What’s New in Windows 8?
Faster: Across the board, Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 and Windows XP in boot time, file compression, and even opening tabs in web browsers. Older computers — assuming they meet the system requirements — could also see a boost by installing Windows 8.
- SkyDrive sync: Microsoft’s cloud storage program is built in to just about every application in Windows 8. If you log in to Windows 8 using a Microsoft account, your apps and preferences are synced to the cloud. When you log in to Windows 8 on another computer, your settings and preferences will be available to you — so you get the same consistent Windows 8 experience, no matter where you are.
- Energy efficient: Windows 8 saves battery life by dropping to a low-power state when you're not doing anything power-intensive.
- More secure: Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender malware and virus protection. It also provides better defense against malicious downloads through the SmartScreen filter, which is built into the operating system.
Plus: Windows 8 is good for multilingual organisations, as users can easily switch between display languages, and additional display languages are available.
Should I upgrade?
That depends on whether your computers are able to run Windows 8. Find out more about Windows 8 minimum system requirements. If your computers aren't able to run Windows 8, you can order discounted refurbished computers which meet the Windows 8 requirements.
If your organisation is still running Windows XP, remember that Microsoft are ending support for Windows XP soon.
Make sure that you check whether your printers, scanners and peripherals are Windows 8 compatible with Microsoft's Windows 8 Compatibility Centre.
We have put together a guide which will help you determine if you should upgrade to Windows 8.
PC World has found that Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 in most performance tests.
What is available through Connecting Up's TechSoup New Zealand Program?
Upgrades to Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise are available for organisations already running legal copies of either:
- Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional or Ultimate
- Windows Vista Enterprise, Business or Ultimate
- Windows XP Professional or Tablet PC
- Windows 2000 Professional
- Windows NT Workstation 4.0; or
- Windows 98 SE
If you aren't sure whether you need Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro. However Enterprise includes additional features for large organisation's networks. Find out more about the difference between Windows 8 Enterprise and Pro.
Get Full Versions of Windows 8
In addition to upgrades, Microsoft has also made donations of full versions of its Windows 8 operating systems available through the Microsoft Get Genuine program.
If your organisation can't use the Windows 8 upgrades above, or is running illegal, free or basic operating systems, Microsoft's Get Genuine program offers you a one-time chance to get your computers up and running on new, fully legitimate and upgradable Windows operating systems.
Connecting Up's DonorTec program offers the following Get Genuine Windows 8 licences: