Upgrade to Windows 8, urges Microsoft

2012-08-01 13:01

Johannesburg - Microsoft is out to convince South African computer users to upgrade to its latest operating system.

The company will soon make Windows 8 available in South Africa and has been on a mission to advertise the features of the latest version of the operating system (OS).

"It's all about bringing content to your end user and we worked extremely hard in Windows fundamentals to give this level of responsiveness," Windows 8 engineer Rajeev Nagar told News24.

The usual start button has been replaced with what Microsoft has dubbed the "Start experience" and it allows more functionality for applications and permits a user to access the computer in a variety of ways.

One is able to log in via a user name and password, but also via a Windows Live account or image. The latter is particularly suited to touch devices.


"There are no controls; the content shines through. Typically, we have seen people smile when they log in," said Nagar.

The mobile focused is also evident from the design of a feature that prohibits the computer or tablet from downloading updates while in an environment that will incur costs to the user.

"Windows 8 will never download updates when you are in a metered environment because it doesn't want you to incur costs," Nagar said.

Multiple gestures have been natively built in to the operating system and are particularly suited to tablets and mobile devices.

Microsoft recently announced the launch of its Surface tablet to take on Apple's iPad and the latest OS supports a variety of gestures to access content and to control the system.

The OS also recognises whether multiple gestures are viable on older machines and these have been disabled so as to limit confusion.

"Your Windows 7 shortcuts all exist on Windows 8, and we've added new shortcuts. Not all gestures will be available on all systems. It depends on OEM [original equipment manufacturers]," Nagar said.


Part of Apple's success has been the creation of an ecosystem to support its hardware and Microsoft has been driving development of its online store linked to the new OS.

Typically, developers will earn 70% of the revenue generated by the sales of apps but Microsoft has indicated that if revenue exceeds $25 000, the developer will take an 80% cut.

"There is no market as large for app developers than Windows. We think there's a win-win for everybody," Nagar said.

Apps are also available free on a trial period and can be uninstalled directly from the live tiles on the start screen. The applications can be "snapped" to the left or right edge of the screen, but users cannot customise the size of the window.

The OS also endeavours to conserve battery power in mobile devices by suspending applications when inactive and social network application sharing is built in to Windows 8.

Nagar insisted that the company was intent on building trust with its users.

"As part of engendering trust, users can confidently install apps and just as confidently uninstall them.

"We changed the model so applications are licensed to a user, not a device," he added.


Some News24 users were particularly concerned about the hardware requirements when the new OS was announced.

"The hardware requirements for Windows 8 are identical to those for Windows 7. Windows 8 uses hardware more efficiently than Windows 7," Nagar said.

Microsoft has a potentially huge market in Africa, mainly as more than half the computers still run the Windows XP OS.

The company is holding thumbs that most of these users will upgrade to its latest OS when it launches in SA on 26 October.

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  • Castiel - 2012-08-01 13:12

    Sure no probs. As soon as the torrent becomes available.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-08-01 13:57

      Not even then

      Revelgen - 2012-08-01 14:07

      Yep, reminds me of a comment made about the old Citroen ID19 years ago (with its complicated hydraulic suspension, single-spoke steering wheel and tennis-ball footbrake): "It's full of brilliant engineering solutions - FOR WHICH THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS." Sounds just like Win8.

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-01 13:28

    We just upgraded to Windows 7, will Microsoft be so kind as to offer us a free copy of Windows 8, seeing that it's so important.

      fredster.mania.5 - 2012-08-01 14:11

      I agree...all about the money...I urge you!!!

      dericslab - 2012-08-01 14:18

      If you have just purchased Windows 7, then you actually are entitled to an upgrade to Windows 8 at a very cheap price upon launch. Details will be made available closer to the time, or from your IT support.

      PatPion - 2012-08-01 15:02

      It will be available to Windows 7 users for a mere $15.

      gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-09-27 22:21

      "cheap"... "$15".... I'd sooner upgrade to Ubuntu. MS is way too expensive.

  • wehan.victor - 2012-08-01 13:36

    I JUST bought win7 for two PC's the other day R2k++!! I will not be upgrading any time soon.

      cedjonkers - 2012-08-01 15:41

      Maybe it wasn't such a good idea upgrading your OS. Rather buy it with the computer.

  • freddie.jones.58367 - 2012-08-01 13:37

    I for one will not be upgrading! Micro$ofts' record of producing RELIABLE & STABLE operating system with the 1st shipment is absolutely abysmal. Why should I believe that they have it right this time? I'll let the mugs of this world, who 'must have' the so called latest and greatest of everything do Micro$ofts testing at the bleeding edge of technology. This is sent from a relatively stable version of Windoze/XP.

      lydonmcg - 2012-08-01 13:57

      Or download the Consumer/Release Preview and see for yourself?...

      anakin.skyvader - 2012-08-01 17:28

      Exactly...what is wrong with XP (SP3)? I have Windows-7 on another partition and I don't like it. I'll give Windows8 a whirl though, when I can download a torrent for it...

      gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-09-27 22:22

      Alas, MS's idea of a bug fix is to charge for a new os, which of course brings more bugs, and so the stone rolls......

  • Gavin - 2012-08-01 13:44

    thanks, but I think I'll stick with windows 7 - I have a feeling 8 is a relative of Vista's....

  • immo.blecher - 2012-08-01 13:45

    Hahahaha, "You need to reboot" and "This may take a few minutes" again. "There are no controls; the content shines through. Typically, we have seen people smile when they log in"...I reckon they will also smile when they see the costs of upgrading all their software.

  • paul.bester1 - 2012-08-01 13:46

    No upgrade for me. Microsoft has dropped the nice look and feel from Windows 7 with the excuse that it's dated and uses too many resources, however this article states that Windows 8 will have the same hardware requirements as Windows 7. Why not give us a choice Microsoft? A desktop version and a tablet version? I want my Start button and a desktop with shortcuts. Looks like Windows 7 will be my final operating system. *sigh*

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-08-01 13:58

      Won't surprise me if Google jumps in with their own PC Operating System one of these days...

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-01 13:54

    Microsoft = extortion. White collar terrorism as far as I'm concerned.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-08-03 08:59


  • klipkop.degroote - 2012-08-01 13:55

    Did you also get advice from the FBI and CIA while coding Win 8? Like you did with Win 7? That will explain the "urges" bit.

  • charles.debeer.33 - 2012-08-01 13:59


  • Kevin - 2012-08-01 14:00

    Cars and software has one thing in common: NEVER EVER get the first release of a new model, wait for the first facelift.

  • LunaNunca.Sunita - 2012-08-01 14:10

    Ok MS. You clearly live in a different universe than the rest of the world. We can barely afford to run the pc's with the current power price,and after having to upgrade to win 7, cause nothing would work otherwise, we can just, just afford to have the flu this winter. Now you want us to spend some more money's on your latest greatest piece of pie in the sky. Nice. Please catch a wake up. oh priceless... we will all need that after this. SPONSORED: Old Mutual Funeral Plan R29 per month | 48-hour pay-out

  • cj.venter - 2012-08-01 14:12

    yeah, um. touch screen WTF? how do you play doom/quake/COD etc on a touch screen pc? i'll stick with windows 7 until they make a REAL windows 8 for PC users and not phone/pad (l)users. maybe a partition for 8, just to test :D

  • heinrich.spreeth - 2012-08-01 14:18

    It has become obvious that microsoft brings out a good operating system every SECOND time. 98 , xp , windows 7 , windows 9.

  • flyswat - 2012-08-01 14:21

    Anything past XP is user unfriendly...

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-08-01 14:32

      Seems to be a typical attitude... Use Windows 7, and use Windows 8 before making uneducated comments. I'll still with Windows 7, and will never look back at XP.

      werner.gerber.54 - 2012-08-02 08:03

      I feel sorry for ppl still on XP. You're missing out on a great experience. W7 is the best/most stable release yet. I've also used the W8 pre-release and I'm very exited about it.

  • Roulon du Toit - 2012-08-01 14:30

    I, for one, will upgrade. I'm struggling to buy things that work on my Windows 95 system

      anakin.skyvader - 2012-08-01 17:32

      Are you joking? Win'95?

      gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-09-27 22:25

      My one PC (p4) still has win2k.... no problem. horses for courses.

  • Roulon du Toit - 2012-08-01 14:33

    I, for one, will upgrade. I'm struggling to find things that work on my Windows 95 system

  • zaaristotle - 2012-08-01 15:01

    Sure, no problem, as soon as all the bugs are sorted out. So that is just before Windows 9 then?

  • Marius Bloemhof - 2012-08-01 15:58

    Oh dear, win 8 will be an epic fail - at least for the desktop market. As an IT professional it is a complete nightmare from a usability and compatibility perspective. I have been workin on all beta, pre release and RC versions and can categorically state this, most people in the industry agree with me. Will stick to Win 7 or wait for the inevitable Win 9

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-08-01 16:06

      Agreed. Notice how the entire blurb basically talks about tablet features, yet they are urging desktop users to upgrade? Why would they? What is in it for them? I loathe the fact that I will have to install this horrid OS just to test our software on, so I really for people who might actually have to use it.

      bob.macphearson - 2012-08-01 16:07

      I've been using the previews on my desktop and tablet system since they came out, there isnt a problem with either one of them. I develop software using the desktop mode, and I havent run into any usability or compatibility problems, so I'm not entirely sure what you're going on about.

      Christopher - 2012-08-02 08:30

      Bob, have you tried to use the latest RC edition with a mouse? Complete nightmare.

      jacob.donaldson.37 - 2012-08-02 21:53

      Actually, I've also been using the previews since they came out and have not run into any issues. I rather like the new interface :)

  • chris.shield - 2012-08-01 16:07

    First rule of Microsoft products: Wait for service pack 2 before upgrading...

      jacques.buckle - 2012-08-01 16:53

      or sp1

  • jacques.buckle - 2012-08-01 16:54

    hmmm i get a feeling metro here to stay with win8 and with every next windows

  • anakin.skyvader - 2012-08-01 17:24

    So when will the SP1 update for Windows8 be available? [ie read as new OS's by their very nature can be very unstable...] hence a few golden rules I have: 1. NEVER EVER keep the OS and your USER DATA on the SAME partition, eg. [C] drive 2. NEVER EVER have just ONE partition called the [C] drive 3. NEVER EVER allow the OS to automatically download live updates on its own. 4. ALWAYS BACKUP your system settings and user data. 5. INSTALL new untested OS's on a separate partition in multi-boot so you can first test the new gimmicks. 6. NEVER EVER trust that Microsoft will have all the bugs ironed out in the 1st OS release. [Update 1 will always follow, JUST as you have the OS nicely installed...] 7. ALWAYS have a UPS on your pc to guard against Eishkom's dips,surges & spikes.

  • michelleconradie - 2012-10-24 10:59

    I don't know why people are saying that it's over priced. In the past, Windows XP and 7 were madly over priced, but if you've just upgraded to Windows 7 then you qualify for the $14 upgrade to Windows 8. That's a mere R112, and people are STILL complaining that that's too expensive? Then, for people who already own Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, you can upgrade to Windows 8 for just $40 dollars - R320. That's hardly expensive when you compare it to the retail prices of Windows 7 (R2000). Personally I think Windows 8 will be great and I plan to upgrade ASAP :)

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