Here is advice for those with just a working knowledge of computer hardware.
If your machine has been running Vista or Windows 7, then don’t worry, it will be suitable to install Windows 8.
If you are thinking of upgrading a machine that was bought for XP, then unliess you have updated the graphics card consider throwing it away and buying new kit.
Minimum Requirements for Windows 8
Each edition of Microsoft’s Windows 8 edition has the same system requirements. The minimum specifications for Windows 8 are the same as Windows 7, or slightly less than Vista, this means that your ‘old’ hardware is capable of running Windows 8.
Processor – 1 GHz
RAM – 2 MB 64-bit
Disk Space – 20 GB for the operating system
Graphics Adapter – Supports Aero
DVD – To install your Microsoft operating system.
It makes a welcome change for a newer Microsoft operating system not to demand more CPU power and larger memory than its predecessors. That said there is a big difference between the basic requirements and running programs without frustration, thus I always like to double, if not quadruple, the minimum RAM. Also in my opinion, you can never buy a big enough hard drive.
If you are having doubts about an old machine running Windows 8 then Microsoft provide a wonderful free utility called the Windows Upgrade Advisor.
This utility scans your PC and not only reports compatibility problems with hardware and devices, but also suggests how to bring your computer up to specification before you install Windows 8.
Windows 8 Versions
- Starter (Only available pre-installed by an OEM)
- Home Basic (Only sold in emerging markets)
- Home Premium (Media Center)
- Professional (Same as old Business version)
- Enterprise (Microsoft Software Assurance customers)
- Ultimate (Those who want all features)
As you peruse the above list, each successive version builds on features of the previous item. This is an improvement over Vista where the inclusion of the Media Center was confusing.
SolarWinds’ Orion performance monitor will help you discover what’s happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
What I like best is the way NPM suggests solutions to network problems. Its also has the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you try NPM now.
Costs of an Upgrade to Microsoft’s Windows 8
Upgrades from previous Microsoft client system to Windows 8 should be approximately:
- Home Premium: $120
- Windows 7 Professional: $200
- Windows 7 Ultimate: $220
Upgrade Windows 8 Consumer Preview to Windows 8 RTM
This shocked me, if true it would be the first time I can remember beta software that could be upgraded to the (Release to Manufacturer) version.
Source: ComputerWorld, they say: "Users running Windows 8 Release Preview can upgrade using the Windows.com upgrade tool and pay the $40."
Microsoft Windows 8 Milestones
- Beta 1 September 2010 (M2)
- Pre-release Version February 2011 (M2)
- Feature complete March 2011 (M3)
- Public Beta Build 8102 September 2011
- Release Candidate March 2012
- Final Release August 2012 (M4)
- General Availability October 2012
- Windows 8.1 "Blue" August 2013
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