Windows 8 is available for download as a release preview upgrade for people wishing to familiarise themselves, and test. Point: why should I get W8? I am using XP and yes, I know support falls over in two years, but I am very happy with what it does... it fills my requirements absolutely. W7? Haven't bothered with it for that very reason. Opinions?

Windows 8 = (windows 7 ) + (slight change in welcome screen )

And, @gerbil stick to your current OS as long as your requirements are met.
But in my opinion (my own personal opinion), Windows xp lacks security when compared to 7.
But 7 is ok. I am using 7 now and i dont find any need of using 8 except some new look and new experience..:)

If you were on Windows 7, I'd probably say change isn't needed (unless you want Metro). The only compelling reasons I can think of for Windows 8:

  • Windows-based tablet (and, in this, you get a keyboard ... I hate typing on a screen)
  • POSSIBLY, Windows-based ultrabook (it will be a tablet-plus anyway)
  • Like touchscreen interfaces (as there is a focus on making this work for Windows 8, here is your opportunity)
  • Want consistent interface with Windows-based smartphone (particularly if you use the phone a lot and are using Office365)
  • If you are getting a new machine, its good to have the current OS (personally, from what I am seeing of the GUI, I might consider getting a Windows 7 machine ... less learning curve)

Don't get me wrong, there is some potentially interesting stuff in Windows 8. I'm not an "app" type -- I use applications, which is more classical. Windows 8, so far, is reminding me of why I wasn't fond of "Starter Edition" products in the last iteration.

Mmm. Thanks for those replies, they are helpful. I shall download it onto/upgrade a clone of my OS to see what it is all about. That way I won't be caught with the lack of reversion, and won't get locked out of my current sys which is set up just tickety boo.

May as well provide an update on the performance of W8 as it pertained to my sys. It can act as a Beware! there be wolves! caution to others with a similar setup.
I have two hdds with my XP sys, the first holds several partitons with XP alone with a tiny 50MB page file in one; temp stuff like emails, browser files, pgm data, downloads etc in another, then an apps drive, and some dedicated data partitions. The second hdd has the main page file [500 - 1500MB] in one partition, backups in a second, and another data partition. Plus unallocated space for any recovery installation.
As I said i would, I installed W8 over an imaged XP [upgraded it] which i had put to a C: partition on a separate, third hdd. I then fired up with this XP image drive alone. I used the iso, did not bother loading it to a USB, just fitted it into Alcohol which was in another Applications partition [ an image also] on that hdd. Upgrade went well, not a single issue, and W8 fired up after the necessary couple of restarts. Worked as it should.
Then I got silly. I connected my XP hdds and let W8 see them. Sure, it could, I could browse, play the music, check pics, whatever. Some pgms did not work, the ones that Setup informed me about, but i only played with a few. I restarted the sys. HOLY CRAP!! Chkdsk ran at atartup on several partitions on the two XP hdds, found problems in some, did not fix a thing. A couple of partitions were gone from Explorer. XP ran so slloowwwlllyyy. Some pgms needed restarts to get them to perform decently, but some were just terminally unhappy.
Ran chkntfs in cmd over the list of drives I knew should be there, but chkntfs informed me that some were invalid. Removed those from the list, and chkntfs said most of those remaining were dirty [bit set]. The page file [on its own partition] was one of those missing; managed to restore it, set chkdsk to run with /F on the dirty partitons. It turned up scads of Usn Journal errors & orphans in NTFS structures, orphaned files, and the usual unmapped deletion areas. But it did fix the errors to the point that all ran well; I used ERUNT to restore to a time previous to W8 installation. All fine.
Just to see if it was a fluke, I started W8 again, let it see my XP sys disks. And it broke them all over again, the same problems but with variations as to partitions. I went through the same restoration procedure, but with one extra step. W8 went first.
I like my XP, it does everything just fine and dandy. And all is well again.
So... beware, XP users. Oh, and know that a W8 upgrade will NOT let you revert. You would have to reinstall your original sys. That's why I used an image....

win8 is meant for newer computers
i installed it months ago first release ,and 2nd release just a few weeks ago ,and didn't like the no start button apps list ,just desktop apps icons, meant more for touch screen device me thinks
i havent used xp in a few years ,i like my win7 just fine ,does all i need

Winpows 8 has available on internet to download as a preview version. You can simply upgrade your previous version of Windows going online.

For anyone interested in installing a pre-release version, I would highly suggest that you run it as a VM guest. VMWare and VirtualBox (free) work very well with the Win8 guest OS. This way, once you are done with the evaluation, you can just delete the guest VM without messing with your host operating system.

yes windows 8 with additional features is needed.

commented: yawn, more sig spam... -2

update to my post above ,I have install full release version win8 Enterprise [from my Microsoft TechNet/msdn acct: ]on my Dell optiples 745 ,been using it for about a week now ,and im liking it more now after learning the quick way to get from app to app and to the desktop .pinning all my favorite ,most used programs to the desktop toolbar ,and the alt+f4 quick shutdown for app and win7 ,my computers boottime is now 17/20 seconds to the start screen ,and IE10 is nice and smooth and fast as well ,right click on the start screen for to bring up the AllApps icon, use mwindows/start key to to switch from desktop to start .or app to start .windows key + X to bring up dropdown list of place to go like ,control panel /device manager /power option /disk manager ,ect ect

Re: Windows 8: My main complaint is with the looming "Cloud" stuff. It strikes me as "Big Bro" and I'm not interested in my stuff on a server not in my possession. If there are counter thoughts I'm open; try not to be too narrow minded about things. I loved XP until my computer fell over dead, got a new computer with Win7 64 and love it too. It does play a little hardball with some of the older 32 bit apps.

"Cloud" stuff

some of out stuff has always been going to the cloud ,when I sent pictures through mail program they are saven on the isp sever for a time ,when we use site like imageshack we are putting our stuff on there server to share with others , the cloud always was ,just being used a whole lot more than before ,perhaps ,someone just gave it a catchy name.

Thanks Caperjack, you're right on. I never thought of it quite like that.

I can only say that each person usually sticks with what they are most familiar with. I myself have been running Win 7 on two rigs for the past 10/12 months. I am also running Win 8 since about April on a laptop and have a rig which is running Ubuntu 12.04. I have found Win 7 easier to network between Win 7 & 8 plus it is more stable. I can also run XP in virtual mode. I began running Win 8 Consumer Preview to find out how I would like it. It has its strengths and weaknesses but I found it to be more responsive. I started checking it out because I want to pickup a tablet. The iPad is nice but I think The Surface with Win 8 Pro will be a better fit. I will be able to run Quicken and have the ability to work with USB drives and high capacity SDXC cards. The problems I have with Apple is that their business model is about controlling the environment thus no USB/Card access. If you are not having any issues with Xp stick with it however once support stops you will no longer have security updates which will leave you open to issues beyond you control.