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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    Deadly Ernest

    I've had to help several people with their Win 7 system and have found the Win 7 Enterprise version as the easiest to use and the most useful with regards to capabilities.

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    fluxtatic

    (and why am I getting a 404 trying to reply to Deadly Ernest?)

    Win 7 has Home Basic, Professional, and Ultimate. The major (maybe only) difference between Pro and Ultimate is BitLocker encryption baked in. Of course, that may matter. Then again, I got Ultimate, and have never used BitLocker (my laziness overpowers my paranoia.)

    I've got Pro at work, and it's fine. Home Basic is a little too stripped-down for me. On that note, though, you'll likely need a PC from a business line to get Pro or Ultimate. Not a bad idea anyway, if you're going with one of the major OEMs - their home machines are crap, quite frankly.

    Another option is to order the machine without Windows - whether it be FreeDOS (as Dell does now), Linux (not likely), or nothing. Then buy a retail (or cheaper system builder/OEM) license. Major bonus there is, no wasting an hour uninstalling all the crapware the machine will be loaded down with if you get Windows pre-installed. A clean install of Win7 on fresh hardware is a beautiful thing.

    As to the upgrade - tread lightly. I took 8 for a test drive (granted, it was the Developers' Preview) and hated it. I like my task bar, I like my start button, I don't mind chrome on my browser, and I don't need the Ribbon on Explorer. However, it has been announced that there will apparently only be two versions of Win8 - Home and Pro. The upgrade from 8 Home to 8 Pro (needed if you want Media Center) will be $15 - a damn sight better than they've handled upgrades in the past, imo.

    But, I highly recommend getting a Win7 machine - I resisted for over a year, as I'd spent a lot of time tweaking XP to be just the way I liked it. A year later, I hate working on XP machines. 7 is, to me, by far the best OS MS has ever released. They seem to alternate by version - 98 good, ME terrible, XP good, Vista terrible, 7 best ever...see where this is going?

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    Deadly Ernest

    According to the wiki article there is next to no difference between Win 7 Enterprise and Win 7 Ultimate except Win 7 Enterprise is not supposed to be available as a retail option , yet my son downloads it from the Microsoft web site and it's on the new systems my church just sent us for the Family History Centre.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_Enterprise

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    shaunad

    The Enterprise version is distributed by Microsoft to those businesses that have purchases Software Assurance for volume licensing. A church may have such licensing, but I don't see an individual purchasing a volume licensing plan. The son who downloads it from the Microsoft web site might have access from his workplace and by downloading and installing it on personal home PCs is probably violating his company's licensing agreement.

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    khiatt

    You neglected to mention Home Premium. Home Basic or Starter is primarily used on Netbooks. Home Premium is what you will usually find on laptop and desktops geared toward home users. Win 7 Professional is the minimum version required if your in a network with a Domain Controller. Home versions will not join a domain, so will not work with Active Directory, Group Policy, etc. so should not be used for anyhing more then a personal or home office setting. The Pro version also has access to the Security properties of all the various parts of the system without having to restart in Safe Mode, making it easier to troubleshoot and fix.
    Personally I run Win7 Home Premium x64 on my personal laptop and I am very pleased with it. I still run XP Pro on my personal desktop.

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    Deadly Ernest

    Shaunad,

    My son downloads Win 7 Enterprise off the MS site here at home and runs it on his PC. He doesn't work at all as he has a mental disability that affects his ability to interact with people he doesn't know so he has poor interpersonal skills and that means no one wants to employ him.

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    jjtoday

    DeadlyErnest,

    Perhaps you son and my son can have a play date.

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    miketarlton

    One point missed in the prior comments is that Windows 8 offers a unified OS. You will be able to use it on your desktop, laptop, netbook, and even tablet. The Windows 8 Metro interface is patterned after the Windows Phone 7 OS. If you use multiple platforms, it's very helpful, and reduces the learning curve, if they all have the same look and feel. Win8 does NOT have to be used with a touch screen. The Metro interface is optimized for that, but you also have the classic desktop that works just fine with a keyboard and mouse.

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    Deadly Ernest

    That's all great if you have even half of them and want them all the same, especially if you have touch screens for them all, but what about the people who just want a desktop computer that's easy to use - Win 8 fails badly at that point.

    As to the Classic desktop, according to what the Microsoft website was saying last week Win 8 does not have the classic interface but have set up Metro to respond to a mouse click, even if it's a bit slower than the older interfaces.

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    miketarlton

    I was speaking from my personal experience with the Win8 consumer preview and release preview. Obviously, other users' mileage may vary, and usability is a somewhat subjective thing. I think the biggest challenge for non-tech-savvy users will be the absence of the Start button from the classic desktop, but once people learn how to find the search function, they will overcome that.

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    Gemmz

    Mike - is it not a case that you can search simply by typing on the metro interface? You can do that with Server 2012 which also has a metro interface. It isn't that well known yet, but is a neat touch.

    Add to the fact that the metro interface is very easy to configure. You can add or delete apps that you want (or don't). Getting to the ones you don't use very often is still only a click or two away. You can even add a desktop on-off button with a few side-ways movements that should be well within the scope of a web designer like Reesa.

    It is new, and many don't like it. I think when they realize how easy it is to use and adapt, they will soften quickly.

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    zazimi

    Windows 8 has it's benefits, but it is aimed mostly towards the consumer industry, especially touch screen PCs. It has its advantages for a business though, such as cross platform standardization. Windows 8 RT tablets, Windows 8 laptops/desktops, and eventually Windows Phone 8. All able to run many of the same applications, minus desktop applications, in which case a few tablets will be capapble of running. Look at whether you'd be interested in going with a Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 tablet. If not, then for a business, I'd generally suggest going with WIndows 7. Now to address x86(32bit) or x64(64bit) since it seems to be a popular subject. In choosing 64bit Windows, the 64bit refers to the operations of the OS ONLY. As everyone is always quick to claim, this version will allow for a nearly infinite amount of RAM, but many often forget WHY. Twice the bit-bandwidth per clock cycle of the processor, which not only allows for more RAM, but ALSO speeds up the operation of actual Windows, the OS, and is suposed to increase stability (more often than not, isn't the case). How this, in reality, affects your other applications is this. You must make sure your applications are *compatible with Windows 7 64-bit* not whether the application itself is developed in 64-bit. Two different things. Also, if you are using a Domain setup (unlikely, but possible) make sure to get Ultimate. As for Win 7 vs Win XP, for us hardware fanatics, it's an *absolute no brainer.* Windows xp is over a decade old, and it shows. XP is designed to operate, at best, with a single-core processor w/ hyperthreading, heck, it didn't even originally allow for hard drives over 137GB. Don't get me wrong, until recently, XP was the wisest option for a business user, but too many people brag on XP without knowing it's competitors... which is just pure ignorance at it's best. A LOT has happened in the last 11 years, including multicore hyper threaded processors, going from 100+ nanometer(nm) processors to 22nm, hard drives breaching 3TB, complete redesigns of Intel motherboards, hexachannel RAM at frequencies TEN times that of when XP debuted. If you are planning on buying a machine with any hardware developed in the past 5 years, I'd suggest WIndows 7. Desktops and laptops these days are coming with dual/quad/hexa cores... XP will utilize 1 core, 1 hyperthreaded core, Windows 7, all the above. Plus, the design looks less like a thorn in your eye :) I'm going to be honest up front, I don't have as much knowledge with Win8. With my current job, I don't have as much time to research and beta test, but this all is my opinion.

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    zazimi

    ah, forgot to mention Octa-cores... in the serverside of things, the number of cores is maddening... 11yrs ago, not possible Don't get me wrong, XP had updates, but some things you can't change in a patch :)

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    v8Cowboy

    I have an Asus Aspire 5750G 64bit Laptop,8 gis of Ram, with nVidea Geforce GT520M and I have Windows 7 Home Premium...and I'm happy as Larry! Since I'm an IT Pro,I have yet to see a system as solid or as sound as this one (7).I have absolutely no reservations with reccommending either Windows 7 Home Premium or a 64bit machine but make sure you have at least 4megs of Ram,preferably 8 on a 64bit machine!

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    zazimi

    Just for Clarification, that would be an Acer Aspire :) But yeah, if the hardware is new, I'd suggest Win7, if it's touchscreen, eh, why not at least try Win8 with the free upgrade if you can revert (which is likely). It's oftentimes not good for a business to adopt an operating system so soon, but if it's just one person, the costs aren't multiplied out like an enterprise.

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    capeterson67

    I don't disagree that XP is long in the tooth. No question that is true. For most consumers, Win7 is likely the way to go. In the commercial real however, XP will continue to have a strong following for some time to come. I have a customer who purchased a $150,000 Accounting/ERP package in 2003-ish that will not run on Windows 7 without a full version upgrade which will in itself cost an additional $35,000. Why on earth would they go to Win7 until they absolutely have no choice?

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    benitohenri

    I think you should make the switch because windows 8 is the newest operating system, which entails that it is faster more efficient, your current problems would not be the same.

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    jdyl

    By that logic, Vista should have been faster and more efficient than the last. At Vista's launch, and for about a good year or two, that was definitely NOT the case. I would suggest caution with Windows 8. You might start by downloading and installing the consumer preview, which is free and is a good way to get acquainted with the new OS. But like others have noted here, if you have an older machine, then neither Win 7 nor Win 8 are likely to run very well, if much at all, on your hardware. That said, Win 7 is a solid platform for both productivity and play. With Win 8, it's definitely a wait and see as to whether or not it will be MS's next OS flop/debacle (a la ME, Vista). Supposedly Win 8 will ship before the year's end, so we won't have long to wait before finding out.

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    zazimi

    agreed with jd, just definately keep in mind that Win8 Preview is just that, a Preview, and not the completed copy, as jd mentions. So there may be some abnormalities or incompatibility that may not be an issue with the retail release. just food for thought.

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    dandaman2234

    Windows 7 has now been available to the public since 2009, service pack 1 was released a while back and numerous other updates have also been made available. Its safe to say the OS is fairly rock solid (although not as solid as XP).

    I wouldn't go straight to Windows 8 as your bound to come into some problems as its fairly fresh on the market - go with Windows 7 Pro 64 bit Edition - Adobe CS will be compatible and stable whether you have the 32 or 64 bit version - Windows 7 is the safer bet.

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    Deadly Ernest

    I've had to help several people with their Win 7 system and have found the Win 7 Enterprise version as the easiest to use and the most useful with regards to capabilities.

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    fluxtatic

    (and why am I getting a 404 trying to reply to Deadly Ernest?)

    Win 7 has Home Basic, Professional, and Ultimate. The major (maybe only) difference between Pro and Ultimate is BitLocker encryption baked in. Of course, that may matter. Then again, I got Ultimate, and have never used BitLocker (my laziness overpowers my paranoia.)

    I've got Pro at work, and it's fine. Home Basic is a little too stripped-down for me. On that note, though, you'll likely need a PC from a business line to get Pro or Ultimate. Not a bad idea anyway, if you're going with one of the major OEMs - their home machines are crap, quite frankly.

    Another option is to order the machine without Windows - whether it be FreeDOS (as Dell does now), Linux (not likely), or nothing. Then buy a retail (or cheaper system builder/OEM) license. Major bonus there is, no wasting an hour uninstalling all the crapware the machine will be loaded down with if you get Windows pre-installed. A clean install of Win7 on fresh hardware is a beautiful thing.

    As to the upgrade - tread lightly. I took 8 for a test drive (granted, it was the Developers' Preview) and hated it. I like my task bar, I like my start button, I don't mind chrome on my browser, and I don't need the Ribbon on Explorer. However, it has been announced that there will apparently only be two versions of Win8 - Home and Pro. The upgrade from 8 Home to 8 Pro (needed if you want Media Center) will be $15 - a damn sight better than they've handled upgrades in the past, imo.

    But, I highly recommend getting a Win7 machine - I resisted for over a year, as I'd spent a lot of time tweaking XP to be just the way I liked it. A year later, I hate working on XP machines. 7 is, to me, by far the best OS MS has ever released. They seem to alternate by version - 98 good, ME terrible, XP good, Vista terrible, 7 best ever...see where this is going?

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    Deadly Ernest

    According to the wiki article there is next to no difference between Win 7 Enterprise and Win 7 Ultimate except Win 7 Enterprise is not supposed to be available as a retail option , yet my son downloads it from the Microsoft web site and it's on the new systems my church just sent us for the Family History Centre.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_Enterprise

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    shaunad

    The Enterprise version is distributed by Microsoft to those businesses that have purchases Software Assurance for volume licensing. A church may have such licensing, but I don't see an individual purchasing a volume licensing plan. The son who downloads it from the Microsoft web site might have access from his workplace and by downloading and installing it on personal home PCs is probably violating his company's licensing agreement.

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    khiatt

    You neglected to mention Home Premium. Home Basic or Starter is primarily used on Netbooks. Home Premium is what you will usually find on laptop and desktops geared toward home users. Win 7 Professional is the minimum version required if your in a network with a Domain Controller. Home versions will not join a domain, so will not work with Active Directory, Group Policy, etc. so should not be used for anyhing more then a personal or home office setting. The Pro version also has access to the Security properties of all the various parts of the system without having to restart in Safe Mode, making it easier to troubleshoot and fix.
    Personally I run Win7 Home Premium x64 on my personal laptop and I am very pleased with it. I still run XP Pro on my personal desktop.

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    Deadly Ernest

    Shaunad,

    My son downloads Win 7 Enterprise off the MS site here at home and runs it on his PC. He doesn't work at all as he has a mental disability that affects his ability to interact with people he doesn't know so he has poor interpersonal skills and that means no one wants to employ him.

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    jjtoday

    DeadlyErnest,

    Perhaps you son and my son can have a play date.

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    1 Votes
    miketarlton

    One point missed in the prior comments is that Windows 8 offers a unified OS. You will be able to use it on your desktop, laptop, netbook, and even tablet. The Windows 8 Metro interface is patterned after the Windows Phone 7 OS. If you use multiple platforms, it's very helpful, and reduces the learning curve, if they all have the same look and feel. Win8 does NOT have to be used with a touch screen. The Metro interface is optimized for that, but you also have the classic desktop that works just fine with a keyboard and mouse.

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    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    That's all great if you have even half of them and want them all the same, especially if you have touch screens for them all, but what about the people who just want a desktop computer that's easy to use - Win 8 fails badly at that point.

    As to the Classic desktop, according to what the Microsoft website was saying last week Win 8 does not have the classic interface but have set up Metro to respond to a mouse click, even if it's a bit slower than the older interfaces.

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    0 Votes
    miketarlton

    I was speaking from my personal experience with the Win8 consumer preview and release preview. Obviously, other users' mileage may vary, and usability is a somewhat subjective thing. I think the biggest challenge for non-tech-savvy users will be the absence of the Start button from the classic desktop, but once people learn how to find the search function, they will overcome that.

    +
    0 Votes
    Gemmz

    Mike - is it not a case that you can search simply by typing on the metro interface? You can do that with Server 2012 which also has a metro interface. It isn't that well known yet, but is a neat touch.

    Add to the fact that the metro interface is very easy to configure. You can add or delete apps that you want (or don't). Getting to the ones you don't use very often is still only a click or two away. You can even add a desktop on-off button with a few side-ways movements that should be well within the scope of a web designer like Reesa.

    It is new, and many don't like it. I think when they realize how easy it is to use and adapt, they will soften quickly.

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    0 Votes
    zazimi

    Windows 8 has it's benefits, but it is aimed mostly towards the consumer industry, especially touch screen PCs. It has its advantages for a business though, such as cross platform standardization. Windows 8 RT tablets, Windows 8 laptops/desktops, and eventually Windows Phone 8. All able to run many of the same applications, minus desktop applications, in which case a few tablets will be capapble of running. Look at whether you'd be interested in going with a Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 tablet. If not, then for a business, I'd generally suggest going with WIndows 7. Now to address x86(32bit) or x64(64bit) since it seems to be a popular subject. In choosing 64bit Windows, the 64bit refers to the operations of the OS ONLY. As everyone is always quick to claim, this version will allow for a nearly infinite amount of RAM, but many often forget WHY. Twice the bit-bandwidth per clock cycle of the processor, which not only allows for more RAM, but ALSO speeds up the operation of actual Windows, the OS, and is suposed to increase stability (more often than not, isn't the case). How this, in reality, affects your other applications is this. You must make sure your applications are *compatible with Windows 7 64-bit* not whether the application itself is developed in 64-bit. Two different things. Also, if you are using a Domain setup (unlikely, but possible) make sure to get Ultimate. As for Win 7 vs Win XP, for us hardware fanatics, it's an *absolute no brainer.* Windows xp is over a decade old, and it shows. XP is designed to operate, at best, with a single-core processor w/ hyperthreading, heck, it didn't even originally allow for hard drives over 137GB. Don't get me wrong, until recently, XP was the wisest option for a business user, but too many people brag on XP without knowing it's competitors... which is just pure ignorance at it's best. A LOT has happened in the last 11 years, including multicore hyper threaded processors, going from 100+ nanometer(nm) processors to 22nm, hard drives breaching 3TB, complete redesigns of Intel motherboards, hexachannel RAM at frequencies TEN times that of when XP debuted. If you are planning on buying a machine with any hardware developed in the past 5 years, I'd suggest WIndows 7. Desktops and laptops these days are coming with dual/quad/hexa cores... XP will utilize 1 core, 1 hyperthreaded core, Windows 7, all the above. Plus, the design looks less like a thorn in your eye :) I'm going to be honest up front, I don't have as much knowledge with Win8. With my current job, I don't have as much time to research and beta test, but this all is my opinion.

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    zazimi

    ah, forgot to mention Octa-cores... in the serverside of things, the number of cores is maddening... 11yrs ago, not possible Don't get me wrong, XP had updates, but some things you can't change in a patch :)

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    v8Cowboy

    I have an Asus Aspire 5750G 64bit Laptop,8 gis of Ram, with nVidea Geforce GT520M and I have Windows 7 Home Premium...and I'm happy as Larry! Since I'm an IT Pro,I have yet to see a system as solid or as sound as this one (7).I have absolutely no reservations with reccommending either Windows 7 Home Premium or a 64bit machine but make sure you have at least 4megs of Ram,preferably 8 on a 64bit machine!

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    zazimi

    Just for Clarification, that would be an Acer Aspire :) But yeah, if the hardware is new, I'd suggest Win7, if it's touchscreen, eh, why not at least try Win8 with the free upgrade if you can revert (which is likely). It's oftentimes not good for a business to adopt an operating system so soon, but if it's just one person, the costs aren't multiplied out like an enterprise.

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    0 Votes
    capeterson67

    I don't disagree that XP is long in the tooth. No question that is true. For most consumers, Win7 is likely the way to go. In the commercial real however, XP will continue to have a strong following for some time to come. I have a customer who purchased a $150,000 Accounting/ERP package in 2003-ish that will not run on Windows 7 without a full version upgrade which will in itself cost an additional $35,000. Why on earth would they go to Win7 until they absolutely have no choice?

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    1 Votes
    benitohenri

    I think you should make the switch because windows 8 is the newest operating system, which entails that it is faster more efficient, your current problems would not be the same.

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    0 Votes
    jdyl

    By that logic, Vista should have been faster and more efficient than the last. At Vista's launch, and for about a good year or two, that was definitely NOT the case. I would suggest caution with Windows 8. You might start by downloading and installing the consumer preview, which is free and is a good way to get acquainted with the new OS. But like others have noted here, if you have an older machine, then neither Win 7 nor Win 8 are likely to run very well, if much at all, on your hardware. That said, Win 7 is a solid platform for both productivity and play. With Win 8, it's definitely a wait and see as to whether or not it will be MS's next OS flop/debacle (a la ME, Vista). Supposedly Win 8 will ship before the year's end, so we won't have long to wait before finding out.

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    0 Votes
    zazimi

    agreed with jd, just definately keep in mind that Win8 Preview is just that, a Preview, and not the completed copy, as jd mentions. So there may be some abnormalities or incompatibility that may not be an issue with the retail release. just food for thought.

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    0 Votes
    dandaman2234

    Windows 7 has now been available to the public since 2009, service pack 1 was released a while back and numerous other updates have also been made available. Its safe to say the OS is fairly rock solid (although not as solid as XP).

    I wouldn't go straight to Windows 8 as your bound to come into some problems as its fairly fresh on the market - go with Windows 7 Pro 64 bit Edition - Adobe CS will be compatible and stable whether you have the 32 or 64 bit version - Windows 7 is the safer bet.