With the recent release of Windows 8 and record-breaking sales, upgraders should be aware of at least five issues they may encounter as they move from Windows 7 to Windows 8.
The Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft was launched Oct 26 and since then it had breached the 40-million figure in just one month. In comparison, Windows 7 took two months to sell 60 million licenses.
Tech experts attribute the record-breaking sale of Windows 8 licenses to the growth in the number of PC users since 2001 and the lower cost for Windows 8 upgrade compared to the previous versions.
Windows 8 cost £43 to upgrade, compared to the £88 price tag of the full software package and £399 to obtain a Windows Surface tablet with Windows 8.
Upgrading to Windows 8 from the previous versions like XP, Vista, and 7 have sets of standards before the task is accomplished. There are at least five issues that may possibly occur during or after the upgrade in response to the device upgrade. It ranges from hardware to software problems to manufacturer to user issues.
1. Devices Ready
Not all computers have the capacity to be upgraded to Windows 8. The first thing a user must check is the system requirements. A basic prerequisite of Windows 8 is that the device must have at least 1GHz of processor speed with PAE, NX, and SSE2 support, 1GB or 2GB of RAM for 32bit and 64bit units, respectively, hard disk space of 16GB or 20GB for 32bit and 64bit, respectively, and graphics card with DirectX 9 device and WDDM driver. For PC users, upgrades of hardware are very easy but for laptops it's almost impossible to upgrade every single aspect of the unit. Processors and GPUs are mostly embedded on the motherboard, so an upgrade means simply buy a new notebook. An example of an old notebook which won't run Windows 8 is Toshiba Tecra m5 which doesn't support the processor features and basically even the site does not have drivers available for download.
To know if the device is ready, visit the Windows 8 Web site.
2. Driver Available
After the requirements have been filled, the next important thing for the upgrade is the driver. Device drivers are computer programs which control a particular type of device that is attached to a computer. Without any driver some of the components such as sound, display, network and even wireless mouse won't work until the computer has installed the required drivers. Although, Windows 8 has default drivers similar to Windows 7, certain tasks such as running DVDs will still require for the user to have other application for it. Notebook manufacturers have Windows 8 drivers available from their Web site for download, but these are exclusive to Windows 8 compatible models.
3. Program Compatibility
This could be a big issue for those who want to reinstall programs from their previous OS to Windows 8. Games, multimedia editing, PC tools or even connectivity apps such as Bluetooth in the current OS may not be directly compatible to Windows 8. It is similar to the case of Windows 7 in which certain programs must be configured for compatible adjustment because some visual effects do not work properly with those programs. Reinstalling them may require payments for versions ready for Windows 8.
4. User Interface
From Windows 95 to Windows 7, Microsoft has changed the user interface consistently but always left a pattern from the previous one, making these versions related to each other while delivering the progress of its improvements. However, Windows 8 has totally changed from the user interface with invisible Start button, Metro-apps style on the desktop, and the Charms which are not available in all previous versions. This might require time for adjustment to users who are so used to the original Windows environment.
Capacitive touchscreens are one of the most common among smartphones and tablets. Windows 8 includes this feature to its new OS for convenience away from keyboard and maximum mobility since the user may only need the screen for the touch support. However, this feature is only available to touch-supported notebooks and display monitors. It could be really frustrating at some point to spend all the time and effort upgrading if it is not possible to have all of its features.
Upgrading to Windows 8 requires a lot of upgrades too in the hardware department if the computing device isn't ready. For notebooks, it means the user needs a new model with touch-support display and with Windows 7 compatibility, just to be on the safe side.
Computerworld, quoting The Verge, reported that Microsoft will ship an upgrade to Windows 8 in mid-2013. Previously called a service pack, the upgrade will refresh Windows 8 and inaugurate an annual schedule.