Is Windows 8 essential?

Is it necessary to upgrade to the new Windows 8 operating system or should you stay with Windows 7? Let’s look at what the experts say about Windows 8:

The good: Windows 8 embraces the future wholeheartedly. Log-in and boot times are fast, the apps look gorgeous, and the Sync feature brings seamless transition between devices.

The bad: The learning curve is steep and in-app navigation isn’t obvious. There are just too many known unknowns here.

The bottom line: Microsoft makes an aggressive, forward-thinking, and bold statement for the future of PCs with Windows 8, and vast security and speed improvements more than justify the upgrade price.

That is the verdict by CNET while TechRadar rates Windows 8 as follows:

On the right hardware, it’s sleek, fast and fun
Huge security improvements
Better battery life, faster boot
Great for touch

Start menu gone
Can’t boot to the desktop
You’ll want a touchscreen/trackpad gestures/Touch Mouse
Modern UI will annoy some
Some older CPUs won’t run it

Adam Overa of Tom’s Hardware gave Windows 8 the full run and returns the honest opinion: “If you already have a Windows 7-based PC, I’ll concede that there really are no killer reasons to upgrade to Windows 8 today. It’s just not as efficient as Windows 7 for those of us slogging away with a keyboard and mouse.” He continues, “I have no trouble admitting that I started this story very bearish on Windows 8. But as I went, exploring each of the operating system’s features, I grew to like it more and more.” In closing, Adam writes, “Although a missing Start menu is scaring off many power users, the fact is that Windows 8 does everything Windows 7 does, plus some.”

The Tom’s Hardware review is seconded by PCWorld: “Windows 8 is ushering in a new era of cloud-connected Microsoft services, a unified user interface, and more-robust social media interaction. Younger users may find Windows 8 more attractive than some old-school computer users will. ”

Windows 8 is designed to fit in with and feels more like a mobile operating system. The Windows Tile layout resembles the screen of a smartphone. Not everyone will like it but it’s definitely more modern. The new Internet Explorer browser even has Share built in so that you can share webpages over social networks like Facebook and Twitter. And as Slashgear reminds us, Windows 8 boots up in half the time that Windows 7 does.

So, is it necessary to upgrade to Windows 8? No, not if you are happy with the old Windows. If you tend to hang on to your old phone or PC longer than others, you won’t need to upgrade. Microsoft will support Window 7 for some time. Thus said, if you want a faster booting, slick operating system with a modern mobile feel, then Windows 8 is absolutely essential.

Windows 8 start screen

Windows 8 is available in two versions, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Pricing starts at R999.

Want to see Windows 8 in action before you buy? Drop in at Essential IT Solutions at 89 George Street, Strand and we’ll gladly show you what the buzz is about.

Date: 30 Oct 2012