As Windows 8 neared its official release date, tech journalists kept the interest level up with leaks and rumors as computer makers busily prepped new models. Because Microsoft wants to draft mobile and touchscreen users into the Windows universe, this OS utilizes gestures and there are tons of touch-enabled devices coming soon, including more workstations.
Through 2011 and 2012, PC sales have sagged. For a while it almost felt like all the people in the world were holding their breath in order to release a single, synchronized, 6-billion-strong “wow!” on October 26th, Windows 8′s debut. Did you happen to hear anything?
Reports Start Coming In
Of course, there hasn’t been a unified reaction to Windows 8, but there will eventually be millions of individual ones. From gamers with water-cooled towers to secretaries with a basic desktop PC computer rentals, reports are coming in from every niche. Some users absolutely love the new navigation, while others have reported technical issues. Many may fear the learning curve of a new OS, are wary of upgrades after Vista, or are simply happy enough with Windows 7 to put off upgrading for now. If Windows 8 is going to succeed, it needs seriously deep and broad market penetration.
Overview and Impressions
Windows 8 brings a major performance boost. After noticing the snappier boot time, however, there appears the quite dramatic new Start screen.
The original Start menu, of course, was somewhat controversial when it debuted, but you now may feel pressured to buy apps and content if you tie your Windows account to an existing Microsoft account, all due to Microsoft’s “three screens and a cloud” strategy. You can avoid the hard sell by changing your default applications, or using a local account instead, but not tying Windows to your Microsoft account means you forgo much of what was hyped about Windows 8. The stripped-down RT version of the software would be particularly limited without a linked Microsoft account.
The Kids Are Right
At various times it was argued that age cohorts and media types would drive future OS adoption. Now it seems both are in play as the Windows 8 era has officially arrived, which for Microsoft means:
increased use of digital images, audio, and video; and
continuous, robust social media interaction.
The foregoing items are all associated with younger users, the same ones who use iPad rentals and watch YouTube. They may be more amenable to Windows 8 than other “old school” computer users, but only time will tell if Microsoft made the right move.
To Upgrade or Not Upgrade?
Windows 8 is not right for every PC user. Desktop power users who work with render farms and people who have nicely personalized systems have no compelling reasons to upgrade. But for mobile users who rely on the “Microsoft ecosystem,” and business pros who rent laptops to stay ahead of the curve, Windows 8 is a must. If you are somewhere between those two endpoints, it’s worth a close look. We’re keeping an eye on things and will let you know everything we find out about Windows 8 specifics in the coming weeks.