In 2011, I upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7. In 2012, I switched from Windows 7 32-bit to Windows 7 64-bit. Neither upgrade was easy.
I pretty much had to do clean installations in both cases. That meant reinstalling all my software and recreating all my settings.
So it was with great trepidation that I approached my upgrade to Windows 8. I was expecting a similar arduous process, and all the press I’d been reading made the paradigm shifts in Windows 8 seem larger than life.
I took the plunge this past weekend and installed my upgrade. (I bought the licenses before the end of the promotional discount.)
I was up and running in about an hour. I had to reinstall Sony SoundForge on my desktop machine, but aside from that, it was pretty anticlimactic.
I tooled around the Windows 8 interface for about an hour and reoriented myself with where things were located. The lack of the Start button is still an adjustment, but I like the amount of control I have over the Start Screen. So much so, I pretty much wiped out all the default panels and refashioned it as a more streamlined and organized Start Menu.
When I’m in the desktop, I sometimes forget I’m running Windows 8. That duality seems like a double-edged sword, though. It’s wise for Microsoft to slowly ease its user base into a different operating paradigm by splitting the environment. But it may also encourage some complacency when it comes to dealing with the newer user interfaces.
I imagine over time, the desktop paradigm will cede further real estate to panels, and that would be quite a disruptive change if not handled smartly.
I’m not sure what I was expecting with this upgrade. Total discombobulation over the UI changes? Angst and anguish over reinstallations? Fear, uncertainty and doubt?
As it turned out, it was probably the smoothest upgrade and transition I’ve gone through with a Microsoft OS.
The changes are significant, but they weren’t difficult to surmount. A whole swath of the OS is still pretty much Windows 7, and everything bad I expected to happen just … didn’t.
Maybe over time, I’ll discover a whole new set of annoyances, but for now, I’m pretty glad this upgrade turned out to be no big deal.