Windows 8 UI

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As end of life support nears for XP users, the question is whether to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8

So, you're still running Windows XP? Who can blame you -- it's still regarded as one of the most user-friendly operating systems in recent Windows history. But with Windows 8 on the way, the question of whether to upgrade is on the minds of many XP users who will soon see the end of support for their systems.

For those who are looking to upgrade, there's another crucial question to ask: Windows 7 or Windows 8? While Windows 8 may look like the obvious answer because it's new, a recent report from InfoWorld reminds us that newer isn't always better.

The InfoWorld report notes that Windows 8 is a completely different world from Windows XP -- making the jump would be difficult for many. Also, Windows 7 carries a lot of the great features found in Windows 8 without dealing with the new user interface (which has been called a disaster by many in the tech world).
That's why some are calling Windows 7 the new Windows XP -- it's a great OS that can stand the test of time (remember when Vista was released after XP, but everyone hated it and went back to XP? That could be the case with Windows 7 and 8, where the new guy in town isn't necessarily best).

A huge issue is the new user interface in Windows 8. Instead of the typical desktop with the Start menu and folder icons that we're all used to, Windows 8 has adopted colorful tiles and an entirely new Start menu. This was once called the Metro UI, but after threats of being sued by German company Metro AG, Microsoft has decided to change the name.

The main issue is that Windows 8 is really meant for mobile devices. The huge tiles and navigation will look great on smartphones and tablets, but for businesses and most work-related purposes, it's a pain. This is mainly because of a lot of little annoyances, like the methods for window management, switching between "Metro" apps, not-so-great email and message apps, the useless Charms bar, and the fact that core apps for basic OS functionality are "Metro" only.

Windows 7 has a ton of great features, like enhanced security via the Action Center and parental controls; networking features like HomeGroups and simple wireless connectivity; PowerShell for system management; faster boot and recovery from sleep/hibernation; ReadyBoost for low memory situations, and a longer battery life on laptops.

However, the InfoWorld report will tell you that Windows 8 isn't all bad. In fact, Windows 8 has revved up versions of Windows 7's greatest attributes, such as picture passwords for security and PowerShell Version 3. But the main reason Windows 7 will likely become the new Windows XP is because of ease-of-use. It's user friendly like XP with added features and performance without the new UI to drive you crazy.

For those of you who are still unsure, Windows XP won't see it's end of life for support until April 2014, so you have some time. But if plunging into Windows 8 is the final choice, it'll be available October 26.

Source: InfoWorld

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