I was out of the office for most of the last 2 weeks. When I came into the office this morning, I caught up with my boss and he raised an InformationWeek article he’d read. As he read it, people with old XP PCs would be able to run Windows 8 on them. Huh!?!?!?
Let’s flash back to when Vista was first released. Microsoft wanted people to upgrade. Hardware vendors wanted to clear stocks of older hardware. So a lot of low end stock was sold with Vista on it. The result? Lots of people who had a crappy Vista experience. The problem was that there was a race to the bottom. Minimum required hardware should not be what one is aiming for. That’s the h/w that’ll allow the OS to install and boot, but will struggle when you start watching movies, browsing the web, or using LOB apps. Instead, look at the recommended spec, and increase it some. For example, I’d not recommend any business PC these days with less than 4 GB RAM.
Along came Windows 7. It would run on Vista hardware. In fact, it would run better on it. But things had changed by now in terms of hardware. What was once high spec had become the norm: dual core CPUs, 2GB+ RAM, 7200+ RPM disks, and decent video cards.
Then I read the InformationWeek article. It references a Microsoft Build blog post (which is innocent enough). But the offending article starts talking about 1 GhZ CPUs, 16 GB disk, and how “older computers” will be able to run Windows 8. There was a time when I considered a 3 year old PC to be old. But that’s probably a dual core CPU, with 2+ GB RAM. Upgrade the RAM and it’s still a decent biz machine (still with no h/w support because of the age). But I’ve been in many a place (and so probably have you) where 5+ year old PCs running XP are the norm. Loose language articles like this offending one are going to lead people down the garden path.
Yes, you can install Windows 8 on something with 512MB RAM. But do you really want to?