Windows 8 has drawn a lot of emotional arguments across the Internet, from those who hate it, to those who think it is the next best thing since sliced bread. While each of us will have an opinion on the OS, what we really need to be looking at is the hardware.
Windows 8, unlike any Windows OS before it, will largely be dependent on innovative hardware, as opposed to performance based specifications that boost raw performance. Windows 8 has been designed to fill two purposes, traditional input and touch input and when you have a device that only does one, or the other, you don’t see how Windows 8 is truly a giant step forward for a desktop OS.
When Windows 8 was launched, for the most part, the hardware did not match the capabilities of the OS. Most vendors were pushing goods that were basically repackaged Ultrabooks with Windows 8 which is why were heard murmurs of Microsoft being pissed the OEMs dropped the ball. Yes, there were a few early devices but even those products had limited reach due to availability issues.
The difference for Windows 8, unlike 7, Vista or XP, is that without the right hardware, the OS was a bit bunk. Simply upgrading your OS on your old hardware was no longer enough, what you need is new hardware that is very slowly starting to arrive. We can see the first attempts with the Surface RT/Pro and also the likes of the Lenovo Helix and Yoga.
But, not all consumers are willing to put down the cash to upgrade their machines. Rightfully so, but if you want to truly get the entire value out of Windows 8, new hardware is required as the Start screen is for touch, full stop.
And this is where the division line comes in with Windows 8. On existing hardware, Windows 8 is not preferred platform. Yes, there are certainly advantageous reasons to upgrade from Windows 7 but to avoid the common mistake that many early adopters are experiencing; you need new hardware that embraces the platform, not a platform that embraces the hardware.
Windows 8 is about bringing a new sense to the Windows platform and when you upgrade or buy a device that limits Windows 8 to only mouse and keyboard, you are missing half the experience.