An Overview of Windows 8 and 8.1 – CompTIA A+ 220-1002 – 1.2

Before there was Windows 10, there was Windows 8 and 8.1. In this video, you’ll learn about the precursor to Windows 10 and the changes that occurred between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

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Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system became available on October the 26th of 2012, and it introduced a brand new user interface over Windows 7. One of the most notable features of this interface is Microsoft removed the start button from the bottom left part of the desktop. An update to this version called Windows 8.1 was released on October the 17th of 2013, nearly a year later. This was a free update to Windows 8. Microsoft does not consider this to be an upgrade, but instead considers it to be a completely standalone version of Windows.

Mainstream support for Windows 8 and 8.1 ended on January the 9th of 2018, but Microsoft is having extended support provided for these versions through January the 10th of 2023. There are three different editions of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. The base addition is called the Core addition. There’s also a Pro edition and an Enterprise Edition.

Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Core is the addition you’d find for your home. This is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and it integrates your Microsoft account into the operating system so you can use the same login on all of your Microsoft devices to be able to gain access to the desktop. This version of Windows includes antivirus and anti-malware called Windows Defender. And if you need to play CDs or DVDs, you can do this in Windows 8.1 Core using Windows Media player.

The Pro edition of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 is the professional version that’s very similar to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate. This has full support for BitLocker and EFS, so whether you need full disk encryption or single file encryption, you have that capability in the Pro edition. This Pro edition of Windows 8 out one can join a Windows domain, which means the IT team can use group policies to be able to manage these systems.

For large organizations that use volume licensing– these are sometimes called software assurance customers– they can use Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Enterprise. This Enterprise version is fully featured , so you can use AppLocker, Windows To Go, Direct Access, BranchCache, and all of the other features available in Windows.

Windows 8 and8.1 have certain hardware requirements for the CPUs in use. One of these requirements is that the CPU supports PAE. This stands for Physical Address Extension. This allows a 32-bit processor to be able to access more than the traditional four gigabytes of physical memory in those systems.

Another hardware requirement for the CPU is that it supports the NX processor bit. This is a processor bit that allows the CPU to protect against malicious software that might run. And the third requirement is that the processor support SSE 2. Stands for Streaming SIMD Extensions 2. This is a process or instruction set used by application developers when they’re creating drivers or apps for Windows 8.1.

The hardware requirements for Windows 8 and 8.1 are almost identical to those of Windows 7. The differences are going to be between the 32-bit version of Windows 8 and 8.1, and the 64-bit version. Both of those versions require a one-gigahertz processor with support for PAE, NX, and SSE 2 processor functions.

The 32-bit version requires one gigabyte of RAM, and the 64-bit version doubles that to two gigabytes of RAM. You need 16 gigabytes of free disk space to install the 32-bit version and 20 gigabytes to install the 64-bit version. And the video is the same for both of those versions. You need a Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device that has a driver compatible with the Windows display driver model.

Here’s a comparison of the features between these different Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 additions. In the Core edition, you have the Windows Media player and none of these other capabilities. That version has support for four gigabytes of memory in the 32-bit version and 128 gigabytes in the 64-bit version.

When you move to the Pro and the Enterprise editions, that maximum amount of RAM extends up to 512 gigabytes. The Pro edition includes EFS and BitLocker as well as domain member functionality. And if you move up to the Enterprise version, it adds on AppLocker and BranchCache as well.