There are plenty of people, including myself, who have been given access to the RTM (Release To Manufacturing) copy of Windows 8. This is the final copy of Windows 8 that we will all be able to purchase or receive pre-installed on a new computer around October 26, 2012. It wasn’t until today that I remembered something I’ve learned from previous experiences with Windows version upgrades: The best time to install a new version isn’t necessarily on release day.
My reminder of this fact was a recent article over at Mashable in which one writer traced his upgrade experience. He carefully explained a recent upgrade of his Windows 7 laptop computer, an Asus Zen prime. Pumping out plenty of horsepower with an Intel i7 processor, he chose the upgrade process in lieu of a clean install of Windows 8, since he felt that this is what most consumers would choose to do. He also explained that uninstalling certain software and hardware drivers was required before the upgrade could continue, including:
- Intel ProSet device driver for Bluetooth
- USB 3.0 host controller
- McAfee Security Suite
- Microsoft Security Essentials
What was being requested was not Earth-shattering news, but it did point out something that is very important. It has always been my experience that, when Microsoft comes out with a new version of Windows, device drivers from the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are sometimes slow in coming. The same is true with some software companies that seem to take forever to upgrade their software in order to be compliant with the latest Windows release.
I recall one such displeasure that took six months to correct. This involved an all-in-one printer from one of the biggest printer companies in the world. I did a clean install to the next greatest and latest Windows operating system only to find that the old printer software was not compatible. The company did provide a new printer driver so I could at least print, but scanning and copying software were nowhere to be found. There was also another issue with a sound card that took about six weeks to finally get fixed.
Whether you are contemplating a clean install of Windows 8 or a taking the upgrade path, you may wish to consider this: Most major corporations in the world will not even consider upgrading until after Service Pack 1 (SP1) is released for Windows. This allows for all of the OEMs to upgrade their hardware devices, drivers, and software. In addition, it allows Microsoft plenty of time to repair all of the gotchas and bugs that are always present in a new Windows release.
So, from my personal experience, my advice is to sit back, relax, and wait for SP1. I don’t believe that sticking with the current version of Windows is going to kill anyone, and waiting for a while may help you avoid the frustrations that a lack of drivers or software could cause.
What do you think? Are you going to take the plunge and upgrade to Windows 8 right away, or will you wait?
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Ceo1017