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Considering that a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium costs north of $80, we think it’s completely fitting that a standard Windows 8 upgrade costs $40: Metro’s worth can be counted on one hand for a typical desktop user, but the improvements found across the “Windows 7” version of the OS are certainly worth paying for. Even with Metro’s annoyances—and we haven’t even covered the full list in this extended review of the OS—Windows 8 is a good-to-have, but not supremely necessary upgrade. Those who made the jump straight from Windows XP to Windows 7 know the feeling we’re describing here.
Windows 8’s more advanced Storage Spaces tool allows you to add new storage sources at any time—hard drives, flash drives, or other external storage devices—to create giant storage ”pools” with redundancy policies you decide on.
The features we’ve touched upon, and some of the operating system’s more hardcore elements that we haven’t—like Windows 8’s Storage Spaces or File History feature—just about balance out the general issues you’ll deal with when confronting Microsoft’s “newbie mode” head on. It would be wrong to fear Windows 8 because of the sweeping changes (and poor follow-through) Microsoft has introduced into an otherwise fine desktop operating system. Upgrade your OS. Bask in your faster boot times. Synchronize your settings and files with Microsoft’s fluffy clouds. Heck, burn and mount ISO files—that’s a new one for Windows!
Fear Windows 9 instead. Once Microsoft cuts the cord on the classic desktop, kiss your productivity goodbye. Say hello to Microsoft marketplaces accompanying everything on the OS—much as they do now with a handful of Metro apps. Us? We plan to prepare for the desktop apocalypse by stockpiling copies of Windows ME. $100 per. Cash only.
Windows 8’s File History setting, buried deep within the Control Panel, is yet another “backup” technique that saves shadow copies of your data to other hard drives, external devices, or network-based storage.