What’s New in Windows 8?
Faster: Across the board, Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 and Windows XP in boot time, file compression, and even opening tabs in web browsers. Older computers — assuming they meet the system requirements — could also see a boost by installing Windows 8.
- SkyDrive sync: Microsoft’s cloud storage program is built in to just about every application in Windows 8. If you log in to Windows 8 using a Microsoft account, your apps and preferences are synced to the cloud. When you log in to Windows 8 on another computer, your settings and preferences will be available to you — so you get the same consistent Windows 8 experience, no matter where you are.
- Energy efficient: Windows 8 saves battery life by dropping to a low-power state when you're not doing anything power-intensive.
- More secure: Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender malware and virus protection. It also provides better defense against malicious downloads through the SmartScreen filter, which is built into the operating system.
Plus: Windows 8 is good for multilingual organisations, as users can easily switch between display languages, and additional display languages are available.
Should I upgrade?
That depends on whether your computers are able to run Windows 8. Find out more about Windows 8 minimum system requirements.
If your organisation is still running Windows XP, remember that Microsoft are ending support for Windows XP soon.
Make sure that you check whether your printers, scanners and peripherals are Windows 8 compatible with Microsoft's Windows 8 Compatibility Centre.
We have put together a guide which will help you determine if you should upgrade to Windows 8.
PC World has found that Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 in most performance tests.
What is available through the TechSoup Asia technology donation program?
Upgrades to Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise are available for organisations already running legal copies of either:
- Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional or Ultimate
- Windows Vista Enterprise, Business or Ultimate
- Windows XP Professional or Tablet PC
- Windows 2000 Professional
- Windows NT Workstation 4.0; or
- Windows 98 SE
If you aren't sure whether you need Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro. However Enterprise includes additional features for large organisation's networks. Find out more about the difference between Windows 8 Enterprise and Pro.
Get Full Versions of Windows 8
In addition to upgrades, Microsoft has also made donations of full versions of its Windows 8 operating systems available through the Microsoft Get Genuine program.
If your organisation can't use the Windows 8 upgrades above, or is running illegal, free or basic operating systems, Microsoft's Get Genuine program offers you a one-time chance to get your computers up and running on new, fully legitimate and upgradable Windows operating systems.
The TechSoup Asia program offers the following Get Genuine Windows 8 licences, in English, Thai and Simplified Chinese: