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Doug's Mailbag: Is Windows 8 Worth $40?

Readers share their thoughts on Microsoft's announced $40 upgrade price for Windows 8:

I've used the Windows 8 Preview and if given a copy, I would throw it in the trash. No, I would not pay $40 for the 'privilege' of running Windows 8. Without a touch screen, Windows 8 is a dog, and I can't see using a touch screen on the desktop. Hasn't MS tried that one before (Surface, anyone)?

As I test Windows 8 Release Preview in a VM environment, I'm astonished that Microsoft is betting the farm on this OS. It's so radically different, so bolted together with pieces/parts (like pseudo desktop), and so unintuitive with mouse-over functions that I have to believe there will be widespread consumer revolt when customers open their new PCs in the fall and find Windows 8 on them. They will go running back to the store and demand Windows 7. Microsoft is going to have to do much better messaging and training to convince people to make this leap. Without a better OS to sell, Windows 8 is the next Microsoft Bob.

Win 8 is pretty cool on a tablet, and I've been using it for several months now. However, that being said,  I'm not too happy about it on the desktop nor am I happy about the loss of the start button and aero theme. So for now I will stay with Win 7 on the desktop and will be using Win 8 on the tablet. I'm also looking forward to Windows Phone 8 devices and the added functionality that should come with it. So in summary: Metro/Win 8 on the phone and tablet -- cool; Win 8/Server 2012 on the desktop -- jury's still out.

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Posted by Doug Barney on 07/10/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Jul 11, 2012 Hoagiebot Microsoft Downers Grove Office (not a MSFT employee)

I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview when it first came out on a brand new Acer Aspire netbook of mine. While the new Metro-centric OS was confusing and frustrating to use on my keyboard and mouse-based netbook at first, after a couple of days I eventually got used to it and now kind of like some of its features such as its lightning quick startup times and pretty "lock" screen. Despite the fact that Windows 8 was a tough sell for me to begin with, Microsoft seems hell-bent to make it worse with each new release. I loved how you still had Windows 7's "Areo" desktop in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. I happened to have always loved Areo. In the Release Preview they stripped that out. Even worse, now that I have been using Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my netbook since March I have installed a lot of software and accumulated a lot of data on the machine. There is no way to upgrade from the Consumer Preview to the Release Preview without doing a clean install, and I don't see the Release Preview (or even the upcoming RTM release of Windows 8) as being worth having to wipe my machine, do a clean install, and re-install all of my software over again. In other words, if I could somehow keep Windows 8 Consumer Preview installed on my netbook indefinitely, I would in a heartbeat. I eventually ended up really liking the Consumer Preview overall. However, if I am forced to do a clean install on my machine to "upgrade" to the final release of windows 8 and then also pay $40 for the privilege, I would much rather put the copy of Windows 7 Starter that came with my netbook back onto the machine.

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