With Windows XP coming to an end, you may be wondering operating system is best. Both Windows 7 and 8 will be supported by Microsoft until after 2020, but both operating systems’ user interfaces are different from each other and from Windows XP.
Windows 7: Having installed this operating system in a computer lab, I have found that it’s easier to administrate, as most of the functions are not hidden. The layout closely resembles that of Windows XP and it is best for network of computers like a computer lab.
Windows 8: This OS has a tile format like cell phones. This is helpful if you want to use a touch screen monitor. Using a touch screen monitor is best use if your plan us to have just a KIOSK type computer lab where users click on web pages or graphics and where there will be no true data entry such as typing.
I would recommend Windows 7 for your lab, even though it is the older of the two systems. Most users will be comfortable with the layout and it would be easier for you to manage, even if the user has used other products like Linux or MAC.
In either case, when you choose an operating system for your lab or network, you should choose the “professional” or better version of the operating system. The home version, which comes with most computers, have limited network networking functionality. If you plan to have a server in your network, then you must have the professional version.