windows_8_concept_logoEvery time a new desktop operating system appears, users fear they would have to purchase the latest-generation PC, otherwise the software won’t run. Or if it runs, it won’t run seamlessly. That is true in most of the cases but Microsoft has broken that unwritten rule ever since the company launched Windows 7. And it was a smart move from the company.

The tech giant has decided to follow the same pattern for its upcoming operating system which means that Windows will have the same system requirements as Windows 7. In fact it might be even more interesting since Windows 8 has much lower “hardware requirements” and enables it fully embrace ultra-thin clients (even those running on ARM).

What Are Windows 8 System Requirements:

“Windows 8 will not require any specific enhancement to hardware in terms of memory, disk space, CPU than Windows 7 and exciting for the UK Academic space is Windows 8 will run on Intel, AMD and ARM based chips”, further confirmed Lee Stott, Academic Evangelist at Microsoft UK in charge for MSDNAA.

“Windows 8 won’t require any more hardware oomph – memory, disk space graphics, etc. – than Windows 7,” stated Steven Sinofsky, President of Windows and Windows Live Division at the D9 conference.

Steven Sinofsky

As a reminder, here are the system requirements for Windows 7 as they appear on Microsoft’s official website:

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.

Windows 8 integrates revamped graphics capabilities and an improved version of DirectX. This is when it gets a bit tricky, because users will have to upgrade their graphics card so as to enable all the features of the new DirectX.  Basically this is one of the very few requirements, if not the only one, that involves upgrading a certain hardware component.

Of course, the next generation DirectX will run just fine on a graphics card compatible with Windows 7, but customers won’t benefit from all the latest enhancements the upcoming DirectX technology has to offer.

Windows 7 reported a top score of 7.9 in the Windows Experience Index Score. Taking into account the improvements Windows 8 will bring, its top score could go as up as 9.9 or even 10.9.  These values, however, can only be reached if Windows 8 is running on the best hardware system currently available. Users who will run Windows 8 on older generation hardware systems won’t report such high values.