Windows 8 release date 26th October 2012

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Friday 26th October 2012 sees the official launch date of Microsofts’ new Operating System Windows 8.

It promises to be the fastest loading and sleekest OS to date and is intended for use on a variety of platforms including hand-held tablets which Microsoft are hoping will make a dent in the established iPad and Android market.

The emphasis is shifting away from the mouse orientated desktop, to the new touch screen “Metro” interface with the obvious similarities to other hand held tablets, including swiping the screen from right to left to scroll, pinching to resize or zoom and dragging applications down to the bottom of the screen to close them.

Before looking at the handheld tablet market and running a side by side comparison with the iPad in a follow up article, we are first going to look at the options for existing desktop users running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.

Upgrading from a previous operating system

It is only possible to upgrade from the current operating system to the equivalent or better version of Windows 8

Those users currently running Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows Vista and Windows XP will be given the option of upgrading to the basic Windows 8 or better.

Users currently running Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate don’t get the option of changing to the basic Windows 8 because of the “equivalent or better” rule. Instead the only option is to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro as a minimum.

Users running Windows 7 Enterprise are limited to upgrading to Windows 8 Enterprise

Users running Windows XP with SP3 can upgrade to Windows 8 but all installed programs and settings will be wiped leaving only personal files intact

Users running Windows Vista with SP1 keep both files and settings after upgrading.

Users upgrading from any version of Windows 7 will keep all personal files, system settings and applications after upgrade to Windows 8.

Minimum hardware specifications to run Windows 8 on a workstation :

32 Bit hardware

1Ghz processor


16GB Hard Drive

64 Bit hardware

1GHz processor


20GB Hard drive


Microsoft have kept the pricing structure and purchasing options of Windows 8 a well-guarded secret to date, but TAB Computers understanding is that users already running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 will be able to upgrade up to 5 copies of Windows 8 Pro for under £50 apiece from when it is launched on the 26th October 2012 until 31 January 2013.

Retail versions of Windows 8 appear to be around £80-£90 for the basic version and under £120 for the Professional version (necessary if a company has a domain based network)

Microsoft have been very aggressive with the pricing structure, making the decision to upgrade much easier for business and home users alike, as there is now a great deal more competition in the marketplace to threaten their Operating System dominance

In a future articles we will look under the hood of Windows 8 and compare the new features with the current Windows 7 operating system for workstations and as there are currently around 5,500 apps for Windows 8 available for download from the Windows Store at the time of writing, we will run a side by side comparison with the iPad, as it seems that Microsoft are looking seriously at making a big dent in the handheld tablet market too.

If you wish to discuss the options or consider upgrading, please feel free to call us on 0845 643 1335, drop us a line using the contact form, or email us on and a member of our team would be happy to give you a call back

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