Windows XP may be a decade old but Microsoft is saying that some of those machines would able to run Windows 8.
XP Machines Will Be Able To Run Windows 8
There are two whole commercial Windows versions between Windows 8 and Windows XP. Normally people wouldn’t expect the newer to run on machines that are still running the older one. However, Microsoft says that some of these older machines would be able to handle Windows 8. We are sure it will not be the fastest experience for sure, but it will likely get the job done.
In a blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog on MSDN, Christe St. Pierre, member of Windows Setup and Deployment team, said that although they were looking at 420million Windows 7 machines that will immediately be able to run Windows 8 — they were also looking at many machines running Windows Vista and even Windows XP for running Windows 8.
According to St. Pierre, this feat is achievable because the actual system requirements of the Windows 8 OS are quite low. As demonstrated some time back, the system was able to boot on 128MB RAM, followed by 64MB RAM. This shows that at the very basic level, Windows 8 has a strictly low-power design that will enable it to take advantage of the widest possible install base of Windows machines. As a strategy for fast and effective market penetration, it’s a very intelligent step for the Windows team.
St. Pierre did not specify these internal requirements for Windows 8 but said that the minimum requirements would be similar to Windows 7, which means 1GB of memory, about 16GB of disk space and DirectX 9 compatibility. However, it is quite clear now that systems with lower configurations would also be able to run Windows 8 and get basic work done even though they would be missing out on some of the features.
As for installation, St. Pierre said that they have combined Upgrade Advisor, Setup and Windows Easy Transfer in to one seamless application that provides an end to end online upgrade experience for the user who does not really have to do much to upgrade an existing Windows machine to Windows 8.