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Windows 8 System Requirements

System Requirements for Microsoft's Latest Operating System

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With Microsoft's release of the developer preview to the general public, users are probably wondering what the specifications for the new operating system are.

If you think that you will need to have the latest hardware screaming with quad core processors, tons of RAM and the latest video card you will be pleased to find out that Windows 8 will most likely run in your 5 year-old computer.

The following is a listing of the requirements set for the Developer Preview of Windows 8.

Windows 8 Developer Preview System Requirements

You will be happy to know that Windows Developer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows Vista and Windows 7, which means that the final release will most likely work well on computers purchased three to four years ago.

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) 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
  • In order to take advantage of touch input in the new operating system, you will need a screen that supports multi-touch. This is only a requirement if you intent to use touch.
  • In order to run Microsoft's new Metro style Apps, your screen will need a resolution greater than 1024 X 768.

So now that you have the system requirements for Windows 8 Developer Preview, click on one of the links in the Downloads section below to download and install Windows 8 on one of your computers.

Download & Install Windows 8 Developer Preview

The following set of download links will take you directly to the downloads referenced below.

Note: The downloads are the official ISO images offered by Microsoft on their Windows 8 Developer Preview page.

WARNING: Make sure to create a Windows Vista/7 restore disc prior to installing Windows 8 otherwise your data will be lost if you wish to revert to a previous version of Windows.

  • Windows 8 Developer Preview with Developer Tools (64-bit) - Download 4.8GB
  • Windows 8 Developer Preview (64-bit) - Download 3.6GB
  • Windows 8 Developer Preview (32-bit) - Download 2.8GB

The developer tools version of Windows 8 is only available as a 64-bit install. The developer tools included in this version are as follows:

  • Windows SDK (Software Development Kit) for Metro style apps
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 Developer Preview
  • Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview
  • 28 Metro style apps including the BUILD Conference app

Please remember that you cannot uninstall the Windows 8 Developer Preview, so if you install it and feel that its too buggy or you don't like it you will need to have created a restore disc prior to installing Windows 8 in order to revert to Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Note: A clean install is supported on all builds of Windows 8, but you can upgrade from Windows 7 if you are installing the 32-bit or 64-bit versions without the developer tools.

If you are upgrading from Windows 7 you will receive the full set of migration options when setup is launched in Windows (a great way to preview how Windows 8 will handle data portability between versions). These set of options will ensure that data stored in Windows 7 is retained during the upgrade process.

To dual-boot, you must first boot from the downloaded media and choose an alternative partition.

Make sure to check out the official Windows 8 download page for more information about installation and future updates.

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