Is it time to upgrade to Windows 8.1?
Windows 8 features improved performance and increased security. The new changes included a major rehaul to the user interface, thanks to Microsoft’s ‘Metro’ design these changes were installed to improve the user experience on devices such as tablets. As with every Microsoft Windows Operating System new release, the dilemma suddenly becomes, is it a good idea for me to upgrade to Windows 8?
Microsoft endured heavy criticism for removing the Start button, after all, we are all creatures of habit and boy did Microsoft destabilize our entire existence. But hey, it is not like there was nothing similar to the Start button, clicking Windows button plus ‘x’ brought up a menu similar to the Start menu.
Many users have complained that the new interface is just to complicated to learn with too many hidden features. Different Microsoft officials have even admitted that this may be the case. The Windows 8.1 RTM release preview may just be the Microsoft compromise to a lot of the user’s complaints. Look out for the final release of Windows 8.1 coming this October 2013. The price for Windows 8.1 (Core) is about $120 street price value. Windows 8.1 Pro is $200 price value. If you already own Windows 8 , the update will be free.
If you want to finally upgrade from Windows 7, Microsoft has discontinued its past upgrade methods. Windows 8.1 license will allow you to either perform an upgrade or a clean install.
In the best of worlds if you are running Windows 7 you will be able to run Windows 8, but before you even consider upgrading , you will need to run the Microsoft Upgrade Assistant found here If you are running a 32 bit system the minimum requirements are 1Ghz Cpu, 16GB hard drive space, 1GB of installed memory and video card Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver. A system running 64 bit will need a 1Ghz Cpu, 20Gb hard drive space, 2GB of installed memory and video card Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver.
Next, you will need to make sure your software is compatible with Windows 8, most software is but, sometimes we may be running specialized software and it is critical that you double-check. You can verify with the software developer or vendor or check the Microsoft compatibility center found here.
One thing is for sure, Windows 8 does out perform Windows 7 maximizing the use of memory and Cpu resources, you can see an article by PcWorld right here on the subject. If you have a laptop it will maximize the usage of your battery a lot better than Windows 7 does.
The bottom line is quite simple, if you meet the requirements and can safely upgrade your software then you should go ahead and upgrade. However, Windows 7 is far from obsolete and still runs very well. But , if you are still running Windows XP you better consider upgrading to Windows 7 or 8 especially, since coming April 2014, Microsoft is discontinuing all support.