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Windows 8 is FINALLY here!

If you are as quick as Eastwood, you can get the latest and greatest Windows from Redmond for just $14.99 – but only if you have a Windows 7 PC, purchased between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. For PCs purchased before June 2, 2012, the Windows 8 upgrade will cost US $39.99 up to January 31, 2013.

So should you be upgrading to Windows 8?

That’s a question best asked after you figure out if your PC qualifies.

According to Microsoft, the minimum system requirement for Windows 8 is a 1GHz+ processor, 1GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit) RAM, 16GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit) disk space, and graphics system supporting DirectX 9 with WDDM. But the easiest way to check compatibility is to use the company’s Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which not only tests the system readiness but also walks you through the upgrade process.

Now, if your system checks out and you are running Windows XP, you should definitely upgrade.

Why?

Because Microsoft will be discontinuing support for XP from April 2014, after which will be difficult for you to sustain the decade-old OS without system and security updates. Unfortunately, it will also be the most difficult system to upgrade from. You will only be able to keep your personal files, and will have to re-install all the applications and re-configure all the personal settings.

Compared to XP, Vista upgrade will be easier as personal settings and files will be carried over but not the applications. And Windows 7 will the simplest, with all settings, files and applications being fully migrated.

But would you want to go through the trouble and cost of upgrading if you are running Vista or Windows 7?

Compared to Windows Vista and Windows 7, the new operating system boots faster, is more secure, runs your old applications, and certainly looks cooler. For a geek like me, I cannot wait to upgrade. However, for the average user, it may be wise to wait a little bit just to make sure all of your applications are compatible with Windows 8 before upgrading.

The biggest USP of Windows 8 is the induction into the Microsoft ecosystem – beginning with the unified interface and synchronization across the PC, tablet and smartphone, to cloud computing and online services. So if you are open to the emerging Microsoft ecosystem, then the present promotion period is an opportunity not to be missed – the last day to register online at www.windowsupgradeoffer.com to upgrade your Windows 7 PC is February 28, 2013.

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