We all have old PCs, ones that are a good four to five years old and have been lying around. The PC might not be in use and maybe you just want to try getting your PC up and running. Like most people today, you might want to get Windows 8 running on it, and it’s possible. Windows 8 has roughly the same requirements as Windows 7, but there are a few peripherals that can really make the experience a lot better.

First, of course, you might upgrade your system configuration depending on what you already have on your system. Pretty much every PC developed in the past 4-5 years should have this configuration. Memory, if at all, might be the only thing that you might need to upgrade. Microsoft states that you require the following for Windows 8 to run fine.

System requirements for Windows 8

  • PC with a 1GHz processor 
  • 1GB of memory
  • 16GB of disk space (or 20GB for 64-bit versions)
  • DirectX 9 compliant graphics solution

However, there are quite a few other things that can make the Windows 8 experience more complete. 

Buy a touch mouse

While not every user can upgrade their monitor to a touchscreen panel, there is a more affordable option there. It’s touch mice, and there are a few showing up in the market. Microsoft itself has a few products available in the market. One of the most popular ones, of course, is the elegant Touch Mouse that sells at an MRP of Rs. 3,999.

Microsoft own touch mouse, made for Windows 8

Microsoft's own touch mouse, made for Windows 8

It was launched and made to work on Windows 7 and it behaves like most other mice except it has a touch sensitive surface – something that’s useful for navigating through the tiled interface of Windows 8. The Microsoft Touch Mouse is a wireless device.

Microsoft isn’t the only one making touch mice for Windows 8. Logitech, the popular peripheral manufacturer, also has a few products. Its wireless Touch Mouse M600 is not only designed to be extremely sleek and elegant to look at, but it’s also functional and goes well with Windows 8.

Logitech’s high-end Windows 8-ready touch mouse

Logitech’s high-end Windows 8-ready touch mouse

There’re the usual left and right clicks available to the user, but there’s also vertical scrolling without a mechanical scroll wheel, just like horizontal scrolling. You can even use gestures to swipe between windows quickly. The Logitech Touch Mouse M600 is also priced the same as the Microsoft Touch Mouse, at Rs. 3,999.

An affordable option for those who want a touch-enabled mouse

An affordable option for those who want a touch-enabled mouse

For those looking for something a little cheaper, there are products such as the Logitech Touch Mouse T400, which is a tad cheaper at Rs. 2,895. For that sum, you get a traditional wireless with two standard clicks and a touch sensitive scroll area that lets you swipe and perform gestures as well.

Get yourself some touchpads

Laptops are often better equipped to make complete use of Windows 8’s touch gesture support, which is primarily because of the touchpad. Now, if you’re using an old PC, there is no touchpad to use. Instead, you can choose to purchase one of the available touchpads made specifically for PCs. Logitech has one called the Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650.

A no-nonsense trackpad for tablet and desktop use

A no-nonsense trackpad for tablet and desktop use

The great thing, of course, is the ability to place the touchpad anywhere on the table without long messy cables running all over the place. The trackpad can be charged using the USB cable. Logitech claims that you can go a month on a single charge. When you see the battery indicator dip, you can simply plug in the USB cable and continue using it. There are 13 different gestures that you can use with the touchpad. The other great thing is that you could use the Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650 on a Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet.

Install more memory

2GB of memory should easily help run Windows 8 smoothly

2GB of memory should easily help run Windows 8 smoothly

Installing RAM is really simple and it can really get your PC Windows 8 ready, as the processor requirements as such are really basic. For example, 2GB of DDR3 RAM hardly costs Rs. 700. So, head over to the local computer store or have it installed by your friendly computer technician. If you can, try and upgrade to 4GB memory considering the prices of memory are this low at this point in time.

Plug in an SSD, boot faster

A SSD can really speed up shutdown and start up times

A SSD can really speed up shutdown and start up times

While it seems out of place when you compare it to some of the peripherals we’ve mentioned, it’s actually something that helps really speed things up with Windows 8. While Windows 8 itself boots up really quick, the use of an SSD can really help you get your Windows go into sleep mode and wake up from it within a second or two. Windows 8 itself hardly takes a few seconds to do a cold boot as well. So, a small little SSD to house your Windows installation can really do wonders, and it’s an upgrade worth considering.

One of the biggest things that Windows 8 brings along is its Modern UI, which is best experienced using touchscreens. But if you’re using a notebook or a desktop PC, then you’ll find the need for a touch-enabled screen. Unfortunately, there have been few to no touchscreen monitor launches. But we’ll have to wait a while before we can see some of these products entering the Indian market. If you’re hellbent on trying out touch on screen, you can try out DIY-projects that let you attach a panel on your existing screen and get a somewhat satisfactory touchscreen experience.

Upgrading to Windows 8

Upgrading is simple and doesn't take long

Upgrading is simple and doesn't take long

Once you have your hardware in place, it’s time to get Windows 8 running. If you’re already a Windows 7 user, then it’s really simple to upgrade. And it’s not very expensive either. If you're looking for the detailed procedure, check out our feature here.

Simply head over to Microsoft India’s website and you will find the option to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. It is a limited time upgrade available for Rs 1,999, which runs until January 31, 2013.

Then download the upgrading utility, which will then run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant that checks if your PC can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. You should then get the option to back up documents from your existing installation of Windows.

The next step is actually purchasing the product – in this case, Windows 8 Pro. Once you click on checkout, Windows takes a little less than a minute to take you to the billing form. Just key in your essential details and proceed. Confirm your order and recheck all details. Microsoft will send you an email receipt, provide the product key and begin downloading Windows 8 Pro. Note down the product key for further reference.

You’re now the proud owner of a Windows 8 system that has most of what a brand new PC might have to offer.

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