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Old 2012-07-09, 01:42 PM   #1
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Default Windows 8 General Discussion

Windows 8 has generated a lot of discussion - particularly regarding the Metro interface. Feel free to discuss anything related to Windows 8 - pros and cons. Comparison with Windows 7, Vista or XP are fair game. Which features do you love or hate? Will you upgrade right away or avoid Windows 8 as long as possible?
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Old 2012-07-09, 01:55 PM   #2
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I have always been a person to get the latest edition of Windows. I typically upgrade or even buy a new PC when a new OS hits.

Currently I have three pretty new desktops with Windows 7 (so I don't envision a new PC) and am wondering if there is any compelling reason to upgrade? FWIW, the Metro interface seems like it will be of little no value to me since I have traditional monitors and will still be using the traditional desktop.

I have read 30 best features of Windows 8 but nothing seems terribly valuable to me. Seems to be more for tablets and laptops.
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Old 2012-07-09, 02:00 PM   #3
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PC Mag has published an interesting benchmark comparing Windows 8 Release Preview with Windows 7.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406668,00.asp

Edit: This isn't a reply to Hugh - just coincidental timing.
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Old 2012-07-09, 02:08 PM   #4
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One of the main reasons is product support. MS was generous in supplying 5 years of mainstream support plus 5 years of extended support for Windows 7 Home Premium. (XP and Vista support were also extended.) For consumer products, the normal policy is to only provide 5 years of mainstream support with no extended support. That means no security updates after 5 years. It remains to be seen what MS will provide with Win8.
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Old 2012-07-09, 04:28 PM   #5
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Dave those test have just backed up what I've been expressing. My win 8 on the same computer works faster on all levels. I didn't think I would ever use IE again (sometimes you have too). IE 10 is just as fast as my Google browser. The metro does not bother me at all, I've got a touch screen all in one and a regular laptop and they both work well. The $ 40.00 upgrade is worth well in my opinion.
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Old 2012-07-09, 04:51 PM   #6
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Many people assume Operating System = User Interface. Granted, that's what you see, but there is much more to it than eye candy (or lipstick on the pig).

Pretty much with every new version of modern Windows OS Microsoft has improved what's under the hood. Windows 8 is no exception. If you can look past Metro UI I'd advise to upgrade. For improved performance and stability. It remains to be seen if it's going to be more resilient to virus/malware attacks, but if past is any indication, it's going to beat Windows 7 there too.
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Old 2012-07-09, 07:19 PM   #7
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You can choose Metro or a more conventional UI. Is that right?
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Old 2012-07-09, 07:24 PM   #8
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Well, you don't choose one or the other. They both come with Windows 8, and depending on the software you're running you'll see one UI or the other.
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Old 2012-07-09, 07:27 PM   #9
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Default Windows 8 Release to Manufacturing (RTM) first week of August

Windows 8 is on track to Release to Manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August. For enterprise customers with Software Assurance benefits, they will have full access to Windows 8 as early as August. RTM is when Microsoft will turn on the commerce platform so that developers can start charging for their apps. With the Windows 8 Release Preview, all apps are still free for people to try.

Windows 8 will reach general availability by the end of October. This means that new Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs will be available to buy and upgrades will be available starting in October.

Source: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b...rs-at-wpc.aspx
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Old 2012-07-10, 08:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
If you can look past Metro UI I'd advise to upgrade. For improved performance and stability.
The problem I have with that advice is that it ignores existing hardware and legacy software. I have a great Canon MultiFunction device that has no W7 drivers so I can now only use it as a photocopier. I have a Camcorder whose software isn't supported under W7.

In an environment where W8 is used with all brand new equipment and software, I would agree that running the latest OS is wise but nothing worse than upgrading and finding out your existing hardware or software doesn't work properly or is not supported under the new OS.

I'm willing to incur the pain to upgrade if I can point to some very substantive reasons on how it would improve my computing experience.
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Old 2012-07-10, 10:48 AM   #11
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BTW, Windows 8 and Windows 7 have identical device driver model. Devices that were supported under Windows 7 will work under Windows 8.

So, Hugh, what you were saying was valid when transition happened from XP to Vista (that's when device driver model changed). What's I'm saying is that IF you are running Windows 7, moving onto Windows 8 will not make things worse (UI aside).

Device drivers development is responsibility of each device manufacturer. And, yes, Canon was one of worst offenders when that transition happened. They have left many current devices in dust. I have great Canon scanner that never got WIA driver for Windows 7. Thank God for VueScan. I also have Canon camcorder that I never bothered to install provided software for. Luckily, 3rd party products for camcorders are miles ahead what comes in the box.
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Old 2012-07-10, 11:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh View Post
I have a great Canon MultiFunction device that has no W7 drivers so I can now only use it as a photocopier. I have a Camcorder whose software isn't supported under W7.
But if they have no W7 drivers then they also must have had no Vista drivers since the driver interfaces/APIs didn't change between Vista and 7. That says to me that those pieces of hardware are really old, and/or the companies that made the products don't ever update their drivers.

Do those devices have drivers for the current version of OS X or Linux?

That said, Windows 8 is pushing a new driver model to try and head-off this problem in the future. They are increasing the number of "class drivers" that they make. That is, they define a standardized hardware interface (think mouse, keyboard or USB flash drive) so that a standard driver can be used for everything. For instance, there will be a "printer class driver" that will allow a bunch of printers to plug-and-play. This was specifically developed for Windows RT (Windows on ARM), but I see no reason for them not to extend this tech to Windows 8 as well.

So, who knows. Even though your old Cannon device doesn't do much with Vista or 7, it may very well just "plug and play" with Windows RT or Windows 8. Or not. Who knows. At the very least Microsoft is making it so these companies don't necessarily need to write (or update) a driver, which is something they are apparently very uncomfortable doing. Well, except HP. I've used lots of old HP devices on newer versions of Windows. They've figured out how to update printer drivers better than their competition.

Quote:
Printer class driver. For Windows 8, we rearchitected the print infrastructure to add class driver support. The majority of printers selling today are supported using the class driver, which means you’ll be able to “plug and print” on WOA without additional drivers. While the new architecture was needed for many reasons, we had printing from WOA PCs in mind from the beginning.
Source
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Old 2012-07-10, 12:59 PM   #13
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I understand what you are saying. My hardware and software became obsolete when I upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 and theoretically that should not happen again if I go to Windows 8.

I say theoretically because I had hardware/ software that stopped working when I upgraded my Vista computer to W7. According to your logic should not have been problem.

While MS talks a good game, I'm skeptical. My guess is that come November and December there will be a lot of people flooding forums saying they have upgraded to W8 and now their <name of hardware or software> no longer works.

I hope I am wrong but the cynic in me says I will be right
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Old 2012-07-10, 02:00 PM   #14
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Default Compatibility Center for Windows 8

This may be a useful starting point:

Compatibility Center for Windows 8 Release Preview

Realistically, a lot of vendors consider their peripherals disposable, so once it's sold they don't care about updating the drivers for a new OS.

1. They prefer that you throw away the old stuff and buy their new stuff.
2. They want to focus on developing and marketing new products. Updating old equipment doesn't bring in any extra revenue.
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Old 2012-07-10, 02:13 PM   #15
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While that is true for many vendors, I'm surprised that printer companies don't update their drivers. That business model has them selling the printers for a loss but making massive profits on ink. Why not let the user continue with the existing printer on a new OS? That means the printer company doesn't need to risk the user going to the store and potentially buying a printer from a competing company and in the future buying expensive ink from the other guys.
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