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Data Doctors

Should I wait for Windows 8 to buy a new PC?

I’m in the market for a new computer; when will
8 be out and is it worth getting?
– Stanley

Windows 8 is Microsoft’s ambition attempt to create a new
operating system that would allow users to work the same
on a PC as they would on a tablet or smartphone.

Windows 8 will use a tiled dashboard as its home screen
(called Metro) that looks very much like the touch
interface on current Windows Phone 7 smartphones. These
tiles are designed to allow those with touch screen
interfaces to bypass the mouse to make a selection, thus
making this new interface usable on tablets and special
touch monitors as well as traditional PCs with a keyboard
and mouse.

Underneath this dashboard is the traditional Desktop minus
some old familiar items like the Start button, which is
disorienting at first.

I’m predicting that a large number of users will scream “I
want my old Windows back” when they first begin navigating
this semi-familiar portion of the operating system, but
over time, the new interface will allow you quicker access
to information and programs that you want.

As of this writing, Windows 8 is still in a test version
(currently called Release Preview) and should only be
installed by IT pros and software developers that have a
spare computer that can be sacrificed for testing

Test or ‘beta’ versions should never be installed on a
computer that has any important data or on the only
machine you own as you are almost guaranteed to have

The first computer I upgraded with it, for example, was
unable to connect to the Internet via wifi afterwards
because the software (or driver) required for Windows 8 to
make use of the wireless adapter didn’t install properly.

Error messages, hardware that isn’t recognized and
programs that don’t function properly are a common result
when installing test versions of any operating system, so
it isn’t something average users should ever consider

Microsoft hasn’t announced a release date as of yet, but
the latest information we have suggests that computer
manufacturers may start getting their ‘Release To
Manufacturing’ version so they can start their build
process in late July.

If the process follows previous releases, we might start
seeing computers pre-installed with Windows 8 hit the
market starting in October.

Even then, unless you are an ‘early adopter’ that doesn’t
mind dealing with being the first to discover a new
problem, I’d suggest holding off on jumping into the
Windows 8 pool.

Letting a few million hardcore techies play with the
public release version before you take on the challenge
will generally save you a lot of grief. Lots of websites
and YouTube videos (including ours) will publish all the
do’s and don’ts for migrating to Windows 8 if you give the
tech community some time to compile the intelligence.

Microsoft always offers special upgrades for those buying
a computer with an older operating system close to the
launch of a new OS. The Windows 8 upgrade will be
available for those buying a new Windows 7 computer
between June 2nd and Jan 31st, 2013 and allows an upgrade
to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (via a download).

If you plan on upgrading an existing computer to Windows
8, you will definitely want to wait for a while after it’s
released as this scenario is traditionally the one that
has the highest likelihood of issues.

If you want to get a better understanding of how Windows 8
will work, you can view a handful of videos that Microsoft
has posted


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