Why NOW is a Good Time to Buy a New PC
If you're currently using Windows XP or Vista, and wondering whether you should buy a new PC with Windows 7 now, or wait for Windows 8 in October, here's my advice...
Waiting for Windows 8 Could Be a Mistake
Traditionally, sales of new PCs slump a few months ahead of the release of a new version of Windows. Would-be buyers tend to postpone purchases because they want the next-generation operating system to be included "free" in their next PCs.
It was understandable for those suffering with Windows Vista, to hold their breath and jump on the Windows 7 bandwagon as soon as possible. But waiting for the release of Windows 8 may not be the best strategy for you. In fact, right now may be the best time to buy a Windows 7 PC.
Don't worry about obsolescence. Microsoft is not going to drop Windows 7 the day Windows 8 comes out. Even Windows XP, released eleven years ago, is still in use on about one-third of Windows computers. Microsoft still provides security-related updates for Windows XP (and will do so until April 2014), as long as your copy is up to date with Service Pack 3. Vista, the short-lived Windows mistake of all time, is still in use, too. So a Windows 7 PC purchased now will be supported for years to come, long after you need yet another new computer.
Falling demand for PCs means lower prices, another good reason to buy now. HP, Dell, and other big names have reported double-digit percentage slumps in PC sales so far this year. It's not just that people are waiting for Windows 8; PCs are being replaced by tablets and smartphones in many consumers' budgets.
Summertime traditionally dampens PC sales, too. Back-to-school sales depress prices further. So the summer may be the perfect time to buy that Windows 7 PC.
Postponing the Learning Curve...
The radically different user interface of Windows 8 is another reason to buy a Windows 7 PC now, in the minds of many consumers. By all accounts, the familiar "legacy" Windows desktop that is built into Windows 8 is a far cry from what users are accustomed to. It seems that certain operations will force you back into Windows 8's Metro UI, which will be very frustrating for users.
Those who have downloaded the Preview versions (See Download the Free Windows 8 Consumer Preview) complain that the Metro UI seems to be designed primarily for touchscreen users, and those who attempt to navigate it with a good old fashioned keyboard and mouse are likely to be confused and annoyed. If you want to avoid a steep learning curve, buy a Windows 7 PC now. Hopefully, Microsoft will make changes to Windows 8 so the familiar desktop interface is an option, and not something shoehorned into the new Metro interface.
Don't Be a Guinea Pig...
Then there are the usual problems with any new version of an operating system. Despite the fact that thousands of users get the opportunity to test out pre-release versions of the software, it's normal for a new operating system to contain plenty of bugs and security vulnerabilities when it is first released. Peripheral makers and software developers will have to iron out incompatibilities in their products. If you have lived through these "birth pains" in the past, you may want to sit them out with Windows 7 until Windows 8 irons out its inevitable wrinkles.
We really don't know what a "made for Windows 8" PC may look like, or whether it will be accepted by the desktop-bound market. Personally, I like things just the way they are under Windows 7, and am not looking forward to the learning curve of the Windows 8 interface. But if you wait until after the October release of Windows 8, you may not be able to buy a new PC with Windows 7 installed. We don't know how long Microsoft will continue to offer Windows 7, but it's certain they're going to be pushing vendors to install Windows 8 on all new machines.
Bottom line, if you need a new PC soon, I would recommend a Windows 7 PC without hesitation. In fact, I'm in that position myself. I have three PCs in my house now, a desktop and laptop running Win 7, and one that's almost six years old with XP. I'll probably upgrade my laptop to Windows 8, because I need hands-on with the new OS in order to stay up to date with technology and answer your questions. But I'll be looking for a new desktop PC with Windows 7 to replace the XP machine soon.
Are you planning to buy a new PC, or upgrade one that's running XP or Vista? Post your comment or question below...
Posted by Bob Rankin on 25 Jun 2012
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Why NOW is a Good Time to Buy a New PC (Posted: 25 Jun 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved