Should you upgrade to Windows 8?

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On October 26, 2012, just a few days ago, Microsoft released its newest Windows operating system – Windows 8.  They REALLY want you to use it.  In fact, the price for upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is only $40.  And if you buy a new Windows 7 computer now, you can get the Windows 8 upgrade for just $15.  So that means you should jump at the chance, right?

No.  At least not right now.

Windows 8 logo

 

There are a few reasons why it really isn’t in your best interest to jump to Windows 8 immediately:

First off, there will be a learning curve.  Probably a bigger learning curve than any new version of Windows that you remember (most similar one I can think of was back when we went from Windows for Workgroups up to Windows 95).

Here is what the Windows 8 desktop looks like.  You can click on the image to see it bigger.

Windows 8

For some people, this is going to be a bit confusing.  Where’s the Start button?  How do I shut the computer down?  Lots of questions people will have when they first start using 8, and it’s not all that easy to just fumble through and figure it out.

Why would Microsoft change it so drastically?  Because the world of computer has changed drastically since Windows as we know it was introduced.  Windows was built for desktop (and laptop) computing.  Now, the world is changing and everything is moving toward mobile computing – tablets and smartphones.  Microsoft had to make this bold move in order to stay relevant.  However, there are still many, many people who use their computers in a desktop environment (for both business and home use).  If you’re one of them, you won’t like Windows 8.

Second reason is bugs.  Windows 8 has gone through beta testing for months now, but that does not guarantee a bug-free system.  The old saying is, “Pioneers get arrows, settlers get land” – the same is true when new software is introduced.  Let the early adopters find the problems, get the error messages, and report the problems to Microsoft.  You can always upgrade later when the OS is in better shape after some updates.

Third reason is that Windows 7 is great!  It’s fast, stable and you already know how to use it.  It will be supported by Microsoft up to the year 2020, so you don’t have to worry about it being outdated any time soon.  There’s no reason to switch if your current system is working well.

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Fred Patrick
November 5th, 2012

Switching from win 8 to win sp3 7

Scott Johnson
November 5th, 2012

Hi Fred – Actually, Windows 7 is only on SP1 at this point. I do think you’ll be happier with 7 for now though.

Steve Bristol
November 5th, 2012

Good morning Scott,

I totally agree with your recommendation to stay with Windows 7 instead of jumping right into Windows 8. I have been very pleased with the functionality of Windows 7, especially working within my real estate and insurance business.

I have an older Dell computer, a laptop, that I think I would like to have you take a look at and upgrade it to Windows 7 from xp as well as possibly increasing the memory. Unless you think I would be better off just buying a refurbished laptop from you to have as an extra, let me know what you think.

I do have a portable 1 gb hard drive that I would assume that I could transfer my music to and load it on my newer laptop, but I am not certain of that. maybe you can shed some light on that for me too.

Let me know what you think Scott, and I will make arrangements to bring my laptop to you so that you can see what would be in my best interest.

Lastly, I hope that all is going well with you and all of your family.

I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Thanks,

Steve Bristol

The main reason that I want and need to keep the dell laptop is, that is the original computer that I used to load my I tunes library, so it is the only one that I can use to get my music to my iPod without starting over fresh from a new computer. That is a really bad flaw with apple in my opinion, but that is the way it is according to apple reps that I have spoken to.

Scott Johnson
November 5th, 2012

Hi Steve – Good to hear from you! I will contact you directly to get some information from you about the older laptop, to see if it is a good candidate for upgrading to Windows 7.

Ken Leatherman
November 5th, 2012

Scott,

Thank you for the tips on Windows 8.

To be honest I stayed away from updating to Windows 7 from Windows XP. The primary reason for that was the learning curve, but I’m beginning to fear if I don’t at least go to Windows 7 I will be so far behind the learning curve I’ll never be able to get caught up.

My computer with Windows XP is in good shape, thanks to your tune up last year. However, I would like to know if it would be wise move now to go to Windows 7?

Thanks for your thoughts and your recommendations on Windows 8.

Ken

Scott Johnson
November 5th, 2012

Hi Ken – I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised at the minimal learning curve when going from Windows XP to Windows 7. In terms of actual user experience, there is not a huge difference. The “All Programs” list displays a little differently, but that’s easy to get used to. Windows 7 is pretty intuitive. I am recommending just about all of my clients to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 now. Chances are you will be using Windows 7 for quite some time into the future, so might as well get started!

Walter Woods
November 5th, 2012

Hi Scott,

I feel like Ken, me and XP growing old together but comfortable with each other,and then of course the cost of moving to W7 and the hassle of reloading all the programme-s,

Do you think XP needs to go really.

Thanks,
Wal,

Scott Johnson
November 5th, 2012

Hi Walter – you can wait on upgrading from XP to 7, but it’s just delaying the inevitable. Whenever you do upgrade you will need to reinstall all your programs anyway. 7 is a good, stable system and will serve you well for years to come. Don’t worry! 🙂

Vera Foote
November 5th, 2012

Just a big thank you to you, Scott, for all the great advice you pass down to us.

Scott Johnson
November 6th, 2012

My pleasure Vera!