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Thread: XP or Vista/Windows 7/8

  1. #1
    Seawitchartist's Avatar
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    Post XP or Vista/Windows 7/8

    What's the best... XP or Vista/Windows 7/8 ? I've still got my first computer, a trusty Dell of 2004 vintage, runs like a bird on XP...many say it's the best place to be....your thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Thinkin' out loud again Builder's Avatar
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    I'm probably gonna ruffle a few feathers, but I like Windows 8. It took a bit of getting used to, but now that I know how to get around I find it very nice. If you get it you absolutely must get a Start Menu emulator program. A number are out there, try a few and see what you like. There's other tweaks that you can do to make Win8 bend to your way of doing things.

    Most of the B&Ming about 8 is over the "Start Screen". Here's my take on it: Basically you're getting 2 operating systems in one. The new "Modern UI" is like a smartphone. It has tiles that open a program/app that does a specific job. Want the latest news? Click the News tile. Weather? Football scores? As they used to say, "there's an app for that". Lots of other apps are available in the Windows Store, although I must say I haven't gotten but a couple of them. All of your desktop programs will also get a tile but when you click on them they drop you into the old familiar desktop mode.

    And desktop mode is right there for you. It looks and behaves very similarly to XP with a few UI changes, most of which are improvements, a few not so much. You'll be right at home for the most part. Go ahead and double-click on "letter-to-mom.doc" and Word will bring it right up -- well, assuming you have Office .

    A lot of folk really liked Win7. I have no opinion as I never used it -- jumped from XP to 8. Yet others say that Vista was the worst OS Microsoft ever created. Again, never used it, no opinion.

    While I have waxed somewhat rhapsodic on Win8, XP was probably my favorite OS. One reason was that it was relatively easy to dig into the guts of the OS and get things done. Win8 not so much. I don't even know where the registry files are. Then again, in 8 months of using Win8 I've never had the need. Kind of shows how mature and stable it is. I've never had a BSOD, never had a "freeze", the only time it's been restarted is when it needs to install updates. BTW, those are all done in the background. A bit disconcerting at first but you get used to it. OTOH, the new Task Manager is absolutely fabulous. Ctl+Alt+Del brings it up and there's a host of new features in it that take over for a bunch of esoteric "Start>Run>[command]" junk in XP.

    If MS weren't going to cut off support for XP in April 2014 and if they hadn't cut off IE for XP at IE8, I'd say stick with it. But due to all that, if you are buying a new computer get Win8 (actually I think 8.1 is shipping with new computers now). It'll future-proof you for a few years. If you are just looking for a new OS, maybe look around for Win7 if your hardware can run it. Probably less of a learning curve there.

    Things to think about...

    Kevin
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  3. #3
    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    I would go with w8.1 - it has a start menu and quick swap methods, you just need a 12 yr old to find them!

    8.1 is a free upgrade from 8
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  4. #4
    Rick
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    I don't have any strong opinions about choosing Windows 8 over Windows 7, but you definitely want to move up from XP. Even if you feel comfortable with your security situation with XP as it stands, it limits you to Internet Explorer 8 so you can't use it to test your website(s) with the latest versions.

    But before you make any choice, you should run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to make sure your 10 year-old laptop can use it.
    Rick Trethewey

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    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    I would agree with rainbore, if you're not replacing the computer then it may not run anything newer than Vista.

    I've a laptop that 8.1 upgrade assistant says isn't fully compatible, it's only 3 yr old.
    It came with Vista and was upgraded to 7 which it runs perfectly well.
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  6. #6
    Rick
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    (Happy New Year, folks!)

    Hey Ian,

    I'm curious. Did the Upgrade Assistant specify why you couldn't run 8.1? I'm surprised that a computer that could run Win7 couldn't handle Win8 unless there's a graphics requirement or something.

    Cheers!
    Rick Trethewey

  7. #7
    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    It did say, I can't remember exactly. The laptop could run it, just didn't support all features.
    Can't remember which features. I'll investigate further when I get home (I'm away on vacation at present until middle of next week.)
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