Later this month Windows 8 will be released as the latest and the greatest OS from Microsoft. To some extent, the decision dovetails with what users want as Jon Phillips, Editor of PC World contends (Three Keys to Windows 8 Success November 2012):
The votes are in, and tech users want mobility and touch control. These elements are the future of personal computing in homes and offices, and the sooner Microsoft gets with the program, the better it positions itself for another 20 years of OS dominance. (p. 9)
Although Phillips and others have proffered strong endorsements for Windows 8, intelligent opposing viewpoints exist. The new OS presents a radically altered user experience, the accommodations to selecting alternative user interfaces get clumsy, you cannot easily access multiple applications running simultaneously, significant hardware upgrades will often be required, and serious questions remain concerning how well current or even new software will run in Windows 8. Lincoln Spector comments on just one of these challengesalternative user interfaces (And Why You Shouldnt PC World):
Windows 8 retains the old user interface, which is now officially called Desktop, but in a sadly hobbled form. You cant use Desktop as your default interface. You cant boot into it or close Windows from it. (p. 91)
Here is where I come out on Windows 8: In principle, I fully agree with Phillips endorsement of Windows 8. But in practice, we always have to consider the software compatibility factor, the disruption factor, and the timing factor.
1The software compatibility factor: The last thing in the world I want is to jump from Windows 7 to Windows 8 only to find I now have serious issues with my software. Yes, I understand we have workarounds. But why look for trouble? I remain confident Microsoft will refine Windows 8 over time and the bugs will be resolved. I just dont want to be one of the guinea pigs.
2The disruption factor: Any OS changeover is disruptive. One must carefully consider the costs and the benefits of doing that right now. In some cases, the disruption will be worth the benefit and in other cases it wont. In this case, the radical change of Windows 8 from Windows 7 simply forebodes way too much disruption.
3The timing factor: Somewhat building on numbers 1 and 2, timing becomes critical in an OS changeover. Some times are smart to perform an OS changeover and other times are not. In my case, my mission-critical systems are all operating on Windows 7 and they have been performing better than I ever imagined. This is by far the most satisfying, stable OS I have ever used. Given that my investment in these units was fairly recent, to get the most bang for the buck, I intend to run these systems a good while longer. Therefore, the timing just isnt right for me.
Well, that is my take on Windows 8. My position is right for me. It wont be right for everyone. I highly recommend you perform due diligence.
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