BUILD 2011 | Microsoft reveals first details on Windows 8 system requirements

The minimum requirements will be lower than what you may expect
Allen Ngo,

The BUILD 2011 conference has shed some light on Windows 8, including some minimum system requirements to run the new operating system.

According to Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky, a basic system with an Atom CPU and just 1GB of RAM should be able to run the software just adequately. As an example, he mentioned the now almost 4-year old Lenovo IdeaPad S10 netbook as being compatible with the Windows 7 successor. Of course, a higher spec system would be recommended, but the surprisingly low system requirements definitely means that Microsoft is optimizing where it can while reducing intrusive bloatware. This would make the operating system much more ideal for tablets as well, where system resources would be more limited compared to notebooks.

Furthermore, Microsoft showed a slide comparing Windows 7 and Windows 8 in number of current processes and RAM usage. While Win7 SP1 used 404MB of RAM with 32 running processes, the Win8 preview build used only 281MB of RAM with 29 processes.

The new Windows OS is expected to launch sometime mid to late 2012 and will be the first Windows platform fully optimized for tablet and multi-touch use.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-09-14 (Update: 2012-05-26)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.