Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Leaving XP Pro for Windows 8

  1. #1

    Posts : 13
    Windows XP Pro

    Leaving XP Pro for Windows 8

    I've used XP Pro for years, to build many websites, maintain invoices, Excel documents, Notepad files and have a multitude of images divided across my hard drive on many named folders. On my last Norton360 virus scan, I believe about a million files were scanned and all looked good....just minor malware was quarantined etc. Initially after last April's notice of no more support for XP Pro, I was going to have a new computer customized for me, and my tech person said he could download all my files onto their on-site server and upload it all onto the new system. Great, no problem there. And I looked at the available operating system options and chose Windows 7 because 8 was all "dragging tabs" on screen (or so I thought).
    Last evening I stopped in a local Best Buy to inquire about any available email client programs that might work in conjunction with Windows 7. After some explaining the Windows 7 had no built-in email program such as XP Pro's Outlook Express (which I like for my dot come business emails), I discovered much to my surprise that Windows 8 has had enough people complain that they've improved the operating system vastly. Is this true? I ask, because I just joined this forum and wanted direct input from a "user-experience" perspective.
    Basically, I'd be looking at Windows 8 for:

    #1. A dependable email client built-in, similar to Outlook Express
    #2. Does it have similar programs like Microsoft Word + Notepad? And could existing files I've configured
    on this old OS that are saved in various folders on my hard drive be opened in new ones on Windows 8?
    #3. Can old programs like Photoshop6.0 be installed to use on Windows 8?

    I may pass up Windows 7 if I see that I can use 8 like XP Pro. I'm using Chrome on this XP Pro and all is good, although I get the occasional notice that Chrome's using alot of memory at times, but don't want to notice one day, that this system starts to fragment on me. I tread lightly and am doing this initial research in the hopes that coming here will enlighten me. Thanks in advance for any info you care to share.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 2,073
    Windows 8.0 x64

    I dabbled with chromium snapshots for a year or two. It used to have a big speed advantage over Firefox. But at some version along the way a single instance of Firefox.exe seemed to run about as fast as multiple instances of chrome.exe.

    So I went back to Firefox with all the AddOns. Another very fast alternative is Opera 12.x 64 bit version. It flies. But Firefox AddOns allow me to sidestep many problems. I only use Opera occasionally.

    I don't believe there is a direct upgrade path from XP to W7 or W8. The tutorials I've seen show upgrading to Vista first. As it stands now W8 has both a Desktop interface and start screen. If you have no use for touch screen it's a lot of unnecessary stuff on the machine. If Glass matters to you then W7 may be more esthetically pleasing. Even with 3rd party theme changer utilities Glass on W8 is pretty drab.

    If it turns out you have to buy a full version of Windows anyway a consideration may be adding W7 as multi-boot. With the change in W8 to GPT and UEFI multi-booting OS is not as simple as it once was.

    Like everything, it depends what matters most to your PC experience. You could always install W7 on a trial basis(evaluation) and wait to see what W9 will look like.

    Another consideration is that W7 may be more likely to run on your XP machine than W8. W7 ran fine on my dual core with only 2 GB ram.

    Edit: to other questions. Notepad is still there. So is WordPad. You can also get the free Atlantis rtf editor. Thunderbird is not built in but it is very much like Outlook Express. I can't testify as to file importability as I don't hae need of MS Office software.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 216
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Holywuh View Post

    #1. A dependable email client built-in, similar to Outlook Express
    #2. Does it have similar programs like Microsoft Word + Notepad? And could existing files I've configured
    on this old OS that are saved in various folders on my hard drive be opened in new ones on Windows 8?
    #3. Can old programs like Photoshop6.0 be installed to use on Windows 8?
    1. Windows 8 has Mail built in. However, it's mainly setup to use IMAP email accounts. If you want to get all your old email accounts, I would suggest downloading Microsoft Live Essentials which has a great email client, Microsoft Live Mail. That way, you should be able to bring over all your Express stuff. You can then learn the built-in Windows Mail at your leisure. You can import from Live Mail to Windows Mail later.
    2. Just about everything you are familiar with will run on Windows 8. Of course Office and all that runs. You would have to buy a current version. Office 2003 is at end-of-life, just like XP. Notepad is still there. So is WordPad.

      All the folders, files, etc. are stored exactly the same as before, the only difference is that you are probably on a FAT file structure and they will be stored in NTFS format instead. The format of each file will determine if you can still use it with a newer version of the same program. For example, if you have an old version of QuickBooks, the new version may not read the really old format directly. It may need an import utility from the software manufacturer.
    3. Most, if not all, of your old software can be installed. Windows will install them under the Program Files(x86) directory. That's because all of your older software is 32bit and not 64bit. Newer versions of the same program will install in the normal Program Files directory. Nothing to worry about here except for some specialized stuff like games that make special calls to the OS that aren't supported anymore. But the compatibility function in Windows 8 is very good and most older software can run fine.

    As far as your Chrome issue. Google has announced they are finally going to fix the timer problem in Chrome that is slowing down all the Windows systems that are using Chrome. Should help with your issue.

    I'm sure you will be spending a lot of time here on the forums. Skipping Windows 7 has put you at a disadvantage in that there are many new features and ways of doing things that were implemented in Windows 7 and haven't changed much in Windows 8. Then again, there are a lot of things that also improved between Window 7 and Windows 8. You'll have to learn those as well.

    As far as those who complained, there are millions of us out there that haven't. Windows 8 is a great, fast and reliable OS. It maintains compatibility with millions of software packages even back to XP. This is not to say you won't run into some problems, but what hey, it happens on each major OS release. I remember being extremely frustrated with Windows 3.0.

    Good luck, and don't forget there are tons of us out here ready to help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 13
    Windows XP Pro

    Thanks. I am not going to put any new Windows operating system on this computer per se (as I'll use it as a basic "storage" device).....I will be having a new machine customized and then a new OS installed from there. I don't want to install any other additional os simply because of the fact I feel it isn't necessary. From my own personal standpoint, I have only used a single OS for the last 10 years and more so am used to that user experience. So in retrospect, with Windows 7 in mind:

    #1. Does 7 have a built in email client such as Outlook Express?
    #2. Does 7 allow for installation of Photoshop 6.0?
    #3. Does 7 allow old files and folders that are uploaded onto a new hard drive, to open in that operating system

    You are correct, I am not looking for a touch screen experience but heard from a salesperson at Best Buy that version 8 has been improved to the point where it allows users to configure their system to work like XP pro (where you can designate desktop icons for easy file access?)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 13
    Windows XP Pro

    Much appreciated! No, I shouldn't have mentioned Chrome. That is just my access to the web etc. Don't be mislead. My main question is what would you suggest is the better option for replacing XP Pro? Windows 8 or Windows 7 based on the following:
    #1. Will either one accomodate a copy of Photoshop 6.0?
    #2. Can hundreds of existing invoice files created with MS Word be opened on 8 or 7?
    #3. Can other Microsoft products like Frontpage2002 be installed on 8 or 7?

    Erase any Internet Explorer or Chrome mentioned in previous comments....My XP Pro works OK for now,m but need to switch to a new one soon. Not installing on this specific PC but onto a new one I am customizing. Let me know your thoughts....and no, I don't care for a "touch screen" experience....only clicking desktop icons like I currently do in XP Pro. Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    With much personal experience, I offer you this:

    Don't touch your XP machine! Keep it clean, with Good AV and AS software, and kept it up to date at least weekly.
    And DO backup all your data to a good external device, Flash Drive or Hard Drive.

    Have a new PC built that will support 8.1 (MS's latest and greatest OS) and once the OS is installed, immediately install "The Classic Shell", that will let you run 8.1 just like you did XP. I do that all the time for my old XP customers who have bought a new 8.1 PC. When I get done setting up their new PC, they hardly even know they are running a PC with Windows 8.1 on it.

    Windows 8.1 has a remarkable backward compatibility, built in. Not so with earlier OS's.

    As for the email program to mimic Outlook Express 6, Look for "Windows Mail". It ran just fine in Vista, but was disabled in 7, 8 and 8.1.....but all is not lost. It can be RE-Activated and runs like, O.E.6 or Steroids.

    Then your old Address Book can be imported into it and VOILA, it's just like running O.E.6 on your old XP PC.
    I'm not guessing here....I've done it and I love it, and so do my customers, used to running O.E.6.

    Also, if you have an old 16bit (DOS) program that you want/need to run, Win-8.1 will do that for you, by turning ON 16 bit compatibility.
    Here's my 8.1 Desktop, with The Classic Shell running and a 24 year old, 16 bit, game, running as well.

    No sheep jokes Please!

    I've been playing this old game since 1990, when I bought it on a 3.5" floppy disk. I'm so happy that I can still play it, on Windows 8.1.

    I think that how to re-activate Windows Mail, is available on the WWW, but if not and you want it, PM me and I'll try to help you with that.

    Cheers Mates!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 2,073
    Windows 8.0 x64

    @TM perhaps you could clear up my confusion. I got the impression that it's possible to run 16 bit emulation on W8 x64. But a google search says it can only be enabled on 32 bit W8. Can you elaborate?

    Otherwise, excellent suggestions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center

    Go for 8.1 Pro update 1.
    On the computer of your choice.

    I use it.
    Works good for me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Posts : 2,073
    Windows 8.0 x64

    I would add that if you go from XP directly to W8 you may not miss Glass having never experienced it. But if bells, whistles and cool UI stuff appeals to you then take a look at some of the programs that use a lot of Glass and transparency. Nobody knows if W9 Glass will be better, worse, or non-existent. But one thing we do know and that is Glass on W8 sucks.

    If cool UI matters little or not at all to you then it's a nonissue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Might be of some use regarding Outlook Express to on win 8/8.1.
    Outlook Express - Windows Help

    Try the upgrade assistant to see if your current hardware/software will run under 8.1.

    I'm on an old legacy bios so I can run two drives - a HDD with XP and a Sata drive with 8.1 as a dual boot with no problems. I assume this is still possible with a new UEFI bios that will no doubt come with a new motherboard. With any luck you might be able to either use your old XP drive with your new system or make use of the old computer with a new HDD and run 8.1 from it.

    As regards to MS Excel & Word, your old version should work under 8.1. If not, download OpenOffice which is a very good piece of software.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Leaving XP Pro for Windows 8

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