What to tell your mother about Windows 8

Techies are soon going to face the inevitable question from non-techies:

Should they upgrade their old PC to Windows 8?

Speaking from a Defensive Computing standpoint, the answer is always not to jump into any new release of an operating system. New software should never be trusted. How long to hold back is a debatable point, but holding back is not. 

That said, are the user interface changes in Windows 8 so drastic, that the usual rule, upgrading after a waiting period, doesn't apply? 

I bring this up because I was asked the question yesterday for the first time. Someone was having problems with a Windows XP machine and while I was looking at it, they asked if they should upgrade to Windows 8.   

My advice was that their next computer should run Windows 7. If the time comes that all new PCs are running Windows 8, then go to the clearance section and get last years model with Windows 7. If that fails, then get a refurbished computer or upgrade the ram and hard drive in the old machine. Maybe even do a fresh install of the existing copy of Windows. By all means, I advised, avoid Windows 8. 

But that's me. 

This being Computerworld, I'm curious what advice the techies here plan on offering their friends, relatives and acquaintances running older Windows machines. Should they bother with Windows 8?

Let us know with a comment below. Thanks.

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