The latest and greatest version of Windows is going to be out soon, and there will be a flurry of Windows 8 on the market. The question to ask is whether it is worth the upgrade from Windows 7 or not. It is known that Windows 8 will be quite different from Windows 7 on the face of it.
The so called “Metro” interface with its large tiles filing up the start screen may be very confusing in the beginning for the users. Many have concluded that it is too difficult to use and not worth the upgrade. However, the fact is that Windows 8 does have quite a few improvements over Windows 7 under the hood too, which makes it easier to use. Let’s take a look at a few changes.
One of the most prominent features of all versions of Windows has been the Start Menu. Well, that is gone now and it has been replaced by the start screen instead.
When you login to your PC, you will no longer see the desktop. You will see the start screen. The screen displays the full list of applications that you can install. You can go from the desktop from the start screen quite easily.
If you have seen Windows Phone 7 or 7.5, then consider this the larger version of the same user interface. Instead of 6-8 tiles, your screen holds more than 50 tiles which you can arrange any way you want. Some people consider this to be easier than the start menu while others feel it is more difficult to use.
Windows 8 Apps
Windows 8 has more features that let you use the internet for even more convenience. For instance, you can sign up for a Microsoft account or use your existing Hotmail account for backup.
You get 7 GB of free online storage and a host of other facilities such as online Office Suite and others.
More importantly, whatever apps you install on your PC will be backed up to your account. When you login to another windows 8 machine, whether it is a tablet or a laptop, you will have the same apps displayed automatically.
Also, all your documents and pictures will be synced with all your devices with the same account.
The Windows 7 question
Nevertheless, the fact still remains that Windows 7 is good enough for most people’s needs. If you have an existing laptop that has Windows 7 installed, you don’t need to upgrade to Windows 8. There are many services such as Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. that can provide the same backup and sync services.
Windows 7 is as fast as Windows 8 in most respects. If you were given a choice between a new Windows 7 PC and a new Windows 8 PC, the latter would be the better choice. Here is the gist of the whole debate:
Windows 8 Pros
- Really fast start up and shut down time
- Available in both desktop and tablet form
- New Windows 8 apps taking advantage of the new interface
- Free version of Office for tablets
- Automatic sync and backup to your online account
Windows 8 Cons
- If you are going to use desktop apps more than Window 8 specific apps, there isn’t much difference between the two Windows versions.
- Steep learning curve for those used to the start menu
- Not enough Metro apps in the app store yet
The choice is simple, if you have Windows 7 and are sticking with your existing PC, don’t upgrade. If you are about to buy a new PC, then you could purchase one with Windows 8 OS.
Vicky is a tech writer, who explains a lot of technology related topics in a simple language that can easily understood by all his readers. He also writes about how IT managed services can help businesses grow.