Microsoft has announced that all support and updates for Windows XP will end on April 8th. PC users finally have to bite the bullet and switch to Windows 7 or Windows 8. If not then they risk infections and security attacks.
But each of these operating systems has its challenges. Windows 7 is the better out-of-the-box choice in terms of ease-of-use. But the newer Windows 8 may be the best option…once you get beyond the confusing interface issues.
Windows 7: High Quality, but Shorter Lifespan
Windows 7 got strong reviews when it launched after the much-maligned Windows Vista.
What to like:
- The operating system looks and functions pretty similarly to XP.
- Windows 7 is actually more robust and efficient under the hood.
- Networking is easier and computers are better-protected from malware and hacking.
- The 64-bit version runs more smoothly and can accommodate much larger hard drives and more RAM.
What not to like:
- Although Microsoft is still releasing Windows 7, the company’s focus is Windows 8.
- Good luck finding a new consumer computer preloaded with Windows 7.
- A limited number of business computers have Windows 7 preloaded. Dell, HP, and Lenovo all offer 7, but they quickly sell out at such vendors as Staples, Office Depot, and Best Buy.
- Support for Windows 7 may well end sooner than Windows 8
Windows 8: Is the Bad Rap Justified?
When Microsoft rolled out Windows 8 it wanted to bring the user interface experience of mobile devices to the PC. The unfortunate result? Lots of unhappy PC users.
- The big change in the look of the desktop leaves most people initially bewildered and frustrated.
- There’s a required login at start-up. Users get confused by this and think it means that they have to create a Microsoft account, which is not the case.
- In standard Windows 8 the user sees a screen of tiles that look like someone’s playing a board game. These tiles are icons for the different programs. But when one tile is selected, that program fills the screen—as an app on a mobile device would do. Except that there’s no obvious clue how to exit.
- The Start button, initially missing from its usual location in version 8 was restored in Windows 8.1. But it still provides limited assistance.
What is there to like??
- Under the hood the new operating system is even more robust and efficient than Windows 7
- There are good solutions now available to make Windows 8 appear and work more like Windows XP or Windows 7.
- There are programs available that add a Start button that works just as users would expect.
- By making minor modifications during set-up and then getting minimal training users will find that Windows 8 can be a computing workhorse.
If you’ve already got Windows 8 but don’t yet have a Start button, here are free buttons replacements to try:
Start Menu 8: http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php
There are others that cost from $3 to $15, but the ones listed above do the job every bit as well.
Our Recommendation? Take a Deep Breath and Get On Board with Windows 8
No need to fear or hate Windows 8. Ultimately it’s just another version of Windows. We have many new Windows 8 clients in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area who are productive and using their new computers quickly and comfortably without hand holding.
We suggest taking a quick 2 or 3 minute tutorial to raise your comfort level. Here are two examples:
These will give you the necessary tools to cope with the new environment.
Have questions about moving from Windows XP to Windows 8?
We can help.
Bergen IT serves the New York metropolitan area, including northern New Jersey (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, and Passaic, NJ), Manhattan and the Bronx, Rockland and Westchester, and can remotely assist clients across the country.
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