Photo Courtesy: Dell Inc.

By Rieva Lesonsky

From a user standpoint, Microsoft hasn’t made too many dramatic changes to Windows since it launched. For example, the Start button has been a part of the user interface since Windows 95. So, you might be surprised to learn that after nearly two decades Windows 8 has eliminated the Start button.

This is your first indication that the new OS is worth a second look, especially if you don’t want your business to get left behind struggling with outdated technology. Should you upgrade to Windows 8? Well, that depends on the type of entrepreneur you are, and what you primarily use your computer for. Let’s look at a few examples.

Are you a Multi-tasker? Then you’ll really appreciate the new Start screen, which enables you to create a customized page where you can glance at live tiles representing everything from your social networks to your calendar schedule, and more. You can change the size of the tiles, allowing you to see the most important items first. Are you the type who, while working on a spreadsheet, still feels the need to update your Twitter feed and check in on Facebook? Then try a desktop like Dell’s OptiPlex 9010 All-in-One Touch which provides a large 23-inch screen offering plenty of workspace, and takes advantage of Windows 8’s full-screen applications which snap into place—a much easier way to multi-task compared to clicking between floating windows.

Do you spend much of your day Browsing the Web? If so, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to Windows 8, which comes pre-installed with Internet Explorer 10. Using Windows 8 with Dell’s XPS 12 Convertible Touch Ultrabook, for example, gives you a truly full-screen browsing experience where the navigation options only appear when you need them.

Internet Explorer 10 is also built for touch, letting you flip back and forth through websites with the flick of a finger. If you have several favorite sites you visit throughout your workday, pin them to your Start screen where they are easy to access and provide live notifications. Perhaps the most important issue for small businesses is security. Internet Explorer 10 now offers “Do Not Track” functionality that prohibits websites you visit from collecting your data. And the SmartScreen Filter is back, which alerts you when you visit suspicious websites that have been reported as phishing and malware sites.

Are you a Mobile Power User, constantly on the go, yet needing to stay informed and in touch? After upgrading it won’t take you long to notice Windows 8 was developed with you in mind. It’s not just the touch interface that road warriors will appreciate, but the reduced power consumption in Windows 8 that allows a device like Dell’s XPS 10 tablet to run longer before needing a charge.

Without getting too technical, one of the biggest power management innovations within Windows 8 is the way the applications themselves are built, running only when needed. This is critical since most newer apps are connected to the Internet, constantly refreshing with the latest live data in the background. However, don’t think this means Windows 8 is a stripped down, weaker version of a desktop operating system because it is the desktop OS and the mobile OS. So whether you’re on the road or in the office everything is compatible, all your apps are available and you never have to compromise.

This is a paid post in conjunction with IDG and Dell.