Thanks. No, not in the desktop version of Windows 8. In Windows RT which is only available on tablet computers you won't be able to install 3rd party programs or use an alternative Internet browser. Windows Media Player is still present but the default Windows games are not installed on the desktop version of Windows 8. You will have to download them from the Windows Store if you want to play them. The Metro Start Screen has much more limited functionality compared to the classic Start Menu. The search mechanic in Windows 7 is better than in Windows 8 and you have access to the Shutdown/Restart commands in two clicks versus having to click Settings< Power and then Shutdown/Restart in Windows 8. Yes it will. As broni said, there are very minor differences in the kernel of Windows Vista/7/8. If your software worked on Windows 7 then it should work fine with Windows 8. You should seriously think about it if its worth it to upgrade or not. Windows 7 still has mainstream support until 2015 so there isn't any rush and if your current Windows 7 system is running fine then I don't think upgrading is necessary unless you want to experiment with the new OS. I think you should try using Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine (VM) first and see if you like it. Then you can take the plunge and upgrade to Windows 8 if you wish to do so.