October 18, 2012 9.25 am This story is over 136 months old

Lincoln tech: What’s in store on Windows 8?

New operating system: Our tech expert takes a look at the upcoming Windows 8, and analyses if its worth an upgrade for home users.

If you’re in the market for a new machine, you may have noticed that Windows 8 will soon be available. But is it better than Windows 7? Is it worth upgrading to Windows 8? Here is a brief overview of some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Windows 8 looks and feels entirely different to previous versions of Windows. It is highly optimised for touchscreen devices, like smartphones and tablets. For instance, if you’re used to the Start Menu, then you may be surprised to know that it’s no longer there in Windows 8! Replacing it is a collection of “tiles”, which let you view live information from certain applications without directly running the applications. This is now called the “Start Screen”.

1. Boot speed – Claims of up to 55% quicker boot times than Windows 7.
2. Better battery life on laptops.
3. Windows 8 provides better integration with Microsoft’s online services. You will be able to log in using a Microsoft Account which can allow various settings to be synchronised between multiple computers.
4. Microsoft Security Essentials is integrated with Windows 8, providing greater security from viruses and malware.

1. Windows 8 no longer allows native playback of DVDs, although this can be achieved via third-party software. This does however mean that the cost of a Windows 8 license is cheaper than a Windows 7 license. You can still download and install free software such as VLC Player to play DVDs.
2. The new layout may be difficult for some people to get used to.

In summary, Windows 8 is a big change from previous versions. It’s geared much more towards tablet devices and touchscreen input. Corporate environments may well be sticking with Windows 7 for the foreseeable future, but as a home user, you may benefit from the integrated online services, improved boot speed, better security and better battery life.

For further information and Windows 8 previews, visit the official Microsoft website.

Steven Woodhouse is the Managing Director of Lincoln IT Solutions, a company which offers premium IT support and consultancy for businesses in Lincolnshire.