Windows 8 FAQ – Knowledge is Power
With any new Operating System, there comes excitement, anticipation, and lots of questions. People are often reluctant to upgrade their OS because they don’t know what to expect. However, the more you know, the less there is to fear. We’ve compiled a few facts about Windows 8 that you may not know.
What are the system requirements?
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
- Display resolution: 1366 x 768 minimum
Do you have to have a touch screen PC to use Windows 8?
No! You can use a special mouse or touch pad designed to utilize the Windows 8 gestures to operate Windows 8 from a non-touch PC. CTL offers the Logitech Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650, the Logitech Touch Mouse T620, and the Microsoft Touch mouse. To learn more about Windows 8 touch gestures for the Logitech Touch pad, including clicking, navigation and shortcuts, check out the Logitech Touchpad Windows 8 Gestures page here. To see how the gestures work on the Logitech Touch Mouse, see the Logitech Touch Mouse Windows 8 gestures page here. And, for Windows 8 gestures on the Microsoft Touch Mouse, click here.
But, that’s not the only way to use Windows 8 on a non-touch PC. Many people don’t know that certain laptops have trackpads that support the Windows 8 gestures, too! CTL’s W130EV and W25CEV Business Class Notebooks have the Synaptics driver that enables the use of Windows 8 gestures on their trackpads. Swipes, scrolls, rotates, pinches, flicks, and more are all possible using the W130EV or W25CEV trackpads. To learn more about the Windows 8 trackpad gestures, click here.
What if I want to continue to use a start button instead of the new Metro Start Screen?
There’s an app for that. Several third party utilities can serve as Start menu replacements for Windows 8 users who don’t want to use the new Start Screen. CNET recommends Classic Shell, Pokki for Windows 8, Power 8, Start 8, StartW8, StartMenu 7, ViStart, and Win8 StartButton.
What download security measures are in place?
With Windows 8, SmartScreen download screening software is now integrated into the Windows operating system itself – it doesn’t matter if you use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or another browser; applications you download will be screened by SmartScreen when you try to run them. This feature is optional, although it’s enabled by default.
What about Antivirus?
You’re covered. Windows 8 includes Windows Defender which automatically helps protect your PC.
I heard you can’t watch DVD or Blu-Ray discs on Windows 8
Not true– while there is not a DVD playback function in Windows 8, you can still watch DVDs and Blu-Ray discs on Windows 8. Licensed DVD and Blu-Ray playback applications are available for Windows 8 computers, and some Windows 8 PCs will include these apps. It’s also easy to install your own media player app. CNET recommends VLC Media Player, GOM Media Player, or MPC-HC Media Player. Or, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Professional, which allows you to install the Windows Media Center add-in, which comes with DVD playback.
With a few months under its belt, Windows 8 has had a chance to get test driven by a few professionals. PC World’s Patrick Miller reassures us that once you start working in the new OS, you’ll realize it’s not so different after all from the Windows versions you’ve known over the years:
“You still move and copy files in Windows Explorer, drag windows on your desktop, and right-click to bring up context menus. The only difference is that your Start button is gone, and running your mouse cursor along the edges of the screen triggers a few extra tools like the Charm bar and the app switcher. You can master or ignore these new tools—like the new Windows 8 Start screen—as you prefer; at its heart, Windows 8 is still Windows.”