Getting Straight with Windows 8
Microsoft is scheduled to release its new Windows 8 operating system Oct. 26, and for the first time in almost 25 years of tech support, we have some real concerns about a new OS
Windows 8 makes a drastic change in the computer interface, starting with the elimination of the Start menu. It’s going to take users a lot of time to get used to the new way. In a lot of ways, we expect the learning curve to simulate that of the switch from Office 2003 to Office 2007. It was not a well-received upgrade, but we all got used to it, and many of us are happily humming along with Office 2010. (We’ll have more to say about Office in our next article of this newsletter.)
Windows also has a track record since Windows 98, in our opinion, of making every other OS release an intermediate step before another upgrade. Windows 2000 was quickly replaced by XP, and many IT managers kept it as their OS, skipping over Vista to Windows 7.
Windows 8 impresses us as an OS that’s more designed for tablets and – by extension of the concept – mobile devices. It will work on desktop and laptop computers, but here are some red flags:
- You likely will not be able to go directly to Windows 8 with all of your existing software packages.
- We don’t know how well the software publishers will support the new OS. Their support will depend on how well their customers buy and install Windows 8.
On the other hand, here a couple of reassuring factors:
- Although computer manufacturers will go to Windows 8, you will have an option to have Windows 7 installed – and we’re betting a lot of people will take that option.
- We will continue to support Windows 7 and the software packages designed to run on that OS.
One other thing to keep in mind if you’re still running XP is that Microsoft will stop supporting that OS within the next 18 months or so. If you want to continue using your XP, we can help you with some work-arounds, but that may not be your best move.
Call us at 973-433-6676 or email us to talk about how you can get the most out of your hardware and software systems for near-term and long-term effectiveness and cost-efficiency.