID class driver supports common sensors such as heat, light, temperature, pressure, current, and motion. In addition, this driver allows a hardware manufacturer to integrate unique sensors, like a blood-pressure monitor or a glass-breakage sensor. Guidelines for developing HID-compatible devices are available on the Windows Dev Center.
Metro style apps run in a more secure environment. Metro style apps run in a security context with restrictions that control runtime access to sensitive resources. An app declares its required capabilities in its manifest, and the customer can view the capabilities in the app summary in the Windows Store. When customers buy the app, they provide consent for the app to use only those capabilities. The app can also ask them to use the resources they previously agreed to, giving customers further control over their data. So when they use the app, there can be a consistent interface to control ongoing app access to resources like a microphone or webcam.
In addition to running on x86 and x64 devices, Windows 8 delivers even greater flexibility by running on ARM devices. Depending on the technology you use, write your Metro style apps once and they can run on any supported architecture. You can also take advantage of the unique capabilities of your customers’ PCs.