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Thread: To upgrade or not to Upgrade (Windows 7 versus 8.1)

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    To upgrade or not to Upgrade (Windows 7 versus 8.1)

    Written for my blog....


    A clan member recently asked which version of Windows he should buy, the options being Windows 7, or Windows 8.1. As expected, a lot of debate ensued with various people backing Windows 8.1 while I was one of the few that would stick with Windows 7.

    I’ve been using computers since a very young age (started in 1986). Assessing the purpose of why I enjoy computers, I would say it can be categorise as follows, the first is that I enjoy pushing the boundaries with what I can do with a computer, and the other purpose is what I will call “functional” use. Let’s break those two categories further down.

    In the case of pushing the boundaries, I would categorise things like overclocking the hardware, upgrade with beta drivers, testing out the latest releases of software, buy a new piece of hardware that have just released. Basically, all those things that has the potential to really case issues when not done correctly.

    On the other side of the coin, I also see the use of a computer to be slightly more functional. A means to an end if you wish, this is where you rather opt for stability backed by tried and tested methods. Note that this category is not limited to Excel and Word (productivity programs), but also includes things like gaming and other things you would generally be doing on a computer. In this category, you want things to work, you don’t want to see the computer crash, you don’t want to worry about whether or not you have redundancy on your hardware. You really want to switch on the computer, open up your favourite program, and it just works.

    If I can be as blunt, I would say the personality of the above two categories is amplified when you look at the personality profiles of people running Linux versus MacOS users. I appreciate this is a big generalisation I know, but Linux users are generally a lot more tech-savvy than your MacOS users. (note that linux servers I would say is amongst the best “functional” solution that exist, so I do appreciate the error in this generalisation, but I am talking your average end user).

    Another example, maybe not as pronounce, is iOS users versus Android users. Android apps are dime a dozen where anybody can launch a new app. iOS apps on the other hand need to go through rigorous testing before it is allowed in the Apple Appstore. Because of this, generally (not always) those apps bought on the Apple Appstore are more stable than their counter part.

    When we look at the life cycle of these two categories, the “functionality” and “pushing the boundaries”, the life cycle tends to be very different. The “pushing the boundaries” will have a much shorter life cycle before the next boundary will be on the cards and they will push that. People in this category update regular, have the latest hardware, have the latest version of Photoshop and is generally the more adventurous type. On the other hand, the people using the computer for function, be that to create an excel spreadsheet, or to launch the latest game, is quite content with not having beta drivers installed on their computer (why fix it if it ain’t broken). People with a strong inclination to functionality upgrade out of necessity rather than upgrade because there is a new version.

    It is extremely rare that you will find a person that is either-or, most people will sometimes need the functionality of the computer, while other times they are quite comfortable to push some boundaries. Each person’s aptitude is different; for instance, I am quite comfortable to have an instable computer if it means I can get a couple more points running some benchmarks, but when I have a financial model to finish up, I need a rock solid computer.

    So, how does this bring us back to whether somebody should upgrade to Windows 8.1 or stay with Windows 7. The way that I see this is as follows, the personality that is fine to push the boundaries should go with Windows 8.1, it is a solid OS, it works, but the price for pushing the boundary here is that you will need to learn a new interface which may or may not be the same for Windows 9. On the other hand, you have Windows 7, also a rock solid OS, it works, it has a familiar interface, you don’t need to worry about drivers that are not available, or drivers that have not yet matured. It works, you switch on the computer, you launch your game or program and you go.

    I don’t see any real benefits for a “functional” user to upgrade to Windows 8 over that of Windows 7. Somebody could argue that why not just stay with Windows XP, which brings us back to that point of sometimes necessity demands pushing the boundaries. Windows 7 incorporated a lot of features that is absolutely needed for modern computers (Trim support, DirectX11 etc.) whereas nothing in Windows 8.1 is really adding anything to a typical modern computer today. If you run XP on a modern computer with SSD’s, your computer will slow down due to the lack of TRIM support. I can run Windows 7 just as well as Windows 8 on any modern computer.

    I think Windows 8 has a lot of promise but I just don’t see the added benefits of using Windows 8 compelling enough to sacrifice the time required to learn the new interface. As such, answering the question which Windows, boils down to the personality profile of the individual asking the question and the purpose for what he uses his computer for. Personally, I have ran Windows 8 on a number of my computers, tested it and made my opinion on it, but for my computers which I use daily for I am still running Windows 7 and most likely wait until an upgrade on them becomes a necessity or until the benefit exceeds the frustrations of learning a new UI.

    If you had to ask if you need to upgrade or not... then your general personality is that of somebody not needing to push boundaries and who are quite content with the status quo which is why my answer is "Stick with Windows 7".
    Last edited by Skouperd; 24-07-2014 at 12:46 PM.

    Scientific fact, dried testicles of rhino poachers can cure aids.

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    Is there a summary version?

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    http://imgur.com/1Rt5EUh

    Its an old benchmark. Couldnt find anything newer on the first page of Google.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megageth View Post
    http://imgur.com/1Rt5EUh

    Its an old benchmark. Couldnt find anything newer on the first page of Google.
    Well, there's a functional reason for Win 8.1 over Win 7...

    So Denis, how about the real question of the day. If you had neither version of Windows at this point, and had to buy one, which one should you go for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Th4ng View Post
    Well, there's a functional reason for Win 8.1 over Win 7...

    So Denis, how about the real question of the day. If you had neither version of Windows at this point, and had to buy one, which one should you go for?
    Win 8.1 cause things have and always will change, so keep up with time !!!

    my 2c



    Q1 : How did the game go
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    I recently received my new laptop two weeks ago, it came furnished with Windows 8, I've upgraded to Windows 8.1. I then uninstalled it and installed Windows 7 on it. I have both licenses, and I still opted for the older version being Windows 7. As such, I would recommend Windows 7.

    It is fine to keep up with the times, but on that philosophy, you then also need to have a linux box, and an MacOS box so that argument is flawed.... there are no reasons to "keep up with time" just becaue a new version of something is released.

    Scientific fact, dried testicles of rhino poachers can cure aids.

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    I would also suggest people have a look at this site here:
    http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp

    compare how similar the trend for Vista and Windows 8 are. From a longevity perspective, I would go with Windows 7, unless, in a year's time when Windows 9 releases, Paul is prepare to push the boundaries again and go with Windows 9. I can see Windows 7 staying around very much like Windows XP.

    Scientific fact, dried testicles of rhino poachers can cure aids.

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    Win 95, Win 98/Win ME, Win XP, Win Vista, Win 7, Win 8/Win 8.1... spot the trend?

    Just about every second version of Windows is meh, and they then implement feedback and improvements for the cool version that follows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Musketeer View Post
    Win 95, Win 98/Win ME, Win XP, Win Vista, Win 7, Win 8/Win 8.1... spot the trend?

    Just about every second version of Windows is meh, and they then implement feedback and improvements for the cool version that follows.
    Absolutely Muskateer, which is why I say if you have the personality of somebody keen to push the boundaries, then by all means, go with Windows 8.1 but if you are looking for a solid solution that works, then there is nothing wrong with Windows 7 either.

    Scientific fact, dried testicles of rhino poachers can cure aids.

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    Win 8 was a step into unknown territory, so it's likely the second OS in this space will be better...

    Under the hood, Win 8 is more sophisticated and powerful, but has the interface that drives you mad. Metro and gestures are powerful, only if you have a touchscreen. Hence the 8.1 update for all those who don't.

    Hopefully, the trend will continue, and Windows 9 will be the synthesis of the best of both worlds.

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