Microsoft released the latest version of its Windows operating system, Windows 8 (Win8), last fall. New computers are shipping with Win8, and devices are being developed which will exploit new features of Win8.
Win8 introduces a new user interface (UI) called the Modern UI with a diverse collection of tools and utilities, and which is designed to work well with touch-screen devices such as tablets and phones. Win8 also includes the Desktop UI which is similar to the Windows 7 UI and supports all Windows 7 apps, such as Microsoft Office. Win8 features enhanced support for cloud computing and a new app store called the Microsoft Store.
Should you use Windows 8?
Check with your local computing support office for its recommendation. Whether you should use Win8 for university work depends on a number of factors, including the extent to which Win8 is supported within your department. As with any new operating system, verify that existing software and peripherals will work with Win8.
More information on Windows 8, including licensing options and links to official information from Microsoft, can be found on OIT’s Windows 8 page.