Windows 7 marked a pretty massive change in the Microsoft world. With Windows 7 we basically were allowed to test drive the new OS at several crucial points to see what we thought. Not only did this provide positive PR for the Redmond company, it also gave them free bug testing.

As we used the pre-release versions, Windows gathered crucial information about bugs and crashing that were relayed back to Microsoft. This in turn allowed them to address problems much more quickly. This trend continued with Windows 8, starting with the Developer Preview and ending with the Release and Enterprise Previews.

Between all the Windows 8 free-trial love, how much actual public testing was performed? According to Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky, about 1,240,000,000 hours of total testing. This is actually pretty darn impressive.

Sinofsky also revealed on launch day there were already over 1,000 certified Windows 8 PCs. Not bad, not bad at all. Windows 8 represents a very real change from what we’ve seen in the past with Windows, but don’t let that fool you. Most of us who have truly JUMPED IN early to Windows 8 – setting our skepticism aside – have loved the ride.

Sure, the Start UI still isn’t necessarily a favorite for many techies, myself included, but the new OS is clearly a dramatic improvement from the already great Windows 7. Have you taken the plunge to Windows 8 yet? There is really no better time for those that already have XP, Vista or 7– after all, a downloadable upgrade to Windows 8 for just $39.99 is nothing short of a steal.

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