What do I need to know?
Windows 8 may seem like a daunting new OS, but underneath it's still very similar to windows 7. If you can get past the new 'metro' interface designed for tablets and touchscreens it still works fairly well with a mouse to accomplish the same tasks.
Does is provide drastic improvements beyond what windows 7 can deliver?Probably not unless you're running a newer tablet or MS ARM device, tablet or touchscreen interface.
What's different about Windows 8?
The gaming performance suffers- according to recent test benchmarks compared to windows 7 with identical hardware. There's a newly improved interface designed towards touchscreens and tablets. They've also added some improvements that allow faster start-up and shutdown times. There's probably a whole lot more changes than I've mentioned, but those are the most important ones to mention.
Do I need to upgrade my computer to windows 8 right away to stay secure and stay up to date with technology?This tech doesn't recommend it. With a good anti-virus and keeping windows 7 updates, and your other softwares up to date [java, flash] you should stay plenty safe. In my opinion right now it's probably best to wait until service pack 1 is released and let MS work some of the bugs out of the newly released software. Let other customers be the product testers first and see what the public response is to the new windows 8 before purchasing it. This could be another 'Vista'
Thanks for reading.