After Microsoft officially unveiled their tile based UI on the D9 conference, the Internet has run rampart discussing new rumors about the upcoming operating system scheduled to be released in 2012. Even the name "Windows 8" is not yet set to be the final name of the product, according to Microsoft. On the Worldwide Partner Conference held in Los Angeles, CA – Microsoft discussed some other tidbits of the upcoming OS, namely hardware requirements.
According to Tami Reller, Corporate Vice President and CFO, Windows & Windows Live, Windows 8 should be a seamless upgrade for people running Windows 7 today: "…we talked about continuing on with the important trend that we started with Windows 7, keeping system requirements either flat or reducing them over time. Windows 8 will be able to run on a wide range of machines because it will have the same requirements or lower."
Reller spent a great amount of time pointing out, how Windows 7 was a huge success, mentioning a lot of real world scenarios where it helped companies to increase productivity and introduce cost savings. Now the company wants to capitalize on that with the upcoming successor to the operating system. People are also reminded, that the end of the support period for Windows XP draws near – it is scheduled for April 8th 2014. This has also recently been strained in a blog.
Considering the minimum requirements of Windows 7 are quite low by today’s standards, people shouldn’t worry about that if they use remotely current devices. Due to the specific addition of support for tablets running on power efficient ARM and x86 SoCs, raising the requirements would actually be counterproductive.
That being, said, Microsoft works hard to optimize the experience in Windows 8 for any user depending on the available hardware:
"And, we’ve also built intelligence into Windows 8 so that it can adapt to the user experience based on the hardware of the user. So, whether you’re upgrading an existing PC, or buying a new one, Windows will adapt to make the most of that hardware."
And he continues:
"For our business customers, your customers, this is an important element because the ability of Windows 8 to run on Windows 7 devices ensures that the hardware investments that these customers are making today will be able to take advantage of Windows 8 in the future."
Details on how this adaption might work out in practice were not given. At this point we can only assume it refers to the general capability of the OS to provide varying degrees of effects and improve the user experience by exploiting available hardware resources to that end.