Should You Switch to Windows 8?

In a word, no. Most people stick with the Windows version that came installed on their computers and don’t upgrade. That way they avoid the chore of figuring out a new version of Windows. Also, Windows 8 comes with a particularly steep learning curve because it’s quite different from earlier Windows versions.

Also, many of the biggest changes in Windows 8 work best with touchscreens — those fingertip-controlled screens found on expensive cellphones, tablets, and some of the latest laptops. No matter what device it runs on, Windows 8 looks and behaves the same, whether it’s controlled by fingers on a touchscreen tablet or by a mouse and keyboard on a desktop PC.

On the positive side, if you manage to figure out Windows 8 once, you’ll know how to run it on all of your Windows devices: a tablet, Windows phone, a laptop, a desktop PC, and perhaps even a touchscreen television. On the negative side, being designed for so many different things makes Windows 8 behave a little awkwardly on all of them.

Instead of upgrading, stick with the masses and stay with your current computer. When you’re ready to buy a new computer, the latest version of Windows will be installed and waiting for you.

Windows 8 doesn’t support Windows XP mode, a popular way to run a Windows XP desktop inside its own window within Windows 7. If you needed Windows XP mode in Windows 7, don’t upgrade to Windows 8.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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