Making the decision about Windows 8 is something that lots of businesses are going to have to be doing in the coming few months. On the one hand, businesses and individuals who want to stay on top of technology and at the cutting edge are of course going to want to abandon Windows 7 in favor of the newer option and there are quite a number of impressive features that make it worth going for.
But at the same time, there are also some glitches being reported with Windows 8, some limitations and some criticisms and at first glance it doesn’t quite look like the Windows that we all know and love. If you’re a business and your livelihood depends on your computers, then this might feel like a big risk to take.
If you do decide to go ahead then you might also be faced with some worry and some trepidation. What will the upgrade process be like? Will you lose files? Will your work come to a stand still? Here I’ll talk you through the process and help make sure you know how to save time and what to expect when you make the change.
My Experience Upgrading
I upgraded to Windows 8 only the other day, and I found it to be a mixed process. I’d heard reports that it was easy and seamless and that it would take no time at all but I know from experience not to believe such promises – and to be fair I do have a rather full computer that isn’t particularly well organized. For me it took approximately three-four hours though, and I wouldn’t call that great. This was partly because of some issues I had which took me about an hour to sort out, but the rest was just down to a very slow process. So make sure you have some time spare and make sure you have another device you can keep working on.
When you first launch the installation file, it’s going to do some checks of your PC to see if it’s ‘ready’. If you have any software on your machine that is ‘incompatible’ then you’ll be requested to uninstall this before you continue. You can do this all through the installer theoretically which means there’s no need to exit programs or anything, except one of the problems that will come up is with Microsoft’s own Security Essentials – and when you try and uninstall this it tells you you can’t because you already have a Microsoft Installer running. A bit of a dumb design there…
Anyway, learn from my mistakes and avoid starting the process again by uninstalling those security essentials before running the installer. You’ll also need 20GB of space free on C, so if you don’t already have that, then it’s worth changing.
But the question is, should you go ahead and install the new Windows, or are you better off sticking with 7? Well first off, let me say that using 8 on PC for the most part is going to be just the same as using 7. Your Legacy apps should mostly work (meaning the old software you have installed currently) and the Desktop is much the same. The omission of the Start button is a bit of a jarring change at first, but the Start Menu does make up for this – and you know it’s been done this way just to get you to actually use the tablet-esque UI.
The whole thing looks very nice and it’s pleasant to work on, but there are downsides. For instance finding software in that app-draw style thing is just ridiculous and most PCs have far too much software on them for this, and changing the settings and browsing the web using the Metro side of things is oddly slow. Still, as a change it’s nice and if you’re worried then you can just stick to using the Desktop.