If you’re going to switch, you’ll need to go to 8.1 as it is the version that Microsoft is going to keep supporting. It is actually 8.1.1, or as Microsoft calls it, 8.1 Update 1.
And you should be aware that a new version, 8.1.2 will be coming out in August. This will probably be the last update to Windows 8 except for minor bug fixes and security updates.
The update in August is said to be a minor one.
There are some advantages to Windows 8, but the user interface is drastically different, as I’m sure you are aware by now. Windows 7 is still an excellent operating system, and unless you have some sort of student discount on Windows 8, I don’t see the point of spending money for this change.
I got Windows 8 when it was first released, and got it cheap. But I’ve had to modify it with Startisback, to work in it comfortably. It has proved to be fast and stable for me, but I refuse to work in the Modern/Metro side of the operating system.