Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Should I wait for the next edition of Windows?

My computers have Windows XP. As Microsoft will no longer issue updates after next year, I was wondering if I should wait for Windows 8.1? I’ve heard so many negative things about Windows 8 that I’m hesitant to buy it. I’m a senior citizen and just use my computer for the internet and email so I only need the basic. I’m told Windows 7 is more user friendly and I’m wondering if maybe that would be my best bet?

If there’s nothing prompting you to upgrade or change now, then I would wait.

8.1  will probably resolve some of the issues that people had with Windows 8, but not all of them. It is still Windows 8 and it’s an incremental improvement.

I know Windows 8 has cause a lot of grumbling. But it’s fine. It really is.

Let me explain why I feel that way.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Windows 8 with Classic Shell is Windows 7

I don’t know what you’ve heard about Windows 8, but 90% of the concerns that I hear are unfounded, especially when you take the extra step of installing Classic Shell.

Windows 8 with Classic Shell looks and operates pretty much like Windows 7. I see my Taskbar. I don’t have tiles. I can set it for multiple monitors just like when I was running Windows 7.

I normally tell people to upgrade to the version that has a bit of a reasonable track record. These days, that’s Windows 8 if your hardware supports it.

Windows 8: Don't Panic!
Windows 8 – there’s no need to panic

When to go with Windows 7

I can only think of one situation when you might want to wait on Windows 8 and that’s if hardware is an issue.  For instance, if your machine is too old it’s possible that Windows 7 may work, but Windows 8 may not.

In that case, Windows 7 is a fine operating system. It’s a good alternative and Microsoft will offer support on it for some time.

But in the end, my gut tells me that if you’re comfortable with Windows 7, you could be just as comfortable with Windows 8.

Each week I publish several articles like this covering a variety of tech topics and solutions. Subscribe to Confident Computing -- more articles that help you solve problems, stay safe, and increase your confidence with technology, delivered to your inbox once a week.

Hope to see you there soon,


Posted: June 14, 2013 in: Windows 8
Tagged: , , ,
« Previous post:
Next post: »

New Here?

Let me suggest my collection of best and most important articles to get you started.

Of course I strongly recommend you search the site -- there's a ton of information just waiting for you.

Finally, if you just can't find what you're looking for, ask me!

Confident Computing

Confident Computing is the weekly newsletter from Ask Leo!. Each week I give you tools, tips, tricks, answers, and solutions to help you navigate today’s complex world of technology and do so in a way that protects your privacy, your time, and your money, and even help you better connect with the people around you.

The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition

Subscribe for FREE today and claim your copy of The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition. Culled from the articles published on Ask Leo! this FREE downloadable PDF will help you identify the most important steps you can take to keep your computer, and yourself, safe as you navigate today’s digital landscape.

My Privacy Pledge

Leo Who?

I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.

1 thought on “Should I wait for the next edition of Windows?”

  1. I’ve read several comments elsewhere where people have upgraded an old XP machine with Windows 8 when Windows 7 wouldn’t run. They say Windows 8 breathed new life into their machines.

    Just to be on the safe side, Windows 8 (and probably 8.1) will do a compatibility check before you buy it. Your reader should check that first.

    From what your reader said the computer is used for, I would recommend waiting for Windows 8.1. It has the option to boot directly to the Desktop, which is very similar to Windows 7 and XP. Also, Windows 8.1 will come with an instruction video to help users learn how to use the new interface.


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.