Following the huge success that was Windows 7, Windows 8 made its market premier in 2012. The operating system had a whole new interface and introduced features that would be particularly suitable for tablets and smartphones, a market that Windows hoped to break into while offering serious competition to Apple and Android. Windows 8 was the first Windows operating system with support for a touchscreen interface.
But not everyone saw Windows 8 as an operating system worth celebrating. Many held that Windows 7 had been one of the most stable and user-friendly releases up until that point, making the thorough redesign that was Windows 8 unnecessary and unhelpful. Generally, most people saw the removal of the trusted old taskbar that had been there in previous releases as a demerit, citing navigational difficulties especially when running heavy programs. Due to that, Microsoft decided to address the problem by upgrading Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and the upgrade restored faith in Windows users as some of the missing features were incorporated.
In spite of the negative reviews of Windows 8 by some users the operating system was of world class quality. Experts say that it is one of the few releases in the recent past where the Microsoft Corporation has gone the extra mile to improve its security and capacity to repel computer adware and malware.
Some features notable in Windows 8 that have reportedly made things better when compared to features in Windows 7 has been linked to its 3.0 USB drivers. The seamless integration of Microsoft’s cloud storage solution SkyDrive is another significant benefit – it makes data available anywhere with a minimum input from the user’s end. The SmartScreen filtering service, mostly used to fish out malware that may be a threat to the system during the booting process, has also been seen as another valuable addition. Security was consequently improved by having unauthorised installation of programs noticed and halted by the program automatically through the introduction of a public key infrastructure feature.
As stated earlier, issues related to the first release of this version of Windows were addressed later following the release of an upgrade, Windows 8.1 such as the re-emergence of the taskbar and the typical start menu button. Despite those initial negative reviews, Windows 8 has been a commercial success, reportedly having sold over 60 million copies and licenses.
One of the reasons why Windows 8 is sought in large numbers by its increased user base is its capacity to integrate with multiple services from Microsoft’s online store. Upon purchase and registration, the system allows users to access their accounts, which directly link with Microsoft online.
Like Windows 7, Windows 8 also employed 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems, ensuring compatibility with older devices that only support 32 bit systems. Windows 8 has been customised in such a way that the minimum system requirements are affordable by most users. That being said, it will not work on anything with a processor slower than 1GHz or with less than 1 GB RAM. Users with old and slow hardware may therefore want to consider upgrading that at the same time as upgrading their OS.