Part of the Operating systems glossary:

Windows 8 is a Microsoft operating system that was released in 2012 as part of the company's Windows NT OS family. 

Windows 8 represents a major departure from previous versions of Windows because it is based on the Metro design language, which facilitates a touchscreen UI (user interface) similar to the ones found in mobile phones and tablet computers. Microsoft's Surface tablet, released in early 2013, runs Windows 8.

The basic version of Windows 8, suitable for most users, works with touch screen devices as well as with traditional keyboard-and-mouse systems. A version called Windows RT supports the ARM processor architecture. Another version, Windows 8 Pro, is aimed at business and technical professionals who desire encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity.

The Windows 8 screen is tile-based, with each tile representing a specific app. The taskbar has no Start button, although users can bring up a Start screen by touching or clicking the lower-left corner of the display. The Windows 8 Release Preview contains a Metro version of Internet Explorer 10, along with apps for news, sports, and travel. It also offers an updated Windows Explorer, an updated Task Manager, and picture password capability.

Major features of the basic Windows 8 OS, in addition to the ones noted above, include:

  • Upgrades from Windows 7
  • Windows Store
  • Connected standby
  • Microsoft account
  • Language switching "on the fly"
  • Windows Update
  • Windows Defender (anti-malware program)
  • Support for multiple displays
  • Mobile broadband capability
  • Reset and refresh

 

This was last updated in January 2014
Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • BIOS (basic input/output system)

    - BIOS (basic input/output system) is the program a personal computer's microprocessor uses to get the computer system started after you turn it on. It also manages data flow between the computer's o... (WhatIs.com)

  • TailsOS

    - TailsOS is a LiveDistro-based operating system that is configured to run from removable storage and to leave no information stored on the computer after the user’s session. A LiveDistro is a distr... (WhatIs.com)

  • operating system (OS)

    - What is an operating system? An operating system (sometimes abbreviated as "OS") is the program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all the other program... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Operating systems

    - Terms related to operating systems, including definitions about open source and proprietary operating systems and words and phrases about system programs, boot mechanisms, kernels, command interpre...

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.