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BlinkrFlag for United States of America

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Windows 8 & small businesses

I would like to know anyone's opinion of small businesses upgrading to Windows 8 or buying new computers with Windows 8. This has alot to do with compatibility of busness softwares.

 I have a client that just bought a Windows 8 machine & now is trying to install his programs onto it. He is getting error message after error message while he is installing his programs. He looks like he will have to buy the newest software for all of his programs. I think it is a very bad move at this time.

I would like to know if anyone else has had the same problem & what is the general consensus of most of the business support techs here on EE.

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Since Windows 8 is a new operating system, vendors haven't had a whole lot of time to work the bugs out and get their software stable with the operating system.  Some vendors that my clients use have flat-out told them that Windows 8 is incompatible with their software.  

In general, it's a better idea to stick with Windows 7 if you can until the software development community can fully adopt to Windows 8.  Add to the fact that Windows 7 already has it's first service pack out and that makes it a more stable option, and that a lot of users have had poor reactions to the 8 interface so far.
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What was the previous version of Windows the client was on? XP?

Moving from Vista/7 to 8 shouldn't be that big of a deal. However, moving from XP to a later version of Windows can cause a lot of issues with legacy programs. What are the errors the client is getting?

Buying a computer with Windows 8 Pro pre-installed, or buying a volume license for Windows 8 Pro, gives you downgrade rights to Windows 7 Pro, and Windows 7 Pro has the ability to download and install XP Mode.

If they're on Windows XP, I would suggest looking to moving up to at least Windows 7. Microsoft will end extended support of XP in Spring of 2014.  If they have older programs, they will have to factor in the cost of upgrading those as well. If they have any legacy programs that aren't available to upgrade, they may have to look into ways to run it in some sort of compatibility mode or VM in the newer Windows, such as the XP Mode available for Windows 7 Pro.
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I'm sorry if I left this detail out, but he bought a new computer with Windows 8. He has been using Windows 7 on his other computers without any problem.

He thinks that I can just install everything as with Windows 7 & its going to work without any difficulty.
I have Windows 7 running with:

Office 2010 Pro
Adobe Standard and Reader V11
WinZip V17
QuickBooks V2013
Internet Explorer V9 (Windows 8 comes with IE V 10)
Perfect Disk V12.5
Symantec Endpoint Protection V12.2

All of this above plus all my other bits and pieces will run on Windows 8. You do need to have the most recent versions of software to run on Windows 8. Legacy stuff in a lot of cases are not going to work or will give problems.  That is, there is legacy stuff that might run on Windows 7 that may not on Windows 8.

What is your user (or you) having difficulty with?

... Thinkpads_User
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That's the problem. He is going to have to buy more software just because of Windows 8. He is going to have to update all of the software in his office just for this OS. I think the whole thing is sort of lame.

If he had Windows 7, it would just be a matter of installing his present software & keep going.

You know how it is!! He is going to blame it on me because there are updates & patches that have to be downloaded & installed. That takes time. So I will be charging him more than is necessary for all of this. I expect the next thing from his mouth is going to be, why is this taking so long, why isn't everything functioning as it has in the past, etc.....

Sorry!! I just had to vent there!!!
Windows 7 is very popular, but lots of people bought it and then wondered why Office 2003 or earlier is a problem, why Acrobat 7 or something is problem and so on. A person really does need up-to-date software to run on Windows 8.

Symantec SEP V11 will not, and even 12.1 will not, but V12.2. will.
DU Meter V 5 will not but the newest V6 will.
NCP Secure Entry early V9 will not but the newest V9 build will.

And so it goes. Consider asking your user to stay with Windows 7 if it is working well.

.... Thinkpads_User
Another thing to consider are the drivers for the computer. I have a ThinkPad T61p. I started with a fresh but spare hard drive, installed Windows 7 Pro (my existing license), updated Windows 7 to SP1, updated all the Lenovo drivers to the newest level. Then I upgraded to Windows 8 Pro. Mostly it worked, but a couple of non-critical drivers failed and had to be uninstalled.

So in addition to my earlier thoughts, even drivers are very important and must be newest.

.... Thinkpads_User
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as long as you run the installer by right clicking and run as administrator you should have no problems. My windows 8 setup has had zero compatibility problems running any software that would run under vista or windows 7.
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This "downgrade" is good for most all of the manufacturers EXCEPT HP. Guess what he bought. But this is a great suggestion as long as everyone stays away from HP.

Does anyone know of a way to "downgrade" to Windows 7 on an HP?? Any hacks or such??
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I have downloaded a couple of Start button programs that an the Win7 Start button & menu. I will be putting one of those to help get around Win8.

Any suggestions on which one is the best??
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HP does support downgrades from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 7 pro on its business-class computers. Also, if your HP came with Windows 8 Pro, you have downgrade rights, even if it's a consumer computer. HP simply won't provide Windows 7 drivers or technical support for a downgraded consumer computer.
HP noted that it will support downgrades on its business-class PCs, implying that it will provide drivers for those machines.

Although HP's for-consumers PCs come standard with Windows 8, customers who have factory-upgraded to Windows 8 Pro -- an option available on many machines -- acquire downgrade rights.

The actual downgrade process can get tricky. You'll need a valid copy of Windows 7 Pro and key, and install it on the Windows 8 Pro computer. When it gets to activation, you may need to call Microsoft on the phone and explain the situation to fully activate it.
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Thanks! That's a good idea. I will try but on one forum a so-called HP tech support person said that the do not support downgrading to Win7. But it may be a good idea to call & make sure.
@Blinkr - Any update after calling HP?   .... Thinpads_User
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HP does not support downgrading to Win 7.

The client returned the Win 8 system & got a Win 7 system. Everything installed & worked like a champ. He wasn't happy with Windows 8 interface anyway. I don't know why MS wants to shove things down the consumers throat. I have begone to have a bad taste for MS lately.

I had another client that purchased a Win 8 system & had the same problems. The admin at their firm didn't know enough about it to get it on their printers networked to it. So they returned it for a Win 7 system as well & now its working fine.

MS should have given the users an option to use the new interface or the Win 7 desktop with the orb. Most of those that have stuck with it (business consumers) have been struggling trying to conform to the new interface.

I wonder if Apple's market share has been on the rise lately?

Thanks for all of the help.
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All of your other comments were very useful as well. Its a shame that HP wasn't very supportive of the downgrade option.
The poor admins lack of knowledge is legendary.. You install things EXACTLY the same as you would with windows 7!
Thank you for the update. I was pleased to help and glad your client was able to return the computer and get what they wanted and needed.   .... Thinkpads_User