When To Upgrade To Windows 8: Move Your Business To A New OSPosted by On

With Microsoft releasing the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, there’s a lot of excitement about the new operating system. If you’re considering upgrading to the new operating system at launch—which many experts believe will be released sometime in late October—you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of making the change. Here, we’ll provide you with some info to help you make your decision.


System Requirements

First, you’ll need to make sure that any system you have in the office will be capable enough to handle Windows 8. Though unofficial for the final version, Microsoft has released hardware recommendations for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and we believe most any system purchased within the past two years should easily meet the standards. Note that if you’re

budgeting for new PCs around the end of the year, it’s likely that you’ll be able to choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.


Software & Hardware Compatibility

Before you upgrade, you’ll want to double-check that all of your critical business software, such as your accounting and productivity applications, will be compatible with Windows 8 when it’s released. If not, you may need to keep Windows 7 (or set up a dual-boot configuration) on a few PCs around the office. In terms of hardware, components that require drivers (such as graphics cards and network adapters) must also offer support for Windows 8.


Windows 8 Business Features

Thus far, we’ve covered some cons you may face, but Microsoft has built-in a number of features that may make the Windows 8 upgrade ideal for your business. For example, the Metro interface, which is composed of tiles that update with information about your applications, is more intuitive to use because it’s designed to be used with a touch-screen. As such, it should be easier for employees to learn the new operating system than it was in the past. Another helpful feature is Windows To Go, which allows you to create a custom Windows 8 deployment with all of the applications and settings an employee would normally use. Windows To Go can be installed on a flash drive, so you can quickly and conveniently install the same apps and settings onto multiple computers.


Meant For Mobile

Microsoft is designing Windows 8 so that it can also work on today’s mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. If Windows 8 offers compatibility for your applications across your work PCs, tablets, and smartphones, it will be easy for mobile employees to work with all types of files on the road. No longer will they need to download and use separate apps to handle each type of file they’ll need access to on their mobile devices.


In Conclusion

You may consider testing out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview or Release Preview on a work system to see how you like it. If Microsoft’s Compatibility Report indicates that all hardware and software will be supported, install it on a few computers and see if employees are gaining a benefit from the new features. If so, go ahead and roll out Windows 8 to the rest of your workforce.


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