Big deal. Microsoft comes up with another “upgrade” and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. Save your money, folks. Avoid the headaches. Windows 8 is no big deal. If you’re happy with the OS you’re running now, stick with it. Windows 8 might look pretty but it’s not worth making the switch. Here are my Top 10 reasons you should NOT upgrade to Windows 8:
1. It Has A Steep Learning Curve
Where is My Computer? Where is the power button? What are hot corners? These will all be things you’ll have to re-learn in Windows 8.
If you thought jumping from Window XP to Windows Vista was difficult you should avoid Windows 8. Many desktop computing conventions that Microsoft has ingrained in our memories are scrapped for new ones.
Microsoft has changed nearly everything about how users interact with computers with Windows 8. It hasn’t made even the simple stuff easy to figure out, like how to open and close files and see which apps you have open. Are you ready for a flood of calls to your help desk?
The start menu is gone (although you can get it back with third-party apps) and is replaced by the Windows Modern UI. While pretty, it doesn’t do much to help you get your work done any faster. Your apps will show up as beautiful, live animated tiles but many of you will miss the useful nature of the old Windows Start menu.
You’ll also have to learn what “charms” are and how to activate them.
2. It Can’t Natively Run Older Windows Apps
Corporations own billions of dollars worth of older Windows software they use to run their businesses. Any program that runs in Windows 7 can run on Windows 8, but only in “Desktop Mode,” a clunky, harder-to-use version of Windows 7 with missing features like the “Start” button. Why upgrade to Windows 8 and retrain your users, only to have your apps run in a less-functional version of Windows 7?
3. It’s Really Awkward on Older PCs
If your machine doesn’t have a touchscreen — and most Windows 7 machines do not — you are forced to do all the touchscreen controls with a mouse. It’s awkward. Businesses that want to use Windows 8 to its fullest potential should buy new touchscreen PCs. Companies tend to refresh their PCs on three-to-five year cycles, not just because a new operating system becomes available. If you don’t have a touch screen, then you’re missing out on a lot of what Microsoft has been pouring their resources into.
4. It’s Just Not a Dramatic Upgrade
Windows 7 is a solid operating system loved by many. Since it’s been out on the market for so long, there is great support for the operating system so just about every application you can think of will run in Windows 7.
If you don’t want to bother with the headache of learning a new operating system or going through the trouble of upgrading, then Windows 7 will probably keep you happy for a while. Microsoft has a history of supporting its older operating systems for a long time so you probably can skip a couple versions of Windows before you’re forced to upgrade.
5. It’s Negligibly Faster
With all the added benefits one has to wonder: “just how fast is it?” Well, according to the benchmarks, the difference isn’t substantial in day-to-day use. The performance assessments focusing on differences that will hardly ever be noticed by Windows 8 users who do not use benchmarks.
Boot-up times are much improved, but shaving a few seconds when booting is like starting a car faster; it’s not going to make any real difference unless the user constantly restarts the computer. The same can be said about gaming or multimedia performance, which improves to a point where only benchmarks and timers can pinpoint the difference.
Unless you want to squeeze that last tiny drop of performance, you’re better off sticking to the version already installed.
6. Applications Are Incompatible
With every upgrade to a new operating system, there will inevitably be a time where some of your applications will be incompatible. While many developers will have updated apps to run in Windows 8, there’s no guarantee that all of the applications you use every day will continue to work in the new operating system.
Patience will pay off. It is smart to wait a while after any new product release to allow bugs to be hammered out and applications to be updated. If you value stability over new features, it’s a smart move to wait and see what bugs need to be hammered out first.
7. It Doesn’t Have Many Apps Yet
There are over 10,000 applications in the Mac App Store. The Windows Store has just over 4,000 apps ready for launch. While both the Mac and Windows store pale in comparison to the iPhone and Android app stores, the Mac App Store has a significant advantage over Windows in the number and quality of apps.
There’s no doubt that there will be more applications added to the Windows Store but the question is when? If you’re used to having a great app experience on your iPad or Android tablet, you’ll probably be disappointed when you can’t find the same apps in the Windows Store for your Windows 8 tablet.
8. Windows Defender. Really?
It can’t replace a dedicated security software suite. While Defender provides a certain basic degree of security, it is still pretty far away in terms of overall functionality compared to dedicated security software suites and it still doesn’t integrate with Windows Firewall to provide a unified interface for the integrated security software. It’s addressed only for basic security needs which basically means that it can’t offer the same degree of protection as a fully fledged security suite.
9. Desktop Different, Not Necessarily Improved
Microsoft decided that an Aero-like look a la Windows 7 is not worthy of Windows 8 and removed all transparency effects from the desktop interface. The change was made for the sake of using less resources, directly benefiting tablets not desktops. It’s not necessarily better looking and it certainly doesn’t provide extra functionality over the older Windows Explorer, which is important when defining the term “upgrade.” Same functionality, just the look is different.
10. You might Not Have the Capacity
If your PC’s specs are extremely outdated – less than 1GHz processor or less than 1GB RAM, in particular – you won’t be able to upgrade.
Sources: Business Insider, CNET, Beta News, World-in-One