Windows 8 is out. After a long wait, and for some a long time using the beta version of Microsoft’s new operating system, it’s finally available. But does it live up to the hype and does it have the final say on the future of tablets and computers in general?
Both Windows 8 and Windows phone 8 are an attempt on the part of Microsoft to compete with other companies in the tablet PC and smart phone markets, but they are also a drive towards innovation. Because Windows is by far one of the most widely used operating systems in the world, it’s only fair that it make it’s way to tablets eventually.
History will tell us that as soon as Microsoft releases a new OS, they immediately begin their attempt to ‘phase out’ the previous installment. This is already starting with Windows 7, as some stores are making the switch from 7 to 8 right away. This could mean problems if a person still wishes to purchase a windows 7 laptop or PC. If Windows 8 builds more momentum, seeing Windows 7 running on laptops in store windows could become a thing of the past very soon.
There are a lot of people criticizing the new OS on things like the removal of the ‘start menu’. While criticism is to be expected, there are a lot of people who approve of the new OS and say it’s worth switching to. Since it’s release, sales have have been steady but not necessarily market-breaking, and with it’s predecessor Windows 7 only 3 years old, it’s easy to see why many have been slow to upgrade. However, this has happened before with Windows XP being released just 2 or 3 years after it’s predecessor windows 98, which was the most widely used windows operating system at that time.
Windows is not just a working environment, it’s also a gaming platform. Big companies like blizzard entertainment and Valve got their start to fame developing games designed for windows. While that is not all those companies are famous for, a change up of this size to the operating system they use to run their software on is a big deal for them. Windows 7 already showed signs that running older games, such as Starcraft, which are still sold in stores today can be problematic when running on an upgraded OS. Big companies aren’t the only ones worried either; many indie game designers rely on windows being the way it is for their software to run properly. In most cases this happens with designers using languages such as basic and it’s spinoffs.
Most users upgrading to Windows 8 want a better work environment and supreme portability plus a high level of compatibility with other hardware to boot, so there is plenty of incentive there to upgrade. But there will always be a crowd that lives in the past and won’t be too easy to coerce to the other side.
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