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Free Windows 8 upgrades? Microsoft gets it wrong again


anuseems

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The rumor mill on the Internet has been buzzing lately again. Sites like The Verge or ZDNet report that Microsoft is considering giving away a special version of Windows 8 for free or at a low cost to increase the operating system's user base.

According to those reports, the version would come with Bing integrated more tightly into the operating system, likely to make some of that money back from search.

As it stands now, the upgrade will only be made available to Windows 7 users, and not to Vista or XP users.

While I can appreciate Microsoft experimenting with new strategies to get the operating system out there, the idea of giving it away for free or at low cost to Windows 7 users is inherently flawed. Here is why.

First of all, Windows 7 is a great operating system, and users without touch-screen have little incentive to switch to Windows 8. While Microsoft has started to modify Windows 8 to make it attractive to desktop users, the company has not really delivered yet to entice users to make the switch to Windows 8.

It would make a whole lot of sense to offer that deal to Windows XP users on the other hand. While a part may not be able to run Windows 8 on their machines, those who can might take up Microsoft on that offer considering that their operating system is at the end of its life cycle.

Microsoft's problem here is that the company made such an offer nearly impossible by not allowing XP users to upgrade to Windows 8.1 directly. While it is possible to install Windows 8.1 on XP or Vista machines, it is like a clean installation on those systems which means that nothing is migrated over unless users make custom backups prior to installing the new operating system.

And if users manage to get a copy of Windows 8 for the upgrade instead -- unlikely as Microsoft will most likely make available 8.1 or even a newer version -- then XP users can keep their personal files, while Vista users also their Windows settings on top of that.

If Microsoft could create a custom upgrade version of Windows 8.1 that would allow users of Windows XP to keep their files at the very least, and maybe even some Windows settings such as their personal desktop background, it would certainly entice some XP users to make the switch.

If the offer is only available for Windows 7 customers, XP users could buy a Windows 7 license and upgrade afterwards to Windows 8.x for free or low cost. Then again, most would probably stick with Windows 7 and not upgrade to Windows 8 unless they have a touch screen that they want better supported.

We do not know enough about this to understand how Microsoft plans to make money out of it. While a boost in user numbers may improve the overall perception of the operating system, it does not really help if Microsoft won't earn revenue from that.

http://www.ghacks.net/2014/03/05/free-windows-8-upgrades-microsoft-gets-wrong/

Edited by anuseems
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Ghacks is a good site... but theres no way im putting 8 on my XP box. not. gonna. happen. :)

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Same here. Until Microsoft delivers an OS that I dislike less than XP, I'm staying with XP. 7 isn't such an OS, and 8 certainly isn't. I'm not in the least concerned about the massive hacker attacks that Microsoft would like us to think will descend upon XP systems the moment "support" ends. I've been using XP since it was released, have installed no updates since SP3, and have had no malware problems at all. I have a lot more confidence in Avast! than in Microsoft's "security updates".

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MidnightDistortions

Wow, besides W8's UI that is probably a reason why not many are upgrading to W8. I already told a friend of mine to get his new laptop with Windows 7 because there is just no way he's going to figure out how to use W8 and i'll be spending a few weeks trying to teach him how to use it.

Same here. Until Microsoft delivers an OS that I dislike less than XP, I'm staying with XP. 7 isn't such an OS, and 8 certainly isn't. I'm not in the least concerned about the massive hacker attacks that Microsoft would like us to think will descend upon XP systems the moment "support" ends. I've been using XP since it was released, have installed no updates since SP3, and have had no malware problems at all. I have a lot more confidence in Avast! than in Microsoft's "security updates".

Have you tried using Linux? You could always dual boot XP with Linux or if your not sure, you could try Linux out using a usb stick. (probably need one larger then 1GB)

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if some cannot figure out how to use windows 8 all by them self they have no need for a computer in the first place;;;are you telling me they had XP and that they are too stupid to figure out 8... ...give them start is back it costs 2 bucks and they will be off to the races faster than you can blink

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Thank you for the suggestion, MidnightDistortions. I've used Linux, and I like it, but certain software that is important to me is unfortunately not available in Linux.

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MidnightDistortions

Thank you for the suggestion, MidnightDistortions. I've used Linux, and I like it, but certain software that is important to me is unfortunately not available in Linux.

That is indeed the downside of Linux, there's some games and other stuff i want that doesn't run under Linux.. but for the most part i don't need Windows to access the internet so in the near future (actually this weekend) i am already dual booting Linux with W7. I need to fix my media desktop and for the most part i think it's the PSU but besides that i want to add more storage space for it, add some fans on the side (top) and that's a pretty big project so i will most likely be using Linux on my laptop for awhile. Anyway a bit off topic there but i don't need a supported Windows OS to run it (since it'll soon be a strictly offline thing). I don't really use XP though, other then for my printer. And im not sure if i can get it to work on Linux so that's my only problem.

Also, i think the biggest reason Linux doesn't have much software is mostly because Windows is dominating the market. I'd like to think if more people are on it and want something on it eventually developers would go for it. It's kind of a vicious circle. Linux is good, but doesn't have enough software support. Windows has that support so people stay on that instead of Linux. Linux is good but doesn't have software support lol.

Edited by MidnightDistortions
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I am not a fan of Windows 8.

I did purchase and download the operating system on release day.

I then installed it and was like, hell NO!

Went back to 7.

However, my sons machine died so I purchased a new machine for him and it had 8.1 pre-installed.

I have to admit, it's o.k.

If M$ had put in a start button and some other things we're used to on 8.0 then more would adopt.

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