Windows 8 – To upgrade… or not to upgrade?

Alright, so just when you may have thought that things aren’t changing, maybe man has achieved everything he possibly can with a computer, and now things are definitely going to be this way for a long time… Microsoft jumps in and says, “I don’t think so” and pops out a new version of Windows, namely Windows 8. Let’s find out what the hype is all about, or even if it is hype in the first place.

Firstly, you are welcomed by the new Windows 8 “Start Screen”. Yup, there is no more a start button, it is a whole screen now! Hehe, that being said, they have incorporated the live tiles in it, and it looks amazing. I have always been a fan of desktop customization tools like update themselves on the fly, actually, lets take a look at my desktop now:

A screenshot of my laptop desktop

The application used to bring about the widgets on my desktop to life is Rainmeter. Definitely a program to be handled by an advanced user since modification to each widget as per your want requires minute amount of coding know-how. I’ll cover that piece of wonderful software in another blog. Back to Windows 8; the live tiles update themselves seamlessly and it makes for a very beautiful viewing of all the things important to you such as the time, weather, all your social feeds, calender updates and so on. I really kind of like the news, finance, sports and the weather updates. What it looks like:

Windows 8 Start Screen

So what else? Well, for starters you are insisted on signing into your Windows through a Microsoft live id. You can later integrate it with all of your accounts, ie. gmail for mail, facebook and twitter for social feeds for most people. This is nice, the mail and social feeds, the media player, the picture gallery all have their own Windows 8 optimized full screen interface. Your PC is basically a tablet now. The plus point, windows has gone in for a minimalist design. And this completely does away with everything that was part of Windows 7 that used to make your PC lag while also making it look aesthetically more appealing. No Aero, and no fancy animations. But if you have sped up, I can totally live with it! Crazily awesome startup and shut down speeds! :D

Now signing in with your Live id is pretty cool, cause all your Windows setting are stored in with your Live id, meaning when you visit your friends place, but you sign into his computer with your id, it will look and feel just like yours. Wait a second, did i say computer, even his tablet and cell phone running Windows 8, would look just like the way you had it set on your PC. Nifty eh?! Wait… it gets better, if you use SkyDrive (Microsoft’s answer for Dropbox), it will appear as though you even have your files with you, on that someones pc you are using. Oh boy! You just gotta love cloud computing! :D

Now you want to go back to using Windows the way it was, no problem, just click on the tile that says Desktop and it brings back the familiar surroundings we were once in; with one difference, no start button. So Windows 8 and Windows Desktop are two different ways of operating a Windows 8 PC. While the former makes you PC look like a tablet, the latter is our good ol’ Windows.

A New Breed

All in all, an aesthetic overhaul. But you can clearly not take advantage of the Windows 8 user interface in case you do not have a touch screen. Windows 8 is bringing in a revolution for computers, a new breed of devices with the portability of a laptop, but the computing power of a gaming PC are going to be born. Dell XPS 12 makes my point rather clear.

Dell XPS 12

The Pinch to the Pocket

Currently if you are running any version of windows, you can get the new Windows 8 Pro at ₹1999. But if you have recently bought a PC running Windows 7 (or your friend has), you can get it for just ₹699. Just sign up here, windowsupgradeoffer.com, with your legitimate Windows key, and you will get a promo code enabling you for the discount. So summing up, at 2k, the set of features Windows 8 is offering right now, it’s cool. But keeping the India picture in mind, you might want to stick to your Windows 7 for around a year more. Though, if you qualify for the promo code and are getting it for 699, go for it.

Conclusion

Keep an eye on the Windows Marketplace, the moment it gets more India friendly, buy Windows 8.

P.S.: Buy original software, it always pays off.

Update: If you have or intend to upgrade to Windows 8, but fear that your (not-so-technology-friendly) parents might get lost just searching for the start button, never fear, for third-party-applications are always near! You might want to check out this post here, you can get back the good ol’ start button to your Windows 8.

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