Upgrading to Windows 8 – A Do or Don’t For My Business?

March 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Upgrading to Windows 8

Upgrading to Windows 8

The Window 8 update created majorly divided opinions when it was launched in October 2012. Many have found it difficult to operate, and a small survey of UK business owners found that only 1 in 8 had plans to upgrade to it in the next year.

Be prepared for some hassles and possible disappointments if you are upgrading to Windows 8. It is worth bearing in mind that if your computer is more than two years old it could struggle to support Windows 8 – even if it technically meets the basic requirements to run it.

Windows 8 works best for very recent personal computers with a touch screen function. The desktop has to be launched from the metro-style start screen, and instead of a straight-forward shut down button, this must be summoned from Microsoft’s –charm’ buttons, running down the side of the screen, choosing settings, then power, from there.

This obviously feels quite clumsy for traditional desktop users, who will have to learn where about to move their cursor on the screen to bring up the charm buttons, and is really only designed with touch screen and tablet users in mind.

Many offices will probably avoid the new Windows 8 interface, due to the metro screen style and focus on touch, making it unsuitable for most offices. Many computing tasks in the work place are better suited to mouse and keyboard than a touch screen system.

However, there are some plus points to Windows 8, and a selection of companies are happy to use it – reporting increased productivity with the introduction of Windows 8 to their work place. The metro-style screen, whilst often seen as frustrating, at least means that a uniform look, feel and tool options are possible across all devices – laptops, desktops and tablets. New internal apps can also be created by a company, providing live and up-to-date information from the start screen.

As Windows 8 is designed to work across many platforms, naturally there are some elements that aren’t suitable for the desktop. The metro system is really designed for tablets, and can be avoided when using a PC. You can unpin the apps that aren’t necessary for you, and add ones that you do use to your desktop.

Windows 8 on the right hardware can be sleek, fast and fun. There are huge security improvements on Window 7 – a plus for businesses – and a better battery life for laptops. For those that do have touch screen computers it’s obviously perfect.

Most businesses will undoubtedly avoid Windows 8 because of the time it would take workers to get used the new system. In the absence of a touch screen computer, they will have to get used to undertaking all touch screen functions with a mouse instead.

Investing in touch screen desktops would mean businesses could use Windows 8 to its full advantage, but most are unlikely to invest in new computers simply because a new operating system has become available.

Windows 8 may be inescapable if you are buying new computers for your company, and perhaps makes sense for the latest generation of hardware, and to create a uniform feel across all platforms.

It is probably advisable not to rush out and upgrade to Windows 8 for your current system however, as it isn’t a huge improvement on Windows 7, and you will probably find it more hassle for your business than it’s actually worth.

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BTI Computers are IT specialists, providing server room monitoring systems for your business’s computer room, server rooms and more. 

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