Questions

Should I jump from XP to Windows 8?

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0 Votes
Locked

Should I jump from XP to Windows 8?

reesa
I'm a web designer/creative/business user ready buy a new computer to replace my current XP PC. Since the Windows 8 release is approaching, I am thinking about jumping straight to 8. Most of the software I run (MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Quickbooks, etc.) is the latest version. So I would use my current software on the new computer. What problems could I run into if I skip Win 7 and go right to 8?
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    0 Votes
    databaseben

    if the computer has been running xp, then it may not be able to run win7 or win8. check with the computer's manufacturer to see if there are new drivers for your old machine that are compatible with the new o.s. - but it is highly doubtful that there will be any.

    if not, then your only option will be to buy / acquire a newer machine engineered for the newer o.s.'s.

    also, there is no upgrade scenario from xp. in other words, the new o.s.'s will have to be installed on a clean hard disk (per se). so to this end, i would not format your xp drive. instead install the new o.s. on a separate partition or secondary hard drive.

    lastly, your old printers, peripherals and old software may not run on the new o.s.'s as well, because most software and hardware manufacturer's have stopped providing free updated drivers and software updates for use on newer o.s.'s.

    for them, there is no money in providing free updates. instead, the revenue they generate comes from providing newer equipment and software that are compatible with the mainstream o.s.'s on the shelves.

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    0 Votes
    khiatt

    You make good points about upgrading from XP, but you missed her first sentence where she said she was ready to buy a new computer.

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    6 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Buy a 7 System and get a free upgrade to 8. As I'm not involved in this offer I have no idea what it actually covers so you could buy a 7 Ultimate and end up with a 8 Home Basic.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    It'll end up being the same (or equivalent) edition just like it was for Vista. For example, you could not upgrade a Vista Ultimate machine to anything but 7 Ultimate.

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    0 Votes
    zander.opperman

    +1
    Even if you don't like W8, you can always go back or downgrade to W7. Same as what they did with W7/Vista->XP

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    0 Votes
    golddust

    The upgrade to Windows 8 is not free this time around. They are going to charge an extra $15 for an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro which will make it possible for you to purchase the Windows Media pack - no Windows Media Player in Windows 8.

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    7 Votes
    DataPoint1976

    If it were me, I would buy a new system (desktop/laptop) with W7 OS installed. W7 is a very solid workhorse OS and will be supported for many years! You then have to decide if you want the 32 bit or 64 bit W7 OS. Of course if you want to take advantage of all the 64 bit OS goodness with more available memory etc. you will also have to upgrade your applications software to 64 bit versions to take full advantage or just go with the 32 bit W7 OS and keep your present app software. I tried the W8 Consumer Preview and did not like it for a non-touch based system. On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, Microsoft has a special deal going on where you can buy a W7 system now and later have the option to switch (notice I did not say upgrade) to W8 if you are so inclined. I think W8 is going to be very nice OS for new tablet hardware, but not on "my desktop" from my experience using W8 CP. Perhaps with a W9 release in a couple of years the intended convergence of the desktop/notebook/tablet/phone via the Metro UI will happen as it is even more refined and supported. I just don't see any need to displace W7 on a mouse driven desktop/laptop PC via W8. I think your productivity would suffer using W8's touch centric OS with mouse driven hdw and tiled metro interface. Not having a touch monitor seems to inhibit easy swipe scrolling via W8. I find it quicker to navigate via the W7 start menu Vs W8 tiles & search method. Plus, if you go multi-monitor W7 offers a much better experience using multiple windows with possibility for several open applications to view and work amongst. W8's multi-monitor support seemed almost non-existent, at least with W8 CP. These are just my opinions, YMMV.

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    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    "if you want to take advantage of all the 64 bit OS goodness with more available memory etc. you will also have to upgrade your applications software to 64 bit versions to take full advantage or just go with the 32 bit W7 OS and keep your present app software"

    You make it sound like the 64-bit OS cannot run her current 32-bit apps which is patently false. Consider that Office 2007 does not have a 64-bit version, yet I am running O2K7 on my 64-bit Win7 machine right now. The browser I am using at this very moment is the 32-bit version of IE (which comes with the OS). You need to be more careful with either your wording or your research.

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    0 Votes
    DataPoint1976

    @ultimatloozer - I certainly didn't mean to imply that you can only run 64 bits apps with 64 bit OS. That is why I phrased it as: "Of course if you want to take advantage of all the 64 bit OS goodness with more available memory etc. you will also have to upgrade your applications software to 64 bit versions to take full advantage". Key words being to "...take full advantage...". I guess I could have made it clearer by saying "...you should upgrade..."

    On the other hand, I don't know why anyone would suggest purchasing a 64 bit OS to run 32 bit apps. That's like buying an aircraft carrier and flying Piper Cubs off of it. Unless she plans to later update those applications to 64 bit or begin a forward migration to 64 bit apps suggesting a 64 bit OS would seem like overkill for her unless she needs the extra memory capacity.

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    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    If all your apps are 32 bit there can still be a great advantage in running a 64 OS if you're using 64 bit hardware as you then get the full advantage of the hardware as the OS will utilise the hardware for an improved performance of the 32 bit apps. It's been a few years since I've seen anyone sell 32 bit hardware as new, so why not run a 64 bit OS to best use the hardware!

    I don't know if you were around at the time, bit Windows 3 was designed for working on 16 bit hardware, but 32 bit hardware was soon fairly common. A special patch came out to convert your 16 bit Windows 3 to be a 32 bit Windows 3, even though the apps were still all 16 bit - what the conversion did was allow the OS to use the full 16 bit capability of the hardware and the apps all ran faster better, especially when you were running more than one app at the time.

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    0 Votes
    zazimi

    I stopped reading at "have to upgrade your applications software to 64 bit...
    Look further down on the thread and let me tell you why, for most people in your situation, it is entirely advantageous to upgrade to Windows 7 from an operating system that's been out over a decade, and I will give you cold hard facts, not vague and incorrect concepts.

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    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    Zazimi,

    It may or may not be advantageous to upgrade from an older Microsoft Windows version as there's a lot more to it than just how great the latest version is or supposed to be. The situation for a business is a lot different for an individual. I know people who refuse to dump their XP at this point in time because they can NOT afford to buy replacement peripherals they use a lot - printer, scanner, slide and film scanner and the like. This is because the gear works perfectly with XP but does NOT work with Win 7. One person can't switch as they use a special piece of hardware and software that works with their throat microphone to allow them to use their VOIP phone service - neither works with Win 7.

    The peripheral hardware compatibility issue and cost is often overlooked by people until AFTER they get the new fancy computer and they get upset when their existing gear doesn't work with the new one.

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    0 Votes
    DataPoint1976

    You do really have to consider your existing peripherals when deciding whether to go with a 32 bit or 64 bit OS and whether you might need to buy new periperals if there are not 64 bit drivers available. Printers/scanners are notoriously problematic.

    From Microsoft:
    If I'm running a 64-bit version of Windows, do I need 64-bit drivers for my devices?
    Yes. All hardware devices need 64-bit drivers to work on a 64-bit version of Windows. Drivers designed for 32-bit versions of Windows don't work on computers running 64-bit versions of Windows.

    In addition, you should read this post in the Windows 7 forum regarding 32 bit vs 64 bit W7 OS decision:

    http://www.w7forums.com/windows-7-64-bit-vs-32-bit-t484.html

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    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    Datapoint,

    The concerns re current drivers for hardware are real, but not that big an issue IF the hardware was originally designed to use the Industry Standard Command Set and not a specific Microsoft Windows Command Set. If built to use a Windows Command Set out of the box then it needs drivers for anything except that version of Windows, if built to the Industry Standard Commands then it needs drivers for use in any version of Windows.

    I have a colour laser printer that I bought in 1996 and was built to use the Industry Standard Command Set, it plugs in and works wonderfully with my current 64 bit Linux operating system - Zorin OS 5; 16 years old and still going strong. This just shows how important it is to check out on the out of the box compatibility of all your hardware

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    0 Votes
    zazimi

    One must consider the fact that the new pc may not have drivers for xp, for its internal components. It works both ways.

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    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    zazimi,
    That's the point hardware built to the Industry Standards doesn't care what OS is installed as long as the OS is designed to the Industry Standards as well. The pity is that Windows isn't designed to the Industry Standards and they get some of the hardware manufacturers to design to the CURRENT Windows standard; that's what causes most of the driver issues. That and the fact Windows does not load their hardware command drivers for anything but the last couple of levels in their Current version of Windows.

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    3 Votes
    reesa

    This is some great advice. Thanks. Just to clarify my original question, when I said I'm preparing to "upgrade my Win XP computer," I meant that I will be buying a new computer. I will look into this Win 7 offer from Microsoft. Sounds like that could be a great option for me.

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    0 Votes
    golddust

    "upgrade my Win XP computer," definitely means you are looking to upgrade THAT computer. Should have said move up to a Windows 7 (or computer.

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    2 Votes
    a.portman

    Buy a new computer wi7 and the free 8 upgrade. BEFORE shutting down your old computer, recover any product keys from your old software. Adobe has a tool that uninstall the license key so you can reuse it. Belarc Advisor http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html can tell you what you have loaded. Make sure you have an install path for loading you current programs onto your new computer. If you go 64 bit, you may want to go with the 64 bit of your applications to take better advantage of the chip. Belarc will also list out any free programs you have loaded. You will want them too. Make sure to back everything up to transfer to the new computer.

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    4 Votes
    sneymeyer

    Just my opinion but go with Win 7 and 64 bit if possible. I doubt you will be disappointed. Approach Win 8 with caution. I just see no reason to use it on a non-tablet device.

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    1 Votes
    retheesh.r18

    agreed with sneymeyer. better option is to go with Win 7 64 bit.
    system should have minimum 4 GB RAM

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    0 Votes
    Aleksiev.Boris

    I am ready for win 7 PC but prefer windows xp :)

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    0 Votes
    Aleksiev.Boris

    Speed, simplicity, an advantage of applications

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    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    Windows 8 is designed and optimised for use with a touch screen and is has huge difference in the way the Graphics User Interface looks, feels, and works you need to be aware of that. If what you're thinking of getting is a touch screen tablet or you use a touch screen tablet or smart phone a lot, then it won't be much of a change to go to Windows 8, if you don't use such a system a lot, get prepared for a case of culture shock.

    However, don't forget that there are other options to going for the latest Microsoft offering as well, one of them may be better suited for you, that will depend on what you see as your mission critical software. Also, not all software that runs on Win XP will run on Win 8 or even Win 7, you should check that out first as well.

  • +
    0 Votes
    databaseben

    if the computer has been running xp, then it may not be able to run win7 or win8. check with the computer's manufacturer to see if there are new drivers for your old machine that are compatible with the new o.s. - but it is highly doubtful that there will be any.

    if not, then your only option will be to buy / acquire a newer machine engineered for the newer o.s.'s.

    also, there is no upgrade scenario from xp. in other words, the new o.s.'s will have to be installed on a clean hard disk (per se). so to this end, i would not format your xp drive. instead install the new o.s. on a separate partition or secondary hard drive.

    lastly, your old printers, peripherals and old software may not run on the new o.s.'s as well, because most software and hardware manufacturer's have stopped providing free updated drivers and software updates for use on newer o.s.'s.

    for them, there is no money in providing free updates. instead, the revenue they generate comes from providing newer equipment and software that are compatible with the mainstream o.s.'s on the shelves.

    +
    0 Votes
    khiatt

    You make good points about upgrading from XP, but you missed her first sentence where she said she was ready to buy a new computer.

    +
    6 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Buy a 7 System and get a free upgrade to 8. As I'm not involved in this offer I have no idea what it actually covers so you could buy a 7 Ultimate and end up with a 8 Home Basic.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    It'll end up being the same (or equivalent) edition just like it was for Vista. For example, you could not upgrade a Vista Ultimate machine to anything but 7 Ultimate.

    +
    0 Votes
    zander.opperman

    +1
    Even if you don't like W8, you can always go back or downgrade to W7. Same as what they did with W7/Vista->XP

    +
    0 Votes
    golddust

    The upgrade to Windows 8 is not free this time around. They are going to charge an extra $15 for an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro which will make it possible for you to purchase the Windows Media pack - no Windows Media Player in Windows 8.

    +
    7 Votes
    DataPoint1976

    If it were me, I would buy a new system (desktop/laptop) with W7 OS installed. W7 is a very solid workhorse OS and will be supported for many years! You then have to decide if you want the 32 bit or 64 bit W7 OS. Of course if you want to take advantage of all the 64 bit OS goodness with more available memory etc. you will also have to upgrade your applications software to 64 bit versions to take full advantage or just go with the 32 bit W7 OS and keep your present app software. I tried the W8 Consumer Preview and did not like it for a non-touch based system. On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, Microsoft has a special deal going on where you can buy a W7 system now and later have the option to switch (notice I did not say upgrade) to W8 if you are so inclined. I think W8 is going to be very nice OS for new tablet hardware, but not on "my desktop" from my experience using W8 CP. Perhaps with a W9 release in a couple of years the intended convergence of the desktop/notebook/tablet/phone via the Metro UI will happen as it is even more refined and supported. I just don't see any need to displace W7 on a mouse driven desktop/laptop PC via W8. I think your productivity would suffer using W8's touch centric OS with mouse driven hdw and tiled metro interface. Not having a touch monitor seems to inhibit easy swipe scrolling via W8. I find it quicker to navigate via the W7 start menu Vs W8 tiles & search method. Plus, if you go multi-monitor W7 offers a much better experience using multiple windows with possibility for several open applications to view and work amongst. W8's multi-monitor support seemed almost non-existent, at least with W8 CP. These are just my opinions, YMMV.

    +
    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    "if you want to take advantage of all the 64 bit OS goodness with more available memory etc. you will also have to upgrade your applications software to 64 bit versions to take full advantage or just go with the 32 bit W7 OS and keep your present app software"

    You make it sound like the 64-bit OS cannot run her current 32-bit apps which is patently false. Consider that Office 2007 does not have a 64-bit version, yet I am running O2K7 on my 64-bit Win7 machine right now. The browser I am using at this very moment is the 32-bit version of IE (which comes with the OS). You need to be more careful with either your wording or your research.

    +
    0 Votes
    DataPoint1976

    @ultimatloozer - I certainly didn't mean to imply that you can only run 64 bits apps with 64 bit OS. That is why I phrased it as: "Of course if you want to take advantage of all the 64 bit OS goodness with more available memory etc. you will also have to upgrade your applications software to 64 bit versions to take full advantage". Key words being to "...take full advantage...". I guess I could have made it clearer by saying "...you should upgrade..."

    On the other hand, I don't know why anyone would suggest purchasing a 64 bit OS to run 32 bit apps. That's like buying an aircraft carrier and flying Piper Cubs off of it. Unless she plans to later update those applications to 64 bit or begin a forward migration to 64 bit apps suggesting a 64 bit OS would seem like overkill for her unless she needs the extra memory capacity.

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    If all your apps are 32 bit there can still be a great advantage in running a 64 OS if you're using 64 bit hardware as you then get the full advantage of the hardware as the OS will utilise the hardware for an improved performance of the 32 bit apps. It's been a few years since I've seen anyone sell 32 bit hardware as new, so why not run a 64 bit OS to best use the hardware!

    I don't know if you were around at the time, bit Windows 3 was designed for working on 16 bit hardware, but 32 bit hardware was soon fairly common. A special patch came out to convert your 16 bit Windows 3 to be a 32 bit Windows 3, even though the apps were still all 16 bit - what the conversion did was allow the OS to use the full 16 bit capability of the hardware and the apps all ran faster better, especially when you were running more than one app at the time.

    +
    0 Votes
    zazimi

    I stopped reading at "have to upgrade your applications software to 64 bit...
    Look further down on the thread and let me tell you why, for most people in your situation, it is entirely advantageous to upgrade to Windows 7 from an operating system that's been out over a decade, and I will give you cold hard facts, not vague and incorrect concepts.

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    Zazimi,

    It may or may not be advantageous to upgrade from an older Microsoft Windows version as there's a lot more to it than just how great the latest version is or supposed to be. The situation for a business is a lot different for an individual. I know people who refuse to dump their XP at this point in time because they can NOT afford to buy replacement peripherals they use a lot - printer, scanner, slide and film scanner and the like. This is because the gear works perfectly with XP but does NOT work with Win 7. One person can't switch as they use a special piece of hardware and software that works with their throat microphone to allow them to use their VOIP phone service - neither works with Win 7.

    The peripheral hardware compatibility issue and cost is often overlooked by people until AFTER they get the new fancy computer and they get upset when their existing gear doesn't work with the new one.

    +
    0 Votes
    DataPoint1976

    You do really have to consider your existing peripherals when deciding whether to go with a 32 bit or 64 bit OS and whether you might need to buy new periperals if there are not 64 bit drivers available. Printers/scanners are notoriously problematic.

    From Microsoft:
    If I'm running a 64-bit version of Windows, do I need 64-bit drivers for my devices?
    Yes. All hardware devices need 64-bit drivers to work on a 64-bit version of Windows. Drivers designed for 32-bit versions of Windows don't work on computers running 64-bit versions of Windows.

    In addition, you should read this post in the Windows 7 forum regarding 32 bit vs 64 bit W7 OS decision:

    http://www.w7forums.com/windows-7-64-bit-vs-32-bit-t484.html

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    Datapoint,

    The concerns re current drivers for hardware are real, but not that big an issue IF the hardware was originally designed to use the Industry Standard Command Set and not a specific Microsoft Windows Command Set. If built to use a Windows Command Set out of the box then it needs drivers for anything except that version of Windows, if built to the Industry Standard Commands then it needs drivers for use in any version of Windows.

    I have a colour laser printer that I bought in 1996 and was built to use the Industry Standard Command Set, it plugs in and works wonderfully with my current 64 bit Linux operating system - Zorin OS 5; 16 years old and still going strong. This just shows how important it is to check out on the out of the box compatibility of all your hardware

    +
    0 Votes
    zazimi

    One must consider the fact that the new pc may not have drivers for xp, for its internal components. It works both ways.

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    zazimi,
    That's the point hardware built to the Industry Standards doesn't care what OS is installed as long as the OS is designed to the Industry Standards as well. The pity is that Windows isn't designed to the Industry Standards and they get some of the hardware manufacturers to design to the CURRENT Windows standard; that's what causes most of the driver issues. That and the fact Windows does not load their hardware command drivers for anything but the last couple of levels in their Current version of Windows.

    +
    3 Votes
    reesa

    This is some great advice. Thanks. Just to clarify my original question, when I said I'm preparing to "upgrade my Win XP computer," I meant that I will be buying a new computer. I will look into this Win 7 offer from Microsoft. Sounds like that could be a great option for me.

    +
    0 Votes
    golddust

    "upgrade my Win XP computer," definitely means you are looking to upgrade THAT computer. Should have said move up to a Windows 7 (or computer.

    +
    2 Votes
    a.portman

    Buy a new computer wi7 and the free 8 upgrade. BEFORE shutting down your old computer, recover any product keys from your old software. Adobe has a tool that uninstall the license key so you can reuse it. Belarc Advisor http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html can tell you what you have loaded. Make sure you have an install path for loading you current programs onto your new computer. If you go 64 bit, you may want to go with the 64 bit of your applications to take better advantage of the chip. Belarc will also list out any free programs you have loaded. You will want them too. Make sure to back everything up to transfer to the new computer.

    +
    4 Votes
    sneymeyer

    Just my opinion but go with Win 7 and 64 bit if possible. I doubt you will be disappointed. Approach Win 8 with caution. I just see no reason to use it on a non-tablet device.

    +
    1 Votes
    retheesh.r18

    agreed with sneymeyer. better option is to go with Win 7 64 bit.
    system should have minimum 4 GB RAM

    +
    0 Votes
    Aleksiev.Boris

    I am ready for win 7 PC but prefer windows xp :)

    +
    0 Votes
    Aleksiev.Boris

    Speed, simplicity, an advantage of applications

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    Windows 8 is designed and optimised for use with a touch screen and is has huge difference in the way the Graphics User Interface looks, feels, and works you need to be aware of that. If what you're thinking of getting is a touch screen tablet or you use a touch screen tablet or smart phone a lot, then it won't be much of a change to go to Windows 8, if you don't use such a system a lot, get prepared for a case of culture shock.

    However, don't forget that there are other options to going for the latest Microsoft offering as well, one of them may be better suited for you, that will depend on what you see as your mission critical software. Also, not all software that runs on Win XP will run on Win 8 or even Win 7, you should check that out first as well.