There are pros and cons

I have 2 desktops and a laptop. The older desktop uses Windows XP. The new one uses Windows 7 Professional. The laptop now uses Windows 8 Professional. Comparing these operating systems as been really interesting. Windows 7 is a big improvement over XP. Is Windows 8 a big improvement over 7? Not in my humble opinion. It is an improvement just not a big one.

So what do I like about Windows 8? It is speedy. I have the same programs installed that I did with Windows 7 and I find Windows 8 to be considerably faster than 7. The graphics are better in Windows 8. The change is not as dramatic as it was between XP and 7, but it is a definite improvement.

What I don't like. The Start Menu. I do not have a touch screen on my laptop and the Windows 8 Start Menu is designed to be used with a touch screen. I solved the problem by installing Start8 and now I get the Windows 7 desktop I love. The Charms Bar on the right side of the screen is designed for a touch screen and I find it that using it with a mouse pointer can be rather annoying so I pinned the new Start Menu to the Start8 desktop to make it easily accessible. That works for me and I find myself using it more often now.

I use the new Start Menu like I used the program list in Windows 7. I have customized it by removing the stuff I don't use and adding the shortcuts I do use. I have organized everything in an order that works for me. The Start Menu is now my very personal space and while I really like that I don't think my arrangement would work as well for anyone else. I'm not sure that sort of customization would work in an office environment or any other workplace where multiple computers are used. Consistency equals efficiency.

I purchased Windows 8 because I already had an Evaluation Copy installed on my laptop and Microsoft offered the full version for a price that was more than reasonable. Windows 8 has some nice upgrades and it was worth what I paid for it. I don't think it is worth more than that and would not advise anyone who already has Windows 7 to pay more than the $39.99 (download) or $59.99 (discs) for this program. There are just not enough significant changes to justify a bigger price tag. If you are going from XP to Windows 8 it is worth more because the change is much greater.