Windows 8 Information

General Information

Windows 8 is a version of Microsoft Windows, a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, and media center PCs. Windows 8 was released for general retail availability on October 26, 2012, following its predecessor, Windows 7.

Windows 8 introduces a new touch-friendly shell and user interface based on Microsoft's Metro design language, featuring a new Start screen with a grid of dynamically updating tiles that represent applications. The new app platform emphasizes touchscreen input and the new Windows Store to obtain and/or purchase apps to run on the operation system. The traditional Windows applications run in the Desktop tile. (adapted from Wikipedia)

Minimum System Requirements

  • A PC with a 1 GHz or faster processor with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
  • 2 GB RAM (32-bit) (4 GB recommended)
  • 4 GB RAM (64-bit) (8 GB recommended)
  • At least 20 GB free hard disk space
  • 1366 x 768 screen resolution
  • Microsoft DirectX9 graphics processor with WDDM driver
    • 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
    • WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
    • Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
    • 32 bits per pixel
  • Internal or external DVD drive
  • Internet access capability
  • Audio output capability

Additional Requirements to Use Certain Features

  • To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch
  • To access the Windows Store, you need an active Internet connection and screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768
  • Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B
  • Some programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance
  • Microsoft account required for some features
  • Watching DVDs requires separate playback software
  • Windows Media Center license sold separately
  • DVD/CD authoring requires a DVD/CD burner optical drive
  • BitLocker requires Trusted Platform Module 1.2 or a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)
  • BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)
  • Client Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and additional 2GB RAM (Windows 8 Pro only)
  • A TV tuner is required to play and record live TV in Windows Media Center (Windows 8 Pro Pack, Windows 8 Media Center Pack only)

To check if your PC meets these requirements, you can run the Upgrade Assistant.

Reference: Windows 8 System Requirements

ITS Supported Version

  • Windows 8 Pro

Departments may purchase this software through the ITS Site License Office. Users can purchase this software for personal use from a computer software retailer that sells Microsoft products.


  • Windows 8 Application Compatibility [HTML]
  • New Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 8 [HTML]

Service Patches/Updates

In Windows 8, press the Windows key + C key to open the Charms bar, click Search. Type windows update in the search box. Click Windows Update.

Company Website

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Article ID: 1450
Created: Tue, 12 Feb 2013 4:43pm
Modified: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 2:35pm