For those who don’t know, Windows 8.1 officially launched yesterday and so its time to upgrade. Although I’ve been kept busy with work and other obligations, I still want to keep you in the loop with the upgrade process.
First of all, yes you should get Windows 8.1. With the addition of the start button,the ability to make the start screen mirror the desktop background, and new “all apps” start screen option, i feel that 8.1 addresses the “jarring transition” of the original start screen. Combine that with the improved performance, improved file system, and better integration with online services, and you’ve got something I think is highly worth an upgrade. If you absolutely cannot stand the start screen and will never adapt to the change, you’re probably going to need to look at different OS options, because the start screen is here to stay and will probably become a more integral part of Windows as times goes on. If you can give the new interface a chance, I think you’ll be greeted with a more efficient and improved user experience.
I would also like to point out that upgrading to Windows 8.1 from anything other than 8 will force you reinstall you desktop applications (but your files and settings are preserved). But there is a solution. Fortunately, resellers are still selling Windows 8, which is not only cheaper in some circumstances, but will also upgrade from Windows 7 without killing your programs, and give you a free and easy upgrade path to Windows 8.1. So if you are upgrading from Windows 7 I recommend picking up Windows 8 while you still can. If you are upgrading from Vista or XP, you will have to wipe your programs but the installer will still keep your computer’s files.
If you’re upgrading from Windows 8, the process should be straight forward and easy (it was for me). However, if you want one, Paul Thurrott has the best guides on the net right now. So if you haven’t upgraded yet and are a bit nervous or curious about the process, check out the following links:
Also, once you’re upgraded, check out this list of tutorials from the Windows Observer.