I already upgraded my computer with Windows 8 Pro and the free Media Package. Total cost was $39.99 from their website. This deal ends on Thursday so anyone considering the upgrade needs to act fast. It took a little learning curve, but I like Windows 8 now.
I really like Xp pro with SP 3. It's a solid o/s and does everything I need. Also, I have a $2,000 high speed document scanner made by Canon and they couldn't be bothered to update drivers for windows 7 or 8, so I have to hook up an old xp pro notebook to it. I feel like I'm before forced to upgrade to windoze crap when I update my pcs, and would just stick with XP pro if I could.
Some OEMs don't include Windows, and invest that $90-$100 into better hardware instead, or proper customer support which speaks English, or a combination of the two.
Dell figured they'd cheat people out of an extra $50, figuring that all things being equal, there are some people out there, like me, who, if left with no other option, would pay more for the system to not come pre-infected with the Windows malware itself. In fairness to Dell, Windows only does cost them maybe $20 because of all the crapware they bundle onto the system. (The cheaper licenses, like Home, are sometimes even money makers, because Dell can foist the same amount of trial crapware onto a Windows SKU that costs them less.)
Oddly, the pricing scheme they chose for Ubuntu GNU/Linux was the same as the program they had (have?) which charged customers an extra $50 to not include all the crapware. (Well, aside from Windows itself.)
Other than the shoddy reliability, difficulty in dealing with device drivers (which are all proprietary and might not even work with anything but the most recent version of Windows from when the hardware was sold, and which the device maker may or may not ever fix bugs after the initial driver release), the Digital Restrictions Malware (DRM), the 7-8 page long EULA that describes all the ways that Microsoft can sell off your private information, and how you are forbidden from using the copy you paid for, and are forced to agree that you do not own the software, and are just in a rental agreement that Microsoft can unilaterally end at any time, for any or no reason, you are forced to submit yourself to this thing called "product activation", and even after all that, you have to drain your computer's resources, which could be better spent running programs you actually want to use, to run antivirus software, which doesn't work, and often costs $50-60 a year for the "full version" that doesn't time out, quit updating itself, and spam you with pop-ups that are designed to psychologically manipulate you.
Norton, for example, had one that went something like "Say, that's a nice computer you have there, it would be a shame if something happened to it....Click here to give us your money."
Every time I am asked to work on someone's Windows computer that "slowed down and is barely responding at all", there's always an antivirus program there that has been shut down by the malware and is not protecting the system. Gee, that was $50-60 well spent.... Plus, "Computer Repair Technicians" manage to make $70-80 an hour in some cases just to fix this crap, at least for another week, until more of it comes along. Some of them, such as Best Buy, will even claim you should just give up and buy a new computer, which will come with Windows, and leave you back where you started, eventually.
Isaac Fischer: "I really like Xp pro with SP 3. It's a solid o/s and does everything I need. Also, I have a $2,000 high speed document scanner made by Canon and they couldn't be bothered to update drivers for windows 7 or 8, so I have to hook up an old xp pro notebook to it. I feel like I'm before forced to upgrade to windoze crap when I update my pcs, and would just stick with XP pro if I could."
Yes, I have an HP printer that they stopped making Windows drivers for sometime around Vista. I don't know if they'd still work in Vista 7 or 8, but the drivers had bugs that I've seen other users complain about, that HP has obviously never bothered to fix. Judging from what I see on their site, HP's printer driver bundle for Windows is hundreds of megabytes because it includes bloated crapware.
Someone I know who has a similar Officejet model "upgraded" to Vista 8 and now their scanner doesn't work.
Why do people put up with this crap? The only reason HP does it is so you have to buy a new printer. That's part of the "hidden upgrade costs" of Windows. You have to throw out a lot of working hardware and spend hundreds replacing it because the hardware maker didn't feel like producing new drivers. New drivers cost them money to develop. They cost hundreds of dollars to get Microsoft to digitally sign.
Leaving the users suffering with a driver full of bugs that hasn't been updated in 6 years and last fully worked one or two Windows releases ago is not only free for them, it's a money maker, because they get you to replace hardware that should still work.
The HPLIP package still operates my all in one printer just fine. :)
It's not hard. Vista 7 even has an ISO image burner these days, so you should just be able to pop in a blank DVD and double click the ISO file, and tell it to write.
It was a little harder in Vista and XP, because Windows couldn't write ISO images until decades after people started using them. But, in that way, it's just like Windows supporting ZIP 15 years after people started using it. (And after it was superceded by better archive and compression formats)
I don't really care if Windows users can figure out how to open archives I upload places. If they can't figure out what a 7zip archive is, they're too stupid to live and I don't really want to deal with them.
Let them call Mahmagoudi at Dell Customer Support.
Or you could just order a system from Zareason or System76.... I guess...
I wouldn't just replace a working computer to replace the OS, but if your existing system is decrepit and due for a replacement anyway (Probably anything that dates back to before 2003 or so), it may be worth it to just start out with a system that does things right the first time rather than trying to wedge a decent OS onto a system that was built by cost-cutters in the Windows XP era.
There is one way HP can still get you for a new printer. They can stop making cartridges for the old printer. I finally had to throw out a printer from 2001 around 2008 or so and figured that I may as well just get an all in one while I was at it.
I may not do that again, because some of them are introducing an anti-feature into the printer firmware (the software that runs on the printer itself) that will cause it to refuse to scan or fax anything if you're out of ink.... Yeah...
Mine doesn't do that, but thanks to the whole "internet of things" BS, the newer models could add that later and force the "upgrade" on you to the new firmware that does that.
quote: Funny, I've got no problems with Windows 8 Pro and all my hardware including an all in one printer are working just fine.
hmmm, yea, funny, I dont think anyone on this thread was claiming all hardware won't work with Windows 8. I just noted I have an expensive scanner that doesn't work with it, and that's because Canon won't update the drivers.
Some manufacturers *do* upgrade their drivers and fix bugs and support new versions of Windows, and pay Microsoft $500 a year to sign their new drivers, many MANY others don't. You're at the mercy of their whim, just as when you depend on any other proprietary software.
You can tell when I have to sit down and use a Windows computer. Well, I restrain myself if I'm at a library, because they might have to call the police if someone started using that kind of language for (seemingly, to them) no particular reason.
"Really? REALLY!! Windows was doing that $@%##ing #$%@ to me 12 G#$@#@#@d years ago! Mother#$@$%er please! Kiss my #$@!!!"
7,000 hotfixes and 12 years later.
You know, I was 17 years old when Windows XP came out. I'm almost 29 now, and it still does stupid things that any decent software company would have either fixed or been too ashamed of to release it onto paying customers like that.
I really like MS-Dos 6.22, but seems there is no support for it! On the serious note I don't like the idiot-interface of Win8, Windows7 is ok, didn't like Vista compared to Xp SP3. I wouldn't upgrade to Win8 when they are charging $125 to downgrade to Win7.
There is FreeDOS, although all I've used it for in recent times was so I could flash a new version of my BIOS without needing their Windows utility.
It is completely MS-DOS compatible from what I understand, and better. It has several DOS extenders available to it (including all of them that were released for MS-DOS), including one that can put the CPU in 32-bit Protected Mode and give an application that was written with that in mind access to RAM up to 4 GB. Technically, it would be possible to use a DOS extender to put the CPU in 64-bit Long Mode, but to my knowledge, nobody has done so.
It also understands the FAT32 file system. I don't know that it would be safe to implement ExFAT or NTFS support on it, since Microsoft is a patent aggressor. Also, the design limitations of DOS would make it extremely difficult (impossible?) to write a complete version of such a file system driver, because the driver would take at least several MB of RAM, and DOS only has the 640K of Conventional RAM and 384K Upper Memory Area. Unless the driver was to load part of itself into conventional memory (enough to read out to the disk and call an Extended Memory Manager, then load the rest of the driver into the Extended Memory Area (memory above 1 MB) and map code segments from there into the Upper Memory Area so that DOS could read them.
It would be very slow and it would use up a lot of conventional memory and upper memory. So much so that other programs might not even work by the time you were done.
Meh, it's Microsoft. 640K should be enough for anyone. Right? ;)
It would probably be easier to rewrite the DOS system without the limits of the 8086 memory model and then implement a subsystem that emulated the limitations of Microsoft DOS. But at this point, there's no reason to do something like that.
I just run my DOS applications in DOSBox. Wine's EXE loader will try to figure out from the Portable Executable Header whether the executable is for Windows or DOS, and forward it to DOSBox if that's installed. Although, Windows 1.x and 2.x EXEs use the same header as DOS applications, so they will be broken, as Wine will attempt to load them into DOSBox.
In fact, Microsoft themselves had DOS emulation for a while in Windows NT's cmd.exe, complete with a command.com command interpreter replacement. They removed it in x86-64 versions of Windows for no particular reason. They really broke it anyway in Vista's video driver model, when they prohibited it from taking over the screen and running in 320 x 200 resolutions.
Oh there will be reasons, I suppose. Microsoft has ways to turn the screws on people who think they'll be clever and stick with the version of Windows that doesn't suck as badly as the new one. They'll cut off new versions of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player (Who cares? They're just there and you can't uninstall them, and they occasionally enable malware attacks), but also things that people using Windows actually use, like DirectX.
Eventually they'll cut off new device drivers because they will just refuse to sign any new ones. Then, eventually, I'm sure they'll refuse to reactivate older versions of Windows that are out of support. XP still has a little over a year before we see if they do that.
Really, any operating system as old as Windows XP is, is totally inappropriate to be using on new hardware, and newer versions of Windows are just totally inappropriate to even try to use, period.
Well, regarding price, piracy is built into their business model. It goes on as long as they tolerate it. If they clamped down today, they'd lose half their users to GNU/Linux tomorrow. Because Windows isn't worth $150 or more to most users who see the real price up front. They have the ability to detect and shut down any pirated copy of Windows they want to deactivate. It doesn't even really have to be pirated. Before the invasion of Iraq, the US government had Microsoft shut down Iraq's computers that were running Windows.
To Microsoft, tolerating piracy would be like an airline that price gouges, but allows enough passengers to sneak onboard without paying to fill up the empty seats, just in case they'd think about going to a competitor.
Eventually, the idea is that you starve the competitor anyway, and it doesn't matter if they had better deals because people could get your product "for free", and that sucked the air out of the market for competition.
"We'll figure out how to get them to pay in the next decade" - Bill Gates on China in the 90s.
Well, Free Software (as in freedom) can go on without a lot of paying users because it doesn't cost much of anything to compile and distribute. If you have a few users that pay for support (Red Hat/SUSE/Ubuntu) or buy a few applications from your software store (Ubuntu), you can afford to let everyone else just keep using it for free, and that's OK.
(Of course there are community distributions that aren't there to make money in the first place and if the donation box covers the bandwidth costs and hosting fees, it goes on. Again, you can have most people not pay anything and go on just fine.)
The point of Free Software is that it's intended to be a social movement. It's there to correct the market abuses that proprietary software inflicts on its victims.
I've seen many negative reviews. The features are there and you just need to learn some new ways of doing things. Honestly, it took me at least 2 weeks to warm up to Windows 8. Now, I know what I'm doing and it's fine.