Every few years, Microsoft updates its Windows operating system with new features and improvements for PC users worldwide. Currently, Windows 7 is the best-selling operating system on the market, compared to Apple and Linux.
This time around, Microsoft has done things quite differently — perhaps in preparation for a future, tablet dominated market. The Windows 8 operating system was built around Microsoft’s debut ‘Surface’ tablet, which has been plagued with less than stellar reviews from critics and users since it came out. It ecompasses a ‘Metro’ user interface, with a system of tiles and rectangular boxes in place of traditional program icons.
Microsoft markets Windows 8 as the next best thing, though it is certainly anything but. On paper, the Metro UI looks and feels great. It’s a cool way of organizing your programs into an artistic arrangement of customizable tiles. However, in practice the tiles are often laggy, tend to crash every so often, and become messy when you start pinning non-stock windows programs(such as Google Chrome, iTunes, etc).
The application store for purchasing and downloading new programs from Microsoft is lacking in both quantity and quality, compared to Apple’s App store for Mac computers. Most people won’t spend any time re-arranging tiles or fooling around with the stock Windows software, and will skip directly to the desktop view, which is similar to the Windows 7 desktop environment, minus the Start icon and a few other components.
Perhaps the best aspect that Windows 8 brings to PC’s is its ability to speed up boot-time and shutdown procedures. If you’ve got an older computer, Windows 8 will help breathe new life into its ancient processors. For Microsoft Surface users, Windows 8 also introduces a great operating system to compete with iOS and Android tablets. But if you typically use your PC for web-browsing and light word processing, you might want to skip the Windows 8 upgrade and opt instead for Windows 7 Premium.