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Windows 8 hype and reality check

I’ve seen a lot of obvious and self-serving questions posted on LinkedIn, but one really took the biscuit a few days ago and it annoyed me to the point where I had to dust off my blog and have a little rant.

The poster asked “Will Windows 8 overtake Windows 7 at the number one spot” or something to that effect and it struck me that this is really the wrong question. It’s one of those questions that tells you a lot about the point of view of the person asking it… they’re desperate to be seen as an expert and hoping that their superficially topical will eventually lead you to buy stuff from them. Deep breath.

Of course Windows 7 will retain the number 1 spot… for a while. A better question would have been “how long will it take for Windows 8 to reach number 1” and even then I’m not sure that this actually matters to anyone except sales people, blogosphere commentators and the kind of people who can recite sport statistics.

It is obvious that one day Windows 8Β will outsell Windows 7 because Microsoft will stop selling the older OS, and then one day they will stop supporting it. Microsoft will publish this information, and although it’s not all available yet this site does tell us is that they plan to support Windows 7 until 2020.

I believe the key questions are really “how long do I have to upgrade my skills” which is co-dependant on “when do I begin planning my company’s upgrades”… Don’t waste time speculating on an artificial milestone that is reached when everyone else has bought more Windows 8 than Windows 7… rather take control of your skillset. Install Windows 8 and learn the new interface, take some training, test it in your situation and make an educated choice on whether it’s right for your business.

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