Windows 8.1 Hardware Requirements Different From Windows 8
The new Windows 8.1 has been able to rectify some of the faults in the Windows 8 OS. Unfortunately, not all users get to enjoy the new features. Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade from the Windows Store for those who already have Windows 8, but it will not work on some of the older PCs due to a few extra additions in the hardware requirements. Affected users may also not be capable of getting proper support from the support center as Microsoft had announced the final date for Windows 8 users to upgrade to Windows 8.1, which is by 2015. Those whose computers don’t meet the Windows 8 requirements for Windows 8.1 will be unable to get critical system updates.
People have already gone public with their annoyance, with one PCWorld reader saying, “I’m rather frustrated, because I see no need for Microsoft to have produced a point release OS update–or rather, a service pack–with significantly different system requirements that would leave my PC ‘marooned’ on Windows 8.”
These changes arise from Windows 8.1 need for CMPXCHG16b support in the 64-bit version, which allows for atomic memory changes. While this is supported by most of the modern processors older hardware lack these. Incidentally the same requirement was not present for Windows 8 which means the hardware requirement got changed within a single update. Upgrading to a Windows 8.1 with non-compatible hardware produces an error message reading CPU does not support CompareExchange 128.
Microsoft confirmed that certain older AMD processors will be incapable of running the Windows 8.1 operating system on them these include the Athlon 64 X2 and Opteron 185 both of which lack compatibility for CMPXCH16b.
Not supporting old generation processors makes sense in the end, however changing the Windows 8 requirements in just a single service pack may be pushing things too far.
Windows 8.1 Needs Cmpxchg16b Supported Processors
The Windows 8.1 operating system however ushers in a newly improved operating system designed specially using customer feedback. The Start button has been returned and many other settings have been changed to make it bit more user friendly than its predecessor. Windows 8.1 also improves upon applications and other configurations which are sure to help rebuild the declining interest in Windows.
Windows 8 fared rather poorly in the market similar to what Windows Vista experienced at its release. Even still Microsoft has made sure that a large number of drawbacks in Windows 8 have been removed, and Windows 8.1 might have a better chance in the market.
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