Upgrading to Windows 8?

Microsoft started shipping their newest version of their flagship product Windows 8. According to Microsoft , over 1,000 new devices have been designed to take advantage of Windows 8. But what about upgrading your existing computers from Windows 7 or even Windows XP. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you begin upgrading to Windows 8.

Did I Backup my PC?
Before you install Windows 8 you should verify that you have a recent and reliable backup of your application data and an image of your PC. These backups become vital if you need to reinstall your older operating system for any reason while upgrading to Windows 8.

Is My PC Configuration Compatible with Windows 8?
Systems requirements for Windows 8 are slightly higher than Windows 7. To upgrade to Windows 8 it is advised that you have a minimum configuration of 1 GHz or faster processor, 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit) of RAM, and a DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.  Keep in mind, these are the minimum requirements for upgrading to Windows 8.

Are My Installed Applications Compatible with Windows 8
When a new operating system is released some application developers may be in catch up mode to ensure compatibility with the new O/S. While developers of your favorite software title are busy upgrading to Windows 8 you may experience performance issues and uncover some bugs. It is a good idea to test the software on a separate machine or install Windows 8 on a secondary hard drive for testing before you upgrade all of your business machines. This will help you avoid downtime and loss of productivity. Also, don’t forget to make sure your security software works with Windows 8.

Are My Peripheral Hardware and Devices Supported by Windows 8
Windows 8 is compatible with a broad range of hardware and software drivers, however, you should verify these devices are supported by Windows 8. It is a good idea to ensure drivers for devices like printers, keyboards, mouses, cameras and external hard drives are all supported when upgrading to Windows 8.

Do I Have The Right Version of Windows 8 for My Device?
There are three versions of the new operating system available: Windows 8 (standard version), Windows 8 Pro (for power users) and Windows RT(short for Run Time).  Windows RT is only available pre-installed on new devices and only runs on an AMD processor. Also Windows RT will only run applications from the new Microsoft application store, Windows Store. If you are upgrading from  Windows 7 consider Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro.

Do I Need Windows 8?
Microsoft expects to support Windows 7 through 2020. It is likely you will be able to buy new PCs with Windows 7 through 2014. In fact, PCs purchased  with Windows 8 Pro include the right to downgrade to Windows 7 in the license agreement. While new tablets running Windows RT are designed to take full advantage of the O/S, users of ultra-laptops may find it challenging to navigate Windows 8 on smaller screens.

Windows 8 is considered by many to be a new era for Microsoft’s popular operating system. Make sure you have thought through your upgrade to Windows 8 and contact your IT Service Provider if you need assistance.

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