Editorial

With Windows 8, you need new hardware

Windows 8 has drawn a lot of emotional arguments across the Internet, from those who hate it, to those who think it is the next best thing since sliced bread. While each of us will have an opinion on the OS, what we really need to be looking at is the hardware.

Windows 8, unlike any Windows OS before it, will largely be dependent on innovative hardware, as opposed to performance based specifications that boost raw performance. Windows 8 has been designed to fill two purposes, traditional input and touch input and when you have a device that only does one, or the other, you don’t see how Windows 8 is truly a giant step forward for a desktop OS.

When Windows 8 was launched, for the most part, the hardware did not match the capabilities of the OS. Most vendors were pushing goods that were basically repackaged Ultrabooks with Windows 8 which is why were heard murmurs of Microsoft being pissed the OEMs dropped the ball. Yes, there were a few early devices but even those products had limited reach due to availability issues.

The difference for Windows 8, unlike 7, Vista or XP, is that without the right hardware, the OS was a bit bunk. Simply upgrading your OS on your old hardware was no longer enough, what you need is new hardware that is very slowly starting to arrive. We can see the first attempts with the Surface RT/Pro and also the likes of the Lenovo Helix and Yoga.

But, not all consumers are willing to put down the cash to upgrade their machines. Rightfully so, but if you want to truly get the entire value out of Windows 8, new hardware is required as the Start screen is for touch, full stop.

And this is where the division line comes in with Windows 8. On existing hardware, Windows 8 is not preferred platform. Yes, there are certainly advantageous reasons to upgrade from Windows 7 but to avoid the common mistake that many early adopters are experiencing; you need new hardware that embraces the platform, not a platform that embraces the hardware.

Fortunately, there are tons of options now available in the market with more coming in the near future. Some of the more exiting options are the Lenovo Helix, HP’s Envy X2, or the Sony Via Duo 11.

Windows 8 is about bringing a new sense to the Windows platform and when you upgrade or buy a device that limits Windows 8 to only mouse and keyboard, you are missing half the experience. 

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Seriously?...New hardware?....Im running win8 pro on an asus netbook (1201n) with only atom 330 and 4G ram and never had any trouble with it. In fact, it feels faster than running win7 or OSX Lion (hackintosh) on it.

Dont think so!

And Win8 even put all the drivers for me. Updated the Synaptics driver and now i have all the fancy gestures like a touch screen (swipe down, up, left and right with same effect of the real touch screen)

Beat that!

Well, to be honest, you DON't really need new hardware, I have upgrade my Acer Aspire Timeline X pc with windows 7 preinstall to windows 8. Almost in all situation you don't need the touch function as using the mouse always give better result. Although occasionally I have remote desktop the windows 8 on my pc to my galaxy note II and play some touch games on it. In my view, windows 8 is really useful in terms of remote desktoping your PC to your mobile devices, comparing to windows 7, W/8 is more accessible on my touch screen as the OS itself is adopted for touch screen uses, especially the new start menu, it is just so much easier to use on a slightly smaller touch screen such as on a mobile phone or a small tablet.

Furthermore, I don't see the need of Surface Pro, as the same(I would say better) result could be achieved on a Surface RT (or any tablet )with remote desktop, getting the long battery life along with the processing power on the desktop/ cloud server you have, as long as you have a fast internet connection, which is pretty much everywhere these days.

It seems that people can't read beyond what's in front of them. I have Windows 8 running on a Lenovo All in One with a touchscreen that came out before Windows 8 was announced. I used the touchscreen with Windows 7 just like I did with Windows 8 but I've noticed that certain things that Windows 8 will allow me to do; aren't doable because of the hardware.

The biggest issue for me is the bezel on the screen. It won't let me swipe in to the screen. So although I don't need new hardware to run Windows 8; I agree that you need new hardware to run Windows 8 as it was intended.

this is somewhat misleading. it is not that windows 8 is changing the world, but instead, the world changed and windows 8 merely reflects it. therefore you're not getting new hardware just for windows 8, but you're getting windows 8 because of the hardware you're getting anyways.

After using windows 8 for months on three machines without a touchscreen I have to disagree on the NEED for new hardware.

On the other hand if I were to buy a new laptop I would look for touchscreen devices. I would pay somewhere an additional 50 to 75 euros for touchscreen, perhaps in a year.

The problem with the OEM's, is they aren't creative enough. Since most laptops have touchpads, wy not create software for it, that would have you use Windows 8 as if you were using a touchscreen. So When I switch to the Metro UI, the touchpad, becomes by touchscreen and when I swipe across the pad, the screen moves to the right or left depending on my swipe direction. You know, be creative. Add Windows 8 Touch gestures to the touchpad...cant be that hard to do. For the desktops, why not make a USB Digitizer panel you can affix to the front of the monitor? Sonce Dell had a bunch of monitors that were if the same family, I am sure they could make a digitizer that can be easily affixed to their screens. Same for HP.

I also agree with Microsoft. The OEM's had 3 years to have hardware prepared for Windows 8, just like they had 5 years to have hardware to run Vista. The problem is the OEM's don't like Windows Vista or 8 and they failed to support it properly.

They all lost a lot of money not supporting Vista, I would have thought they would have learned their lesson. They all though people would just run out and buy new hardware and it didn't happen that way and the same is now. These touchscreen laptops and desktop cost as much as $300 more than the same hardware without. Why should I pay extra because you glued a digitizer layer to the screen and repackaged it? They had 3 years to get hardware makers up to speed which would have made the price cheap. I mean....the iPad digitizer is only $50 retail...making that bigger shouldn't be all that costly.

This is why Microsoft got into the hardware game and if the OEM's keep this up, MS may be pushed to do drastic measures....like buy an OEM just to make Microsoft PC's

Umm... Ballmer said this himself during the launch press event for Surface. This is the next major iteration that provides a shift in hardware, which is why the introduced the Surface for OEMs to get inspired as well. Windows 8 works great on a desktop/laptop with keyboard/mouse... but it works even better with a touch screen/keyboard/mouse combo. That's the exciting thing with Windows 8, it's not just another OS, it's the start of a movement for innovation for the next round of devices.

Look at where most of the screaming has been coming from with Windows 8 - two groups that are in the weakest position in terms of IT; OEMs/IHVs and those that support older applications. Both groups were threatened by tablets/smartphones and other non-PC devices (they were, to an extent, also threateneed by netbooks and even notebooks/Ultrabooks) - Windows 8 is THEIR eq

PGHammer said,
Look at where most of the screaming has been coming from with Windows 8 - two groups that are in the weakest position in terms of IT; OEMs/IHVs and those that support older applications. Both groups were threatened by tablets/smartphones and other non-PC devices (they were, to an extent, also threatened by netbooks and even notebooks/Ultrabooks) - Windows 8 is THEIR equivalent of the US MK 48 ADCAP torpedo to their bottom lines.

Before my post got interrupted (miskeying error on my part), I am simply pointing out where the hardware angst is coming from regarding Windows 8. I'm running Windows 8 today on not merely old hardware, but mostly DEAD (as in no longer manufactured, let alone supported) desktop hardware. The very fact that it's doable (which largely wasn't the case with Vista) is a big problem for them. These same companies thrive on replacing the entire computer every new Microsoft OS (example - Acer Group) - Windows 8 does NOT require that.

Weird part about is, I'm starting to notice myself using the mouse rather than the touch screen even though Windows 8 has a natural transitional feeling between the keyboard and screen.

And as long that you know a few shortcuts and a wheel on your mouse, you are good to go!

Windows 8 is marketed as being a desktop competent OS that works with keyboard and mouse input. Therefore the argument that you need new hardware is frankly pretty facile. If Windows 8 was good for the desktop as keeps getting claimed you would not need a touch monitor to make the most of it.

My computer was built at the end of 2011... hardly old.

Running it on an old Celeron D with 512MB of RAM, works better than Windows 7, had to disable all the touchscreen nonsense to make it truly usable.

I just don't understand this reasoning. Wait there was no reasoning. Can we get someone to write editorials that is actually qualified or, if anything, capable of writing more than a few paragraphs to support their opinion.

P.S. Win8 lights up old P4's with minimal Ram. You still get a better desktop experience with the OS. Though, it's true, you get more bang for your buck with touch support. But by no means is it a no or minimal gain purchase on non-touch hardware.

I like Windows 8, and I'm running it on my desktop, but let's get real here. There is no ****ing way in any universe I'm going to have touch capabilities anytime soon. My monitor is a 47" HDTV. I'm not going to find a screen that large with touch anytime soon for any decent price, I couldn't afford one even if I could (as I couldn't afford to replace the one I have if it breaks right now), and I'm not going to give up lounging on my couch to go stand in front of my screen and touch it all day long. I may get a Surface or an ultrabook at some point in the future for portability, but they will still not be my primary devices, at least not until they come with at least a 4TB SSD and graphics capability to play all my games at the highest detail level in 1080p with vsync and minimal drop in frame rate (or, basically, not until they can literally replace my desktop and not be a relatively decent substitute for when I'm not at home). If I get the Surface, I can have a keyboard, but most of the time I'm going to be using the touchscreen. If I get an ultrabook I'm probably not going to have a touchscreen available (yeah, I know they're coming if the first ones aren't out already, but, again, the price needs to come down).

I'm using Windows 8 on a ThinkPad that I've had for 20 months. You don't need new hardware. Also, people moan about the start menu disappearing - but it's easier to get to applications and settings with Windows 8 than with Windows 7, even if you don't have a touch-screen. True, some apps for better with a touch-screen but all of them work with a mouse and keyboard.

So what... you're saying that we should spend new money for new hardware just to accomodate Windows 8.. to do the same everyday **** we do on our current computers?

Maybe saving our money and continue using Windows 7 is a better idea for some ppl overall... don't you think?

Let's be honest here, the difference between Windows 7 and 8 is minimal, there's just no need to spend new money on it for a desktop and you know it.

As others have pointed out, you don't NEED new hardware with Windows 8. However, it works better with new hardware built specifically to take advantage of the new features of Windows 8 e.g. touch for the Modern UI interface.

I like to keep my screen clean and free of finger prints, I have no desire to get a touch screen whatsoever. *I* do not need to get new hardware to fully utilise windows 8, I can do that quite easily with my keyboard and mouse thanks.

Maybe title the article "Unleash Windows 8 with new hardware"? Because yeah I jumped right to the comment but I see what you're saying. Running 8 on a 5 year old PC and it's smooth as butter. I've actually yet to even use touch with 8. Maybe sometime this year...

Been running 8 on older hardware - XPS1530 that came with Vista, some franken-Dimension with scavenged guts on a first-gen Core Duo. Runs fine.

I didn't have to upgrade anything except the OS. I'm using the same PC I used when both Vista and 7 were released and they've all performed quite well with it. I'm still using an E7300 C2D processor, 4GB of RAM and an Nvidia 9800GT on a discontinued Intel motherboard.

One other reason is driver support. Even on older TabletPCs with touch, it's pretty hard to get it all perfectly working because drivers were never updated for Windows 8 either. My tm2 misses out on snapping as well due to new resolution constraints (weird that HP made a Win8 tablet though with 1280x800 again...), and also the fingerprint reader, and video card are all not support, not to mention all the drivers I'm using now are not from HP because of of lack of support.

Mouse pointer works more or less like a finger anyway, putting aside my views on 8, 8 works fine with just a mouse, no new hardware is needed at all

For those who are not reading and jumping right to the comments, this is not a windows 8 bash, simply offering up the idea that if you upgrade without new hardware, you are missing part of the Windows 8 magic.

This is something Neowin really needs to address - stop with the bull**** headlines. This is a site for tech enthusiasts, not Fox News or MSN or Yahoo. Seriously.

not necessarily. you can get the logitech touchpad t650 which is made for windows 8 and all the gestures. then you can fully utilize the win 8 start screen.

rofl: "The difference for Windows 8, unlike 7, Vista or XP, is that without the right hardware, the OS was a bit bunk. "

Seriously? Not a bash. You're missing a part of the Win8 magic. Jesus.

I don't normally critique opinion pieces, but yours is somewhat incomplete or at least ambiguous.

"On existing hardware, Windows 8 is not preferred platform. Yes, there are certainly advantageous reasons to upgrade from Windows 7 but to avoid the common mistake that many early adopters are experiencing; you need new hardware that embraces the platform, not a platform that embraces the hardware."

You are saying that we "really need" new hardware to fully utilize Windows 8. Reality is that you only "really need" it if you intend to take advantage of the touch enabled features like Windows Store apps and games.

You even mention early adopters "making a mistake". Most people (emphasis on most) are upgrading and fully utilizing Win8 without touch or tablets.

i personaly prefer to touch-input on horisontal 'surface' as opposed the current vertical monitor, but of course horisontal display are annoying, unlike the comfortable vertical viewing.

Bllocks, I have been using Win8 for 6 months now on my destop, which is the same machine that ran WinVista and Win7. Anyone using Win8 on a desktop really only needs to remember a couple of shortcuts:

Winkey = startmenu
Winkey+D = Desktop
Winkey+Q = Search
Winkey+I = Gives quick Access to the control panel

Now when you are talking a laptop convertible, yes that is where Win8 shines most.

Correct, there is nothing wrong with Windows 8 on existing hardware but to fully utilize the OS, you will need new hardware.

bdsams said,
Correct, there is nothing wrong with Windows 8 on existing hardware but to fully utilize the OS, you will need new hardware.

Indeed. "Editorial - With Windows 8, you need new hardware"... Sounds like everyone must get upgrades.

You guys at Neowin getting paid to make FUD lately? If your article made any logical sense based on the subject, we all needed new hardware back in Windows 7 because it last I recall it supported touch/tablet/pen support as well and thus people must upgrade or buy a new computer for it to be useful. Hmm. wait.. I think I would guess most of the hardware released while Windows 7 was the newest OS available didn't have any touch support either. Just because 8 has touch support it is far from requiring touch input.

Just the touch components/apps of Win8 need new hardware to fully utilize them the way were intended to.

On current and old hardware, Windows 8 runs great, with performance gains over Windows 7 (little but noticeable).

You article is right about the innovative hardware we "need" but there's no real need of it if you don't want touch enabled hardware or don't need it at all.

Vista also needed new hardware when it was first launch. Too bad people were too attached to their old computers, otherwise Vista would have gotten a better reputation in my opinion.

link6155 said,
Vista also needed new hardware when it was first launch. Too bad people were too attached to their old computers, otherwise Vista would have gotten a better reputation in my opinion.

Yea, but the requirements and hardware required for Vista was ridiculous. I never had a problem with Vista but the hardware requirements was the biggest gripe along with driver support. Vista should of been what Windows 7 is. Windows 7 just runs much better.

techbeck said,

Yea, but the requirements and hardware required for Vista was ridiculous. I never had a problem with Vista but the hardware requirements was the biggest gripe along with driver support. Vista should of been what Windows 7 is. Windows 7 just runs much better.

The hardware requirements for Vista are identical to Windows 7. 1Ghz CPU, 2GB of RAM. However those are the bare minimum.

link6155 said,
Vista also needed new hardware when it was first launch. Too bad people were too attached to their old computers, otherwise Vista would have gotten a better reputation in my opinion.

Too bad there were tons of pre-builts that were shipped with Vista and they didn't even run worth a crap at launch because they really didn't meet the requirements at all.

TechiXP said,
The hardware requirements for Vista are identical to Windows 7. 1Ghz CPU, 2GB of RAM. However those are the bare minimum.

But yet Windows 7 would run better on the same specs.

TechieXP said,
The hardware requirements for Vista are identical to Windows 7. 1Ghz CPU, 2GB of RAM. However those are the bare minimum.

Except it came out like 3 years earlier, where 2GB of RAM was NOT cheap. I had just built a computer with 2GB RAM a month before it came out (and paid a lot for it because I'm an enthusiast) but most people were buying whole PCs that barely cost more than what I paid for my 2GB RAM alone.

The OS was great, I never had any problems with it, it just had too high of requirements for its time. They released the same OS three years later with some tweaks and people loved it.

mrp04 said,

Except it came out like 3 years earlier, where 2GB of RAM was NOT cheap. I had just built a computer with 2GB RAM a month before it came out (and paid a lot for it because I'm an enthusiast) but most people were buying whole PCs that barely cost more than what I paid for my 2GB RAM alone.

The OS was great, I never had any problems with it, it just had too high of requirements for its time. They released the same OS three years later with some tweaks and people loved it.

Yeah that's not right, it wasn't dirt cheap but it wasn't platinum like you make it out to be.. I had 8 gigs and paid for it myself as a college student (17) with a minimum wage part time job

yes, but if you have an OLD computer that was able to run vista kind of sluguilish, 7 a little bit better, 8 is the best OS for that computer...
What is faster on old hardware? XP or 8?

link6155 said,
Vista also needed new hardware when it was first launch. Too bad people were too attached to their old computers, otherwise Vista would have gotten a better reputation in my opinion.

Yes, this is completely true, after SP1 came out. The file transfer debacle was terrible but after SP1 Vista turned out great and people WERE judging it based on older hardware. In fact, Vista was more stable for me than 7, especially when it comes to Media Player/Media Center.

side by side on the same hardware Win7 ran better. I tested it on several machines. Fresh install always slower with Vista.

I've been using Windows 8 on my desktop PC and it has served me just fine. Yes at times I'd like to have a touchscreen monitor but in general it's a far better OS than Windows 7.

drazgoosh said,
I've been using Windows 8 on my desktop PC and it has served me just fine. Yes at times I'd like to have a touchscreen monitor but in general it's a far better OS than Windows 7.

I'm running Windows 8 fine on a my 2007 PC

Yeah I actually can't wait to try it out, but I've got to sort out the hardware and I have too many things going on at the moment

I like windows 8, it's windows 7 with a sexy task manager

My laptop barely works with windows 7, with a single game and no applications installed, so sadly, I do need new hardware for 8 there! Transformer Book 13 when I get the money! (Or Surface 13" if they'd be lovely enough to make one!)