Don’t downgrade to Windows 7

Let’s be critical.

While trying to remain brief, I want to talk about why a downgrade to Windows 7 is exactly what you shouldn’t be doing. This is directed towards personal use, in other words – my view does not align with a corporate or enterprise context in mind. End of disclaimer.

Time moves forward.

Software and service complacency is a particularly bad habit to pick up. Last time I checked, time moves forward, but when it comes to software – especially Microsoft Windows – we would prefer time moves slower, or not move at all. Windows 7 is (was for those of us who have moved on) a great operating system, a revolutionary software package. Basically, a great product. But eventually, it will one day be a legacy product; just like Windows XP, just like Office 2003, just like the Norton Internet Security 2004 disc I found hidden deep in an old CD-spindle.

All screens will be touch screens.

The inevitable is exactly that: inevitable. In the near future, expect all screens to be touch screens. When that future becomes our present, Windows 7 won’t do you much good, and Windows 8 will be a mature operating system better-suited for these touch displays. Avoiding Windows 8 because “I use a desktop/ laptop PC without a touch screen” is common behaviour fuelled by mass sensationalist Internet media that abuses its reach. I’ve heard people use this scenario with confidence, affirmation, and an almost-religious conviction – because as people, we hate what we don’t understand? Nevertheless, touch screen computers are here, and they are here to stay, even if big Apple isn’t doing anything about it right now.

New wine, old skin.

Ever tried installing Office 2013 on Windows XP? – you can’t. How about Internet Explorer 10 on Windows Vista? You can’t do that either. The same can be said for trying to install Adobe’s Creative Cloud programs, and as time goes on – the list of incompatible software on older operating systems will only increase. Some would argue that these bridges will be crossed on arrival. My belief however, is that users [and developers] staying at the back end of the path to progression is a techno-cultural problem. – A problem that enables those with malicious intentions to exploit already-known, fixed vulnerabilities in popular consumer software that is ageing or without updates. Que Flashback and Conficker.

Windows 9?

Bread meets butter here. Windows 8 will NOT be moving in reverse, despite its drawbacks, rumours of poor sales, and a global decline for PC demand. Instead, Windows 8.1 builds upon what is already there – and that’s exactly what it should do. Many people who insist on downgrading not only stagnate their understanding of Windows, but they risk becoming victims of a peculiar problem – the inability to use future versions of Windows, which will have more in common with Windows 8 than Windows 7. Some will recuse themselves from this inevitability by switching to Mac OS – but because time moves forward and all new displays will gain a touch panel… expect Apple themselves to make bold decisions like they have in the past.