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:
- You’re still running Windows XP. It’s time to drop the security blanket. Windows XP has about reached the end of its lifespan.
- You want faster boot times. Winows 8 boots much faster than Windows 7.
- Windows Store. If you like the way Apple and Android devices have App stores, then you’ll like this feature in Windows 8.
- Integrated Anti-virus. Windows Defender has been improved and will now act as more than just an anti-spyware utility.
- Windows To Go. Transfer your settings to a USB stick and install them quickly on another machine running Windows 8.
- 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’re happy with it. There’s no compelling reason to switch if everything is working great in Windows 7
- Windows 8 is confusing. The new GUI will take some getting used to. Performing normal tasks will be a challenge for many at first.
- 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.