Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Considering Windows 8 upgrade? Don't

I've made a lot of computer blunders over the years, so please believe me when I offer this word of advice on installing Microsoft's shiny new Windows 8 operating system:


Unless you have a very recent personal computer with a touch screen, there are few benefits — and some significant drawbacks in terms of learning curve and usability — to upgrading from Windows 7.

I installed Windows 8 on a machine I use specifically for testing software and services, a three-year-old HP — just the sort of thing many families might have at home.

I began the upgrade at 9:45 a.m. and finished it an hour and 37 minutes later, not counting another 15 minutes or so spent solving a couple of lingering issues.

Once I sorted out those issues, I noticed an immediate benefit. Prior to the upgrade, it took the Pavilion about 2 ½ minutes to boot from a cold start. Windows 8, though, was much faster: about 50 seconds.

The upgrade also gave me tiles to access Microsoft's new Xbox Music service and a not-yet-very-populated app store for programs written for the new interface.

The other Start-screen tiles were filled with self-updating information from my social networks, calendar and other applications. While I was able to navigate through them using the mouse, it's clear the interface is really aimed at users with touch screens.

Those are likely to be standard equipment on most new Windows PCs. But the millions of individuals and businesses with older, mouse-driven systems — and even many with laptops that have a touchpad but no touch screen — may find themselves needing to memorize keyboard shortcuts for many common tasks, a throwback to earlier days of computing.

If you don't already have something close to the latest and greatest PC and you're reasonably happy with Windows 7, my guidance is simple:

Skip it.

Considering Windows 8 upgrade? Don't 12/02/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 2, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84


    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General


    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest


    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.