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Windows 8 - is it any better than 7


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Old 22-01-2013, 21:24
pfgpowell
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I've just had an email from Windows warning me that the special price to upgrade to 8 for a penny short of 25 runs out on January 31. Looking through the ad, the advantages listed are:

1 Instant access to all your favorite information with the new Start screen and Live tiles.

2 Six free months of unlimited music with XBOX Music Pass**

3 New OS allows faster start-ups and longer battery life on your favorite devices.

Of these only the last is in anyway technical, and to be honest whether I boot up in 30 seconds, 52 seconds or one minute 13 seconds isn't that important to me.

Anyone care to tell me the real advantage of installing 8? I'm a lifelong Mac user but do have a Windows PC at home (for my son and for work), a Windows Lenovo netbook (because I'm self-indulgent) and a Windows laptop for my daughter, and until Windows 7 came along I've always thought Windows not just too much round the houses, but also pretty bloody ugly. 7 changed that and looks half-decent and 8 looks pretty enough, too. But is there a good practical reason to ditch 7 and go for 8?
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Old 22-01-2013, 21:33
mred2000
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Lifelong Mac user? Even I'll admit that up to OSX, Windows and Mac OS looked just as good/bad as each other.
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Old 22-01-2013, 21:41
noise747
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No practical reason at all to ditch 7 and go for 8.
8 boots up faster than 7 and seems to be a bit faster in use and no doubt it is more secure or was more secure when it first came out.

The thing with windows 8 is the new so called Modern UI, some people will disagree, but to me it adds nothing to windows 8, just feels like a bolt on. the good news is that there is plenty of software out there that can give windows 8 a nice windows 7 style start menu.

i got windows 8 because someone paid for it for me, otherwise i would still be windows 7.
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Old 22-01-2013, 21:42
pfgpowell
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Lifelong Mac user? Even I'll admit that up to OSX, Windows and Mac OS looked just as good/bad as each other.
Oh, I don't know. The OS before X wasn't as nice looking as X but damn sight nicer that anythng Microsoft could come up with (in my humble opinion, and at the end of the day these things are subjective anyway.)

But my question was more about the technical and practical advances of Windows 8. What are they, especially if you aren't using a touchscreen?
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Old 22-01-2013, 21:42
pfgpowell
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Double posting, don't know why.
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Old 22-01-2013, 22:00
IvanIV
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It's pro, so if you want to have all Windows features cheaply that would be the reason.
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Old 22-01-2013, 22:13
barky99
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windows8 better for tablets & touchscreen PC ... otherwise I see no benefits over 7
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Old 23-01-2013, 02:31
RichmondBlue
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windows8 better for tablets & touchscreen PC ... otherwise I see no benefits over 7
That's about it as far as I can tell. Certainly doesn't appeal to me, the interface makes your computer look like a Fisher-Price toy.
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Old 23-01-2013, 03:57
d'@ve
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I've just had an email from Windows warning me that the special price to upgrade to 8 for a penny short of 25 runs out on January 31. Looking through the ad, the advantages listed are:

1 Instant access to all your favorite information with the new Start screen and Live tiles.

2 Six free months of unlimited music with XBOX Music Pass**

3 New OS allows faster start-ups and longer battery life on your favorite devices.

is there a good practical reason to ditch 7 and go for 8?
1. 2. and 3. on a desktop are a waste of space as far as I'm concerned.

But there seem to be lots of little under-the-bonnet improvements and I like it. I installed Classic Shell mind you, to hide the silly tiles and pointless tablet-style Apps. At 25, I'd say it's worth the money but I wouldn't pay a penny more.
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Old 23-01-2013, 10:05
John259
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There's a chance Windows 8 might not run at all on an older computer. AFAIK the only way to check is to start the Windows 8 installation process but I think it doesn't request payment until after the check.

Some people report the Windows 8 installation process putting some of the operating system's files and folders on various hard discs including removable discs, with no method of controlling this behaviour and extreme difficulty in sorting out the resultant mess. This might perhaps be due to them missing a vital option setting during the installation process, I don't know.

There's a chance that Windows 8 might not be compatible with some of the devices in your computer, especially older devices. That includes external devices such as hard disks, CD/DVD drives and printers. New device drivers might fix such problems, but not always.

There's a chance that Windows 8 might not be compatible with some programs you use, especially older programs. I don't know if Windows 8 has compatibility mode options, I've never seen any mention of them in discussions.

The faster boot option is said to be buggy and unreliable by some people, who have had to disable it. It is also said to drain a laptop's battery at a fairly high rate because the computer isn't fully switched off.

Some people say programs will run faster in Windows 8, while other people say it makes no difference. It probably depends on the hardware and the type of programs being used.

Many people dislike the Metro interface (the large coloured squares and rectangles) and the other user interface changes such as booting in Metro mode, the removal of the Start button and its menu, and the introduction of the Charm icons which appear when the mouse is moved to top right or bottom right without a click being required. Most or all of these changes can be reverted by using one of the many utilities which are available such as Classic Shell (free) or Start8 (small payment required).

Many people find the Metro interface very difficult to learn and awkward to use. However, with the use of one of the utilities Metro can be largely or wholly ignored. And a few people say that after a period of experimentation and exploration they have got used to Metro.

IMHO - if what you've got works for you, there's no point in changing to Windows 8, with the cost, hassle and risks outweighing any possible advantages. Some other people have reached the opposite conclusion of course.
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Old 23-01-2013, 10:59
2000motels
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No is the answer, I ran it for months and the more I used it the more I hated it, I'd prefer Vista to it.
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Old 23-01-2013, 11:37
DotNetWill
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Yes - it's faster, better on batteries for laptops, is more secure and offers better integration with Windows Live Services.

Alot of the hate is for Metro who could with, to quote one of my favourite FMs of all time, reading Who Moved My Cheese
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Old 23-01-2013, 12:17
IvanIV
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Oh the drama, one could write a Windows 8 the Musical about it. Songlist:

0. Overture
1. I hope they won't move my cheese (soliloquy)
2. Dance of geeks
3. It looks like they may move my cheese after all (fugue)
4. No! They fvcking moved my cheese! (chorus with soli)
5. Waiting for the Windows 9 (choral)
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Old 23-01-2013, 12:52
finbaar
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I am going to intall 8 on the cheap used laptop I got for my son - it is currently running Vista. For 24.99 it is a bargain but I have no interest in putting it on my own 7 laptop that I got just before 8 came out.

However I can't see the point of the tile interface on a non touchscreen device so I am going to bypass it. I am looking at Start is Back - has anyone used this or one of the others like Classic Shell?
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Old 23-01-2013, 12:56
Smudged
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No drama for some of us. Installed it on my Dad's 5+ year old Thinkpad laptop. All drivers installed automatically and all apps working fine. On a SSD it flies and thanks to me he has never even seen the new UI . Don't know what all the fuss is about.
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Old 23-01-2013, 13:09
Giovan
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Anyone with an XP computer I would advise to get this before January the 31st. After that time it will rise to over 100 and any upgrade to windows 7 is going to cost around 70.

There is only a year of security patches left on xp and then MS will stop supporting it. I bought the windows8 upgrade for 24.99 on that basis.

Also note that it can be transferred to any other computer as it allows clean installs and it can be used to upgrade any computer that has any version of windows on. Obviously you cannot have it on 2 computers at the same time.
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Old 23-01-2013, 13:19
cnbcwatcher
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That's about it as far as I can tell. Certainly doesn't appeal to me, the interface makes your computer look like a Fisher-Price toy.
I personally prefer to call it Windows Duplo One of my friends just got a Windows 8 laptop (and Windows Phone) and I told him to go and install Classic Shell or something and get the Start menu back but he likes the Duplo tiles.

Oh the drama, one could write a Windows 8 the Musical about it. Songlist:

0. Overture
1. I hope they won't move my cheese (soliloquy)
2. Dance of geeks
3. It looks like they may move my cheese after all (fugue)
4. No! They fvcking moved my cheese! (chorus with soli)
5. Waiting for the Windows 9 (choral)
I would love to be in the cast of that! Are there any parts going?
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Old 23-01-2013, 15:45
IvanIV
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I would love to be in the cast of that! Are there any parts going?
You can have a solo in #4, 3rd Apple fan from the left: "My dad hated Vista, he'd hate this Duplo crap, too"
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Old 23-01-2013, 16:01
Staunchy
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I haven't used Win8, but as a Mac user can I also join any thread which I have no valuable contribution to make and post "Duplo" & "my dad hates Vista" in them despite the fact it got boring many months ago?
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Old 23-01-2013, 16:05
LostFool
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I've had a Windows 8 laptop for 2 weeks. Apart from some initial messing around with it, I haven't used the Modern UI ("The interface formerly known as Metro") at all. Go into Desktop mode, install a 3rd party start button and away you go. You never need see the tiles again.

Once you get beyond the new Start screen there are a few nice little new features and tweaks in Windows 8 but none of them are revolutionary. As long as you are happy with your Windows 7 system then I wouldn't be in any rush to get Windows 8. I won't be upgrading my desktop or old laptop.
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Old 23-01-2013, 16:16
IvanIV
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With older computers there can be hardware compatibility problems anyway, let it die and buy a new one (with W8). I would not have updated my W7 laptop either, but I needed to use WP8 SDK and it only works with W8. But I really don't mind the new UI.
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Old 23-01-2013, 16:23
d'@ve
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Anyone with an XP computer I would advise to get this before January the 31st. After that time it will rise to over 100 and any upgrade to windows 7 is going to cost around 70.

There is only a year of security patches left on xp and then MS will stop supporting it. I bought the windows8 upgrade for 24.99 on that basis.
That is a very good point, I agree. They will probably need to get Classic Shell or similar though, except for touch screen systems.

I haven't used the Modern UI ("The interface formerly known as Metro")
Think you'll find that it's way too late for that now, Metro it was and Metro it will stay, out there in the real World of users. Most users won't care about any trademark or copyright issues MS may or may not have, it's their problem created by their own incompetence! Add that to the interface itself and No wonder the former head of Windows development had to go...
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Old 23-01-2013, 16:45
darkknight77
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Anyone with an XP computer I would advise to get this before January the 31st. After that time it will rise to over 100 and any upgrade to windows 7 is going to cost around 70.
To be honest, I wouldn't advise upgrading any machine made for XP to Windows 8. It will be old now (XP stopped shipping in 2007) so likely an early Core2Duo at best, or more likely a Pentium 4. Wait til you get a new machine for 8.
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Old 23-01-2013, 16:50
Giovan
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To be honest, I wouldn't advise upgrading any machine made for XP to Windows 8. It will be old now (XP stopped shipping in 2007) so likely an early Core2Duo at best, or more likely a Pentium 4. Wait til you get a new machine for 8.
My PC is fine with windows 8. In fact 8 is faster than XP on it.

You obviously did not understand my post. The point was that if you have an xp machine then you can extend the MS supported life of it with a simple investment of 24.99. After January that will not be possible.

Then if you do get rid of your xp machine in a couple of years, you can use the upgrade on another PC.
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Old 23-01-2013, 16:52
darkknight77
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My PC is fine with windows 8. In fact 8 is faster than XP on it.

You obviously did not understand my post. The point was that if you have an xp machine then you can extend the MS supported life of it with a simple investment of 24.99. After January that will not be possible.

Then if you do get rid of your xp machine in a couple of years, you can use the upgrade on another PC.
I did understand your post, you advised users with old PCs to upgrade to 8. However, the newer OSes are a lot heavier on resources, many XP machines will be a lot slower as the requirements are a lot more than XP.
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