You must have heard on the CNN’s and other big media outlets of the world that Windows 8 was released in the past few days. Sort of, yes. Microsoft released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on Wednesday. This is not a final version. I don’t expect new computers to be sold with Windows 8 until the final quarter of this year or early next year. The same time frame would be true for official upgrades from Windows XP / 7 to Windows 8. However, a lot of people in the I.T. world or consumers who have a 2nd or 3rd computer to mess around with have download the Consumer Preview and are trying it out. However, this is not the final product and the Preview does have an expiration date so I would recommend that is best to wait until the fall until all the bugs have been worked out unless you really have a significant risk / reward tolerance and love to experiment.
With that said – I think Windows 8 is going to be very fresh with information and email right at your fingertips, but also many traditional Windows features. It is something may bring a little joy into your Windows lives. Windows 7 has been an awesome product for Microsoft and Windows 8 is going to build on that success. If you are going to buy a Windows computer toward the end of this year or early next year — it will have Windows 8 on it. Learn what you can now. If you have a computer that works well with XP or 7 currently, you will be able to upgrade your software to 8 for about $100. You don’t have to however. The bar for upgrading will be low. Microsoft is working really hard so that as many current computers running Windows can be upgraded to the new 8. I’ll make a broad statement here and say that most systems from 2005 and newer should be able to run the Windows 8 upgrade. So let’s say you will not be buying a new computer in the near future. Before you make the decision as to whether or not you would even want to upgrade your version of Windows (the software) to Windows 8 — you have to believe it can do something better for you. So I have provided 2 resources for you — so you can learn about and see pictures of the new Windows 8. Once again take your time — Windows 8 won’t be out for another 6 to 12 months.
Link 1 — Business Insider article by a Mac users who may want to switch to Windows 8
Link 2 – a Preview guide (sort of like a mini manual with some pictures)