Should firms wait for Windows 8 before getting a new PC?

Should firms wait for Windows 8 before getting a new PC?

Summary: With imminent release of Windows 8 taking place just three months down, companies need to evaluate their needs before deciding to upgrade now or wait.

TOPICS: Windows

You may already have heard of it by now: Microsoft has finally confirmed the hotly-anticipated Windows 8 operating system (OS) will be released in October this year. To be clear, Microsoft's flagship OS is scheduled for release to manufacturing (RTM) next month, with general availability expected in the latter part of October.

With a whole slew of laptops and desktops running on Windows 8 arriving in barely three months, should businesses hold back on buying of new desktop and laptop PCs? The answer really depends on your needs.

Let's start off by evaluating the two key considerations: ability to upgrade to Windows 8, and what you stand to lose if you buy a PC before the release of Windows 8.

Current upgrade options
Aware of reservations an impending upgrade will generate, Microsoft earlier announced users who purchase qualified Windows 7 machines from Jun. 2, 2012, until Jan. 31, 2013, will be eligible for Windows Upgrade Offer, a program for an upgrade to Windows 8 at just US$17.99. So while there is a certain amount of hassle in reinstalling Windows 8, users who have to buy a new PC in the next couple of months will not be very much worse off.

Moreover, Microsoft must also be feeling the heat from the tightened integration between iOS and Apple's OS X. Taking a leaf from its strongest competitor on the desktop, Microsoft last week stated previous versions of the Windows OS-- including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7--will be eligible to upgrade to Windows 8 for US$39.99 (The SGD price has not been announced yet). And yes, Windows Media Center will be included as part of this upgrade cost.

Expect new hardware with Windows 8
The relative affordability of upgrading to Windows 8 means the bigger concern for users is not so much related to cost, but the selection of currently available hardware. Although manufacturers have released many new Ultrabooks and laptops following the release of third generation Ivy Bridge microprocessors from Intel, practically all of them still come without the Thunderbolt interface.

Moreover, computer makers are expected to come out with new touchscreen capable laptops in order to leverage the touch support that is built into Windows 8.

Even that is not so much a concern for a PC desktop, which is easily upgraded. However, I would advise users buying a laptop to consider carefully if they will want Thunderbolt and/or a touch screen in future, especially if they are power users who demand the fastest interfaces.

On the bright side, the impending release of Windows 8 will mean many hardware vendors will attempt to sell off their existing Windows 7 PCs in the months ahead. This is good news, as businesses that don't need the fastest and the latest can expect some price reductions or promotions in the next couple of months.

So will you go ahead and buy a Windows 7 PC today, or wait for the arrival of Windows 8? 

Topic: Windows

Paul Mah

About Paul Mah

Paul is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. He enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones and networking devices.

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  • Those companies who will survive...

    will fire everyone in IT who talks about Windows 8, and keep at it until iPads are brought in.
    Tony Burzio
    • Fire idiots who want to replace Windows with iOS

      iPads so people can download and play with apps instead of work... how dumb is that?
      • Or If Using Office

        Spend the next four weeks solely working on a power point presentation that is going to last 5 minutes
        Alan Smithie
      • Your mentality not ours

        So your mentality is that if you had an iPad you would download games to play rather than work? I personally would download whatever I don't have already that would allow me to get my work down. Guess you won't be somebody we would be interested in hiring.
    • Ipads are ENDPOINT devices - nothing more

      Idiots who think they keep ANYTHING on ipads are... well idiots.
      Ipads are simple enpoint devices that dont do a damn thing aside make the fricken idiot seem "cooler". They almost always remote back to the enterprise and logon to a WINDOWS DESKTOP or application being run on a windows platform. You cant stream to an IPAD not use most of the apps offline on an ipad.

      Using an Apple product in the enterprise is about as useful as dickflavored lolliops.
      • Time for you meds I see

        It amazes me how some people go out of their way to prove how little they know about the topic and how immature they are with their comments. Time to either grow up or take your meds, either one should help.
    • How your job search going?

      Still looking?
      You shouldn't have told the boss "The iPad will run EVERYTHING a PC can, and more!
      William Farrel
    • Ipad is a nice device, but...

      it runs a mobile phone operating system.

      I doubt the business world is at the point where it can replace workstations with smart phones... no matter how big the screens are.
    • It looks like fun talking like an idiot, so I will too!!

      Those companies who decide to bring in iPads as opposed to Windows Surface tablets will be relegated to playing Angry Birds and watching movies on Netflicks while the companies who brilliantly go for "The Surface" will get real work done. The end result is that all the companies who love Apple flavored Kool-Aid as opposed to reality will soon become useless in the world of business but find they are totally dominant in the world of Angry Birds competitions.

      Soon the business world will rapidly develop into two distinct camps; "the real business world" and "the Angrey Birds" competators. Although the real business world becomes more profitable using the Windows Surface tablets, and the Angry Birds Clan falters in the business world, more and more real world business people find themselves challanged to enter with their Surface tablets into the Angry Birds competitions and being as competative as they are, many real world business people cannot refuse. The competators are all feed the Apple flavored Kool-Aid during the competitions and it isnt long before it becomes apperant the honed skills of the long playing iPad using Angry Birds masters all too often defete the best of the less practiced Surface users. The Apple Kool-Aid begins to take effect and the Surface users gradually come to beleive the only way to win at Angry Birds is to go with the iPad.

      In no time the business world is falling apart; but fewer and fewer could care less as they join in on the Angry Birds frenzy, quaffing large quantities of the Apple Kool-Aid at every competition. Soon the converted competators are storming through the streets, destroying all things Microsoft and demolishing any Windows Surface tablets they find left in the process. The business world is now in almost insurmountable chaos, but nobody seems to care; they are all on the Kool-Aid.

      When things have finally deteriorated to the point where one lone Suface user who refused to drink the Apple flavored Kool-Aid at the competitions is left, he comes across an injured computer engineer who barely has a breath of life left, he tells the last Surface user that he has captured a vision on video that came to speak wise words about the chaos that has griped the world, but its on his USB stick and unfortunatly the Kool-Aid gang has destroyed every computer that has a USB interface and there is no way to access it any more.

      The last Surface user greatfully takes the USB stick from the poor old half dead engineer and rushes toward his reclusive apartment through the streets of chaos dodging maniacal Angry Birds players pounding on their iPads with one hand while downing the Kool-Aid with another.

      The Last Surface User barely makes it home alive, and scrambles around through the ever so dark and deep location he has the last Windows Surface tablet hidden. He can hear the chaos ensuing in the streets, the business world totally gone mad. He knows if he and indeed the world is to survive, he must se this video and spread the word.

      He suddenly realizes the Kool-Aid crazed iPad users have sniffed out his Windows Surface tablet and have begun pounding on his door, demanding he drink the Kool-Aid. He knows he only has seconds to boot up and snap in the USB stick and see the words of wisdom about the calamity that has befallen the world. The pounding at the door has begun to shake the door off its hinges, he knows his time is almost done, the streets are on fire and the world has gone mad.

      The Surface rapidly lights up, its wise and compforting glow showing the hope for a future in the dark, he plugs in the USB, and up comes the video in an instant.

      And lo and behold; there he is, the very ghostly image of the man himself. He is unmistakable, even in this etherial form captured on video.

      The ghostly figure is clearly that of the long departed Steve Jobs, the very man who pioneered the development and marketing of the first iPads.

      ...and his mouth slowly opens...and it seems clear he is about to speak...

      The Last Surface User eagerly awaits the words of "The Man".

      And the words do come...clearly, and directly, two simple words...

      "MY BAD"

      The last thing the Last Surface User seen were the masses of crazed iPad users rushing through his broken down door with jugs of Apple flavored Kool-Aid which they poured down his throat....
      • thanks

        I like my iDevices but that was very entertaining.
    • only when apple is going to be in the enterprise

      the it will be fired upon implementation of the desktop and laptop apple base. If we have OS X we do not need anymore support...

      Simple... idiot proof..!!
  • 4 sure

    i will wait
    micah imomos
  • No

    Then you can dodge the new Sesame Street interface.
    Alan Smithie
  • Cue the idiot win8 haters...

    Already here I see.
    • Call me a heretic

      Sorry for not believing the earth is flat and is the centre of the solar system, go ahead and burn me at the stake. That will teach me to express an opinion in Salem.
      Alan Smithie
    • OK...

      So you're an idiot if you don't like Windows 8, but it is perfectly OK for all the NBM trolls to froth at the mouth about anything non-Microsoft? Yes, that seems perfectly fair!

      Whether people like (or dislike) Windows 8, Windows 7, iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, zOS or whatever, it is simply their [b]opinion[/b], nothing more or less. It most certainly does [b]not[/b] make them right or wrong.

      It is about as significant as preferring Ford or GM, vanilla or chocolate, red or blue.

      No, I [i]don't[/i] like the new Metro interface, just like I didn't like many of the design changes Microsoft has brought in over the years, but I am sure I will get used to it over time.
  • The companies that will survive...

    are the ones that will realize that buying two or three devices and supporting the synchronization across all of them is a losing bet. If Microsoft and the hardware vendors get this right (yes, that's an IF but I think they are on the right track), the iPad will be redundant. Instead of being "corporate bling" it will just make you look foolish and behind the times when you have to pull out your laptop to get any real work done.

    For the record, I am an IT person and I've been using a windows 8 tablet (Acer W500p - - which is woefully under spec'd compared to newer hardware that is and will be available but manages to still do the job admirably - - oh, and I got it for $400 on ebay) as my main machine and I haven't pulled out my laptop (or my Android tablet) since. I run two external monitors off of it, I use the front and back web cams, it runs ALL of my network monitoring and admin tools (try that one, iPad - - and don't say "well, I use remote desktop for that, that's cheating!). Not a single crash or blip.

    The key is going to be the hardware - - if they come out with a slick tablet size (similar to the Asus Transformer) and a nice detachable keyboard AND a real dock for the corporate folks, this is a home run.
    • Bizarre and goofy

      You have no clue how bizarre and goofy the setup you just described is. Two monitors connected to a tablet? You're so far out of the mainstream that you can't even see the mainstream from there. Syncing? There's this little thing called "the cloud." Nothing is stored on the device.
      • Tell me more

        About how you would be a proponent of keeping your corporate data on someone elses servers where you know nothing about the security or physical location, as well as opening yourself up to losing access to all of it if your internet connection ever drops out.

        Until we have nationwide high-speed internet coverage, the cloud is not as useful as people try to make it out to be.