Another Strong Entry In A Venerable Operating System Legacy
This version of Windows can be downloaded for free, however a license to activate it can not, and Microsoft no longer sell them as it has been superseded by the newer Windows 10. Owners of a license for this version of Windows could, for a time, upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
Support for this version of Windows was discontinued in 2016, and Microsoft have strongly recommended that all users who are still running Windows 8 upgrade to the latest iteration of the OS, Windows 10, as soon as possible. Microsoft even offered a Windows 10 upgrade for users of this version at no extra cost.
While there is no guarantee that a driver intended for an earlier version of Windows will work on Windows 10, it is generally the case with the more recent drivers. This should only be tested in cases where no Windows 10 driver available. It is recommended to update to the latest drivers
This version of Windows will most definitely upgrade to Windows 10. Not only is there a direct upgrade path made as simple as possible for the user, but Microsoft encourage users to make this upgrade, going so far as to offer it for free and list it as a "recommended" update.
As with most versions of Windows since XP, Windows 8 is available in both 32 bit and 64 bit versions. It is important to ensure you install the correct version for your system. 64 bit Windows will not run on a 32 bit machine, and 32 bit Windows will not make full use of 64 bit hardware.
Like all versions of Windows since Windows 95, 8 is a full operating system designed to be the user's complete working environment. This version was the first Windows release to incorporate a heavily touch screen influenced design, indicating an intention by Microsoft to bridge the gap between desktop and mobile operating systems.
Though this version of Windows is no longer supported or sold by Microsoft, you can still download it officially from Microsoft. You will still need to own a valid license key in order to activate the operating system once it is installed, which you can no longer purchase from Microsoft.
The easiest way to take a screenshot in most versions of Windows, including 8, is to press the "PrntScn". This will copy the screen but you will need to paste it into image editing software such as Paint. Pressing the Windows key and PrntScn will save directly to the hard drive.
Microsoft do include their own antivirus software with this version of Windows, and it has been found to be most capable. If you observe good browsing practices and keep your system up to date, the built in antivirus solution should be sufficient. Otherwise, many third party options are also available.
All recent versions of Windows, including 8, have native support for Bluetooth on the software end of things. The hardware on which Windows is running will need to have Bluetooth capability in order for Windows to make use of it, however. Windows can not make Bluetooth connections without a Bluetooth antenna.