Thursday, October 03, 2013

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro? tempting

So it seems Microsoft is trying to make a push for Windows 8.1 being released in a couple of weeks by offering Windows 8.1 free upgrade (for Windows 8 users) or full-blown Windows 8.1 and 8.1 Pro installations and not upgrades from existing Windows.  (source) Of course if you are installing 8.1 and not upgrading from Windows 8 you will need to install all of your applications and files afterwards.  If you are doing this on a build-it-yourself computer or on an already blank box then this is a non-issue.

  • Free upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1
  • $119 for Windows 8.1 installation DVD (not an upgrade)
  • $199 for Windows 8.1 Pro installation DVD (not an upgrade)
Which brings me up to my temptation. The family desktop is currently running Ubuntu 12.04 and works fine for the most part.  Unfortunately it does not play some of the games or applications the kids want or need.  Not to mention feature that Windows has when working with other Windows on a network, peripheral compatibility (wireless printer, network drive, tablet, etc.) that are available with Linux *if* I want to put all of the pieces together (assuming I know how).  And it isn't just the kids, either.

I am not shy about saying that if MS Office was made available for Linux natively (100% compatibility) I would be willing to pay for it but it doesn't quite work yet and it doesn't include my wanting Visual Studio and/or WebMatrix for my web development.  I haven't quite been happy with the solutions on Linux yet.

So the temptation is that for only $199 I can get a Windows Pro installation DVD, so I don't have to upgrade from XP to 7 beforehand, compared to $264.59 (free shipping) for Windows 7 Professional from Amazon.  I could be saddled with Windows 7 Home for less than $100, but I have already run into the issue of Home's inability to back up to the networked hard drive (Professional or higher version required).  Not that I am looking at changing that system to Windows 8.1 (I think my wife would kill me ;) ).

Windows 8 is very touch-focused and the idea of working with it on a non-touch device is not a very enticing.  In fact, I dreaded the idea. With Windows 8.1 you can automatically go into the more familiar Desktop mode and have a Start button available giving it essentially a traditional Windows-like interface with the option of Windows Store apps and the Metro interface.  Some argue that Windows 8.1 should have been what Windows 8 was released as.  Oh well, at least it is here now.

Tempting, but we'll see. Now I wonder about dual-booting.... :)

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