Windows 8 to Run on Same Computers as Windows 7 and Vista

Thursday, July 14, 2011

At the 2011 Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft announced that upcoming Windows 8 will work on existing machines that are able to run Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Vice President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, Tami Reller said,

“In both of our Windows 8 previews, we talked about continuing with the important trend that we started with Windows 7, keeping system requirements either flat or reducing them over time. Windows 8 will be able to run on a wide range of machines because it will have the same requirements or lower.”

Since Windows 8 will run on Windows 7 computers, the requirements should be as follows. Note that Vista machines have the same requirements as Windows 7 machines.

  • 1 GHz CPU
  • 1 GB ram 32 bit or 2GB ram 64 bit
  • 16 GB of Hard Drive Space 32 bit or 20 GB of space 64 bit
    • Note that Windows 7 Rarely requires more than 8 GB on a 64 bit machine
  • Direct X 9 Graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

The Windows team announced that these standards would be maintained by having Windows adapt to your hardware.

“We’ve also built intelligence into Windows 8 so that it can adapt to the user experience based on the hardware of the user. So, whether you’re upgrading an existing PC, or buying a new one, Windows will adapt to make the most of that hardware.”

On a related note, Windows Phone president Andy Lees envisions tablet machines as PCs.

“One of the key important things here, though, is the change that’s yet to happen, but it’s about to happen, and that is the bringing together of these devices into a unified ecosystem, because at the core of the device itself it’s possible to be common across phones, PCs, and TVs, and even other things, because the price drops dramatically. Then it will be a single ecosystem. We won’t have an ecosystem for PCs, and an ecosystem for phones, one for tablets. They’ll all come together. And just look at the opportunity here.

In 2010, if you count all of these things, there’s just under 700 million units sold in that year. And yet if you look at the predictions from IDC and add them up, that will increase to over a billion units that are sold in 2012. And notice how it’s additive; it’s not that this is about replacing the PC. And that’s why our strategy is that these new form factors are within a single ecosystem and not new ecosystems themselves. Windows has always spanned different PC form factors. And with Windows 8 we’re going to take this to a whole new level including tablets.

Now, a lot of people have asked me, are we going to produce a phone that is a tablet? You know, are we going to use Windows Phone 7 to produce tablets? Well, that is in conflict with this strategy. We view a tablet as a sort of PC. We want people to be able to do the sorts of things that they expect on a PC on a tablet, things like networking to be able to connect to networks, and utilize networking tools, to get USB drives and plot them into the tablet. To be able to do things like printing, all of the things using Office, using all of the things you would expect from a PC and provide a hybrid about how you can do that with the tablet, as well.”

Windows 8 is rumored to release to RTM in April 2012 with a first public beta release in mid-September.

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