Windows 8: To upgrade or not to upgrade, that is the question.

  1. Do your research first.  Read articles and documents and watch videos to inform your decision.

    1. The Tech Soup Blog 
    2. The Tech Soup Learning Center
    3. Microsoft’s webpage
  2. Consult with your library, city, or county IT.  He or she should be on hand when you run the Upgrade Assistant and available to make decisions before, during and after the upgrade.
  3. Start small.  Upgrade one computer – preferably a touchscreen, if you have one. 
    1. This will give you an opportunity to try it out
    2. This will also give staff an opportunity to get familiar with the new operating system.
    3. You will have an opportunity to see how well your current apps and programs transfer to the new system, and troubleshoot any issues that arise.
    4. Introduce patrons to the new operating system
  4. Set up different user profiles on the new system and experiment with customizations.
  5. Test your library specific programs, especially DeepFreeze and EnvisionWare.


  • Newest operating system available for Windows systems
  • New Microsoft computers will be sold with this operating system
  • Tech Soup is currently offering Windows 8 Upgrades for $12.00
  • Great for use with Touchscreen computers
  • When you upgrade an existing Windows program to Windows 8 an Upgrade Assistant first checks your system to see if your computer meets the upgrade requirements
  • The Upgrade Assistant also tells you which programs will not transfer and alerts you to any potential problems
  • The operating system is fairly easy to use
  • You can switch between using the new “Tiles” start menu and the more traditional desktop menus
  • The Tiles Start menu is very customizable for different users
  • All of your favorites – websites, applications, and programs – can be saved as a Tile on the start page.


  • Not all programs and applications are supported in Windows 8
  • The Upgrade Assistant may not be able to list all of the programs that will not transfer – this seems to be in the test mode currently.  Just because it is not listed as a problem, does not mean it won’t be a problem
  • Problem programs may need to be uninstalled from the computer before beginning the  upgrade process
  • Some problem programs are usable, but only from the traditional desktop, this requires switching to the desktop view to see some videos or former applications.
  • Some menus are hard to access with a mouse, because this operating system was designed for touchscreens. The scroll bar is sometimes hidden by a menu, which would not be a problem on a touchscreen, where you would just swipe to scroll
  • It takes an hour or more to upgrade one computer
  • A new system will be confusing at first and takes some time to learn