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Is Windows 8 worth the upgrade?

To begin, lets look at Windows 8′s most controversial feature, the user interface and then have a run down of the most notable new features the new OS has to offer.

The Interface

Forget about the new Metro  Modern UI interface, which unless you have a touch screen monitor it’s awkward to use and takes longer to navigate, especially when trying to get to the nitty-gritty of the OS itself.  So the best way is to switch over to the ever reliable Desktop and leave the Modern UI for the quick selection of Apps.

New Features

Windows 8 Reset/Refresh

  • Reset: Completely re-installs Windows 8, meaning you lose all setting, files and applications (except the ones that come installed with Windows 8).
  • Refresh: will allow you to reinstall Windows 8, but you keep all of your settings, files and applications that are already installed.

Windows Explorer
Windows 8 Explorer has a new ribbon, which offers many more useful features such as:

  • File Management:  Improved duplicate file identification, mount ISO and VHD files directly in Windows Explorer.
  • File History: is a quick backup feature of all your important files and it’s located on the new Windows Explorer ribbon.

More in-depth details found Here

New Task Manager
Offering new features such as resource usage light ups, process type grouping (Applications, Background processes, Windows processes)

Large Disk Support
Windows 8 will be able to support partitions larger than 2TB.

Storage Spaces
A new technology that is comparable to RAID and it’s a lot more flexible, where you can have different Hard Drive sizes and connect through SATA, USB and SAS.

Picture Password
In Windows 8 you can use a user defined picture and through a series of gestures, be able to login when the user has made the correct gesture around the picture.

Internet Explorer 10
A Modern UI version of internet explorer offers touch control, so it features: default full screen mode, double tap, a touch keyboard and a touch optimized tab bar. A normal desktop version of IE10 is included.

Performance
Based on Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Windows 8 beats Windows 7 in performance in many key area’s, from a faster booting speed with an average of 33% drop compared to Windows 7, to faster speed when browsing the web.  Gaming however, benchmarks show that Windows 7 still has the advantage in the FPS stakes with it having a slight edge, but that is mainly due to the graphic card drivers not yet being optimised enough.

So is it worth upgrading?
Will it becomes another Windows Vista or possibly could it take on Windows 7, which I think that is probably nigh on impossible now that Windows 7 has just overtaken XP’s market share, standing at 42.76%, compared with Windows XP’s 42.5%. The success of Windows 8 could also possibly depend on the uptake of sales on touch screen PC’s, but HP, Toshiba, Dell, and Asus have begun showing off thier new range of hybrid Laptops to take advantage of the new OS. Windows 8 does indeed have some nice useful new features, but many people are probably going to have the wait and see attitude and decide whether its worth upgrading from windows 7 or XP, especially for businesses.

Windows 8 release date is October 26th and it comes in 4 flavours: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows RT as well as upgrades from Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Author: Stuart

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