Windows 8

Windows 8 infographic: Pros and cons at a glance

TechRepublic polled its members as to whether they had plans to upgrade to Windows 8. We also have the top reasons why they will or won't.
We know that, especially with IT pros, time is money. So TechRepublic is introducing its own infographics that let you grasp information easily in an accessible graphic form. You are welcome to repost the image on your site. All we ask is a link back to TechRepublic. (Click to enlarge.)

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Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

74 comments
Oldsmobile_Mike
Oldsmobile_Mike

I just don't get why people list "boot time" as important. In our office the PC's stay on 24/7 and are rebooted by each employee when they leave for the day, left ready & waiting at the login screen for the next user. Leaving the machines on also allows them to be remotely accessed by field workers, able to install it's updates in a timely manner, etc. Power requirements are so low on these new systems, anyway, why would you even bother turning it off? If people cared so much just about boot time, my Amiga or Commodore 64 would still be viable computing platforms - they boot up much faster than any version of Windows. :-P

malcolmreynolds
malcolmreynolds

...for mobile devices, and this is where I keep looking at Microsoft with a O_o. Windows 8 looks like it will be a bomb of an OS to use on phones and tables, and even some laptops (with good touch screens), but I would say at least 90% of the PC ecosystem doesn't have touch interfaces at all, and most laptop's touch capabilities are just the trackpad (single touch only). I sincerely hope in the next version they bring back the old desktop model, until then, I'm just glad they made Windows 7 so good.

jfreedle2
jfreedle2

When I saw that Microsoft was changing the interface for Windows, I decided that if I was going to be forced into a completely different user interface, that I might as well migrate to a Macintosh and just Windows in a virtual machine rather than directly on the hardware. It seems like the new "Metro" user interface is forcing people to write web pages instead of real applications and I do not no part in using web pages as replacement for real applications. Desktop computers will always be better than notebook computers and I for one feel that notebook computers have had their useful time and are on the way out of existence. They are not useful while mobile and require too much work to keep synchronized with a desktop. It looks like Microsoft has worked on this for Windows 8, but I for one would not like to have it use some cloud based service, but I would rather use resources local to my network.

Andrew Happ
Andrew Happ

but please do the underlying data justice by accurately plotting them. As it presents the graphic suggests more than 50% say no. The reality from the data is that approximately 47% say no.

jaiekeyz
jaiekeyz

As with any "new" software, a learning curve is required. From Windows XP to Vista to Windows 7. There are curves. Some curves are a little steeper than others. Being an IT geek, it took me about 10 to 15 minutes to get accustomed to the new interface. But after gaining some level of comfort, I was able to navigate pretty well. I support users on both extremes. Those that are pretty savvy and then those who may or may not need a computer based/dependent job. Changes of ANY kind would disturb my users that are not really meant to work a computer based job. But those that are pretty savvy, would probably have a similar experience as I did. The direction that Microsft took with Windows 8 is very nice. I haven't always been a fan of their OS releases. But, Windows 8 brings a fresh new interface. A lot like Windows 95 did over the previous versons.

LaPomme
LaPomme

Unlike people in IT departments of large organizations, I work with small (sometimes tiny) businesses and individuals with home-office needs. No doubt some will feel they have to upgrade because Microsoft is selling something new, or because they want the cool touchscreens, etc. The more savvy ones know there are bound to be problems, service packs, incompatibilities to deal with and they'd rather wait for others to do the involuntary beta testing. Some of the less savvy will wait because there's no economic reason to switch. I've spent decades avoiding Windows use myself (longtime Mac-head) but got a netbook last summer with Windows 7 Starter preloaded and was pleased to see it works far better than any of the previous iterations. Now I'm using it daily, with a variety of non-standard programs. It's only crashed once, which is good for a low-RAM toy that gets things installed, tested and uninstalled most weeks. Since I couldn't live without it,. I'm not planning to switch to 8; time enough for that when (if) it becomes unavoidable for some business reason. Otherwise, when 7 becomes unusable for security reasons, I'll be in Linux full-time. But we've got several years ahead in which to make up our minds about 8, so there's really no rush.

j.flener
j.flener

I currently keep internet shortcuts on my desktop, and rarely is IE or other broswers drop down, and any need ed apps are also shortcuts. The new interface seems to less convenient.

logos200
logos200

1. Unproven OS; companies would rather wait until SP1 - if at all. 2. Learning curve would require large-scale training, which would cost $ and impact worker productivity. 3. Due diligence and budgeting. Testing existing/legacy apps/ecosystems with Win 8 would necessitate more resources and time. The thing is so many businesses are *still* using XP and here MS is peddling Win 8! The adoption rate in corporate American will be very, very small and I'm sure MS anticipates it. MS is just so anxious to get into the tablet wars and get a piece of the financial pie which Apple dominates. Good luck to them.

rmixon
rmixon

need a pc with a crank on side to start (boot) or up grade to the Cole fired model no need for a change

zeljko.baralic
zeljko.baralic

I use almost everything on daily basis, Android, Linux, Windows (XP and 7) and OS X. From my point of view Windows 8 contains already seen stuff, but consolidated on one place. I think that Microsoft and its Windows had its time in the past when it had best development environment, when enormous applications were developed for Windows, which made of it what is it today. Nowadays you can use Windows (XP or 7) with bunch of free and open source applications to be productive. This means that it is only good base OS which can be easy replaced in most of the cases, nothing more. Why would somebody like to be controlled and clouded using a Windows 8? Is Microsoft sales not going well so they need internet aToones or Dart Store to sell apps!? I don’t think so. I think that MS has lost its touch and being conquered by new ideas and innovations. Lots of us will still have to buy Windows because of some specific application that runs only on it, but the future is not so bright for W8 as it was decade a go fore previous releases when every body eagerly expected new release of Windows with improvement and innovations. Now days people are also eagerly expecting new releases of Ice Cream Sandwich, new GNOME/Linux and iOS. And I do not see any revolutionary innovations in Windows 8 that will make me like it, or better say make my digital life easier.

desizemo
desizemo

I'm surprised that Microsoft has taken this long to really and truly (Finally...) enter the Tablet/Slate ecosphere. I have used some form of a desktop for over 20 years now as an educator and as a technology facilitator for teachers and administrators and even students. I currently use a laptop as my desktop, and both an iPad and a Asus Transformer tablet as test beds for software and for training purposes (my first computer experience was with a Univac monster when I was in the Navy). What I have discovered in the last year is that for most of my writing projects and batch processing of digital photos, I prefer the laptop, but for just about everything else I find my self using a tablet. Having said all of that, I would like to point out that I have experienced one phase of a transition that may eventually make a desktop history, and that was when I was trying to view a web page on my iPad that required Flash, I put down the iPad and immediately touched the screen of my HP laptop to interact with it, just like the toddler who did the same thing when the iPad was switched out for a magazine! The point is that the desktop will eventually be replaced; the question now is "with what, and by whom?"

trawlerman
trawlerman

I strongly opine that MS ought to segment their software into two streams. One for mobile devices and one for laptop/desktop corporate settings. MS has flown in the face of one product logic for many years. That is the grievous error of often "wiping out" the experience basis of their long term users. On portable devices, as the screen surface is small, it has been reasonable to go to different boot-screen approaches. However, for the corporate segment, it seems crazy to me to take a companies workers and kick them back a good deal in their familiarity and expertise. I believe that software started out being the bottleneck in user productivity and has progressed to the point that there is some real straining to provide much more useful functionality. Were it up to me, I would concentrate on two things: 1. Speeding up all the functionality that I currently have, and 2. Carefully studying user feedback as to what they like and don't like, and what they want and don't want. Seems to me that in many cases the new product has a lot of gee whiz stuff that is rarely if ever used by the average user, while at the same time there are functions that are frequently needed that require some real drilling down to use. I don't think that any other product in this world would require business owners to invest a lot of money in their employees on a regular basis just to allow them to use the wonderful new product. What is wrong with the antediluvian idea of the vendor meeting the customer instead of the other way around? Just my 2-cents worth. Would not pretend to be a real IT "pro".

winscott
winscott

655 + 349 = 1004 vs. 884 This is not a 50/50 split as the graphic seems to suggest. And to top it all, you don't even indicate the % of the three groups. HS grade, D!

rmacleod
rmacleod

We are getting tablet and cell phone, iphone crazy! There is no doubt Win 8 has removed some important conveniences. The task bar with start is essential for quick desktop navigating. Not all will be touch based. Removing the start button and all programs and quick search to device manager etc. is a major drawback. This is like insisting only a touch pad can be used for navigation! Slow slow slow. The upgrade means no more Entertainment Centre. If you use it then another big loss. I don't know why Micro beta tests, when in the end they ignore.

rwscolari
rwscolari

I've installed win 8 preview edition in 25 of my user desktops. The learning curve is sharp but short. I installed stardock and most of learning problems went away -- now the users could deal with the desktop as they know it. Metro is useless to desktop users.. I feel Microsoft has totally misread the business market; by insisting on the metro (or whatever) interface they've almost assured most businesses will NOT switch over to win 8. I like the fast boot up and shut down times. The OS seems stable. I plan on getting at least one of the final release versions to test out.

BobManGM
BobManGM

Some of the items on the list are true for ANY operating system (i.e. new hardware, training). And 3G/4G is help to a corp user on a desktop/non-mobile machine how?

andrew232006
andrew232006

I admit I haven't tried it, so maybe I'm missing out on some stuff. But I still haven't seen a compelling reason to install this on my desktop PC instead of windows 7. Common user experience: Doesn't it always start out this way? Are they saying I can't customize it to my preferences? Windows to go: Why? Push Button Reset: This could be useful, but I'm skeptical. Isn't this built in reimaging? If not, how will it preform against corrupted registries, root kits, viruii and buggy applications/toolbar addons installed by the users? New log in options: The passwords work great for me and don't require new hardware. How do you write down a gesture you forgot? Faster boot time: Great. But this takes about 10 seconds of my time, about once a week currently.

GaryLK
GaryLK

I can't stand seeing that Metro screen. I think they just want to put me in a box. The screen space that is just empty bothers me too much.. What is the value of a big white space or big black space? Run things full screen? Ok for a movie, but why buy a big monitor to just see one mail box or control panel? I like a cluttered desktop, real and computer. I have one window on top and seven hanging out parts in the corners so they are there when I want, fast. I like groups of icons around the sides and spaced just how I like. not on some bodys else grid. Some people like neat, organized and clean. Ok, up to them. And then there are people like me who see their own order in seeming chaos. I'll stick with Mac and some windows on a virtual machine for the rare times I need it. Note to Windows users, You can now run the Mac OSX as a virtual machine on a windows box, so no need to buy a new computer. http://www.souldevteam.net/blog/2012/07/28/os-x-mountain-lion-10-8-retail-vmware-image-release-notes-links/

GreyTech
GreyTech

All the bleating about the start screen seems to be nonsense to me. It makes sense to have the same style of interface for users desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. It doesn't matter that two of them are not touch devices, the style makes it easier for users. It seems to me that it is only a few of the IT journalists that didn't get it and they have unreasonably influence those who were not prepared to fully try it themselves. I've used every version of Windows (and DOS, CP/M, OS/2 and many versions of Linux) and windows 8 seems to be the best so far. It has all the benefits of Windows 7 plus a UI that is like my Android phone. As Deb pointed out it also has UEFI and secure boot. It is faster than 7 to boot, it doesn't appear to carry as much baggage as previous updates. I think after the inevitable resistance to change it will probably be the most successful Windows yet. I will be demonstrating it to other retired computer users at this month's computer club.

sarai1313
sarai1313

this is the poll and your numbers dont add up

sarai1313
sarai1313

these are not the numbers publish at the time of the poll. look for your self.

youngmaester
youngmaester

Windows 8 hauls ass and on old hardware. Take those old XP machines either are no longer getting security updates and repurpose them. I absolutely love it. I'm going to be reactivating some boxes I haven't used in years.

rgeiken
rgeiken

I have two relatively great Windows 7 computers with i 7 processors, and I will be content to wait for up to a year to really see how things work out for W8. I don't see any immediate reason to update. I don't expect to buy a new computer for at least one year or possibly longer, so will be content to stick with W7. W7 is the best O/S from Microsoft so far, and W8 may be better, but most W7 users will likely stick to W7 for the foreseeable future. If you are using a desktop, the so called Metro interface may not be as desirable as the actual desktop that we have now with the start menu. I use the start menu pretty frequently for programs that I don't actually want to put in the launch area. In about a year, we should know if designing the interface the way they did is a net negative or positive. If for some reason I have to buy a new computer and decide to stick with Windows, I will not have much choice. One thing that Windows needs to do is cut down all the background services that they have running. They are selling a home user basically same computer as they sell business, and we have very different needs frequently. Even W7 can be extremely difficult for a home user to fix when things go wrong. They probably need more human factors added to the O/S

thekman58
thekman58

These numbers look pretty typical to me. I don’t know of many enterprises that upgrade their OS’s within the first year or two of availability anyway.

thekman58
thekman58

Were the 5 cons listed actually given by IT professionals? Need for Massive Training - The one has merit just not sure if it can be considered massive. No Start Menu? You have an entire start screen. Fragmented Ecosystem? This would be for tablet users only and still beats whats currently available. Desktop Abandonment? So it does not include a desktop? Hardware Outlay? My 6 year old system is performing better now than when it was new.

deb
deb

No mention here of UEFI and Secure Boot. Although a controversial feature for those who want to install Linux, it's definitely security enhancement in the corporate environment where you are probably not going to be dual booting or wanting to install a different OS. Memory allocation improvements also add security. This paper from BlackHat goes into the low level security improvements: http://illmatics.com/Windows%208%20Heap%20Internals.pdf . Of course, the sandboxing of apps and vetting of apps through the Store will also improve security. Also disagree that the corporate desktop is an "afterthought." I've been using Windows 8 for months as my primary OS and rarely go into the UI formerly known as Metro. The desktop works fine. I especially like the improvements in multiple monitor support that will make things a lot easier for corporate employees with high end, multi-display workstations. Touch is there if you want/need it, but it's not required, and with the changes made to the RP version, using the mouse with the new UI is now much easier.

kturner1
kturner1

Who was forcing you to upgrade to Windows 8? Which 'webpage' applications are you referring to? "Desktop computers will always be better than notebook computers" in what way? Performance? No. Portability? No. Price? No. Hardware Upgrades? Meh. Why synchronize with a desktop? Just use the laptop instead of viewing it as a carry-around accessory.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"Desktop computers will always be better than notebook computers and I for one feel that notebook computers have had their useful time and are on the way out of existence. They are not useful while mobile and require too much work to keep synchronized with a desktop." Maybe you haven't found notebooks to be useful. Many of the users I support are satisfied with them. They don't necessarily have to be synchronized with desktops, by the way.

kturner1
kturner1

I think they were being approximate and I doubt the 3% make much difference.

kturner1
kturner1

1. All new OS, regardless of manufacturer, are unproven on a wide scale until they reach live trials with the general public. That's just the way it is. 2. If your staff is incapable of learning and adjusting to changing technologies, you have a much bigger problem. If you cannot invest in your most valuable asset (the workers), where does that leave you? How much will it cost to keep you from bankruptcy? I suspect less than it cost to train. 3. You can use virtual environments or dual/multi OS boot to overcome this issue in most cases I am not a Microsoft crony but you do have to view things from their perspective. If you owned Microsoft and you were losing your customer base to other vendors, would you: A. keep doing what you've been doing and only selling 10+ year old products while you competitors eat away at your market share , fire staff to stay afloat, close offices & manufacturing facilities(Lose Money & Go out of Business Plan) or B. Get innovative and try to stay current and improve customer experience (Make Money & survive plan)? Look what happened to the auto industry. It wasn't solely because more foreign cars were being made better and sold cheaper.

kturner1
kturner1

In short, what you are saying is newer isn't necessarily better, right? Windows 8 appears to be making the same splash as Windows Vista so far. BTW, phonetically, your abbreviation is classic (W8 = wait), Bad idea on Microsoft's part

kturner1
kturner1

maybe you just need more gadgets since none of the ones you currently have appear to adequately meet your needs.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

MS jammed its desktop GUI onto portable devices, resulting in unsatisfactory user experiences on those devices. Now it's going the other way, trying to convince us that a GUI optimized for mobile, touch-enabled devices with small displays is equally suited for full-sized desktops and laptops. The old approach wasn't good for the goose; why would the new one be good for the gander?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That's the only reason I can imagine for installing a beta operating system for that many users. Even if you are just testing it for potential deployment, you're wasting your time with anything before the final RTM version.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Are you smoking something?

Slayer_
Slayer_

Vista was faster in Beta as well, but then crashed and burned when it was released.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

How do you avoid it? Isn't it there every time you log on?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Desktops usually cost less than comparably equipped laptops. That's because desktops don't have to worry about power management and its accompanying issues of heat dispersion and battery life. They're also cheaper to design since there's plenty of room to fit all the components. I'm with you on portability and synchronization.

Slayer_
Slayer_

My desktop syncs with my Laptop, my laptop keeps the most current data. Though by Sync, I just have a bat file that fires robocopy over and over on various folders.

JJFitz
JJFitz

I have said this several times in other TechRepublic discussions - If you put the desktop tile in the upper left corner of the Metro UI screen, once you boot your machine and the metro screen shows, hit the enter key and you are back on the good ol' desktop screen. If you really hate the Metro UI screen, log on, quickly turn off your monitor, hit the enter key, and turn your monitor back on. ;)

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I suppose that would work, but I might be tempted to peak. :)

Slayer_
Slayer_

What ever made you think that it uses more RAM? It causes an extra hard drive read (to get the Icon data) but that is no different than having an icon on your desktop or displaying all those icons in the start menu. Metro on the other hand, has live tiles. Live means its running something, its not just displaying a picture.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You're a developer too? Sailor, aircraft mechanic, tech support for religion, retired, and now developer. My, my, is there anything you haven't done? I admire someone with dyslexia who accepts the challenge of keying code in correctly. Pining a shortcut to the Start Menu doesn't use any more RAM than a shortcut on the desktop or taskbar, and likely no more in W7 than on W8's Start screen. Putting those shortcuts in the Startup group will cause a slow start and increased RAM usage, but that's because of the applications triggered and not because of the shortcuts themselves.

JJFitz
JJFitz

My 64 bit Win 8 tablet convertible with SSD and 4Gb RAM takes 10 seconds to boot. My programs open in a couple of seconds. I am not seeing a performance hit from the 4 programs I have pinned in my taskbar. The power consumed when invoking the same program from the taskbar or a tile is the same once the program is invoked. I was just explaining to Palmetto how he can reduce clutter on the taskbar through folders. Don't be so insulting.

sarai1313
sarai1313

and for being a I.T. does he know for all his pining uses more and more ram and slows down start up.but in win 8 all thouse box's do not till you tap into them .that is something a lot of us developers have been working on for over the last few years to reduce power consumption and to be able to run on older computers .that is why windows 8 requirements are so low.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

for me. I don't ever want to see that atrocity. Guess I'll have to turn off my left monitor and hit enter.... (if I upgrade, that is).

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

that the tweak to put the Quick Launch bar back in Visa/7 also works in 8. At least it did for Developer Preview. I haven't had much time to try Consumer Preview or anything else (new job taking too much time). You can search for "restore quick launch" or some such. I have grown to despise Metro. Hopefully someone will come up with a tweak to get rid of it. This was supposed to be a reply to JJFitz. Guess I hit the wrong reply link.

JJFitz
JJFitz

"Where are all the icons I used to pin to the Start Menu? Don't they get pinned to the Metro interface instead?" Nope - well... not unless you want to. You can still pin them to the taskbar on the desktop. If you're worried about clutter on the taskbar, you can trick Win 8 just as you can with Win 7 to pin a folder of related app shortcuts to the taskbar - say... all of your Office programs. Google "pin folder to windows 7 taskbar".

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Where are all the icons I used to pin to the Start Menu? Don't they get pinned to the Metro interface instead? Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't like shortcuts on the Taskbar. I have a difficult time determining which ones are active and which aren't. I find that between the pinned shortcuts and other active apps, the Taskbar also becomes crowded. I haven't pinned a shortcut on the desktop in years. I got tired of minimizing everything else in order to find one, plus they obscured my wallpapers :-) If I'm not pinning to the Taskbar or desktop, can I still avoid Metro? I have eight or nine icons I click anywhere between once a day to one a week. I don't need them often enough to launch at startup and leave running, or often enough to have them cluttering up the Taskbar full time. The Start menu was always a convenient place for me to pin them, going back to W2K.

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