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Tech Helproom


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Windows 7 or 8 or ....


johnincrete
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At my daughter's school we started with XP to match my system. Since then, various devices have been purchased - laptops and tablets and now we have a mix of Windows versions. Is there any obvious benefit of bringing all the computers into the same operating system and, if so, which one?

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Ian in Northampton

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I guess if I were planning for the future, I'd go for Windows 8 as it looks as if it will eventually be a common operating system across all forms of mobile device as well as desktop PCs. The world is also going very much towards the touch interface. In the short term, though, I'd guess many of the 'legacy' portable devices you'll be dealing with will feature a mix of iOS and Android. There's no getting around that, I don't think. It's an interesting strategic conundrum: if you can 'mandate' the pupils' choice of device, then Windows 8 makes a lot of sense. If you can't - you're always going to have a mix of operating environments to support.

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Batch

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To me the main benefit of having the same OS is making maintenance easier (i.e. having same software and settings on all of them as far as poss).

With regard to Win 7 or 8. I downloaded 8 and installed it on to one of my XP PCs. It didn't last long. As my PCs are getting long in the tooth and all are XP, I am considering moving on to Win7 (supported by MS until Jan 2020) in some cases (possibly by buying new kit with Win7 pre-installed) and maybe switching others to Ubuntu (I know it goes what I said above, but c'est la vie).

One thing to bear in mind is driver support. I know that my scanner isn't supported in Win8 (and may not be in 7). My printer (11 or years old I think) still seems to be supported in 8.

And I already have another OS (Android) on my tablet anyhow.

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Bris

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A word of caution.

If you are contemplating upgrading to W8 it is essential you run Windows Upgrade Assistant on each PC as there is a "gotcha" in that W8 requires that a PCs CPU and motherboard support a feature called NX, and not all do. If its not supported then W8 will refuse to install and will roll back to the current version.

My current desktop PC is only 4 years old and both the CPU and motherboard support NX but upgrade assistant informs me that its not supported and a call to the motherboard manufacturers technical support confirms this even though NX is turned on in the BIOS.

NX is a security feature along with another called secure boot which is a requirement of a W8 install. This is not a requirement of W7.

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xox101

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Secure boot is not needed for a Windows 8 install.

As for the original question apart from XP only having another year or so of support no obvious benefit as far as I can see. With a mix of systems comes more knowledge and a greater understanding of how computers work.

Once the older XP systems are past their sell by date why not try them with Linux Mint or Ubuntu?

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johnincrete

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Thanks everyone. It seems to be the consensus that W8 is the way to go provided the devices can cope. I was brought up on Unix and know how superior it is but I would need to check all the software. It's obviously a bigger job than I expected and so I will schedule any change for the summer break.

Thankyou all for your advice

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sunnystaines

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just got a laptop with w8, its a pig to sort out and get on top of everything.

but dont give up. once sorted its good in my opinion a lot faster and more secure OS.

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