Questions

Should I jump from XP to Windows 8?

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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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databaseben
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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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khiatt
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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
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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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Bruce Epper
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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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zander.opperman
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+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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golddust
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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
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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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Bruce Epper
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"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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DataPoint1976
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@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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Deadly Ernest
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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.