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Should I wait for Windows 10 and skip Windows 8 altogether?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 19, 2014 9:34 AM PDT

Should I wait for Windows 10 and skip Windows 8 altogether?

Hi, I'm currently on an HP laptop running Vista and I'm ready to move on to a new and lighter laptop as my current laptop hardware is on its last legs with quite a few dents and dings. I was considering a purchase of a new laptop with Windows 8.1 during the holiday season when things go on sale, but when I read on CNET about the soon-to-come Windows 10, I thought maybe I should hold off and wait for Windows 10. What was interesting to me was one of comments posted on that column said Windows 10 will be good given the trend of Windows OS releases:

Windows 98 - Good
Windows ME - Bad
Windows XP - Good
Windows Vista - Bad
Windows 7 - Good
Windows 8 - Bad
Windows 10 - Good?

Given this list, I'm now wondering if there is some truth it. Windows Vista wasn't bad to me, but from what I have read in the past, many people had problems with it, I guess I lucked out? I know everyone loved XP and ME was a disaster. I'm now caught in this dilemma and in a holding pattern on going with Windows 8. My couple of questions to you are, is there any truth to the Windows OS trend being that every other Windows release is good? Should I wait for Windows 10 and skip Windows 8 altogether? Your opinions and help are appreciated.

-- Submitted by George S.

Note: This post was edited by its original author to edit Subject line and update Windows "9" to "10" since that is now the official name of the next Windows OS on 10/01/2014 at 10:50 AM PT
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Yes, skip 8
by rhe09 / September 19, 2014 10:34 AM PDT

I'd go with 7 with the most current laptop possible, and then once 9 is out, test it and if OK, upgrade the laptop to it. That's what I'd do.

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Faulty premise
by Jimmy Greystone / September 19, 2014 10:49 AM PDT

Faulty premise, and I know the person this is posted on behalf of will never see this, but Microsoft has traditionally had a major-minor-major development cycle. Windows 98 was a minor update to Windows 95, WinMe was a major update to Win98. WinXP was a minor update to Windows 2000, Vista was the the mother of all major updates unless you count the original Windows NT. Windows 7 was a minor update to Vista and Windows 8 was another major update.

Major updates are the ones that usually have some teething issues because it's where a lot of large and necessary changes get made. Vista was a massive rewrite of a lot of the Windows code because the XP foundation had basically gone as far as it could go. Instead of a decrepit old CPU rendered GDI+ like everything from XP and earlier used, Vista shifted to a DirectX GPU rendered GUI. This was a huge boost to laptop battery life among other things. Vista also redid the driver security model to harden it, made significant improvements in the overall resource use efficiency of the OS and made some very important tweaks to the process scheduler to make it better tuned to mutli-core CPUs instead of multi-CPU. Vista has massive improvements in overall security as well.

Plus a lot of people forget the first 2-3 years of XP which were extremely bumpy. All of a sudden it wasn't just a suggestion that you not access hardware directly, it was enforced that you go through the OS. XP is based on the NT line of Windows, so that required a whole new set of drivers for a lot of companies that hadn't really bothered supporting NT before. Software also suddenly had to deal with the concept of a multi-user environment. That's all before we get to the 1-2 years where literally every week, if not more, there was a new remote execution flaw found in Windows that didn't require the user to do anything. And who could forget the Windows Messenger spam craze, or when someone figured out you could cause XP systems to reboot over the Internet? It wasn't until about SP2 that most of these issues finally started being resolved. If XP hadn't been such a complete mess code-wise, causing Microsoft to rewrite large chunks of it, and Vista would have come out more or less on time, it would have been hailed as one of the greatest Windows releases of all time, because the stench of XP's early years would still be fresh.

There's also absolutely nothing wrong with Windows 8. Sure the tile interface is a little odd and can throw you the first couple of times, but you pretty much only have to see it when you want to after you set up your primary programs. Windows 8 is actually a very impressive technical upgrade when you look at it. Just compared to Windows 7 you have considerably more efficient CPU use, it uses less RAM and the RAM it does use is used more efficiently, the HDD footprint has been reduced, security is considerably better, more of the GUI is rendered by the GPU instead of CPU making for a better experience on laptops and if you ask me, the search charm is easily worth the price of admission on its own despite the stupid name. It does partial matching of file names on the fly, so if you're looking for some program, document, even system setting, you just start typing the name and you get a gradually narrowed down list the more you type. I'm also a big fan of how you FINALLY have native pause/resume functions for large file transfers. That's something I've been wanting since at least the late Windows 2000 days. Frankly, it seems more than a little stupid to toss all of that away just because of the tile interface. Especially for some product that isn't even released yet, no official date has been set for when it will be released, and there are few firm details about what will actually be in it.

It's very important to remember that we have a tendency to romanticize the past and remember only the good things. There were plenty of things that sucked about Windows 98, like system resources anyone? How about the fairly routine crashing? Viruses that could infect the boot sector of your HDD. Windows XP had literally 1-2 years where every week there'd be at least one new remote execution flaw found. Not to mention they left Internet Explorer to rot after they killed off Netscape and didn't deign to revive development until Mozilla Firefox started giving them some real competition again. The day Outlook Express was retired, spammers the world over probably held a moment of silence to mark its passing and the end of a golden era. Who here remembers the Melissa worm and the half dozen or so variants that came along one after the other? Lots of things sucked back then same as now. On the whole, they've gotten quite a bit better since XP. XP's release marked the darkest period for Windows in a long time and it didn't start to get brighter until SP2.

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About windows OS's
by Chelie / September 19, 2014 1:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise

Thank you very much for your comments about the Windows operating systems past and present. You have cleared up quite a bit for me and I'm sure many others. thanks again.

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You got it wrong.
by joeTPB / June 27, 2015 7:38 PM PDT
In reply to: About windows OS's

There will not be a Windows 9.

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Don't bother waiting if you really need a new Computer
by waytron / September 19, 2014 2:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise

I would say that the Microsoft trend may appear to be holding true however it really depends on your definition of GOOD and BAD. It is true that many people do not like Windows 8.1 but it is really not a bad Operating System but rather just too different too soon for many people. I personally do not like it but that does not make it bad.

It all depends on whether or not you really want to wait until next year. Even if Windows 9 comes out in April of 2015, I don't think you want to be the first one to get it so you will probably want to wait a few months until the initial bugs are worked out which would mean that you would need to wait until June or July.
However, keep in mind that even if you get a new computer now with Windows 8.1 you will be able to upgrade it later to Windows 9, if that turns out to be a good choice. I have heard rumors that the upgrade from 8.1 to 9 may be Free or very close to it.

In the end, Windows 9 may turn out to be really nothing more than Windows 8.1 with something like Classic Shell installed?

If you really need or simply want a new computer, I would go for it.

Wayland Computer

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Dana, keep on giving your views
by txlevi / October 4, 2014 3:18 AM PDT

Dana, whenever I see a post from "waytron" I always read it because I know it will be a high quality response.

I thank-you for expressing your opinions and I hope you can continue to do so in the future.


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It's always helpful
by peter marsh / September 19, 2014 6:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise

Many thanks for this perspective... as an enthusiastic user of computers with a degree of ability but little or no real understanding of the finer points of the technical side of things, I have always enjoyed the perspectives of those willing to share their knowledge, experience and expertise. As someone who is in the process of migrating from XP to Windows 8 (1 Vaio already upgraded from Vista and two old Dell desktops about to be replaced) I would have no hesitation in agreeing that 8 is a good option. From the word go when 8 first came out, I didn't like the tile desktop, but thanks to "Start 8" (cost $5) it was simply "transformed" into a computer with the familiarity and looks of a conventional operating system.

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Faulty premise not
by discotanga / September 20, 2014 1:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise

If Windows 8 is so good, why is Microsoft looking to switch to Windows 9 already. Microsoft already told their big clients that they will not be supporting Windows 8 starting Jan 2016, which is only 16 months away. This is very much like Vista which Microsoft tout as such big advancement. Yes Windows 8 allow touch screen but those features are only nice to have not essential operations that makes what you are doing faster or better.
My personal experience with Windows 8 is that the operating system is very unstable and tends to crash.

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Not sure where
by Jimmy Greystone / September 20, 2014 3:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise not

Not sure where you're getting your info from, but it's wildly inaccurate.

First we can start with getting info straight from Microsoft where you see that Windows 8.1 is planned to be supported until 2023. Windows 8 will be probably about one year earlier so 2022 more or less. Even Vista will be supported past the date you're claiming. So no idea where it is you came up with that date, but I think given the choice between some random person on an Internet forum vs. an official page on the website of the company behind the product, I'll trust the latter.

And as to why if it's so good Microsoft is looking to move to something else? Are we talking besides the basic business model of selling software or did you have something more specific in mind? You may as well ask why Ford and Toyota come out with new models every year. Windows 8 was a major release meaning according to Microsoft's traditional development cycle Windows 9 would be a minor release. Historically it's been 3 years of development time for major releases, 1.5 years for minor releases, so Windows 9 would be arriving more or less right on schedule if it makes it out later this year. Of course Microsoft is also in the process of a major internal restructuring to try and speed up development time. The idea being to deliver a number of smaller updates on a much more rapid time table. The primary problem with that is combating upgrade fatigue. You have to try and find that sweet spot between too early where people just get upset that they have to keep shelling out money and too long where your current product seems stale and it opens up opportunities for competitors to gain a foothold.

It's also important to see that Windows 8 is just the latest step on a journey Microsoft has been on for over a decade to try and converge a lot of its products. The first major step was dumping the old DOS based versions of Windows and moving everyone onto the NT platform; that was Windows XP and why there were some very significant teething issues with games, drivers and a lot of other software. Behind the scenes Microsoft has been trying to bring Windows Phone, Windows and the Xbox platforms all together so that they're not all using their own custom versions of Windows. Most of the work that would be generally transparent to the user is now done, so that brings you to changing things with the UI.

Could they have taken a little more time to better integrate the tile interface with a mouse and keyboard? Sure, but hindsight is 20/20. You have to remember that all the development work on Windows is taking place 2-3 years before it's actually released and a lot of the planning is done even earlier than that. If you can predict with 100% accuracy what consumers will want in 4 years, you can pretty much name your salary for the rest of your life and companies will pay it gladly. The money they save on R&D not to mention manufacturing and everything associated with a product that flops in the market. They'd still make out like bandits if you were asking for an 8-figure fee for your services.

But in the end, the tile interface is about 99.5% optional even before you install anything like Classic Shell. You need it for a couple of things when you're first setting up your computer and then maybe once or twice more if you install a new program, but that's it. So I've always wondered why it is people get their panties all in a bunch over something they don't even have to use more than every couple of blue moons. The desktop side of Windows is virtually identical to Windows 7, which aside from the taskbar is a near 1:1 clone of Vista. It works the same way, it looks a little different, but you'd be amazed at how much RAM the "glass" theme for Vista and 7 took up and for what? Something you barely even glance at? If you intentionally torture yourself by using something you don't like, don't expect anyone to give a gerbil's rear when you complain about it.

In the final analysis, Windows 8 has a number of significant technical improvements which make it a worthy upgrade and solid product. Some of the improvements, like more efficient RAM and CPU use, along with reduced HDD footprint, are driven by the demands of the touchy tablet side of things, but benefit all of us. It's also just demonstrating that you can literally give people exactly what they want and they will still complain. People have complained that Windows is slow... So Microsoft did a lot of work to make it boot faster and tweaked the process scheduler to work more efficiently on typical modern hardware. People have complained that Windows is bloated... So Microsoft not only reduces the amount of RAM and HDD space needed, they make RAM use more efficient and toss in more efficient CPU use as an added bonus. People have claimed that Windows is insecure... So Microsoft not only hardens Windows considerably in a general sense, it improves things like DEP and introduces ASLR. All of the major issues people have raised with Windows, most of them perfectly legitimate, have been addressed in Windows 8, but still people whine about this one aspect of the OS which you don't even have to use. Pre-8.1 where you were dumped into the tile interface and had to manually switch to the desktop... In that circumstance I can see there being some merit to complaints about the tile interface, but post-8.1 where you can go straight to the desktop, it's just one more legitimate complaint from users that Microsoft has addressed directly. Whether or not the tile interface should have been forced on users in the first place is a legitimate question, but also about as relevant as debates over Star Wars vs. Star Trek. Microsoft tried something, users didn't like it, so Microsoft reversed it.

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Thanks...will consider win7 > win8.1
by AwarenessForex / October 3, 2014 3:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Not sure where

I have the ability to upgrade. I just recently wiped my SSD drive and re-installed Win7 64 bit because I couldn't take the chance that Win8.1 wouldn't work (driver incompatibility, etc). But if I do a reinstall, I will do windows 8.1 Newer laptop will also get win8.1 . Thanks

The vps server I lease might be upgraded to win2012 SP1. Not a forced upgrade; I can keep win2008 if I need. I used it to run financial trading apps and a gui desktop (stream desktop) in the cloud.

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My personal experience with Windows 8 is that the operating
by zirc99 / October 3, 2014 3:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise not

Hey DiscoTango !

"My personal experience with Windows 8 is that the operating system is very unstable and tends to crash"

You must have lousy Installation skills or crummy hardware...

Because this correspondent has:

Windows XP, XP PRO
Windows 7 Home, Windows 7 PRO (32 & 64Bit)
Windows 8 CP, Windows 8 RP (32 & 64Bit), Windows 8 PRO (64Bit)
Windows 8.1 RP, Windows 8.1 PRO (64Bit)
Windows Technical Preview (WIN 10)

All Multiboot installations on 3 PC's (Dell) inc. Linux Ubuntu 13.10

Crashes: Windows 8 variants - never, XP and WIN 7 - very rarely
Even WIN 10 Evaluation Copy is rock solid and Installed all devices on each PC without exception...
(Including USB 3 and WD External Drives) No more scurrying to get your O/S to recognize your GPU card

Most crashes are caused by dodgy apps or devices

Can you guess what my hobby is, yet ?

Truly, Operating/Systems for the 21st Century (WIN 7, WIN 8.0/8.1, WIN 10
What's wrong with Windows 7 ? - Nothing, but if you like your music, XBOX Music is worth having
on the later releases

CP=Consumer Preview RP=Release Preview

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Win 8 support only till 2016?
by AlienTransplant / October 3, 2014 9:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise not

I suspect this information is inaccurate. Microsoft has a known support cycle, which is published and fairly standardized with each OS. They did (and do) extend them sometimes (like XP), but I have never heard of them reducing them. Win 7 mainstream support (which includes request of changes in product features for possible service packs, and bug fixes) ends April 2015, extended support (which includes security patches) ends in April 2020. For Win 8, it's January 2018 for mainstream, and January 2023 for extended. Also, if there is a Service Pack introduced, the support is extended up to 2 years past the date the Service Pack was released, should the original 5 year date not cover the full 2 years.

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Agree 100%
by Wings92126 / October 3, 2014 12:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise

I find Windows 8 much faster than Windows 7, uses much less memory, and gives quicker and easier access to Windows utilities. Except for the absence of the Menu panel, my desktop looks identical to the old Windows 7 desktop, except everything comes up and operates faster. Startup takes about 1/3 the time it did in Windows 7, and shutdown is about twice as fast.

I'll probably install Windows 10 a while after it comes out (time for initial bugs to be dealt with) but don't feel any compelling reason to do so at this point. After using Windows 8 for months I would not switch back to Windows 7 even if the choice was free and easy.

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Going back further
by outatime2 / October 3, 2014 2:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Faulty premise

Windows 3 so so. 3.1 better, 95 eh. then 98 and that wasn't the best till second edition and then what you said lol.

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How long can you wait with what you have?
by dsttexas / September 19, 2014 11:18 AM PDT

The best "guesses" out there are that Windows 9 is somewhere between Spring 2015 at the earliest and Fall 2015 at the latest. And as a long time windows user since version 2 on DOS I have NEVER picked up a new Windows OS version within the first 6 -9 months of its first release. The first point release is usually my first target and that has served me well.

So if your current old HP and Vista is getting long in the tooth and you need something soon then find a good holiday price on a new machine with as much oomph in it as you can, and with Windows 8.1 with it's now first update to that being available it is likely very stable. You might even get a laptop with a touch screen and stylus too. The new interface is the new world, and you can easily revert to the previous desktop within 8.1+ if you need more time to adjust. I expect version 9 will carry over that desktop option as well, so what's to lose?

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Touch screen is terrible ergonomically
by randmart65 / October 4, 2014 2:42 PM PDT

Get a touch screen for your laptop or desktop only if you think you would really enjoy back and shoulder pain.

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There is Something to Be Said for That
by Hforman / October 4, 2014 5:10 PM PDT

I can't say that I agree or disagree. I do know that at work, I could not reach my monitor without getting off of my seat and I needed the monitor of the size given to be back as far as I needed it. What would people do if the monitor is on a wall or they are using a projector? Let's just say, I don't like having a touch screen. Personal preference.

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(NT) use a stick?
by James Denison / October 6, 2014 6:55 AM PDT
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8.1 is great with Start8
by NYyankees51 / September 19, 2014 11:21 AM PDT

CNET has been saying that Windows 9 may be free to 8.1 users. If you trust those rumors, you could jump on it. If you really want to make sure you get Windows 9, I'd buy a cheap Windows 8.1 PC. If it is upgradeable to 9, you can sell it; if not, do what you will.

In any event, Windows 8.1 is great if you download Start8, which restores the classic Windows start menu. After you do that, it takes all the good things about Vista & 7 and combines them with the technical enhancements pointed out by Jimmy Greystone.

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Finding the Start Menu
by mcatherinemcf / September 22, 2014 2:51 AM PDT

I'm not sure why people say you have to download something to be able to access the Start Menu. I didn't and I have full access to the Start Menu. I don't really need it, though. A little exploring found all the programs I use as well as Control Panel and other deeper programs. There isn't really that much difference between Win7 and Win8.1 they just look different (admittedly very different) (I can't speak to Win8 as I waited for 8.1 to get my new desktop).

The biggest problem I've had with Win8.1 is that it runs both Apps for the tablet side and Applications for the desktop side. I've gotten stuck trying to make an app work the way my old applications did. The apps tend to be less robust than the applications and many things that are easy in an application are very hard, if not impossible, in the app. But once I figured out about the apps/applications conundrums, I haven't had a problem.

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by gadgetdad / September 19, 2014 11:25 AM PDT

Microsoft is using the Apple profit model. New product release before its finished. Well finish it later once we get the bucks (not) 8.1 is full of bugs. Sorry I can't stay with XP.. Hello Linux

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Depends Who You Talk to
by Hforman / September 19, 2014 1:58 PM PDT

Some people were OK with ME. A lot were OK with Vista and MANY today like Windows 8! The only TRUE test would be Microsoft's sales records. However, you have to take into account the amount of time between each release and maybe you would have to look at what else was happening in the OEM market. During times of economic distress, some companies/organizations went from a 3-year PC replacement cycle to a 5-year cycle to a 13 year cycle as they did at work. Since businesses don't like to support a mix of different OSes in the enterprise, you wind up with large gaps and stability issues with an OS can get very much amplified. Then you have to take into account businesses that are on the "If it ain't broke..." motto.

Personally, I have tested Windows 8.x and I don't really like it. Neither did my boss at work so any systems with Windows 8 got sent back to the Windows 7 refresh. Where I worked, they have almost completed the upgrade to Windows 7. A few departments are still running Windows 2000. If you don't have the source code for a custom application and the application won't work with newer OSes and you can't afford reprograming, you are stuck.

So, what do you know about Windows 9? I don't know much. Will it really be better than 8.1? I don't know. I've heard of a lot of stability issues with Windows 8 but, if where I worked is any consequence, a lot of those can be attributed to bad PC images. People don't understand that you can't run 32-bit drivers with 64-bit OSes and most of the time, Windows XP drivers won't work with Windows 7 or 8 (we found that out pretty quick when the central group seemed to try it). Especially with new hardware even though it looks like old hardware. One change in the chipset and its all over.

Here is something to consider. If you buy Windows 8 now, you probably won't get a free upgrade to Windows 9. Nobody really knows what Microsoft will do (we just discussed this) but that fact that even 8.1 was a free upgrade, surprised many of us. In terms of buying a new computer with the OS included in the price, the OS is probably the OEM version and "free" upgrades to a new OS generally don't happen until very close to the time of the new release. It usually happens when the sales of new PCs slows down while the customers wait for the new OS.

Since you are considering a hardware purchase, I'd wait until at least they start having sales announcing free upgrades to Windows 9. A lot of that isn't so much the power of the machine as having to deal with drivers from the PC manufacturer. Since you are buying a new machine, the big question will be "can you hold off until the new OS is out?". So, will you be buying 8 with the system and having to BUY Windows 9 later and then have to upgrade the drivers yourself or will you just hang on until 9 comes out and you might not have to worry about the drivers (maybe). I heard some people are buying new hardware with Windows 8 and getting really old/incorrect drivers that are preloaded.

I need a new machine and I'm just going to wait for 9 myself.

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The old advice about upgrades is "Wait if you can."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 20, 2014 1:45 AM PDT

While I see no reason to not use 8 today with Classic Shell, Start8 and such there is some old advice about upgrades.

If your current system is OK, then why change? Wait if you can and you'll have better choices tomorrow.

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In a word, YES!
by Mr Windows / September 20, 2014 6:49 AM PDT

George, even if Windows 8.x was a wildly successful hit, it's now reaching the end of the line. With the immanent release of Windows 9, there is no reason to buy a Windows 8 computer.

Don't get me wrong, I have Windows 8.1 Upgrade one, on a virtual machine on my Windows 7 computer, and I like it well enough, but it's a difficult beast to tame. Needing third party add-on's to make it run the way I want it to on the desk top.

You say you want to move on to a new lighter Laptop? They pretty much all have touch screens now, something you will probably want. Both Windows 8.x, and 9 are touch screen enabled, however from what I've seen of the pre-release versions of Windows 9, it handles the desktop so much better than 8.

There are also a slew of new features, and refinements to Windows 9 that you will want. So, you could buy a discounted Windows 8.x Laptop now, and then wait to see if Microsoft is going to offer the upgrade to Windows 9 for free. Or, you could wait a while longer, and buy yourself a brand new Laptop, that is designed for Windows 9.

We know what some of the software features of Windows 9 are going to be, but we have yet to know what the computer manufactures will develop, in the hardware aspect, to take the most advantage of these features.

From what I've read, Windows 9 will be released to manufacturing in December. I don't know if any "Made For Window 9" computers will be ready for the holidays, or not, but I think it would be worth the wait for them to start to come on the market.

That way we can turn to the experts at CNET, and ZDNet to start reviewing them, and giving us the benefit of their knowledge, and insights. No, to buy a Windows 8 computer now, this close to the release of Windows 9, runs the risk of leaving you behind with old technology.

My sincerest recommendation would be to wait a while. Your Vista Laptop is still functioning, so there is no urgency. It's your money that you will be spending, so make a smart decision, not a rushed one.

I hope this helped.
Mr. Windows

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What imminent release?
by Jimmy Greystone / September 20, 2014 8:20 AM PDT
In reply to: In a word, YES!

What imminent release? Seriously. No clever gotchas intended, but I haven't seen anything at all about a firm release date from Microsoft. I've seen a lot of rampant speculation, most of which has ended up being wrong, but nothing official from Microsoft.

It's the same with pretty much everything else in your post. Unless you are privy to some kind of information the rest of us aren't, meaning you're probably violating an NDA, you're just passing off a lot of speculation as fact. Most of the speculation so far has been false. Case in point is the speculation that there would be a Windows 8.1Update 2 released about a month back and it would bring back the start menu with the metro/modern live tiles.

And maybe you can help me to understand how it is that Windows 8 is somehow so much more difficult to "tame" on the desktop when the desktop part of Windows 8 operates almost exactly the same as Windows 7, because the biggest difference is the loss of the start menu... Which, when you really think about it, you don't use all that often. Then the way the ribbon UI is worked into Windows Explorer on Win 8 it makes a bunch of features, previously buried 1-2 dialog boxes deep or only accessible through an obscure context menu, much more front and center. So where exactly is the taming part, because from my perspective over 99% of things are exactly the same. Again, no clever gotchas, just a genuine question. I am genuinely curious about specific things that you find difficult to deal with on Windows 8 compared to Windows 7. Do note the SPECIFIC bit. I'm not interested in a bunch of, "It's difficult to use", any moron can (and does) post that, I would love to see something like "Feature X is more difficult because of Y." All relative to Windows 7 or any other version of Windows, just please specify how the previous version was better with specifics.

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You're Right, My Bad.
by Mr Windows / September 20, 2014 10:08 AM PDT
In reply to: What imminent release?

Upon re-checking my notes I have found you are right. While the Microsoft is planning an Enterprise Technical Preview Build on September 30th, according to Mary Jo Foley the expected release date of a more Consumer Focused Build won't be until January, or February 2015. That would put a RTM in mid-2015.

As to the Windows 8.1 Update 2. As far as I know that went by the wayside, when it was bundled into Windows 9. There will continue to be updates of course, just not a big one like Update 1 was.

Lastly, I can see you are a Windows 8 fan. So am I. I was one of the first out of the gate, when it was released. I even picked it up from Microsoft at the sale price of $39.99 for the x64 Pro version. I have been using, and upgrading it in a virtual machine ever since. It boots fast, and has never given me a BSOD.

However, I have a desktop computer. An older 2011 model Dell XPS box, and as tricked out as it is, it's just not right for Windows 8. With the addition of an enhanced (hacked) version of Classic Shell, that I was given, and the 8.1, then Upgrade 1 enhancements it works very well. However, (and here is one of your specifics) I am a multitasker, and the Metro/Modern apps (which I do like), don't multitask.

Yes I know I can have two Metro/Modern apps open now, and no end of programs open on the desktop, but to me, it just seemed to be a step backwards. This is something that Microsoft aims to correct with Windows 9. The ability to open Metro/Modern apps on the desktop rather than just the Start Screen.

It's not just me. I support a number of clients who I have, and as yet haven't, been able to wean off of Windows XP, to Windows 7. However, as yet, I have only one client who took the plunge, and bought all new Windows 8 computers.

But back to me. It's your contention that you don't really use the Start Menu all that often. Perhaps you don't, but I don't keep a lot of Icons on my desktop. Most of my programs start from the Start Menu. If I were to take one view of the Start Menu's contents as a page, I have seven pages of programs in that Menu.

What I've found over the years, is everybody uses their computers differently. You seem to be on the bleeding edge of technology, while I, because of different circumstances, have to be a little bit more conservative. With the release of Windows 9 in mid-2015, perhaps we can finally meet in the same place.

Mr. Windows

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It's a start
by Jimmy Greystone / September 20, 2014 11:47 AM PDT
In reply to: You're Right, My Bad.

It's a start I guess, but considering no previous version of Windows had "apps" (as opposed to programs) that argument falls kind of flat. You can run two more apps on Windows 8 then you could any other version of Windows, so really that's an improvement. If indeed Windows 9 allows for running of an essentially unlimited number of apps, that would then be an improvement over Windows 8.

But really I was speaking about the traditional Windows interface where you use programs like MS Office, Firefox/IE/Chrome, etc. In part because I generally forget that the tile interface is even there most of the time and also in part because the OP's comments were specifically about a laptop and then in response to that you said that Windows 9 "handles the desktop so much better than Windows 8." So, I'll take the blame for not being sufficiently specific that when I said "desktop" I was referring primarily to the non-tile interface. There are a number of obvious and legitimate gripes about the tile interface's multi-tasking abilities if you're comparing it to a traditional desktop OS. If you compare it to the likes of Android and iOS however, unless you count Samsung's proprietary and rather limited ability to split the screen and show two apps at the same time, the tile interface to Windows has the best multi-tasking of any mobile oriented OS.

Also, you may well be something of an exception, because the majority of people don't have more than a half-dozen or so "core programs" that make up the overwhelming majority of what they do every day. Still, consider for a moment if you're looking for some program you don't use very often. With the start menu you're stuck hunting through each menu option until you find it. The menu of course only takes up a tiny portion of the screen, so trying to find things can be cumbersome. Compare that to the program listing on the tile interface where everything is just dumped together and the full screen is used. Or even better, using the search charm, where you can just start tying the name of the program and pick it off a list. There are still plenty of issues with the tile interface, but you've got to admit that it has an edge efficiency-wise which only gets larger the more programs you have installed.

In any event, I have to give you credit in being the first person who can even offer up anything that goes beyond "The tile interface scares me." It wasn't quite what I was looking for, but I'll at least take the bulk of the blame for leaving it open ended like that. I'll also say in parting that I'm not a fan of Windows 8 because operating systems to me are just tools. I'll use what works best for me at the time. I used Linux for a couple of years and was really quite happy with it, but ultimately my free time evaporated and my free time became more and more valuable. I might only have 1-2 hours of free time in any given day, so being able to fire up Steam and pick from a plethora of games is glorious. Not to mention the last time I tried to get SPDIF audio passthrough working on Linux it was a friggen nightmare. You had to choose between either that or regular analog stereo audio, it couldn't switch between the two dynamically. I like watching movies and I like having the full surround sound. Windows makes that quick and simple, Linux... Not so much. If I were retired or of the idle rich, Linux would be what I am using as my primary desktop OS, no doubt, but I'm not. I also used Mac OS X from 10.3 to 10.7, where I got off. The technical improvements to the OS basically ground to a halt after 10.6 and everything became about iOS. Plus I was exposed to the dark and nasty side of Apple... They're all sugar and rainbows to consumers, but if you ever have to deal with them as a business... If you've ever seen South Park's rather amusing depictions of Mickey Mouse as a truly Machiavellian CEO, that doesn't even begin to describe what Apple is like. I'd use their crap if it were my job, but beyond that I want nothing else to do with them and look forward to the day the for sale sign goes up in front of their Cupertino HQ. Maybe in a poetic twist they can turn the lot back into an apple orchard like it was before the trees were all cut down to make room for the building. But I digress. What I am is not a fan of people who just regurgitate the arguments of others. If someone has a legitimate complaint, I have no problem letting them air it, but when you have situations like happened over on the Windows 8 forum a while back where someone posted yet another Windows vs. Linux thread with the same tired arguments that have been kicked around for about the last 20 years, I'm going to get a little annoyed. The least they could do is come up with some new angle or twist.

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I Think I should have been more specific
by Mr Windows / September 21, 2014 6:38 AM PDT
In reply to: It's a start

Jimmy, when I said "apps", I was referring to Applications. Programs if you will, I should have made that clearer. Years of speaking tech shorthand let me down here.

We are both right here, the Start Page will only run two Windows 8 Tiled Apps at the same time. While true Applications, or Programs, if started from the Start Page, will dump you onto the desktop. Where you can multitask as many Programs as you have resources for.

You are right that I said Windows 9 handles the desktop better than Windows 8. However, I was referring to the Desktop in Windows, NOT a desktop computer. That said, if you are like me, and you are using Windows 9 on a desktop computer, it's a far better operating system. From what I've seen, and read at least.

For someone like George, who is moving from a VISTA Laptop, I just think it would be easier for him to move to Windows 9. Where the desktop is, as you said, essentially the same as Windows 7. Except for the ability to install Start Screen Apps, and Live Tiles.

I use MS Office 365 on my Windows 8, and was initially disappointed that it dumped me back onto the desktop. Then I found that all my Windows 7 programs, and applications, despite having a Tile on the Start Screen, also dumped me back onto the desktop.

On previous versions of Windows, I could have as many programs, and small applications open as I had the RAM for. I think what disappointed me the most about Windows 8, was if I was running a Windows 8 application from the Windows Store, I had to shut it down, to switch to another program. This brought back memories of the DOS days.

As we get closer to the release of Windows 9, there will be a lot of Windows 8 Laptops, Convertibles, and Tablets that will start to go on sale, to clear out the inventory. As I said I don't know what new hardware offerings there will be, that are "Made For Windows 9" computers. We can only wait and see.

I would like to touch on something you said. You said the majority of people don't have more than a half-dozen "core programs". On my Laptop alone, I have more than forty diagnostic, testing, and utilities programs. When I go to see a client I have to have a full bag of tricks. On my desktop, I have all those, plus my programs for Audio, and Video editing, conversion, and burning. I try to get as much off of my hard drives, and onto CD's, or DVD's as I can.

Then there's my image editing applications. Perhaps four of them is over kill, but they each have different strengths, and weakness. I have to have all of my software, and as much as can be had, a copy of my clients software. Unless it's really specialized. When you are servicing clients, it's good to have a copy of what they are using. Just so I can be on the same page as them, when they call me to tell me that such, and such went wrong.

At the request of a client I even created a Zorin OS 8 Linux virtual machine, to start to learn it. They were so adamant that they didn't want to move to Windows 8, that they were willing to move to Linux. Their objection, they didn't want "any dam toy operating system on their system critical infrastructure". I was able to talk them down, but it wasn't easy.

In closing, I would like to say that, unlike you, I am a fan of Operating Systems. Having started out on Big Iron, my first O/S of my own was Commodore DOS. Followed by DOS 2, up to DOS 6, & Windows 3.11. With a brief flirtation with O/S 2 v3, I've used Windows 95, ME, XP, Vista, 7, and now 8.1. So I've had a chance to develop a favorite, or two along the way. They each had good, and bad aspects when I was using them. Right now my favorite is Windows 7 Ultimate x64. It's on my desktop, and laptop computers, and has yet to let me down. Like Windows 8, I've never had a BSOD, unlike Windows 8 it is slow in starting. However, that may be due to the many utility programs that start with it. As I said before, I do like Windows 8.1, just not enough to make it my default O/S.

At any rate Jimmy, it's been good conversing with you. You challenged me, and were right to do so. A lesion learned for me, to check my notes, before I respond to one of these questions.

Mr. Windows

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Sorry, One Pont I Forgot To Make.
by Mr Windows / September 21, 2014 7:14 AM PDT
In reply to: It's a start

Jimmy, you suggest that I use the "search charm" to look for my programs. One of the nice features of the Start Menu, is the ability to Rename the entries. Which I do, to make them much more descriptive. Also, I don't use Microsoft's search features, ether in Windows 7, or 8. I just don't like them. I prefer to use UltraSearch a Free search program of suppressing power ( Give it a try, you may just like it. Especially if your like me, and have more than one hard drive.

Mr. Windows

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To avoid extras being installed, go direct.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 21, 2014 7:20 AM PDT

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