Should I Upgrade to Windows 8.1?

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Written by JDB Consultants, Inc. Hits: 2341

People keep asking me “Should I upgrade to Windows 8.1?” 


If you are already on 8: YES! (I go for the low hanging fruit 1st). It is relatively easy and will be free.

If you have Windows 7: Maybe. There are a lot of variables here. You will need to verify that all your software works with 8.1. That may not be easy to do for a while, at least until some of the less common programs get fully tested. Some vendors, like Intuit, should have test results about what works pretty soon after. Other vendors (like most legal software) will take some time to decide if their software is compatible. If all you do is browse the web and use Microsoft Office, then you are pretty safe. But you may want to check with your financial institutions (banks, investments, etc.) if their web site is Internet Explorer 11 compatible.

Windows Vista: Yes. Upgrade to Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or anything else. And I can’t believe anyone is still using Vista, even though I see it all the time.

If you have Windows XP: Yes but... Most people running Windows XP also have other software that will need to be upgraded. XP was a great system but, just like  8.1, it took some time for people to convert from Windows 98. Most likely your hardware is too old to support Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. The most compelling reason is that Microsoft will “end of life” (stop supporting) XP in February. If you’re still on XP after that, make frequent backups because it will just be a matter of time until you get a virus or hacked into. Microsoft will no longer generate patches to problems discovered. Hackers and virus code writers will be using all these unpatched holes in the system to get into your pc and do their stuff.

Mac: Yes, if you need new hardware.  If you’re not tired of paying for OK quality in great packaging, no. I have a love hate relationship with Macs these days. When they work they are great systems. But where is that old Apple flash of brilliance? I really love the way they look. But do they still have an edge on Windows? No. I think Apple is having a tough time coming up with better ideas without Steve Jobs. And stodgy old Microsoft has flipped over a new leaf and embraced “The Cloud” with some really cool new ideas.

The Surface Pro is a perfect example of the new Microsoft. Major PC vendors were coming out with crappy Windows tablet designs (except maybe Samsung). Microsoft came out with a better mouse trap, and now the major vendors have some great new products. Asus, Lenovo and Samsung have some really compelling systems out or soon to be out. Of course, Intel gets a big chunk of the credit too. The new generation of low power i5 and i7 chips combined with an SSD drive gives you a very fast system, 10 hours of battery life, weighs under 2 pounds and sport 13” and larger touchscreens.  A JDB staff member just got a Sony convertible that weighs just a bit more than an iPad and less that my Surface Pro but makes its 10 inch screen look tiny. I helped him put 8.1 on it and WOW is all I can say. The traditional PC and laptop may be dying, but the convertible tablet is the hot new technology and it is Windows based. Keep an eye on this kind of system when Windows 8.1 is released.




The new Bing search results
The new Bing Search results


The Windows 8.1 lock screen
The Windows 8.1 lock screen


The new Windows StoreThe new Windows Store