Ten reasons why you should upgrade to Windows 8

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 25, 2012
Updated • May 21, 2014
Windows, Windows 8

Windows 8 will be out on October 26 and even though it is a highly controversial operating system, it is likely that Microsoft will once again make a huge profit on it. Especially the Modern UI, the missing start page and the touch-centric design of the operating system have been criticized ever since Microsoft lifted the curtain and revealed how it imagined Windows 8 to look like.

If you are currently not sure whether you should upgrade to Windows 8 or not, I'd like to provide you with ten reasons why it may make sense to upgrade your PC. In the second part of the mini series, I'm going to provide you with ten reasons why you should not upgrade to Windows 8.

1. Price

Microsoft runs a promotion until January 31, 2013 that will get you an upgrade copy of Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 regardless of the version of XP, Vista or Windows 7 that you own. Even if you do not plan to upgrade right away, you may use the opportunity to get the Windows 8 upgrade for the cheap before the promotion runs out. Plus, you do get the Media Center Pack for free with the upgrade, which otherwise would cost extra.

If you have bought an eligible Windows 7 PC, your upgrade price is reduced to $14.99, while a full copy of Windows 8 during the promotion sets you back $69.99.

But Windows 8 will be considerably cheaper than previous versions of Windows, at least when you compare retail prices. Windows 8 Pro, the flagship version for consumers, will retail for $199 which is the price that you can currently get Windows 7 Home Premium for. The comparable version, Windows 7 Professional retails for $299.

2. Windows Store

windows store

Windows 8 is the first Microsoft operating system with a built-in store. It is not the store that I dreamed of as it does not include direct downloads of desktop software, but it is a start and it is likely that we will see improvements made to the store in the coming years.

For now, you get to download and install free and paid Modern UI apps. The benefit here is that all the apps offered in the store are verified by Microsoft, so that it is less likely that you will install something on your PC that is malicious in nature. Plus, updates are handled automatically as well so that you never run into issues here either.

3. Touchscreen support

metro interface

Microsoft is betting big on touch input and if you are using a device with a touch screen then the upgrade should be a no brainer. The start page has been optimized for touch, and even the desktop uses touch controls for some of the most basic operations like shutting down the PC.

This should not keep mouse and keyboard users away from the operating system though as it is perfectly fine to work with the system this way. It may take some getting used to time but once you have passed that, it is not really that different than working with previous versions of Windows.

4. Cloud Synchronization

You can create a new local account or sign in with a Microsoft Account. The latter makes available all the features of the operating system that are not available to local account users. This includes access to Windows Store, but also cloud synchronization.

If you work on multiple PCs running Windows 8, you benefit from synchronized settings and features when you sign in with your Microsoft Account on those systems. This is also true when you sign in with your account on computers you do not own, say at an Internet Cafe in Tokyo or at the Tel Aviv airport. So, when you sign in there, you get your language preferences, personalizations and other features even if it is the first time doing so.

5. Native file handlers

pdf viewer

Windows 8 ships with viewers and support for popular file types such as pdf. You can now read pdf documents in a reader app so that you do not have to install a third party program if reading is all that you want to do.

Another new interesting feature is the mounting of ISO and VHD images directly in the operating system. These disk images become available as drives once mounted.

6. Refresh and Reset

refresh reset

For the most part, Windows 8 should run as stable and solid as Windows 7. If things turn south though, Windows 8 users benefit from the new refresh and reset features as it can really improve the time it takes to get things fixed, especially if reinstallation is the only option to go forward.

Refresh basically creates a new copy of the operating system without affecting personal files, apps that you have installed or user profiles. While you still lose access to installed desktop programs, you do not lose everything this way.

Reset on the other hand restores the factory defaults of the operating system which is similar to what a reinstallation does, only that the reset feature completes much faster and with less user interaction.

7. File History

file history

File History makes available previous versions of files so that you can recover the original files if they have been modified. It is an improvement over Windows Backup and Previous Versions as it is more out in the open and easier to handle.  The backups can be stored locally, or on network storage

8. File Transfers

windows 8 copy

When you copy or move files you can display a graph that is displaying the transfer speeds in realtime. You not only get the current speed but also the mean speed of the operation, the items remaining, the size of the remaining items and the time it should take to transfer.

As far as file management goes, you can now pause transfers, which you could not do in previous versions of Windows. Another interesting addition is that multiple file transfers are not spawned in individual file transfer windows anymore.

9. You can avoid the Modern UI

classic start menu windows 8

If you do not like the Modern UI, the start page or the missing start menu, then rest assured that you can avoid those with ease. As far as the start page and missing start menu goes, you can install programs like Start8 or Classic Shell to bypass the start page on boot and add a start menu back to the operating system at the same time.

You do not really need to use the Modern UI or apps on the system, and what you end up with is a modernized version of Windows 7 that behaves and feels like a desktop operating system.

10.  Support for ARM and traditional x86 processors

microsoft surface

Windows 8 runs not only on x86 hardware but also on ARM processors. While that may not be a reason to upgrade your existing x86-based PC to Windows 8, support for ARM processors brings the operating system on devices that previous versions could not be installed on. You get Microsoft's Surface RT for instance, a low-cost mobile device with Office and the Modern UI that is competing directly with Apple's iPad and to a lesser extent Google Android devices.

If you are a system builder, you now got a whole new array of possibilities at your disposal to create low-cost systems.

Closing Words

Are there other features that you are interested in that have not been mentioned in this article? Feel free to add your opinion in the comments.

Ten reasons why you should upgrade to Windows 8
Article Name
Ten reasons why you should upgrade to Windows 8
We look at ten reasons why you should upgrade your computer system to Microsoft's newest operating system Windows 8.

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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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