Windows 8 is new and shiny, but is it really worth the cost, effort and time it takes to upgrade?
In a word, yes. Don't stay set in your ways with Windows 7. Windows 8 has a plethora of features that improve the quality of computing life at work and at home.
Windows 8 Business AdvantagesIf you're already using touch screens at work, Windows 8 has a clear advantage over your current operating system. It has a touch screen-centric user interface that doesn't need any adaptation to work fluidly with your touch-screen monitors and devices.
The hallmark of Windows 8 is that programs are now apps. The reason for the change is apparent when you look at how easy it is to add apps to your system; gone is the pain of installing programs to your computer. Now you get the joy of adding an app to your smartphone or tablet.
The ease of using the note-taking application Evernote in Windows 8 is reason enough to upgrade; it lets you sync across multiple devices, work with friends and colleagues save your favorite Web pages. If you're monitoring your company's online reputation, the Web Clipper feature may prove helpful: It enables you to perform research and save everything you find online. According to Reputation.com, doing so can help your business come up higher in Google's search results pages.
The networking features are also improved over other versions of Windows. While connecting computers with the same operating system is not that much of a hassle, it's a real pain to get a Windows network going with different OS versions. Windows 8 has fixed these networking headaches.
It might take some steam before Windows 8 gets widely adopted in your workplace. However, the advantages provided by this operating system are well worth it. It's a no brainer if you use touch screen devices, and the app selection is going to get better and better by the day. Even if you aren't using Windows 8 at work, take advantage of it in your home. You get plenty of apps that provide you with entertainment, resources and other benefits.
Windows 8 Home AdvantagesWindows 8 is great for home use as well. First, a word about the traditional start menu: It's gone. It's been replaced with a start screen. Don't worry, though; if you miss the old start menu, there's a way to get it back.
Now with Windows 8 for home use, you'll find ample RSS readers and social media apps, as well as other for-personal-use apps that make your home computing experience that much better. There's Cookbook, a cooking application with a great user interface that enables you to easily look up recipes.
Amazon's Windows 8 app is also particularly attractive. Amazon has always has a good handle on how to make the shopping experience quick, painless and fun, and it merges with Windows 8 seamlessly. As Windows 8 matures and developers grow more comfortable with creating these applications, more users should make the switch.