EDIT: I wrote this almost one year ago and have since upgraded the 8.1 and put decent effort into learning it. I am actually enjoying using the operating system. If you need something that looks like Windows XP, then stick with Windows 7. But 8.1 isn’t bad if you are open to it. (Except that it crashes far more often than 7 does on the same hardware.)
Let me first say that I am a big Windows guy. I have used every version of Windows from 3.1 to 7 and I’ve never really had much of a problem. Even Vista was acceptable to me except for the awful constant disk access. But then there is Windows 8…
First I’ll mention the pros:
– It starts up fast
– It shuts down fast
– It is cheap! ($39!)
– Live tiles are sort of interesting just like it was interesting with Active Desktop in Windows 98 and the sidebar in Vista/7. It is good for getting the latest weather without clicking on anything. That’s all.
The worst mistake you could make would be to upgrade a good Windows 7 computer! Don’t do it. New does not equal better. Luckily you can downgrade it if you make this mistake.
So what’s wrong with it? It is incompatible with a LOT of hardware. It randomly disconnects from networks. It downloads updates and refuses to install them. It has two user interfaces and the Metro interface should be disabled to even begin to use it. Applications can be made available as a tile, in the tile list of all programs, pinned to the task bar, or on the desktop. Why do we need four locations for applications? I have no idea.
And Microsoft, stop calling them “apps”. It makes you sound like the nerdy kid who is trying to fit in with the cool crowd. Just stop.
Microsoft is now selling downgrades to Windows 7. It’s almost like they gave you a trial OS and if you want to get any work done you’ll need to pay up to go down.
If you have Windows XP, it is supported until 2014, so keep using it.
If you have Vista, upgrade it to 7.
If you have 7, feel good that you have a good desktop operating system and just keep using it.
If you have 8, either uninstall it or downgrade to Windows 7.