10 Reasons to Avoid Replacing Windows XP With Windows 8

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-04-09 Print this article Print

Now that Microsoft has officially ended Windows XP support, millions of people across the globe running Windows XP need to determine what to do next. Should they stick with Windows XP for a short period of time or move to a more modern operating system? When they do take that plunge, they need to figure out which operating system will be right for them. Of course, Microsoft has an answer ready for those folks who are undecided about where to turn: Switch to Windows 8. On the same day Microsoft ended Windows XP support, it launched Windows 8.1 with a wide range of updates aimed at atoning for the sins the company committed in the design of Windows 8. The update includes better search and an improved interface that makes the experience feel a bit more Windows 7-like. But even with those fixes, Windows 8.1 should not be considered the default operating system upgrade for home or enterprise users. In fact, there are many, many reasons not to upgrade to Windows 8 right now. Here are some of them.

  • 10 Reasons to Avoid Replacing Windows XP With Windows 8

    By Don Reisinger
    10 Reasons to Avoid Replacing Windows XP With Windows 8
  • For the Enterprise, Productivity Will Slip

    When it comes to evaluating new technology solutions, the corporate world cares most about employee productivity. Realizing that, switching from Windows XP to Windows 8 might be a bad idea. The operating systems are so different that no employee will feel at home with the new software for quite some time. Meanwhile, productivity, and thus, revenue, will slip. It's a bad idea for corporate customers.
    For the Enterprise, Productivity Will Slip
  • Microsoft Is Stubbornly Sticking to the Design

    Microsoft might have improved Windows 8.1 by making search better and by improving some user interface elements, but the software company hasn't done much to change its overall design. Quite the contrary, Windows 8.1 is still the same old operating system that users have come to know and dislike. That's a problem for Windows XP users.
    Microsoft Is Stubbornly Sticking to the Design
  • Windows 7 Is Still Available

    Why go with Windows 8 when Windows 7 is still available? That operating system comes with a similar design to Windows XP, which deals with the productivity question, and it also has a Windows XP mode that allows users to virtually run the old OS. Granted, Windows XP mode might not be the best idea, but it's an option, nonetheless. And it's something to keep in mind.
    Windows 7 Is Still Available
  • The Jump Is Too Big

    There's a major jump between Windows XP and Windows 8. Not only are the operating systems designed differently, but the way in which users need to interact with the platforms is different as well. Add that to the many changes under the hood, and one can make the argument that an incremental approach to changing operating systems is better than going all-in on a major upgrade.
    The Jump Is Too Big
  • Macs Are Worth Considering

    Macs might be a worthy alternative to Windows XP. Although Macs bring to bear their own challenges with productivity and design differences, OS X is more intuitive than Windows 8. Plus, the operating system integrates well with iOS devices and has been getting much better software support, courtesy of its built-in App Store. Macs are arguably a better option for consumers than Windows 8 machines.
    Macs Are Worth Considering
  • Chrome OS Might Work Better

    Google made some headlines recently when it announced that it would offer a $100 discount on Chromebooks to those who switch from Windows XP. While it might be a marketing gimmick, it's also something that customers should consider. Chrome OS is simple enough to be ideal for novices, and it can work well for young children. Chromebooks were the top notebook form factor last year by unit sales for a reason—customers saw value in Google's product.
    Chrome OS Might Work Better
  • Windows 9 Is Around the Corner

    Why go for Windows 8 when Windows 9 is right around the corner? It's believed that Microsoft will unveil Windows 9 sometime in the next few months and then launch the operating system in 2015. Windows 9 is likely going to fix the issues in Windows 8 and deliver an enhanced software experience that both the enterprise and consumers want. It might be a good idea to wait for that rather than go with Windows 8.
    Windows 9 Is Around the Corner
  • The Tablet Experience Is Subpar

    There are some customers running Windows XP right now that want to move to a tablet to handle their computing needs. Microsoft is saying that it can handle that issue with Windows 8 on devices like the Surface. The truth, however, is that the Windows 8 tablet experience is subpar. Anyone who wants a high-end tablet experience should go with an iPad or an Android slate, nothing less.
    The Tablet Experience Is Subpar
  • It'll Require a Costly Hardware Upgrade

    Not everyone is looking to spend boatloads of cash on a new device. In fact, there are some people on a budget who own XP machines who don't want to spend anything. For those folks, Linux might be an option. So too might be sticking with XP for a while. If consumers move to a Windows 8 machine, they can expect to spend several hundred dollars to do so. And for many of those people, that's too much to pay—especially for a software platform that hasn't proved itself.
    It'll Require a Costly Hardware Upgrade
  • The Software Experiences Are Different

    One of the benefits of sticking with Windows is that the same programs that work with XP will technically be compatible with Windows 8. There's just one problem: Windows 8 apps have a different look and feel to them that customers might not like. Developers in many cases have built programs to reflect Windows 8's style. And there are many people who will take issue with that.
    The Software Experiences Are Different
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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