Windows

Windows 7 will not be the new XP because Windows 8 is not Vista

Deb Shinder doesn't see a good reason to hang on to Windows 7 for ten years, even (or maybe especially) if you're a power user.

Recently I was participating in a Facebook conversation about Microsoft Windows with a friend who's a fellow techie and developer (and also a fellow TechRepublic contributor) and who has been working with Windows 8. Our friendly argument was about whether tablets will eventually crowd the venerable desktop computer out of the business. He argued the affirmative, whereas I responded that you can take away my desktop when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. I want -- no, I need --my three widescreen monitors to get serious work done, and I don't see tablets powering that sort of array anytime soon.

He replied that I'm part of a "niche market" (which is probably true), and then he said something really interesting: That if I feel this way, then I'm likely to be using Windows 7 for my primary computing needs for a long time to come. His premise was that "Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy has made it clear that people like us are not a priority."

Is it true? Will Windows 8 destroy the desktop as we know it? Or will we be able to have our desktop cake and eat Metro, too? I think it's a compelling question, and there are many inquiring minds that want to know. If Windows 8 doesn't support power users' needs, Windows 7 could end up becoming another XP, with people still clinging to it for a decade or more. That probably wouldn't be good for security's sake, and it certainly wouldn't be good for Microsoft's bottom line.

Doing away with the desktop -- one OS at a time

At the same time that Microsoft is "replacing" the desktop on the Windows client with the simplified Metro interface, the company seems to be moving its server operating system in a different direction -- into the "dark place." It started with the Server Core installation option in Windows Server 2008, which does away with the graphical user interface altogether and takes us back to a DOS-like (or UNIX-like) command-line environment.

Now we learn that in Windows 8 Server (or Windows Server 2012, or whatever it ends up being called), all the server apps are supposed to be restructured so as to be able to run on a system without a GUI stack. This obviously doesn't mean the next version of Windows Server won't have the graphical option, but Microsoft has defined the GUI-less server environment as a "best practice" and has been pushing server administrators toward PowerShell for some time now.

So where does that leave those of us who, while we want to be able to use the new Metro apps, still want to do most of our work in the familiar and efficient desktop environment?

Windows 8 desktop mode

Users of the Windows 8 developer preview haven't been terribly impressed by its desktop mode. The Metro Start screen is the default interface, and the windows desktop acts like an app, in its own window. You can put a link to the desktop "app" on the Start screen, or you can switch to the desktop using the button in the "charms bar." Opening an application that requires the desktop will also open it up for you, but the Start button on that desktop will take you back to the Metro Start screen, not to the Start menu with which we're all so familiar.

I think it's important, though, to realize that the developer preview was built to be distributed to programmers so that they could start writing Metro apps. That means its focus is on Metro, and the desktop mode is not finished in that version. In fact, there are a lot of features missing in the developer preview. We desktop-lovers need to wait at least until the Windows 8 "consumer preview" is released in February to pass judgment. And given Microsoft's decision to call it that instead of a "beta," there has been speculation over just how feature-complete it will be.

There have been recent rumors going around that the desktop mode won't be available on ARM tablets, although this hasn't been confirmed officially and Microsoft did say previously that the tablets would support desktop mode and showed it running on ARM at the BUILD conference. Still, there have been credible reports that the company has decided to drop this support. I'm not sure this matters much. The tablet form factor isn't really suited to the use of the desktop anyway. What I'm concerned about is how the desktop runs on my Core i7 towers that are connected to four monitors.

A desktop that's alive and well and better than ever?

Personally, I'm cautiously optimistic. I think there's a good chance that Windows 8 will actually make the desktop experience better for serious power users. We already know that multiple monitor support is going to be improved, so that we can duplicate the taskbar on multiple screens or have different taskbars that show just the applications open on their respective screens (something that we fans of plenty of screen real estate have had to buy MultiMon or another third-party program to do up until now). Another nice touch is that you can put your Metro Start Screen on one monitor and put your desktop on another, giving you the best of both worlds.

With the ability to run my legacy applications on my "desktop" monitor(s) and Metro apps on another, dedicated monitor, I really don't see a good reason to hang on to Windows 7 for ten years, even (or maybe especially) if you're a power user.

Also read:

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

171 comments
USBPort1
USBPort1

Microsoft has proven that it will dictate to the user what they think the user needs and not what the user asks for. They will add more bells and shiny whistles than you can count and call it near perfect...until the first bugs, security breeches and subsequent hotfixes start coming out. Then it's on to Windows 9 and so forth and so on. Been there and done that since DOS 5 and Windows 3.0. Sure there is a need for tablets and tablet OSes for some workers, but try viewing a CAD drawing on an 8-inch tablet that's scaled to print on a wide format printer 3' W x 6' L - good luck with that! Think Microsoft cares? Heck no. They care that Apple is creative and they react to it - over and over and over again. Same old song-and-dance. And the consumer, whether business or home user, is stuck in the middle of a mindless war for more of the computer pie. That said, businesses that need desktops will work around the problem by whatever means is available aka Linux or in-house IT that can make Windows work the way they want need it to. And the poor consumers will babel and repeat what the media says about Windows 8 and how cool it looks. It won't do anything that's really cool, but it sure will look cool - in all it's monochromatic glory.

zjohn1989
zjohn1989

Being someone who has been with Microsoft for over 15 years, i find Windows 8 absolutely absurd. They completely destroyed the integrity of their operating system. I have tried the BETA and most of the time i found myself hanging, determining how to accomplish the simplest tasks is now a "where is Waldo" situation. Unless hardware technologies evolve the tablet fad will never stick. You have tablet devices exploding because of heat issues. As tablet hardware becomes better, even more issues will become public. Did i forget to mention the fragile factor will need to be reduced or eliminated for me to even consider putting down hundreds of dollars? Like someone else said, "If W8 is the answer, what was the question?" It seems to be a growing trend with product oriented organizations that they "fix something that isnt broken" essentially reducing requirements of understanding to participate in product utilization to the point where i can just roll my face across the keyboard. Do we really need "tiles" and the metro UI? No we don't, and i thought Microsoft learned from vista. Guess not. Make no mistake, i am a capitalist and MS is probably trying to appeal to a larger audience effectively increasing their profits, but you don't need to prostitute your product to cater to idiots.

Whing
Whing

I've just installed Windows 8 and my first impressions are very positive. I can see this being a massive hit on tablets and a real rival to the iPad. What about as a desktop OS? My first impression was "oh, no, this is terrible". However after 30 mins I'm starting to get into the mindset and find the right tools and shortcuts and I like it. I like the metro screen now I've found out how to shrink it and pan about just by moving the mouse. I can see me only going to the desktop rarely once I have it set up properly.

xiaokaige
xiaokaige

I like windows XP. windows7 ran slow.

mikeholli
mikeholli

Seeing a mistake here, Windows 8 is for the touch screen generation, it is NOT only for Windows phones or tablets. Every major player in manufacturing PCs are coming equipped with touch screen monitors, Dell, HP, Gateway, etc have their new models out with a upgrade cert for Windows 8 when released, and the monitors in those boxes are ALL touch screen.

uday.wali
uday.wali

Sure thing, For every single power user, who wishes to keep his/her desktop running, there will be possibly tens or even hundreds of tablet users, if not now, eventually. Given that, the best survival tactic MS has to adopt is to concentrate on the tablet, Metro or Suburban! In the mean while, other OSes like Ubuntu are fast catching up. They can also work consistently across several hardware options. Survival itself can become an issue...feeding on a herd of nerds or school of tablet fish.

mikeholli
mikeholli

Well everyone, With the Windows desktop as an application you can kiss the start button/flag goodbye! Now Microsoft is offering us "Hot Corners" you click on any of these hot corners, and it brings up the Charm menu. (Description of Hot Corners - either touch one of the four corners on your screen, or click your mouse on one of the four corners, and it brings up Window 8 Charm Menu). This will be present in Win 8 build 8220.

BiggestDawg
BiggestDawg

I am not so sure about W8 at this point. A. I think that given Microsoft's track record this one will be viewed as a flop before it gets out to the public. Lots of people, including us techs, are so used to the every other one deal 98 to ME to XP to Vista to W7 so that puts W8 right on track. B. I work in a business environment where such changes are very slow to be adopted. We have less than one percent of our systems running W7. The main reason is that we have a lot of equipment that is older generation and as a result requires the older OS to work. I have a system in four of my locations that can only be run with W95/98 and others that are NT4. It's not that we don't want to move on but when the system does what we need and the cost of replacement is not able to be justified, 60k - 80k per system, no one wants to make that change every couple years because Microsoft gets a bug to come up with something new. Add on top of that the fact that newer systems don't support legacy connections such as com ports and parallel. We have to buy used systems to replace worn out systems. Something like W8 is not going to be received by my company for a very long time because it has no place here. On the user aspect I provide home and small business support and getting folks comfortable with Vista and W7 takes a great deal of time now, good for me because I get paid, but many of these folks are not going to be running down to the store to get the latest because they don't fully understand what they have. This is got young and old alike. I am constantly amazed at how many of today's youth barley know how to use a computer and they are raised and schooled on them. I still support a lot of XP computers and likely will for many years to come. I also expect that W8 is going to be in the same vein as Me and Vista not necessarily because it's bad, I don't know yet, but because that's what everyone expects and it's going to be really hard to change people's perception about that.

britnat
britnat

Debra gets it right again. What fun times. Similar arguments are raging around the world. The anti desktop camp point back to the meteoric rise of the early PC, and the demise of the mainframe/dumb terminal. Except, they???re confusing devices here. The smartphone is still essentially a communication device that replaced the phone. The early PC was a computer that replaced a dumb terminal. (Which raises some interesting thoughts about the much touted move to the ???Cloud??? - another step back to the Dark Ages. But that???s another story.) Getting back to the original thought: the ???smartphone??? also offers videos and pics, music and whatever. And about 20,000 ???Apps??? that are mostly dumbfool toys. And this is a replacement for a PC? Get serious. The working world is manned by people doing accounting, programming, graphic design, CGI movies et al. Plus all the professionals (authors, managers, legal, medical etc) who use computers to get serious work done. And none of them show any inclination to confuse a phone with a computer. They all want top class input devices (sorry, a dinky little keyboard that requires a toothpick just won???t cut it) and as much visual output (read multiple LARGE monitors) as possible, plus connectivity to all those other tools of the trade ??? scanners, printers etc. Hell???s teeth. I have laptops ??? PLUS multiple desktop units. Why? Because the PCs have all the extra horsepower to get what I want done better and faster. If I use a PC in preference to a laptop, there is NO WAY I???m going to look at a tablet/smartphone as anything else than what it is ??? an overpriced toy. And giving me a ???better??? operating system isn???t going to change that basic fact. A last thought. My pals in the Linux fraternity see this as a huge Microsoft blunder ??? a de facto surrender of key territory (the business world, long dominated by the Windows / MS Office combo) for Linux to occupy.

Sagax-
Sagax-

I too have been around since Win3/DOS. And, yes, I paid for upgrade after upgrade. My household now contains two Win7 desktops, one Win7 laptop, one WinXP laptop and one Linux desktop. My favored/primary machine is the Linux Desktop with the comfy ergonomic keyboard and big screen monitor. Back in the day when I used two monitors, the Linux feature of multiple desktops worked for me. I could open any two of four desktops at one time (I suppose I could have used 3 or 4 monitors - if I had them). Linux Mint Debian (LXDE) now has a rolling upgrade. No more total OS update installs.

anodyne1
anodyne1

How much is Microsoft paying for this?

PasiPTL
PasiPTL

I have read fair amount now about good and the bad of Windows 8. For my personal experiences I'm all for Windows 8. I have had or used PC since -82 and about every OS since that time. I don't consider myself as power user because the limited scope of my use. For the sake of it I mention WordPerfect from the beginning and Symphony because there was no MS office at the time. I do say that web browsing isn't my main use. That said I now have two PC's and one laptop running on Windows 8DP, one laptop on Windows 7 and one PC on Windows XP because it is too old to run Windows 8 and Windows 8 takes less resources than Vista and Win7. My experiences are that with Windows 8 runs faster and better at this stage than earlier versions. The reason I didn't yet convert the one laptop is that there are some video driver issues with NVidea chip in that laptop. About the desktop use. Well maybe I'm using programs or using different way operating and that includes everyone in my family, because we haven't found any problems or handicaps using that mode. That includes running web, watching video, writing this plus number other applications open at the same time. That also work on my son's PC with single core Athlon 64 3700 with ATI HD2600 graphics card with 4Gb DDR ram 64 bit Windows 8 DP. He also plays latest version of World of Warcraft with it. Couldn't do it with XP 32bit professional installed everything else being the same on that PC. One note though, all my PC's are built by me. This just for those that are wondering how Window 8 might be performing. I gave info about my son's PC since I have much more powerful PC and thus maybe unfair reference.

haunja
haunja

People who consume media will probably be happy with just a tablet. But people who create media (webpages,video, graphic publication, applications,etc)who do real work and not just d!ck around, will feel contrained using a tablet as there main work machine. A mobile GUI is a restricted GUI. It's for working in a environment with small displays, low memory and cumbersome interface devices. I've got work to do and not enough time to do it. I don't need the handcuffs.

xaysana12345
xaysana12345

Window 7 is crapped. I would rather prefer windows XP coz it works great. Why would microsoft think twice before replaceing it by window 7? My feel is like windows vista which is crapped. Cheers,

eaglewolf
eaglewolf

"...Microsoft???s Windows 8 strategy has made it clear that people like us are not a priority." Unfortunately, for those of us who still consider our computers a tool and not a toy, Microsoft continues to try to force us into the background. For years now, they have worked themselves into a frenzy dumbing down computers for the mass-market user. That's their cash cow. What was the last o/s you got? Did you waste countless hours getting rid of all the bloatware and enabling functions that allowed you to efficiently do your work? Did you reject the 'don't worry, we'll take care of you' attitude and install *real* programs to perform needed functions? Have you always purchased the Ultimate/Enterprise version just to make sure you have everything you need .. at a murderous price? "...you can switch to the desktop using the button in the ???charms bar." What??? 'Charms???' Does this go along with the comment by a previous poster who noted, correctly, "...looks like it was designed for (or by) Kindergartners...." Yep. For Metro .. sorry, I stopped playing with blocks a long time ago. I don't want X-box and I certainly don't want Bing or any other of the 'social' crap Microsoft determines for me that I can't live without .. all in neat, but ugly, little rows on the screen. I don't want/need instantaneous notification that someone, somewhere, has taken a breath .. or something else .. and I just HAVE to know about it .. NOW! And I certainly don't want my desktop as an app. Will the laptop go away in favor of tablets? No. My work issues laptops so I can go anywhere in the world and have full functionality .. and security .. for my work. A tablet will never meet that criteria. Microsoft has lost focus .. completely. They have no direction, they're drastically behind the market, and what they're coming up with as solutions .. aren't.

peacock_eric
peacock_eric

windows 3.1 - meh..... not really relevant since it was just a gui that still ran on MS-DOS windows 95 - good (at the time, even though it did introduce us to the BSOD) windows 9x - bad (98 was ok, but still not as stable as 95, we won't discuss ME will we?) windows 2000/XP - good (come on, XP is basically upgraded 2k, same basic technologies) windows vista - bad (worst thing ever to come from microsoft) windows 7 - good (best thing ever to come from microsoft) windows 8 - follow the above pattern (based on that pattern, windows 9 should be good and windows 11 or 12 should be awesome. lol) Honestly, I think they are pushing W8 a little too fast. Look at XP - they spent around 5 years making it better and better, to the point that is is the most widely used OS in history. (will we ever see another OS with the success and longevity of XP?) They should have put that kind of focus on W7 and pushed W8 back a year or two. For crying out loud, the majority of end users and businesses are still squeamish about XP to 7 transition and now MS wants to dish out this completely unfamiliar UI. I downloaded the Win8 developer preview and ran it in a VM (getting that working was an adventure itself), and I did not like what I saw. The "Metro" UI is horrible. I can see how it would be good for a tablet, but on the desktop it sux. perhaps over-compensating for their current failure in the mobile market? But personal preference or not, for 17 years people have been accustomed to the Start menu... to do away with that is ludicrous. I do look forward to new technology support features in Windows 8, but if they won't let me have my traditional desktop interface (with traditional start menu) full time, I will skip it. Oh, and Windows Easy Transfer had BETTER be fully working for W8 whether a user is coming from XP, Vista or 7. However I'm reserving judgement until we get a more complete version of W8; I do understand what we've seen so far are just previews.

tripplec
tripplec

If you wanted to move up and clean install. Unless you have a Windows 7 OEM machine you might be lucky enough getting everything working as well with the packaged drivers. I tried Windows 7 on several XP system a few years old. They were abandoned from Win 7 support and drivers. Pavilion Notebooks and one private branded clone where a lot of time intensive searching for drivers and trying. But they never really perfomed that well especially since the generic video drivers were extremely poor. Finding other chipset drivers are difficult and in the end most XP systems have a less 1GB memory limit but max at 1GB with dead slow video. 2GB is really the minimum if you're expecting some level of response/performance and they're not built for Windows 7 or 8. Its a waste of money buying the upgrade just get a new machine with all the OS installed and working. I strongly suggest checking the OEM support site if they have the necessary drives for you card reader, video and other specifics to get it running properly before moving forward. Otherwise you'll be disappointed. Upgrading is pointless for most of us and new system is the best bet whenever that happens. The hundreds of dollars go towards a new system. I certainly would not upgrade an XP machine any further. Its a waste of time and money and nothing gained.

Charlie_pop
Charlie_pop

I am testing W 8 on a dedicated Dell Optiplex 360 and find that the desk top work just fine. When you install an app just pin it to the metro, move it around on the the screen to the desired location. I run most of the time on the desk top. I still prerfer XP!

Harry44Callahan
Harry44Callahan

What world would that be? Tablets are not and never where intended for most people's worlds. They where created to replace the hand held note pad that you can easily walk around with holding the device in one hand while writing or inputting data with the other; example of use would be taking inventory, or a Dr. and his note pad. I don't see how they replace or serve much of a purpose otherwise. They definitely don't fit my world where I like to actually input data at fast rates with 2 hands. Why would most people prefer to reach up to their main desktop screens to touch an icon (windows 8) when now they don't have to reach anywhere to find their keyboard or mouse to do the same? I think the real ???niche market??? is the pads and Windows 8. I need no part of it now or anytime in the near future that I see.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

First there was DOS. Then there was Windows running in DOS: Win 1, 2, and 3. Novell NetWare had a server that was command-line only, and end-user apps would not run on the console. Linux had command-line apps with cryptic two- or three-letter names. Then came hybrids like Win-95, 98, 98se et al. NT was off to the side, in its own little GUI world with its own API. Servers were brought to their knees on occasion when someone put an OpenGL screen saver on a 386 server. Maze was a killer. Then came XP and DOS was Dead. Command line was blase. Everything had to be GUI. Why have an old, ugly command line when you can have a new, flashy GUI Wizard. Now, the "revolutionary idea" for Win-8 server: Use a command line. GUI is an option that you'll be able to start when needed, but most of the time it will be a command-line server. "X" anyone? It's only been around for over 25 years...

RipVan
RipVan

The Microsoft release cycle has always been based on "revenue stream" and little else. I don't use it and won't participate.

cedric.tanga
cedric.tanga

Laptops will be the first to disappear. I would have thoough that the new WIN8 would be component/modulized to run on any of the consumer hardware be it phone, tablet, laptop, desktop. I guess that's a little forward thinking ..... even for Microsoft, .... it's all about the almighty $$$!

microface
microface

3 - 5 clicks to shut down. Constantly going back and forth from the Metro interface to the Explorer interface. The change from document centric thinking to App centric thinking. This OS in my opinion will never take off on the Desktop, unless they provide a way to get back to the Win 7 interface. Document Centric is the desktop way of thinking.

blueberry606
blueberry606

I think what you said is true. I personaly believe Windows 8 will also cater to the desktop crowd and the power user for now. But the fact that tablets are coming whether we want them or not, they are comming in a big way to the masses. The consumer will buy them if they can replace the notebook. Can life in the buisness world live without the keyboard, NOt YET. So tablets that dont have good keyboard support through bluetooth or docking station wont do it for now. Imagine a tablet with voice regognition? Me too. Its comming. Just imagine your bluetooth headset like a Cellphone headset, and the world of typing as we know it is gone. Work stations will not be the minority though in the buisness role. We still must enter all that data. I cant ever see data entry with speach, to slow. They will have their place and niche. Will they make wireless monitors with their own graphics cards onboard? Talk about multi monitors. That might be stretching it, for now.Theres no doubt about it, if they can make tablets powerfull enough, its going to happen. Will it take a few years? Yes, so we are still safe for the next 10 years. Will windows 8 just be a mainly mobile OS? No as usaul Microsoft puts to many apples into the cart at once. Instead of making a great notebeook/tablet OS with great touch screen interface and lite footprint, they will make it a one size fits everything with not enough of what we want for any one thing. I personaly like to have my running shoes and a great pair of dress shoes also.

pmmrozinsky
pmmrozinsky

With a high end tablet, with a WIFI broadband to an ISP with multiple Cloud resources including an operating system to handle it all, a 42 inch or larger high definition flat screen TV / Monitor, and you are set, leaning back on your reclining chair in that one place only! If however you need to be viewing the operations of a DCS system on the factory floor you are out of luck because that small group of users has escaped Microsoft???s main concern be it the gaming and the internet shopping world. You do not need a powerful spreadsheet for your banking and money market functions as the Smartphone apps accessing those services on the Cloud are doing that for you. Then comes the hackers that gleaned your bank online ID and password while you were checking your checking account for a purchase you made with your debit card at the mall last night and emptied your 401K account. Do not forget the Stuxnet data mining worm that was introduced into the Siemens DCS system in the Russian built nuclear power plant in Iran. I will keep my notebooks and tower that I can disconnect from the Internet when I want to do something some constructive engineering with Mathcad and AutoCAD.

moabrunner
moabrunner

Why does Microsoft insist on changing everything every few years. What I see happening being in the IT world is people start going more towards linux, since the desktop is changing once again and they have to learn a new one anyways they might as well change to something more reliable. I can even see people switching to MACS. Linux can already run circles around any Windows server out there with less hardware, and is already a command line interface so I see new Linux GUI's being more user friendly than Windows GUI's in the future. Just my 2 cents.

8string
8string

W7 64 bit is the most stable OS I've used from MSFT in a long time. No need to move to 8, especially since the GUI will change so much. I'll likely load it on something, but to be clear, I use apps and not the OS for my daily work. I too use multi monitors etc. and need a desktop, and no, power office users are not *a niche*. They are a backbone of corporate work, i.e. in the financial industry, the video/film production industry, etc. Both those industries are huge global markets with tens of millions of users. I will have to wait for support from the various third party companies that I rely on to get my job done. And as far as my daily job goes, I need to keep my hands on mouse and keyboard a lot, so, while I have a touchscreen phone and tablet, I don't see myself moving to a touchscreen desktop anytime soon. Later? Maybe. To be clear, I have used the Apple touchpad but as good as it is, it doesn't replace an accurate mouse. And as to command line OS work, MSFT has done that because they continually got hammered by server admins who claim that *NIX is the only way to go in the DC because it is command line. MSFT gave up trying to convince them otherwise. I think that given the cloud that's a reasonable approach.

pjboyles
pjboyles

All of the effort of moving to Windows 7 better be preserved. Businesses are currently going through a very expensive process to move to Windows 7. Asking business to spend even more to implement application support for Windows 8 will have them skip it altogether. Also many businesses are just moving from IE6 to IE8. Don't look for them to go to IE9 much less IE10 anytiome soon. So those browsers should seemlessly work on sites designed for IE8. Of course someone could attempt to force upgrading and then can you say something really stable like BSD might become the choice of OS for businesses?

garyrice
garyrice

I retired after 42 yrs of working on the main frame that was supposed to be dead 20 years ago. I now trade for a side line and I NEED multiple monitors. There is now way I would try to day trade on a tablet or any hand held device. I could swing trade with out the PC since I did before they made trading apps for the PC. I run still run XP and since I am 71 now, I may not have to worry about change. :-)

SpatsTriptiphan
SpatsTriptiphan

They predicted 40 years ago that businesses would not be using paper, file folders and file cabinets by the turn of the century. The business use of the desktop and paper in will go away around the same time.

Paul R.A.
Paul R.A.

unless the beta is light years different than the dev preview (with patch) then to me WIN 8 is another Vista. Sure I do not expect 7 to last as long as XP but Win 8 is not the answer

rgeiken
rgeiken

I used Vista for almost 3 years, and consider it superior to XP which I also used for a lot of years. I now have W7 on every computer I own, and most of the time that is a great system the occasional BSOD overlooked. I will certainly consider updating to W8 if it seems to offer significant improvements from W7. Since W8 is still in Preview edition, I have not had a chance to get acquainted with it. It is probably still a year or more away from release. Most of the time, the upgrade from on MS O/S to another is in the $100 range. For me at least, this is not significant. Especially if they offer a 3 computer update in that price range. W8 is the O/S that will allow Windows vendors to compete with the i pad, so a lot of what is in there will be slanted toward that.

dukethepcdr
dukethepcdr

I think that most individuals (not talking about companies with dozens of computers in a network here) will stick with their current OS as long as they have the computer it is running on. People have had, or have at least heard of, enough 'upgrade' nightmares in the past to be leery of trying to upgrade their systems. I've noticed that people who have begun their computing careers on OS's older than Windows 7 tend to hang on to that OS as long as they can because it is familiar to them and they don't want to have to 'reinvent the wheel' and learn a new OS just to get work (or play) done. It seems like ever since ME (Millenium) came out, the OS's have been coming out more and more often. The 'improvements' in each successive OS are often too subtle for the non-techie person to even notice too. I'd say as long as a new OS keeps costing what seems to most individuals as an arm and a leg, they will also be resistant to change for economic reasons. If their current OS is getting the job done for them and is still relatively stable, why should they fork out another $200 or so to get a new one? Especially if it won't be fully compatible with their computer as is? Then they are talking about a major upgrade in hardware that will cost even more. This business of replacing desktops with tablets is stupid. Tablets are neither desktops nor are they laptops. They are a toy, really. An oversized ipod touch that is neither easily portable nor ergonomic on a desktop. They are practically sealed shut. Even if you can get one apart without breaking anything, everything is so tiny and enmeshed together, it's nearly impossible to work on. You can't clean the inside of them without what amounts to delicate 'open heart surgery' that might ruin the thing, so you can't keep them from filling full of dust (the ruination of computers everywhere if they aren't kept clean). You can't upgrade them by replacing video cards or adding more RAM. If they quit working, all you can do is ship them back and hope they can be taken almost completely apart and fixed by the manufacturer or another specialized repair place. They don't have a lid like a laptop, so you need a special carrying case to put them in so the screen doesn't get scratched up. You can't put the screen at an angle without buying or improvising some kind of stand for the thing. so ceiling lights glare on it. They have no keyboard, so you have to use touch screens which are no where near as accurate or easy to use as the commercials want us to believe, especially if your fingers are the least bit sweaty or dirty. Practically have to be wearing rubber gloves to get any kind of accuracy out of those screens without having to wipe them off all the time. I've used them and I keep hitting the wring thing on the screen because you can't feel anything: it's all slick 'glass'. I've used the tablets belonging to clients and friends but will never own one. I hate the things!

kctobyjoe
kctobyjoe

I am HAPPY there is a way to 'make 8 look like 7' I am NOT a BELIEVER in ANY WAY of tablets; they are for the b**bs out there like (are) 'smart phones' (for the hopeless) people who DEPEND on a machine because they are either TOO LAZY or TOO STUPID. AS an IT 'Specialist' (retired) I am convinced 90%+ should NEVER own a smart phone; tablet OR PC with ANY OS! Kept me employed for years but GEEZ!!!

tripplec
tripplec

I typically regress to the old even control panel in Win7. Its easier to find what you want IMO and I've working in IT since the DOS days. With each interface change in an OS or as in Office you need to relearn it all again. Where to go to do this and how to do some thing because Microsoft in there wisdom changed the process or with the area how you implement something. Even though you know what needs to be done. A conciderable amount of time is wasted by IT people figuring it out and moving back and forth between OS's requires a mind switch. LOL I still don't know how to do everything in Office 2007 that I did in 2003 and With Win7 is/was much the same doing a lot of XP stuff is a lot different. I am not talking purely about an interface but withing the OS where most people go and make changed to configure various networks and/or sharing dual boot drives, UAC and permission between OS all drive me crazy. No worries I am still with it. I am in the market for a new notebook w/dedicated graphics, USB3.0 & eSATA with 1600x900 Res and its not so easy to find and I'll likely wait for Win 8 to come out for it. I've been force to pay after the fact as in Vista even though pulled, I still have to fork out for it as for my XP boxes. Something wrong there Vista owner should have got a big brake on the upgrade. I give it a go and with server systems my main system is never the new OS. I ramp up my comfort level before moving over to it. But as mention the legacy interface should be there for those who want it and many Enterprise environments would purely because their users will be lost and train them how to access everything again is big $$$ and many will complain profusely. I know have done support in a large bank.

jfuller05
jfuller05

I've been testing the Window 8 developer preview. There is a tile for the traditional desktop. So, the user will still be able to have a desktop environment. The metro interface is your start menu. So far, that's the only major noticeable difference in my experience.

mike
mike

I've put the Developer preview on a tablet and it has been used extensivley by the whole family using mouse and keyboard and also touch screen exclusively. It runs my W7 apps well, it runs my multimedia well and it hasn't done anything wrong yet apart from the incompletly tested metro apps. Once I got used to the interface and switching it I had no problems. By the way I'm also a pensioner

ITGrouch
ITGrouch

My biggest concern is that with Windows 8, Microsoft will be pushing a desktop with way too much eye candy. When I use a computer, I want to get the job done without a bunch of eye candy getting in the way with that. Windows 7 is stable and if there is no real compelling reason for the corporate world to switch to Windows 8, I see them hanging on to Windows 7 for quite a while, however, not nearly as long as they held onto Xp.

SmartyParts
SmartyParts

USB Grpahics cards can get you the extra monitors you seek on your tablet. We have used them with success on our Windows7 laptops to add 3-4 monitors.

julieboston
julieboston

meant to add more. Liked this article

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Uday.Wali, I certainly respect your right to your opinion as we all have that. However, I hope that you are wrong. As for me, I'll get rid of my desktop when they pry it out of my cold dead hands. In my wildest dreams I do not see a tablet as I view them as a toy for children. As for Windows 8, I believe that it will go the way of Windows ME and Windows Vista. Corporate America drives technology sales and due to hardware costs, migration issues, and training expense which will be enormous they simply aren't going to buy into it. If they don't see a way for it to make them money then it won't fly and all Windows 8 will do for them is cost them dearly.

blarman
blarman

"That also work on my son's PC with single core Athlon 64 3700 with ATI HD2600 graphics card with 4Gb DDR ram 64 bit Windows 8 DP. He also plays latest version of World of Warcraft with it. Couldn't do it with XP 32bit professional installed everything else being the same on that PC." You had XP on it and couldn't play World of Warcraft on it? I find that really hard to believe unless something on the computer is way messed up. Did you ever try a fresh install of XP? Did you have the appropriate drivers for the video card?

blarman
blarman

I also wish that the release schedule on new operating systems would be lengthened to at least 5 years. I think the timing would have been fine if Windows 8 was strictly for mobile devices, but to replace 7 so soon when most people (more than 95% of my company) still runs XP? Microsoft is pushing too much too fast. They are just driving people away.

bobc4012
bobc4012

By the time they get it out there, I suspect the I-Pad will be another generation ahead (or some new advance will be out - unless Jobs was the only one with any foresight). Microsoft is in catch-up mode with tablets - not only I-Pads, but the improvements that will come with the Android system. B&N already has an improved version of the Nook for $249. I'm sure Amazon is working on improvements to the Kindle Fire. Unless they can find some manufacturer to sell a Microsoft "loaded" (or bloated?) tablet at a price around $100 (or $200), it may be their only choice is the desktop and the die-hards who want their tablet to function like their desktop.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I can see it being well suited for a tablet. The question is, has MS sacrificed desktop / laptop operations in pursuit of that tablet compatibility?

haunja
haunja

And their performance SUX!! Course, it's better than nothing. Better to have a peg-leg than to be crippled. Maybe thunderbolt will be adapted for tablets.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

That there is an Edit Tab there which allows you to edit or add to an existing post don't you? After all this is TR not Tweeber for Twits. ;) Col

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Blarman, I agree with you completely. However, its all money driven or maybe I should say a case of massive corporate greed on the part of Microsoft. The only flaw in their thinking is that people are not going to flock to the stores to buy Windows 8 in the same manner that occurred when Windows 95 was released. I seriously doubt that we'll ever see that again. Will I install and familiarize myself with Windows 8? Of course. As a technician I have no choice. However, I will continue to recommend Windows 7 for some time to come and also use Windows 7 on my own personal units as well with Linux running under Virtual Box. Windows 7 is good till 2020 and maybe beyond and that is plenty of time for corporate America to form their opinion and spend or not spend their money. In large measure they work on the principle that if it isn't broke it doesn't need to be fixed. Microsoft would do well to pay attention to that. But since when have they paid attention to much of anything.

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Bobc4012, I fully agree with your comments in reference to the lack of understanding by Microsoft between the needs of the corporate and retail (home user, enthusiast) communities. To date, they have never truly listened to each community and reacted appropriately. As for my endorsement of Windows 7, well, I understand your viewpoint completely. Yes, it is more bloated code, takes more space and resources, and all the usual things that MS is so classically guilty of doing. However, whether we like it or not Windows XP is going away in April, 2014, and will no longer have any support from MS whatsoever. That is a cold hard fact. Windows 7 will be with us till approximately 2020, based on the ten year rule of support that MS has stated. Although it is a matter of personal preference, as it is with all things, I would prefer Windows 7 as opposed to Windows 8 for a myriad of reasons. That is a topic for a whole new thread which is not needed here. So, the lesser of the two evils IMO is Windows 7 for most users. Yes, its a compromise but then aren't most things in life? (Grin) Hope that you have a good day!

bobc4012
bobc4012

My XP H/W crapped out a few months ago and it was cheaper to buy a new cheap one rather than replace 3 or 4 CBs (although I still may do it). It came with Win. 7 Premium. Personally, I am not impressed. Takes up more HD space than XP - hate to see how may Terabytes Win. 8 will require. Also has too many idiosyncrasies and compared to XP. Of course, the XP mode is not supported in Premium and below (Using VirtualBox for my Linux setup - had a Wubi install on XP - but haven't installed XP in VB yet). Many of the changes I have encountered in Win. 7 are nuisance type of changes - didn't have to be done. When one examines the modules in the Windows system directories, many are the same as used in XP - some probably modified slightly to accommodate new function. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't understand the business world. Look at its history. IBM (stupidly) gave it legs, but the MS mentality was still the "home hacker",.It also built the system on crap (GIGO) just to get the IBM contract back then. The business world is a different animal than the home user. I don't think MS realizes that yet. Once you change the underlying structure of the OS and the file system, you are forcing users to make changes that are "not productive" and costly (probably businesses had wished they went to OS/2 or stayed with it - IBM would, most likely, have "evolved" it). IBM learned that lesson years ago on the main frame. They still have the 3 OSs that they had in the 60s - they evolved them over time. Even Unix (early 70s) has evolved (and, of course, Linux - although the popular Ubuntu is rocking the boat with Unity - if I wanted an Apple, I would have bought one). BTW, Eric (Peacock), I was using WIn. 3.1 even after I had gone to Win. 95. On my old 486, I had Win. 3.1 with PC/DOS (not MS/DOS), Win. 95, OS/2 and Linux (Slackware) with "multi-booting" - all on a 1.2 GB HD and 512MB of RAM. I had "old H/W that ran great on 3.1, but not so good on Win. 95. I still ran DOS apps on XP. Now on Win. 7, I need to use DOSBox and fart around to get stuff set up to be usable - it is still quicker than finding some suitable replacement that runs under the latest version of Windows and then spending even more time learning all the idiosyncrasies. To quote an old co-worker, "if I end up having to spend all my time learning new stuff, I won't have time to do the job anymore" - back in the day when every new process or procedure to hit the computer world became "de rigueur". BTW, the BSOD has not left Win. 7 either. I encountered it the other day and spent the weekend restoring my system, trying to figure out what happened. No virus, no malware or any other spyware crapola (plus I don't go to sites that might cause problems - including Facebook and all that other "social networking" and the like . Went to boot up and the system crashed after the initial booting completed. So much for new and improved!

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