Windows 8 on sale tomorrow: Where to get it!
Windows 8, Microsoft’s massive revamp of its operating system, launches at midnight tonight. It’s hard to believe, but it marks the first time that the software giant has changed how Windows fundamentally works in almost two decades, so it’s a big deal. We’ll have a full review for you just as soon as we can, but in the meantime, we’ve got the rundown on how to get it when the clock strikes twelve right here.
Will my computer run Windows 8?
In short, almost certainly yes. The minimum hardware requirements for Windows 8 are actually lower than they were for running Windows 7, so even if you’re running a lowly netbook with Windows 7 Starter Edition installed, you should be just fine. You can also upgrade machines from Window XP and Windows Vista. You can even install Windows 8 on a Mac, though if you’ve not got Windows running on yours already, that’s a bit trickier.
Download Windows 8
The best best is to download Windows 8: until the end of the year, Microsoft is selling it at a heavy discount: just £24.99 for Windows 8 Pro. You’ll be able to find it at Microsoft’s website as soon as Windows 8 goes on sale here. All you need is a mchine with a 1GHz or faster processor, and 1GB of RAM or more.
Buy Windows 8 on disc
If you don’t fancy laying waste to your broadband data allowance by downloading Windows 8, you can still buy it in disc form through the usual tech stores – but it’ll cost a lot more. PC World for instance has it up for pre-order now £49.99
What about Windows RT?
You might have heard a lot about Windows 8 made especially for tablets: it’s a little bit confusing since Microsoft hasn’t really explained the divide in advertising so far. This is what’s available in the Microsoft Surface tablet on sale today: it runs on a low power processor for great battery life, but like an iPad, it can only run new Windows 8 apps downloaded through Microsoft’s store, not any existing Windows apps. Don’t fret too much though: you can’t buy Windows RT anywhere, it only comes installed on new Windows tablets.
Should I upgrade?
That could be a tougher call. The new look start screen with live tiles, and app switching gestures, show Windows 8 has clearly been designed with touchscreen in mind, and the chances are you can’t prod your existing laptop – or at least nothing happens when you try. There’s still a desktop mode, but since Windows 7 has that too, you might want to just keep things the way they are: we’ll have a full review in the coming days to let you know, so stay tuned.