Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


XP user..Windows 7 or 8?

  1. #1

    XP user..Windows 7 or 8?


    Hi,
    I'm new to this forum and also new to having to decide about operating systems. I am a microcontroller software developer likely to run some legacy software under a VM (I have a thread going on that forum). I use Windows Explorer to move my files around, Calculator, even the command prompt for some old DOS programs (QB45 Microsofts BASIC programming tool). I also use the Start Menu at times for access to My Computer and My Documents. If I move to Windows 8 will I lose all these facilities? I'm not into social media, don't have music or photo files to access so all this tile based stuff seems a bit irrelevant But I am attracted by the speed of W8. My other option is Windows 7 which is at least vaguely similar to XP but does not have such a good VM facility (so I believe).

    Any views would be appreciated.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Go with Windows 8. Add a Start Menu and you have the Windows 7 interface (mostly) with the stability and performance enhancements of Windows 8.

    I use Start8 from Stardock ($4.95) but I loaded Classic Shell on my daughter's new HP Laptop and she is happy with it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    I'd say start with Windows 7 - Just to get used to all of the things that are different from Windows XP, like the internal firewall. Then you can up to 8. If you like XP then you'll like 7 more, but 8 has some benefits, runs faster even on old machines.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Hi Steve,

    I've also come from XP to 8, although I don't use nearly such technical things as you do.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCh View Post
    Hi,
    I'm new to this forum and also new to having to decide about operating systems. I am a microcontroller software developer likely to run some legacy software under a VM (I have a thread going on that forum).
    Slightly off topic, as it's a hardware issue affecting both 7 and 8, and I don't know if this is relevant to the USB kit you use, but I have a USB music interface, and the one I have seems to have problems with certain Intel chipsets. This is a pain with a laptop where I can't upgrade the USB ports so easily. Music software folk get upset about timing problems and latency; might be an issue for you too with certain hardware.
    Connectivity of USB 1.1 devices on non-root hubs .: Focusrite Answerbase

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCh View Post
    I use Windows Explorer to move my files around
    The Windows 8 File Explorer is a step forward from the Windows 7 equivalent. Coming from XP it's not the same, but I do like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCh View Post
    even the command prompt for some old DOS programs (QB45 Microsofts BASIC programming tool)
    I don't know about QB45, however the old QBASIC that came with DOS does work for me, but I think it's only because I'm using Windows 8 in its 32-bit version. Don't think it would work in 64-bit.

    Another thing I found- if you use Windows XP's native Backup software, the backups it creates can't (unless they've fixed it since I last looked) be opened in Windows 8.

    Some versions of Windows 7 (Professional?? and Ultimate??) have a built-in, already licensed Windows XP Virtual Machine which may be useful to you if you need that compatibility. Windows 8 doesn't have this.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Remember that 64 bit Windows provides zero support for 16 bit applications. In that case a virtual machine would be the only option.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,127
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    get windows 8 for all the performance improvements and new utilities. you can always add windows 7-like functionality easily.

    windows xp to any windows thereafter is a big jump. the people that jumped from xp to vista had a jolt because of the changes to the UI. it was a breeze for the people that jumped from vista to 7 because 7 has pretty much the same UI as Vista but more reliable performance. and windows 8 has windows 7 functionality for the most part but added a new UI to go along with it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Windows 8.

    There are facilities there to access Computer and Documents and Calculator and command prompt.
    Click image for larger version
    Click image for larger version

    Hyper V personally hasn't been as solid as VMware Workstation though.

    The OVERWHELMINGLY not understood thing about Windows 8 is that it offers a "flexible" UI. If you use a touchscreen, there are things there to be configured for touch. If you don't, you it's just as easy to configure it for nontouch use. If you're a Desktop user, bloody simple to configure that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCh View Post
    Hi,
    I'm new to this forum and also new to having to decide about operating systems. I am a microcontroller software developer likely to run some legacy software under a VM (I have a thread going on that forum). I use Windows Explorer to move my files around, Calculator, even the command prompt for some old DOS programs (QB45 Microsofts BASIC programming tool). I also use the Start Menu at times for access to My Computer and My Documents. If I move to Windows 8 will I lose all these facilities? I'm not into social media, don't have music or photo files to access so all this tile based stuff seems a bit irrelevant But I am attracted by the speed of W8. My other option is Windows 7 which is at least vaguely similar to XP but does not have such a good VM facility (so I believe).

    Any views would be appreciated.

    Hi there
    run VMPLAYER (FREE) for your XP legacy systems --it does a great job and is far far superior to the XP Mode in W7.

    As to whether you want to use W7 or W8 - only you can know -- In your position I'd wait a bit until the new update of W8 (8.1) is made public -- you'll be able then to TEST it as a trial --a number of issues with W8 hopefully will have been fixed by then.

    If you don't like it then choose W7 -- at least you'll be able to TRY W8 without spending any money.

    Wait as I said -- don't mess around with some of those "Mickey mouse" apps that mess around with menus and the start panel --they might all stop working after the 8.1 windows update or won't be necessary. (Stardock, Start 8 etc etc.)

    If you really want to TRY the current state of play with W8 -- then download the ENTERPRISE version - there's a 90 day free trial - but remember this version isn't available via retail so some features will be lacking (for example "Windows to Go") on the consumer (i.e non enterprise) version.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1,127
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    if he's going to have to pay for a new OS, he could save some money by skipping 7. if the UI is a problem (and we don't know until he tries it), then he can easily make 8 behave like 7 at no (or minimal) cost.

    the only thing you worry about really is if you have some hardware devices that don't have drivers in windows 8. but if a lot of your devices are windows xp only, then they won't work in windows 7 either, especially if it's the 64-bit version. like I have an old Canon scanner that only has a TWAIN driver (no WIA driver) but that driver only works in the 32-bit environment so that means if I want to use the scanner with Photoshop, I have to load up the 32-bit version of Photoshop instead of the 64-bit version (64-bit Photoshop won't even recognize TWAIN as an interface). Canon has moved on to driver development for newer scanners so I still have 32-bit and 64-bit Photoshop versions installed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    With 7 he could always install "XP Mode" but Jimbo's VM looks good as well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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XP user..Windows 7 or 8?
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