I just updated my dad's 5-year-old Vista laptop to Windows 8 Pro ($40 digital upgrade) and it's working much better.
He had a Hard Drive issue I couldn't solve where it was very slow. It took 7 minutes and 40 seconds to do a REBOOT. Now it takes about 60 seconds.
If interested, here are some tips:
1) You MUST get the 32-bit version if you have 32-bit Vista or 64-bit version of W8 Pro upgrade if you have 64-bit Vista.
2) You will NOT keep any applications so you will need to reinstall them (and save all your data).
3) To install you do this:
- go online and follow the instructions to buy and download the IMAGE
- BURN the Windows 8 Pro upgrade image to a DVD
- Install W8 Pro
- get START8 to replace the Start Menu (Stardock for $5)
My dad's laptop is running much snappier. He was initially going to get an SSD to replace his HDD but it works so great now he's not bothering.
He, like myself, attempted to use the new Windows 8 Start Screen but we both gave up.
*EXPIRY for the special price upgrade to W8 Pro is January 31st 2013.