Windows 8 is the latest in a long line of Microsoft operating systems. It was announced back in 2011 and released to the general population only a few months ago, in October 2012. It is very different from all its relatives and that is why many people are wondering if they should do the upgrade or stick to the Windows 7.
The current upgrade price is around $199. Let’s see if it is worth its value…
First and foremost, take a look at the system requirements. If your PC doesn’t meet them, Windows 8 will not run smoothly but rather in a very annoying manner. So the cost of the upgrade will rise significantly due to the need to upgrade PC components as well.
As a minimum you should have a 1GHz clock rate processor with an IA-32 or x64 architecture and support for SSE2, PAE and NX. You will also need 1GB of memory for the 32 and 2GB for the 64 version. You will also need a DirectX 9 graphics device and a display screen sized at least 1024x768 pixels. The 32 version will require 16GB of hard disk space and the 64 – 20GB. A regular keyboard and mouse input will work as normal.
For the ultimate experience you will need 4GB of memory, a DirectX 10 graphics device and a display screen sized 1366x768 pixels with multi-touch support.
Once that’s cleared, your biggest consideration should be the new user interface. It is the most criticized aspect of the new system as it is completely different from what we are used to in Windows. The Start Menu has gone - it is no more! You can now enjoy the glory of the Start Screen…
The Start Screen looks a lot like the one on your tablet or smartphone. It consists of tiles on the screen that give access to all your programs and applications. Make no mistake, though, the Start Screen is not actually your Desktop. You can access that by clicking the Windows key on your keyboard plus the D button. Unfortunately, the PC cannot boot directly to the Desktop – you will have to get used to the Start Screen.
Another major change pertains to the right click functions. We are all used to clicking the right button and seeing a menu with various options showing up. Now those same options will appear on the bottom of the screen as separate buttons. It definitely takes some getting used to….
If you can live with these significant changes, here is where Windows 8 gets brilliant. It is much faster than all previous systems so all activities, including booting up, will take mere seconds to complete. On top of that it is greatly integrated with all social networks as well as the Cloud, so all your Internet-based activities and data will be much easier to access.
Another great thing is the multitude of designs you have available to personalize the interface. No more boring desktop wallpapers – it’s all about color schemes now. There are plenty to choose from, from classical artwork to frankly weird ideas in literally all colors of the rainbow.
If you can live with the major UI changes, Windows 8 (once completely personalized) is likely to completely satisfy you. However, if you are a traditionalist and refuse to accept having your PC world turned upside down, stick to Windows 7 – it’s great too!