Editorial: Windows 8 — Yay or Nay?

Brandon Tsao, Technology Editor

Microsoft made a big leap with its newest operating system, Windows 8. If you are a religious Microsoft follower, you probably already downloaded the Consumer Preview many months ago, which, as the name suggests, allowed users to preview the look and feel of Windows 8. If you haven’t, you might be aware of the full release of Windows 8 on October 26th, 2012.

Unlike Windows 7, which was just a revamp of Windows XP combined with Windows Vista without all the instability, Windows 8 is a dramatic change from the classic Windows platform. No more is the familiar start menu, replaced by an overlay of apps, much like the iPhone home screen or the “All Apps” button on Android devices. The “all programs” button and desktop shortcuts are now obsolete, with all programs and applications easily accessible through this new, customizable start screen. This dramatic change has  mixed reception among Windows 8 users.

But this all brings up a new question, why is Microsoft taking a big leap? As all software companies, Microsoft is trying to keep up with changing technology. Microsoft has constantly been accommodating different computer systems, from 2 ton super computers with 256 bytes of memory to 2 inch thing notebook with 2 gigabytes of memory. Microsoft is simply accommodating the newest computer platform: tablets.

Taking a closer look, Windows 8 isn’t all that different putting interface mechanics aside. It has a Windows 7 foundation with new features (like the app overlay) to accommodate touch-screen tablets.

Of course, one question still remains: should you, the consumer, buy Windows 8? Well, this depends on what you want it for, and what you’re used to. If you own a desktop/laptop, and simply want a stable windows version, you should stick with Windows 7. If you own a tablet and don’t like the Apple OS, or you just want to try something new for your home PC, you should can get Windows 8. If you own a Unix-based system without a GUI, you should have stopped reading once you saw “Microsoft.”