Approaching the Fork: Part 2. Upgrade to Windows 8 or Stay with Windows 7?

Windows 8

This is the second part in an ongoing series where I try to decide on my future direction for my desktop OS – Windows or Linux? In the first part, I concluded that, for the short term, I’d stick with Windows on my desktop PC. But what about Windows 8? Is it worth upgrading from Windows 7?

Three years ago, as Microsoft tested then released Windows 7, there was a lot of positive attention given to it. I well remember listening to tech podcasts and reading tech blogs back then. Everyone thought the upgrade from Windows Vista was a no brainer. And they were right. I’ve been really pleased with Windows 7 on my desktop PC. But there certainly hasn’t been the same positive glow about Windows 8. I get the feeling that many are quite happy to stick with Windows 7. In fact I read a recent thread on Reddit about upgrading Windows XP as Microsoft support for XP ends in 2014. The majority opinion was to recommend Windows 7 rather than Windows 8.

So what’s wrong with Windows 8? Well I can’t say first hand – I haven’t tried it out. I have heard that it boots up faster than Windows 7, is more secure, and has a few other tweaks. But it’s  the new touch interface that I just don’t need on a desktop PC, not Windows or Linux. Okay for a phone, tablet or laptop, but ergonomically, to stretch out in front of me to touch a screen doesn’t seem the smartest of ideas. And I just don’t like looking at tiles – I find them counterproductive. Then some would say, ‘But the desktop is dead’. Well I very much doubt that. The desktop is the mainstay of the office environment and will be for surely the next decade, until the next big UI development, whatever that is.

So I’ll stick with Windows 7 on my desktop PC and see what develops in the Window’s world in the next few years. Mainstream support for Windows 7 runs until 2015 with extended support until 2020. I will have one probable upgrade in the meantime. My desktop hard drive is about 3 years old and is giving some low risk events according to Acronis Drive Monitor. If this gets any worse and I need to reinstall Windows 7 on a new drive, I’ll go for an SSD for the OS and essential programs and get a replacement hard drive for data. I’m still on 32-bit Windows 7 so I’ll change over to 64 bit at the same time.

I’m also going to look at Linux Mint to see if that could be a possible eventual Windows 7 replacement on my desktop. That will probably be the next part of this series.

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