Posted by: Ed Tittel
older Windows 7 PCs can't use all of Windows 8's advanced features, Windows 8 offers compelling value
In my last blog — entitled “Heck No, We Won’t Go! (from Windows 7 to Windows 8, that is)” — I argued that given how happy most folks are with Windows 7, and how little non-touch machines gain from the upgrade, that many satisfied Windows 7 users are unlikely to upgrade existing machines to the new OS after it ships. Unsurprisingly, not everybody agrees with me: I’ve received email (and one comment) from a handful of readers advancing these arguments:
- A certain class of PC user is inclined to use the latest and greatest, no matter what it may be in the interests of keeping up
- Another class of PC user (including your humble author) is required to work with (and in some cases like mine, write about) the latest Windows version even now, as it’s in pre-beta status
I have to concede that some people will indeed do the upgrade for all kinds of good reasons. But my argument is more along the lines of “those who don’t HAVE to probably won’t” rather than “nobody’s going to do it at all.” Of course, I also cheerfully confess that my previous post’s headline is a bit lurid and exaggerated, so I am probably overdue for a little “constructive feedback.”
For another interesting take on the interested in upgrading side of this discussion, check out Matt Egan’s very nice article for PC Advisor this morning (12/12/2011) entitled “Why 2012 will be the year of Windows 8.” His argument is worth reading, but my thumbnail sketch is that he believes that users are more interested in shared and common access to services and data, and that Windows 8′s ability to integrate apps and info across tablets, smartphones, and desktop is an unbeatable proposition that is also necessary to keep MS In the same league as Apple and Google.
FWIW, I agree. But I also observe that the only way you get these advanced Windows 8 features is on new PCs with UEFI BIOS and with iX class CPUs with SLAT (or the AMD equivalent). Thus I believe this is a case where I can have my cake and eat it, too — because my previous argument is about UPGRADING from Windows 7 to Windows 8, not about buying new systems that support the full panoply of Windows 8′s advanced features. I stick by my argument having now had more time to realize that without these razzle-dazzle features, users will either stick with Windows 7 on older hardware or bite the bullet and buy new Windows 8 capable systems. I’m already speccing-out one such system myself! I’ll probably upgrade (or dual boot) some of my older systems with Win7/8 just to see how that works, and to better understand how far behind the curve pre-2010 PCs will be in a Windows 8 world.