You know, the really annoying thing about OS updates is that updating can be a pain. Not only are there additional costs, but the actual act of updating can be a challenge. What’s more, sometimes updating is simply not worth the effort. I have no doubt that by now you’ve heard a lot of hype about Windows 8. According to a number of sources, Windows 8 will be better, stronger, faster than Windows 7. But, how much truth surrounds these rumors? Will Windows 8 really be all that much better or should you just stick with your Windows 7 version? If you’re as curious as I am about Windows 8, here are some of the things that you can look forward to (or not).
It’s Hard to Ignore Aesthetics
Windows 8 has a whole new interface called “Metro UI.” This interface really doesn’t look anything like the old Windows 7 interface. Instead, Metro UI places home screen apps directly on your desktop, so that you can just click on these apps to get started (much like Apple has done in the past with OS X). What you’ll see when you open a Windows 8 OS are a number of very colorful tiled apps (much like the current Verge homepage, oddly). Inside of these apps you will find lots of stuff like emails, messages, and various other details.
Aside from the way that the apps on the homepage look, these apps will be in real-time. So, if you want to keep up with Twitter, for example, you will see every bit of new Twitter news right on your homepage. Scrolling through these apps is a bit different too. Instead of scrolling up and down, to go through the homepage apps you will have to scroll from left to right, much like you would on a tablet or smartphone.
So, What About That Faster Part?
A faster OS is a better OS for all kinds of reasons. Most importantly, a faster OS means that your workday will fly by a lot faster. Windows has promised faster OS updates in the past, though some of these updates didn’t deliver. How does Windows 8 measure up? A number of tech blogs have actually had the chance to go hands-on with Windows 8 and test out the speeds. Thus far, all reports claim that the new OS is, indeed, faster than its predecessor. The tech blog Lifehacker reports that Windows 8 boots 25 seconds faster than Windows 7 – 25 seconds is a big deal when it comes to boot time.
Microsoft has also promised that Windows 8 will be able to unify a few devices running Windows. If you have a Windows smartphone, tablet, and PC, you can run Metro UI on all three devices without a hitch – only, there is a slight hitch. Currently Windows phones are not (and will not be) upgradable to Windows 8. If you happen to have a current Windows smartphone, you’re out of luck. If you’re about to buy one, the promise is that Windows 8 will run seamlessly. Lastly, let’s talk about price. Microsoft has told consumer that the upgrade to Windows 8 will be “low cost.” How low is that cost? Around $39.99. Is the upgrade worth the price? Right now, it certainly looks like the new OS will be worth upgrading to, but I’m going to recommend waiting a few weeks to see how it all goes. If no major glitches have popped up by then, go ahead and make the switch – all signs point to a better all-around OS.