questionsany one else planning on running the windows 8…

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Can you give us a quick summary of what the enhancements are from Windows 7 to Windows 8?

As for me, I still use XP on my Mac. I tried Vista and Windows 7 and didn't like either of the interfaces so will not be upgrading until I'm forced to. I also didn't like that simple things that used to work in XP no longer work in Windows 7 and devices should be Windows 7 certified. Cannot understand why a printer that works in XP cannot work in Windows 7 -- that's just mind boggling.

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Nope. I'm happy with my Windows 7 64-bit. Don't fix what ain't broken.

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@cengland0: One of the reasons printers that worked in XP won't work on 7 is that a lot of new computers are not 64-bit, and drivers for XP are 32-bit.

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@cengland0:
One of the key changes between XP and WIn Vista/7 was a major revision of the security and driver model. In XP and before, drivers ran in a privileged space with direct access to hardware and kernel memory, despite advice from Microsoft to use system APIs.

Win 7 strictly enforced the security model that makes peripheral drivers a lower tier service. All drivers had to be submitted to Microsoft and certified as well. That closed the door on a number of exploits and reduced the chances of future attacks taking over the system without detection. However that also meant all previous device drivers needed to be rewritten; a significant effort on the part of hardware vendors. Many companies chose not to do that rewrite. Hence many devices were "orphaned" because they had not planned for the changes.

Please be aware that Win 7 does have an emulation mode that will actually run a copy of XP under emulation mode, allowing you to keep many legacy apps and functions.

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@omnichad: I have a 64-bit version of XP so would you like to revise your answer? Also, the printers worked on the x64 versions of Windows 2003 as well.

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@tpscan: That is a good answer. My brother requires the use of an impact printer for multiple copies of a document relies on a specific printer. So whenever he needs to print something, he has to run his program in XP and then print and then go back to Windows 7.

I don't believe it's due to a security issue but more that the kernel is not as efficient if it has to run 32 bit drivers so Microsoft disallows it. Additionally, Microsoft makes additional money from the vendors that submit their hardware and drivers for certification -- that is not a free service that Microsoft provides.

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@cengland0 & @firebirdude:

The list of changes between different versions is pretty complicated.
I'll see if I can find a nice reference and summary.

The goal of Win 8 is to provide a common tablet interface that should run on several hardware platforms, while still keeping the desktop interface on PC based machines. I'm not sure that that Metro interface is worth the effort, but it is cool to play with. It does not support existing apps and requires a new software paradigm.

However, the desktop mode is very similar to Win 7 and supports current software, but with even more enhanced security. If you like Win 7, Win 8 will be very comfortable.

BTW -- I run Linux as much as I do Windows.

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If it doesn't provide any additional functionality, and only provides security updates, bug fixes, and standard support features, I think it should be a downloadable update to your existing OS instead of calling it a new version.

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@cengland0: Ha Ha!

Tell that to Microsoft and Ballmer.

Competition has cut into their Office product revenues and the OS division is under pressure. Their search and consumer product divisions are cost centers, not profit centers. Only their server and enterprise divisions show healthy gains.

They need a product to refresh and continue revenues for a few more years.
Don't look at Win 8 as an "upgrade". If fact, I'd generally advise against that for several reasons. Instead, this is the replacement OS that will ship on about 75-80% of PCs by default.

Microsoft hopes to see Win 8 open new markets on mobile and ultralight devices.

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I'd sooner use a Mac.

(Happy Linux user.)

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Actually, it replaces the CONSUMER preview, not the DEVELOPER preview. I threw it on a laptop partition to get a feel for Windows 8 and I can see how it would be great on a touch screen, but Metro was simply annoying with a mouse. I will update my consumer preview partition later today and see if there are any changes that make a difference. I have not seen anyone that put it on a tablet yet (does not mean no one has), but that is where my real curiosity is aroused.

It feels like a touch screen overlay to Windows 7.

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@morriea: Yes, this "Release Preview" replaces the earlier "Consumer Preview" that was issued in earlier versions of Windows. This iteration, they have chosen to call the penultimate release the "Release Preview".

My reference to the "Developer's Preview" refers to the public release immediately prior to this one, put out in February I believe. This release replaces that one, all labeling aside.

By the way, have you played Copper? I am stuck at about level 26 and have not figured out how to get past the two magnet, three switch, three bomb combination.

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@tpscan: Have not played Copper...I am checking it now...do you recommend?

Has anyone tried 8 on a tablet...or heard of anyone doing it? I just grabbed a Motion Computing tablet (old Windows tablet) running 7 so i could get a feel for it...I am waiting for it to arrive.

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@morriea:
Copper is one of the Metro demonstration games.
I have to warn you away from it.
Initially it looks a bit childlike, but it quickly becomes addictive as you move up the levels, and becomes quite challenging. ;-)

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I installed the Consumer Preview at work to test some of our software for possible compatibility issues. Eh, don't really care for it, and Metro has no use to me. I can't see ever running it on anything I own, and I run XP/Mint and 7/Ubuntu dual boot machines, and have been most pleased with 7's performance- for a MS product.
When support for 7 ends, it'll be nothing but Linux @ my house.