The arrival of Windows Vista caused quite a fuss a few years back—not just because the operating system lacked polish, but also because it required beefier hardware than Windows XP. Will Windows 8 follow in the same footsteps? According to official Microsoft statements quoted by Thinq, not at all.
In fact, the site quotes Microsoft's Tami Reller as saying, "In both of our Windows 8 previews, 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."
That promise ought to reassure some who might have been worried about Windows 8's apparent emphasis on touch input. Of course, Reller's statement should come as no great surprise, since Microsoft is also cooking up an ARM flavor of Windows 8. Next year's ARM-powered tablets will no doubt be more powerful than today's, but Windows 8 will have to make efficient use of system resources in order to provide a smooth user experience and to avoid draining battery life.
As Reller points out, the lack of steepened hardware requirements could also make Windows 8 an easier sell to enterprise users. I'm guessing some corporate types might be put off by the big, friendly tile interface, though, even if Windows 8 demos have shown an intact, Windows 7-style desktop lurking underneath.