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It's too soon to be thinking about upgrading to Windows 8. Better to wait until it is released and then start thinking about it.

I hear Microsoft is offering an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for those who run Windows XP, Windows 7, or Vista for just $40. But in my mind, you're not enthusiastic about Win 8, so ask I for your opinion of an upgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate. Other than having the newest thing going, I have no reason to upgrade, as my meager understanding of what Windows 8 offers versus Windows 7 does not yield great benefits.

Now that it's released, this article has been superseded by Should I upgrade to Windows 8? - please read that for my current thinking on Windows 8.

In this excerpt from Answercast #36, I give my recommendation on Windows 8: Wait. It will probably be a fine system, but there is no need to go there yet.


Timing for Windows 8

Understand that I'm not necessarily down on Windows 8. I'm sure that Windows 8 will be a very interesting operating system when it gets here:

  • My concern with Windows 8 is all about timing.

Basically, people are looking at Windows 8 - and it's much too soon to be doing so. Windows 8 will not be released officially until October of this year – at the earliest. Everything that you hear about Windows 8 today is nothing but speculation.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

Yes, Microsoft has announced a fairly low upgrade price, which is cool when it gets here. But it's not something I think that people even need to be considering for several more months. Even then, my general feeling is that if something isn't broke, don't fix it:

  • There is no requirement that you upgrade to Windows 8.

  • We don't know what the requirements will be in terms of hardware.

  • Or what feature sets it will offer or discontinue from Windows 7.

My recommendation – and it's a very strong recommendation – is that you simply stop worrying about Windows 8 until it actually gets here; and even then wait awhile.

Upgrading to Windows 8

  • There's no reason to hurry to upgrade to Windows 8 when it finally does get here.

In fact, if your machine is working and working well for you, there may not be a reason to upgrade to Windows 8 for many, many years.

Everything that is going on right now with respect to Windows 8 is, in my opinion, premature and completely speculative.

  • I would wait until October, and even then, I'd probably wait some more.

Article C5595 - July 18, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Jim G
July 18, 2012 1:16 PM

My personal preference is to wait until the first service pack is released to upgrade. My experience with all versions of windows is the early adopters have problems that are generally sorted out by the time the first service pack is released.

July 19, 2012 6:22 AM

I agree with Leo. Let all the "I always have to have the newest widget" folks iron out the kinks first and then consider whether or not you want to upgrade. HOWEVER... If Microsoft is really offering an upgrade for $40, it might not be a bad investment to purchase one and sit on it until Windows 8 is really ready and then install your upgrade (along with about 150 updates by that time). By then, I doubt you'll be seeing upgrade prices anywhere near $40!

July 20, 2012 9:32 AM

hello every one , here is my comment on windows eight , i am very excited about it , my windows xp is ten years old !! . still running fairly good , a bit slow!!. gets stuck some times .
i am looking forward to something new and different. have a great day . Joyce

Ron Macpherson
July 20, 2012 7:24 PM

As always, good advice from Leo. So I will wait until Win 8 has Serice Pack 1 and then I'll upgrade to my Win 7 to Win 8.

July 21, 2012 7:16 AM

I don't think I've ever seen anything in Windows that says I have to have the new version now. It's an operating system!

I ran my Windows 3.1 machine all through the Windows 95 era and half of 98 because my computer did exactly what I wanted it to do at the time.

My Windows 98 machine allowed me to skip ME and 2000 and half of the XP era, again, because the computer was doing what I wanted it to do at the time.

My XP machine is still going and we're on the verge of Windows 8 and even when that does happen, Microsoft is still going to be doing security updates. So since my computer is still doing what I need it to do, I see no reason to switch.

Who cares that it's $40? That's what Microsoft wants you to think ... "It's only $40; I should get it."

In my opinion, if your computer does what you need it to do and Microsoft is still providing security updates, that $40 is a waste of money.

July 21, 2012 8:11 AM

I have 5 PC's ...3 with Win 7...1 with XP and 1 with Linux Mint. Win 8 has nothing to offer in new or better functionality to any of these systems.
Win8 is a tablet/touch based product that requires the need for that type interface.
I am quite content with my keyboard and mousey...
buyer beware...there is no reason to assume that every new product (of any kind) "must" be bought now.

John Kirkner
July 21, 2012 10:03 AM

I also feel that Windows 8 is for touch screens and does not offer anything for laptops or desktops. I may do it for the graphics but that is the only reason.

Don T
July 21, 2012 11:39 AM

I think the $40 upgrade is a great opportunity for XP and Vista users to get up to date at low cost. I'm on 7 and I will be upgrading to 8. Most Windwos upgrades in the past have been $100 or more so the chance to get the latest OS for $40 is one of the better deals I've seen. Wait and get left in the dust and pay more down the road.

July 22, 2012 6:39 AM

If you take advantage of the offer and then decide you don't like it, would it be possible to revert to 7, if you have an OEM version of 7 on a laptop?

July 22, 2012 8:03 AM

The only safe way to do that would be to take a backup image of your computer before you upgrade. Then you can easily revert by wiping out the 8 install, and restoring your backup image. Check out Leo's Windows 7 book on backups.

Kent Hartsoe
July 24, 2012 7:41 AM

I've tried the demo of Windows 8 and it's not even as good as Windows 7. I wouldn't upgrade to Windows 8 even if they offered it for $20. Windows 7 is clearly better for PCs, perhaps Windows 8 works better on tablets.

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