Windows 8 will be moving into our lives before the end of the year. I have been testing the preview releases of the operating system since November and will install the “final preview” in June and test it out some more. I predict Windows 8 will be a smashing success and get high marks for usability and be uniquely pleasing to the eyes. However, it is NOT a must that many of you upgrade your software to Windows 8. This is a very different approach than with Macs, which have a very interactive community, where owners are being expected to do major updates each year. A Windows user is typically more conservative. Take note of the following points.
1. If you have Windows 7 and you are happy with it, I see no need to rush out an upgrade your software to Windows 8. Microsoft claims that they will be publishing security updates for Windows 7 until the year 2020
2. If you are a Windows 7 customer, but like to have the newest of whatever is available, you like learning new things and want to be on the cutting edge, an upgrade to Windows 8 may be for you. Please read about Windows 8, perhaps play around with the Consumer Preview, and come to a decision on that in the next 5 months. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/consumer-preview?ocid=O_MSC_W8P_OandO_Consumer_EN-US
3. If your computer has Windows Vista, you are in the fence sitter group. I’m not sure which way you are going to fall. Windows Vista was a flop of an operating system if I have ever seen one. It was sold on new computers from Jan 2007 to Sept. 2009. While Windows 7 has been great, Microsoft likes to ignore the problems with Vista. You may or may not have a very slow computer, devices like printers that misfire, and blue screen errors. If you plan on keeping your computer at least a few more years you should consider upgrading your software to Windows 8 — @ cost of about $100 when it comes out. If you are fed up with your Vista computer, then you should buy a new computer with Windows 8 when it is release.
4. Finally — I want to address the few of you who are still using Windows XP. Decision time is here. Windows XP first hit the market in the fall of 2001. It has served us well. However, January 2014 is its end of life date. Microsoft will no longer publish security updates for XP as of that time — that means you will be in big trouble. I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO upgrade to Windows 8 or buy a new computer with Windows 8 when it comes out. Remember my 3 / 4, 5 rule. 3 / 4 years is a good life span for a laptop and 5 years is good for a desktop. Beyond that, your computer is living on borrowed time.