Should I upgrade to Windows 8.1?

Microsoft has just released Windows 8.1, the latest version of the Windows operating system. Being a Windows user, should I upgrade to Windows 8.1? Well it depends on what your presently using.

If you are currently using Windows 8, you will be eligible for an upgrade to Window 8.1, so it may be worthwhile. However there has been cases heard where some of the computer’s functionality is lost, or worse it will not boot at all. You should check with the manufacturer if your particular computer is compatible.

Windows 7

For Windows 7 users. Consideration must be made whether to upgrade or not. Your computer may or may not to work with 8.1, and research should done before upgrading. It is wise to check the compatibility of your peripherals, like printers and cameras if they have drivers available. Also your software like accounting package must be compatible. If any of these devices are not listed, the upgrade may not be worthwhile. Also Windows 8 and 8.1 have completely different user interfaces that take some getting used to. Unless you feel you will have an advantage from having the latest gadget. It’s probably best to stay with Windows 7.

Windows Vista

If you still use Windows Vista, it is likely your computer is much older. Windows Vista is still supported and can be used until support ends in 2017. If you are considering an upgrade, you may have to invest in a new computer, plus software, like MS Office, accounting packages, etc. Also your printer, camera and scanner may not be supported by Windows 8.1. You must consider the cost and benefits for your particular needs.

Windows XP

Windows XP support stops in April 2014. It is advisable that you upgrade if you are still using this version of Windows. No support means no security updates, you will be vulnerable to cyber attacks. Therefore Windows XP should not be used after April 2014. To update to Windows 8.1. You will have to invest in a new computer plus new software. Your existing software might not be compatible with Windows 8.1. Your peripherals, like scanners, printers and cameras may not work with the latest operation system either.

A computer upgrade is a major task and must be planned carefully. Many pitfalls can occur and your system may be left unusable. A bare metal backup should be made before any upgrades occur. You need backup software like Acronis, or EaseUS to take complete image of your hard disk and store it onto an external hard drive. You first must create a bootable live CD or USB. If anything goes wrong you can boot your system with your live CD or USB and restore it from your backup.