Should You Upgrade To Windows 8

| October 28, 2012

Windows 8 was recently released and many friends and relatives have been asking whether Windows 8 is for them. My first response to the release of any new technology (hardware or software) is yes–upgrade immediately. But I am an early adopter, and I simply cannot expect my lunacy to be good advice for anyone else. The truth is, Windows 8 is a major change in an Operating System we have all become comfortable with over the years. The last such drastic change of the OS was the evolution from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95.

So is Windows 8 for you?

Compelling Reasons To Upgrade To Windows 8

You should upgrade to Windows 8 if:

  1. You’re still running Windows XP. It’s time to drop the security blanket. Windows XP has about reached the end of its lifespan.
  2. You want faster boot times. Winows 8 boots much faster than Windows 7.
  3. Windows Store. If you like the way Apple and Android devices have App stores, then you’ll like this feature in Windows 8.
  4. Integrated Anti-virus. Windows Defender has been improved and will now act as more than just an anti-spyware utility.
  5. Windows To Go. Transfer your settings to a USB stick and install them quickly on another machine running Windows 8.
  6. You’re buying a new PC. No reason to downgrade to Windows 7 if you’re buying a new PC with a touchscreen. The Surface tablet was essentially created for this OS.
You should stick with Windows 7 if:
  1. You’re happy with it. There’s no compelling reason to switch if everything is working great in Windows 7
  2. Windows 8 is confusing. The new GUI will take some getting used to. Performing normal tasks will be a challenge for many at first.
  3. Support. Windows 7 is not going anywhere. Rest assured, Windows 7 will be supported for many years to come.

Were Past Windows Upgrades A Success

The following are a list of consumer-grade Windows Operating Systems that have been released over the last twenty years. While your opinions may vary, these are my own personal experiences when upgrading from one Operating System to another over the years.

Were these upgrades a success?

Windows 3.1 To Windows 95

No. Windows 95 was a drastic change from Windows 3.1 as it offered an improved Graphical User Interface and ushered in the era of the 32-bit Operating System. It also ushered in the era of the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD).

Windows 95 to Windows 98

Yes. Windows 98 had better driver support, improved USB, and Internet Connection Sharing.

Windows 98 to Windows ME

No. Despite introducing System Restore, Windows ME was criticized as instable and often referred to as the “Mistake Edition.”

Windows ME to Windows XP

Yes. Many companies are still running Windows XP to this day, despite being released way back in 2001.

Windows XP to Windows Vista

No. Vista introduced us to the beautiful Aero glassy interface. Vista tried to do too much with security (hello annoying UAC) and winded up being a resource hog that bogged down systems.

Windows Vista to Windows 7

Yes. Windows 7 had better driver support, removed a lot of unnecessary features and scaled-down User Account Controls. Better performance and overall experience than Windows Vista.

Seeing a trend here? Historically, every other version of Windows seems to be a hit. Why is this? The answer is simple: Windows has the largest base of users in the world. The Operating System is used both in business as well as by consumers. Third-party developers for hardware, driver support and software need to react each time there is a drastic change in code. When Windows Vista was shipped, many people complained their printers and other peripherals no longer worked–and they didn’t. Windows 7 later emerged as a leaner, better supported version of Vista that everyone loved.

Windows 8 wants to be a touch screen Operating System in a world that is still dominated with desktop and laptops that do not have that ability. Is it the future? Sure. But are you ready to move away from Windows 7, an Operating System many consider to be the best version of Windows to date? I will be moving to Windows 8. Having endured all of the other versions of Windows, for better or worse, I’m not about to stop upgrading now. In my opinion, Windows 8 will be a success in that it helps transition the world away from the confines of desktop computing.

With that said, I’m sure Windows 9 will be a smashing success.

Category: Windows 8

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (7)

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  1. HerbF says:

    I was quiet skeptical about Win8, my incentive to take the leap, was twofold, I had just purchased a new lap top in July and therefore was able to upgrade to Win8 for under $15 and lastly I was curios about this new OS.
    So, despite all the expert nay Sayers, I took the plunge and am very pleasantly surprised!
    I’m not a “Fan-boy” of Microsoft and had my ups and downs with them, however this new OS is straight forward, intuitive and easy to operate.
    So the “Start” button is gone, so what, slide the pointer to the right of the screen and click on the toolbar that slides out, specifically the settings icon.
    It’s there. You want your “Desktop”? Click on the Tile that shows a mini version of it, done.
    And for those, that can not do without the “old” interface, there are numerous Apps out there to appease that crowd. I downloaded “Pokki” (search for it on Google) and am quiet happy with that.
    End-result, a faster loading, less resource hogging OS, with a nice uncluttered layout that pleases the eye!
    I used the option to keep all settings and software and everything migrated wonderfully! From Firefox to Chrome and Picasa, to my email program, everything looks better and works faster.
    I believe, that the MS Team did an awesome job, creating this dual purpose OS, that so far operates flawlessly!
    This was truly the best bang for the buck.
    If you are used to Android (smart phone), the learning curve will be shallow.
    So, if your thinking about upgrading, especially from Win7 to Win8, fear not.
    For me it was a painless and straight forward process.
    I like it a lot.

    • j walsh says:

      I get tired of the comments on hear from “App” freaks that think the be all and end all of PC and digital electronics is for their personal entertainment with silly games and video snips, u tube and compass apps not to mention Pac man 2012 and the ridiculous ball game app from Russian

      Some people ( not many from the look of this forum ) actually have to do serious work on computers which involve anything from music production to financial accounts to design and implementation of infrastructure of things like new dams and railways to new commercial kitchens and buildings

      In Fact these people and businesses are by far the majority of serious users and yet whenever there is a new operating system it is always tailored to the game boy , tweaky convenience market who judge everything on how the thing displays their idea of minority report.

      Windows 8 is a stupid attempt at this the OS is a mule ( it doesn’t know if it’s a horse or a donkey)
      It is worse than the worst that Vista ever had to offer in terms of ease of use and it doesn’t even look modern for anybody out there who imagines an OP should look like an improvement over what came before
      I want a list of my programmes not apps or a screen full of moving tiles showing me a bombing in the Middle East next to my accounts or a screensaver of Obama forcing me to push my mouse to a corner where I have to click on a horrible 1980s 2D white icon to get to the desktop
      You people you want a touch screen OS get an ipad

  2. steve mcalister says:

    Good article – none of the ‘compelling reasons’ apply to our businesses, so I suspect that we’ll pass on Win 8 – the only problem is that we replace 1-2 computers a year, and there’ll be no way to order a laptop with Win 7 – and supporting two OS’s is a real pain. Every time this happens, I swear that I’m going to migrate to Ubuntu, maybe this time I’ll actually do it.

    • Dave Dave says:

      You should still be able to either buy a Windows 7 disk or special order a Windows 7 machine. I would definitely steer clear of Windows 8 if I were a business. Most major corporations at this point are still migrating away from Windows XP to Windows 7. Good luck. Let us know how you make out.

  3. donnyg says:

    Compelling? Really?

  4. James says:

    Windows 8 is definitely NOT a business operating system. It is a digital “playground” for the masses of people who do all their social interaction through the computer. Ever try doing any real programming on Windows 8? It cannot be done. Sure, you get your office suite for “productivity”, and then you get all the glitzy stuff, but as for it being a real operating system to get projects and programming done on, forget it. I will NEVER be “upgrading” to windows 8.

  5. Farhan says:

    Actually i’m NOT interested in any kind of uunks that you slide in front of this page earlier.
    So, what’s our point to use a computer? To Work
    and what did windows 8 get? Nothing but a pile of junk. (really it does)
    Why the GUI must change into a classic-boring 2D? (i prefer anime than a plain 2D on my desktop)
    if you want to say “UPGRADE”, you better think about the software compatibility.
    i’m also a gamer, so i’d better learn to say “ALAKAZAM”, before upgrading because it SUCKS. What am i doing with windows 8 when i can’t find my games playable? Sure, i welcome him to the world of my OS Junk and get outta there effective immediately.