October 29, 2012, 11:55 AM — After two public beta releases and more than 1.24 billion hours of pre-release usage time worldwide, Windows 8 is finally here. The latest version of Windows heralds a new era for the worlds most popular operating system, which now includes a touchable interface dubbed the Modern UI.
[Related: Windows 8: The official review]
Windows 8 also brings some welcome (if more pedestrian) improvements to Windows, including power-user tools such as an overhauled Windows Explorer, better peripheral discovery, and easier back-up and restore features.
Love it or hate it, Windows 8 is here to stay. So whether youre contemplating an upgrade, just installed the new OS, or plan on picking up a new Windows 8 device sometime soon, here are nine nuggets of information that should ease your upgrading transition.
Getting Windows 8
At 12:01 local time Friday, Microsoft made Windows 8 available for download all across the globe following a big launch Thursday in New York City.
If you have a computer youd like to upgrade to Windows 8, there are several options depending on your situation. If you purchased a PC after June 2, you can upgrade to Windows 8 for $15. Anyone else running Windows 7, Vista, or XP can upgrade for $40 --just make sure your PC has the specs to handle the new OS.
Check out PCWorlds preview of what you can expect when upgrading to Windows 8. And if your resources are constrainedor you plan on running Windows in a virtual machinePCWorld has some tips on optimizing Windows 8 for older hardware.