Should you upgrade to Windows 8? (+video)
Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system will launch on Friday. Should you upgrade right away?
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A workforce that is on the go, or that uses lots of company-assigned mobile devices, is one that will benefit from an early upgrade to Windows 8. Other types of organizations may want to stay the course with Windows 7 or XP a little while longer.Skip to next paragraph
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"Organizations with a large, static workforce could probably hold off on Windows 8 for a while," said Romp. "While there are definite improvements, it may be hard for these companies to justify the additional user training that will be required."
A mixed option
If your company is not ready for a full upgrade, then you may want to consider a mixed upgrade. Users with a need for multi-screen or touch-screen devices can get the newest version of the OS, and the rest of the systems users can stay on Windows 7 or XP.
For most users of third-party software, this should not prove a major barrier, as long as they support the Windows 8 versions at launch.
If your systems are running Windows XP or any subsequent version of Windows, the upgrade will cost you about $40 per seat, unless you have a special licensing agreement that allows for a reduced cost.
Newly bought hardware may qualify for a separate $15 upgrade discount offered by Microsoft. If you bought your PC after June 2,the odds are good you qualify. Just be sure to have the computer's serial number and your registration key on hand when you contact Microsoft.
As for the required hardware specifications, the costs are going to be much higher if the physical systems need a serious upgrade as well. The minimum requirements, per Microsoft:
— One-gigahertz processor
— One gigabyte of random-access memory (RAM) for 32-bit systems; two gigabytes for 64-bit systems
— Sixteen gigabytes of hard-disk space for 32-bit systems, 20 gigabytes for 64-bit systems
— Graphics card capable of running Microsoft DirectX 9, with WDDM driver
Additional specifications will be required to use certain features. You'll need a touch screen with multi-touch support to use Modern's touch features. To access and use Windows Store, Microsoft's new app store, you'll need an Internet connection and a minimum screen resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels.
So should you upgrade?
Are you ready to take the plunge? In the end, only you can say whether upgrading is right for your organization. Hopefully, you've now got enough information to begin to answer that question yourself.
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