This week’s question comes from a reader who wants to replace an old Win XP computer but wonders if she should wait until the Win 8 versions come out in October. My short answer is no! Yes I know there are some tech experts advising you to wait, but hear me out.
First of all we have Windows 7 on the market now several years and proven to be reliable and sturdy. It only recently eclipsed Win XP to gain the biggest share in the PC world market. Win 7 will be around a while; my guess you’ll get a five year run out of it.
Secondly, manufacturer’s prices are already down because of reduced volume anticipating a new Windows release. The big guys like HP and Dell have already lost some revenue because of shifts to mobile devices, so there’s even more reason for prices to be competitive. Look on store shelves right now and you’ll see that retailers are holding back on their purchases. If you don’t see what you want in a brick and mortar store, look at their online stores and on the manufacturer’s websites. I’m still getting from 7 to 10 days shipping on items that I order for clients.
Next consider the history of Windows releases since 1995. We had a solid performer in Win 98. We had a flop in Win ME. We had a solid winner in Win XP and then another flop in Win Vista. MS got back on track with Win 7 and now we’re awaiting Win 8. I have never advised being part of the first adopter wave. Let others test Windows 8 for a while and then buy a proven Operating System after the bugs are worked out.
Also add to the decision mix this time is that Win 8 seems to be targeted to the mobile and touch markets. What’s that going to do to enhance the experience of a regular desktop or laptop user? What might it do to confuse a regular user? What will the learning curve be? Is it worth the wait?
Another consideration that kind of neutralizes the question for me is that manufacturers are already offering upgrade options on many Win 7 models currently on retail shelves. If you buy a covered PC with Win 7 installed, you can later upgrade to win 8 for only $14.99. Seems like a pretty good way to have your cake and eat it too.
No I wouldn’t wait if I wanted or needed a new PC. In fact, I like the market right now with prices being somewhat lower. Shop around and buy what you want.
Also throw this into the mix. If you’ve been trying to decide between a laptop and a desktop there is another viable alternative. Look at some of the all-in-ones that have the computer built into the monitor and take up a lot less space on your desk (some available with touch screens by the way for another $100). If you need a new monitor and PC, the all-in-one might be just the ticket.
Till next week, send your questions to:
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