"It's Windows reimagined and reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability."
This is how Microsoft introduces their newest operating system, Windows 8, and from the information currently available, Microsoft appears to have lived up to that claim. Windows 8 will be the most drastic change to how you use your computer since the advent of Windows 95. If you are at all the type who is adverse to change, you might want to read about Windows 8 before committing your time, effort, and money to hopping on the bandwagon.
Gone is the Windows “start button” that has been familiar to computer users since 1995. Instead, Microsoft gives us the new Metro UI (User Interface), which bears a striking—and not unintentional—resemblance to that of Windows-based phones and tablets. With this among other new “features”, Microsoft is attempting to usher in a new era of computing and radically redesign the way we access information and media.
What is Windows 8
Windows 8 is Microsoft's new version of the Windows operating system, which Microsoft intends to have replace earlier releases of Windows include Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Windows 2000. An operating system is quite simply the software programming that lets your computer boot up to a "desktop", gives you folders and files to access your data, gives you a Start Button to access your programs, and other features like searching the computer, control panels, and printing. Without an operating system, your computer would turn on, but you really wouldn't be able to do much of anything other than stare at a black screen with some white text of meaningless computer jargon. So it sounds like an operating system is pretty important, but is it important to always have the "latest and greatest"? Let's take a look!
There's no doubt that the first thing you're notice when you turn on your new Windows 8 PC is the new Metro UI (User Interface).
As soon as you turn on your computer, this is how you will be greeted. Does it look like the future of computing? Each of the squares and rectangles on the Metro is a button or shortcut to launch an app. Yes, that's app as in what you run on your Smartphone or Tablet. You won't be running your Programs (i.e., working) from here.
While you can still use your computer in "desktop mode", you have to launch the desktop as an "app" in order to get there. Now things will start to look a bit more familiar, but the added hassle may not be for everyone.
Check out this very-complete, and very-detailed list of all the new Windows 8 features.
This is my opinion, taken from personal experience in computing. Whether or not you should buy Windows 8 really depends on how you use your computer and what you use your computer for. The bottom line is, Windows 8 is designed to be run on a touch-based device like a tablet, or "all-in-one" touchscreen PC. It's no surprise that the Windows 8 release coincides with Microsoft's entrance into the tablet PC market with it's new Microsoft Surface tablet.
Windows 8 may also be good for someone who only uses their computer for media consumption (e.g., watching online videos, playing movies, browsing the web). If you use your computer for anything other than that, say working (e.g., writing documents, email, running business applications, etc.), Windows 8 in its current form is probably not going to be a good fit for you. Windows 8 is really not a good fit for anyone with a traditional desktop setup. My advice is definitely to hold off and see how this product develops. There's nothing to be immediately gained from an upgrade and Windows 7 is still a fabulous operating system that meets the needs of all users, not just a niche.
Windows 8 is currently available as a pre-release demo right now. It will be officially released October 26th, 2012. You can also get an upgrade to Windows 8 for just $15 if you buy a new PC with Windows 7 right now and through at least the end of the year. This offer is directly from Microsoft and is a great way to try Windows 8 without breaking your bank. Just be prepared to spend hours learning the ropes and re-learning how to use your computer.