I have been asked by several friends and acquaintances whether they should upgrade their Windows based PCs to Windows 8, and my answer has been, and continues to be, “NO”. Why? Well, there are several reasons:
1 – The learning curve.
While Windows 8 is very similar to Windows 7 under the hood, the Metro-style GUI user interface is quite different and it will definitely take some getting used to. In my opinion there was no valid reason for Microsoft to try to make desktop PCs and laptops look and act like tablets, but that’s exactly what they did. And while Windows 8 ships with a few minor improvements over Windows 7, there aren’t enough of them to justify having to learn a new user interface.
2 – Money.
Even at the reduced introductory prices Microsoft is charging for Windows 8, I don’t believe the relatively minor benefits of upgrading make it worth the expense.
3 – Stability.
Windows 7 is the most stable, bug-free version of Windows that Microsoft has ever released. The jury is still out on Windows 8.
4 – To teach Microsoft a lesson about the importance of listening to their customers.
The results from several focus groups indicated that the new Metro-style user interface was both unnecessary and unwanted on desktops and laptops, yet Microsoft insisted on including it in Windows 8 anyway. Of course it’s their operating system which means they can do whatever they want with it, but it’s our money and that means we can keep it instead of spending it on a product we don’t like.
5 – Plenty of other folks apparently agree with me.
Sales of Windows 8 have been dismal to date, far below the sales of Windows 7 at a similar time after its release. Part of that is due to reduced demand for new PC’s thanks to the bad economy, but the sales of Windows 8 upgrade packages have been dismal as well. Many companies are also taking a pass on the opportunity to upgrade their existing PCs to Windows 8 or purchase new systems that come with it pre-installed.
My recommendation in a nutshell: Don’t replace your Windows 7 installation with a Windows 8 upgrade. In my opinion it just isn’t worth the hassle and expense. If you have a machine running Windows XP or Vista that you’d like to upgrade, I recommend upgrading to Windows 7 instead. And yes, there are still plenty of Windows 7 upgrade packages available, especially on eBay and at most of the larger online retailers.