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Upgrading to a new operating system brings the risk that your apps suddenly no longer work. That concern intensifies with moving to Windows 8 because of the big change the operating system represents compared to earlier version.

The large number of changes to the visual looks could cause some apps problems and with ever operating system change there is always the risk of a small change that breaks some special functionality your program depended upon to work. Many people also need to continue using programs they either cannot or choose not to upgrade, but won’t work under Windows 8 — in a few cases a program doesn’t recognize the newer version of Windows and simply refuses to run.


The imminent release of Windows 8 means that many people are now thinking about upgrading their operating system or perhaps even buying a new computer. If you’re someone who has held off from upgrading to Windows 7, there’s an even greater chance that you’re thinking about investing some new hardware.

Whether your current machine is running Windows XP, Vista or 7, it probably includes no end of files and programs that you’d like to keep. By converting your existing PC into a virtual machine, you can run it on your new computer so you still have access to everything you’re used to working with, but without having to worry about compatibility or clogging up you nice new hard drive.


You can’t have failed to have noticed that Microsoft is not too far away from releasing the next version of Windows. In the past, it was only hardware and software developer that got to see how unreleased versions of the operating system were going to look, but in recent years Microsoft has release public previews.

This is true of Windows 8, and the Consumer Preview is available for anyone to install. There are a number of ways you can go about this. You could install the operating system on a spare computer, or you could opt to install it alongside your current copy of Windows in a dual boot scenario. But a far easier option, particularly if you do not have a ‘spare’ computer lying around, is to install the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 in a virtual machine.