Did you recently buy a new PC with Windows 7 on it? Are you interested in Windows 8? Are you worried you won't be able to upgrade your operating system? If you answered yes to all three, we have good news for you. Microsoft says Windows 8's system requirements will be the same, or perhaps even lower, than Windows 7's.

Tami Reller, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Windows division, revealed the tidbit to attendees at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference 2011, which took place yesterday in Los Angeles, California. She said any PC capable of running Windows 7 today would be capable of running Windows 8 when it is released.

"The breadth of hardware choice is unique to Windows and is central to how we see Windows evolving. 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," Reller said. "Windows 8 will be able to run on a wide range of machines because it will have the same requirements or lower. And, we've also built intelligence into Windows 8 so that it can adapt to the user experience based on the hardware of the user. So, whether you're upgrading an existing PC, or buying a new one, Windows will adapt to make the most of that hardware."

To refresh your memory, here are Windows 7's system requirements:

  • 1GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1GB RAM (32-bit) / 2GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) 1.0 or higher driver

Microsoft announced earlier this year that Windows 8 will support Intel, AMD, and ARM architectures. The company gave its first preview of Windows 8 earlier this month, showing off a new touch-oriented UI: icons are replaced by big tiles that can be customized to show live information or launch applications.

Windows 8 could hit the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone as soon as April 2012. Although a rumor suggests that Windows 8 will arrive on January 7, 2013, we expect that the operating system will ship in time for the 2012 holiday season. In fact, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said Windows 8 is coming in 2012, but Microsoft quickly claimed this was a misstatement.