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Touchscreen with Windows 7?

I have a customer who wants to buy an All-in-One.  This person is not ready for Windows 8 but I was thinking of getting her a touchscreen AIO with Windows 7 on it.  That way if she ever wants to upgrade to Windows 8, she'll have it.  Does this make sense?  Is there any reason not to buy a Win7 AIO with a touchscreen?
Thanks,
Al
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alanlsilverman
Asked:
alanlsilverman
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8 Solutions
 
Bill BachPresidentCommented:
I have had an AIO from ViewSonic for several years, running Windows 7, in my kitchen.  The idea was that we could do some basic web surfing without a keyboard.  In reality, we use the keyboard all the time.  (In fact, I am replying to this from said machine right now.)  However, it is nice because we can put away the (wireless) keyboard during parties, and the computer can display a slideshow, control the stereo music, operate the Insteon lighting system, and so on -- all from the screen itself.  

Will she get "real" use from the touch aspect of it?  Probably not.  If the rest of the hardware is Win8 compatible, why not just go with Win8?
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Personally, I do not think that makes a great deal of sense.

1. On a work computer, I have not seen a real advantage to a touch screen. I use an iPhone and am familiar with the touch process.

2. However, others might well disagree with me, and then, I would say, get Windows 8 Pro 64-bit on the All-in-One.

It is really very easy to make Windows 8 look just like Windows 7. I use Windows 8 Pro daily and never leave the desktop. I left Metro behind right after I purchased the machine. I find Windows 8 works well and now you can install Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 allows you to boot into the desktop.

So if the customer wants touch screen, set up Windows 8 classically and give your customer the best of both worlds.

.... Thinkpads_User
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ltechsolutionsCommented:
If an all-in-one comes with Windows 8, you can exercise your downgrade rights to install Windows 7.

http://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/downgrade_rights.aspx#fbid=pCKL-Oq6HVU

Though Windows 7 doesn't include many of the touch functionality of Windows 8, it'll work just fine. We have customers with Windows 7 convertible laptop/tablet PCs, and they don't have any issues.
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rindiCommented:
Be aware that the free upgrade rights from Windows 8 to Windows 7 only applies to windows 8 Pro and above, and not the basic version of Windows 8 that is usually pre-installed on PC's meant for home use. So make sure that you get it with at least Windows 8 pro. Also, I don't know if the free upgrade still exists for Windows 8.1 Pro and above. As new PC's will come with Windows 8.1 you should first verify with the manufacturer or m$ whether you are entitled to the upgrade.
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bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
> In Vmware Workstation, I used to extend disk while the machine is on.

are you sure? never tried extending a virtual disk while its guest VM is running.
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
It is really very easy to make Windows 8 look just like Windows 7. I use Windows 8 Pro daily and never leave the desktop. I left Metro behind right after I purchased the machine. I find Windows 8 works well and now you can install Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 allows you to boot into the desktop.

thinkpads_user, can you tell me how to do this.  I just upgraded to Win8.1 on a Lenovo that I use for testing. My understanding was that 8.1 would have the old fashioned windows start button but I can’t find it.  Is the old start button supposed to be there?

I did make a Win8 system useable for one of my customers with classic shell, when win8 first came out.  But you have to understand, many of my customers are older people who can hardly turn on their computers.  They become frightened if you move a single icon to a different part of the screen.

Thanks for reminding me about the Win8 Pro downgrade.  Is it difficult to downgrade to Win7 on a machine when you have Win8 pro on it?  That’s certainly the way to go, since I’m getting my computers from the Dell Small Business Outlet and most of the machines have pro on them.

Thanks,
Alan
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garycaseCommented:
Two thoughts ...

(1)  AIO's are very nice, but be sure your client realizes that many repairs will effectively mean a full system replacement.    Simple repairs (failed memory; bad hard drive) are reasonable ... but anything beyond that can be very problematic.    I have a friend who had a VERY nice Sony AIO that had an inverter fail.   Two inverters and $250 later it still had a bad inverter -- clearly something was causing this to fail ... and Sony wanted $500 minimum to look at it, and couldn't give a firm price without starting there.    He tossed the system.    I know folks with similar experiences with Dell AIO's.     So this form factor is one I'd definitely consider an extended warranty for.

(2)  As for the touchscreen -- I know a few folks who have purchased the touchscreen versions of AIO's => but ALL of them say if they had it to do over again they wouldn't have spent the extra $$ for the touchscreen.    For a large vertical display it's just not a natural interface (unlike a tablet or SmartPhone).     And in all the cases I'm talking about , this was with Windows 8 ... it's even less useful with Windows 7.

Just a couple things to consider.   If your customer wants a touchscreen, by all means get one.   They ARE nice ... and there's no disadvantage (except the extra cost) => you don't actually have to USE the touchscreen :-)     But if I was buying an AIO, it wouldn't be touch.
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ltechsolutionsCommented:
There's no way to do an in-place downgrade - you have to reformat the system with a Windows 7 disc.

rindi is correct in saying that your downgrade rights are only extended to the Professional edition. If you have the home edition, you'll need to purchase the professional edition.
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rindiCommented:
The so called "Start Button" you get with Windows 8.1 isn't really what I'd call a start button. It does the same thing as the start thing which Windows 8 showed when you hovered over the bottom right of the screen, it brings you back to the useless metro display. So to me it's more a "STOP" button. Right clicking it gives you some sort of menu system like the Start button of previous Windows versions gave you...

So I still use the 3rd party tool "ViStart" which is probably similar to your classic shell tool to get a real Start button (apart from that that tool already was able to get me to the desktop immediately on bootup).

When upgrading to Windows 7, you need to have some Windows 7 install media and do the installation, then to activate it you need to get in touch with m$ and provide them with the product key of Windows 8 you had installed before. They will then provide you with the new Windows 7 key. At least that's how I understand the procedure.

To expand on gary's note about AIO's, even simple upgrades like RAM or HD's can be a big issue.
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
gary_case, Dell Business Outlet Optiplexes come with a 3 year warranty and for another $85 I extend them for my customers to five years. (This was actually because of a heads up you gave me on another problem.  Thanks for that.)  Five years should do it. I also wait until their 30% off deals come up and get some very good deals. Actually there are some crazy deals. Because many of these are customer returns, you get what the original customer ordered.  Last week I purchased an Optiplex 9010 that came with 32GB of DDR3.  This customer doesn't need 8GB of RAM, much less 32.  I've discussed taking 16GB of that memory as part of my bill for buying and setting up the computer for him.  I can use it in other machines. That machine does have Windows 8 but I told him we should keep his old computer, with XP, right beside it until he gets used to Win8.  
Thanks again for everyone's good advice.
Alan
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
even simple upgrades like RAM or HD's can be a big issue.

rindi, that's a heads up.  I thought RAM and HD would be relatively simple.  The 9010 I bought for the customer last week wasn't an AIO, but just a regular 9010.  It came with a 250GB HD (which is actually more than he needs) but I will upgrade that to a 500 or 1TB drive.
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cwstad2Commented:
I have am AIO one made by HP and its great. Its several years old now and still holds its own. I recently upgraded to windows 8 and it works perfectly.  upgraded to windows 8.1 and didnt like the new start menu so replaced it with classic shell. Providing you buy one with an initial decent spec then you shouldnt have an issue
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
thinkpads_user, can you tell me how to do this.  I just upgraded to Win8.1 on a Lenovo that I use for testing. My understanding was that 8.1 would have the old fashioned windows start button but I can’t find it.  Is the old start button supposed to be there?

Windows 8.1 allows you to start in the Desktop but does not give you a traditional start button.

What I do is to put 3 or 4 more icons on the desktop so that ALL of my regularly used programs are there. Then I put the Start Programs Menu as a toolbar on the taskbar to the right. Everything else goes there automatically.

Right click on the Taskbar. Select New Taskbar. In the space provided, type:

%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs    and save it.

Now you have a new toolbar which is a Programs Menu.

You can use Start8 or Classic Shell but I do not.

.... Thinkpads_User
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terencinoCommented:
While Windows is great, I have to say that for the seniors that I support, it doesn't work well. One 80 year old client has an Acer 24" AIO that her son bought her and hasn't touched the screen once. She says it doesn't feel right. Windows is a complicated environment and quite expensive to support. So I'm starting to recommend iPads for my seniors now. Far less hardware and support required, moderate cost, an awesome array of accessibility options (particularly in iOS 7), easy backup to iCloud, and quite suited to their relatively light requirements (email, web browsing). For seniors, Windows is a platform for Office, but if they're not using Office, then the requirement for the platform largely disappears. The spare cash you can spend on a printer that supports AirPrint.

So if you talk to your senior about what she uses it for, and maybe bring in an iPad to show how it works, you could have a win-win.

Otherwise, in my opinion, I see touch interface as an optional extra, particularly with Windows. It's actually a bit of fun on my Lenovo T410s, but not the principal form of interaction. It works just fine in Windows 7 too.
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nobusCommented:
if he wants a touchscreen - why not mount it horizontal?
easier on the arm and wrist
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
This has been an immensely helpful discussion.  Thanks to all,
Alan
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@alanlsilverman - You are most welcome and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User
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