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Monday, February 4, 2013

Windows 7 or 8? Which Apps Work?


What works with Windows 8 Pro?

First, I have to tell you, I do NOT recommend upgrading to Windows 8, I find it an extremely pathetic OS.  Do NOT upgrade (at least not yet) if you do not have touch, because it renders your computer completely useless when accessing it via remote desktop.  This is supposed to be a computer OS upgrade, but it wants to grow up to be a phone, not a personal computer.

What's wrong with Windows 8 Pro?  

Nearly everything.  It works, but barely, and it looks broken from a designer's stand point.  I don't mean a little broken, it looks incredibly broken, it looks just like Windows OS 3.1, which was an absolute nightmare to deal with.

Windows 8 is an OS that is designed for a phone, not a tablet, notebook or desktop. It offers limited options by design, which means limited functionality.  When running a program from the Start Screen, unless it is a full screen app, the desktop wallpaper doesn't update.  The tile icons are horrid.  The start screen backgrounds are poor and there is no customization option.  If you don't have touch capabilities, they will be disabled and your remote desktop will be unusable on your tablet, other PC or phone.  It looks like Microsoft's terrible Windows 3.1 OS user interface, all boxes are square (no rounded corners, no window border opacity setting like in Vista/7).    The Control Panel is cryptic, at best, not presenting all necessary functions

If you have any choice at all, your upgrade should be to Windows 7, not Windows 8, unless you need touch support.  Windows 8 will probably be a great OS for your tablet or phone, if you want to re-learn Windows all over again.  You are much better off with an android system though, as that is much more intuitive.

Will My Old Programs Run in Windows 7/8?

That said, if you have older programs, like I do, will they work in Windows 8?  That's a big question.  And if they work in Windows 8, they will probably work in Windows 7, as well.  So here's the skinny on what I see...

Windows 8 Pro (fresh upgrade on a fresh install of Windows 7):

Creative Suite 3:

  • Acrobat - DO NOT INSTALL
  • Bridge - Warns you that it might run slow if you have a 64 bit processor, but worked well on my dual core laptop.
  • Photoshop - works
  • Adobe Illustrator - works
  • Dreamweaver - works
  • Premiere - works
  • After Effects - Limited functionality until you download and install Apple's Quicktime (which itself is a stupid decision on Adobe's part to require software from its main competitor in the same market (Non-linear Video Editing) and because Apple's Software Update sucks).
  • Device Central - It loads, but I don't think that anyone would ever want to use this, including me, and therefore since I don't use it, I can't report anything beyond that.
OK...
I was going to finish this with a full list of crap that won't run, but Windows 8 Pro was such a pathetic piece of junk that I uninstalled it.  As a UI designer myself, I was offended that Microsoft crossed the line and made me think about what I needed to do just to access something.  This was a catastrophic failure in UIX design and I feel embarrassed and sorry for Windows as such a complete failure in basic User Interface design methods.

I wound-up reverting back to Windows Vista.  But I could mot upgrade to Windows 7 without doing a fresh install.  

I figure it will take me another year to update all my configurations and settings with the info I used to rely ob.

Windows 8 Pro was a fail on my machine because it was scary, it looked exactly like Windows 3.1 and offered no visual effects.  I was sure it would crash because it looked like 3.1 with no visuals or effects, the UI was completely broken and it was a hassle trying to figure out what ran well and what didn't.

Windows 7 Ultimate worked out well, but required that I do a fresh install, leaving me with months of reconfiguration ahead.  But now I have a decent UI that isn't broken and doesn't make sense.

Either upgrade is a trade-off.  I would have been best off buying a whole new computer, but to get one that does everything that this one does now I would have had to spend at least $1200.00 on that upgrade.  I spent $40.00 on the Windows 8 Pro software that was broken and 150.00 (with shipping) on the Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade package, but I also spent 3 months or more trying to get the upgrade done with all of my settings intact before giving up and doing a fresh install.

The same programs that won't work in Windows 8 won't work in Windows 7,  though.

Unless you upgrade to a touch based Windows system, Windows 8 is completely worthless.

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