Windows 8... worth an upgrade from 7? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
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With all the deals on Windows 8 Pro upgrade this week I am wondering if I should give it a go for my htpc. I have an older dual core Pentium with windows 7 pro and I use this system for everything tv or media related. From tv, dvr, music, movies, plex server, blu ray playback and media browser.

Anyone have any input on it? Was media center included in the pre release beta version? Anyone have experience with it and should I be concerned with programs and drivers not playing nice with it?
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post #2 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 12:22 AM
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I'm upgrading Day 1 on my work system, the following week on my gaming system for $15 x 2. You need Win 8 drivers, but programs that work with 7 will work with 8. As for your HTPC, try it out first elsewhere.
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post #3 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 05:15 AM
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Just because there may be good deals on Windows 8 doesn't mean you should upgrade. If your Windows 7 setup is working then why screw with it? Anytime you "upgrade" an HTPC you could potentially be opening a huge can of worms. Media Center is not included with Windows 8. It's available as a separate download for Win 8 Pro.
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post #4 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 07:15 AM
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A few may actually like Win 8, but I think it's the worst OS I've ever seen, and so do many others. I strongly suggest you try it first or at least do more research before you ruin your PC. I know I will never put this abomination on my HTPC. There is a reason the "upgrade" price is so low.

That said, it works fine with WMC and all the tuners I've tried (Ceton and SD), although some add-ins do not and probably never will.
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post #5 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 07:59 AM
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I won't for my HTPCs but there are features I like for my desktop PCs and for a server PC (Storage Spaces).

 

 

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post #6 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 08:08 AM
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I installed Windows 8 Pro last night for the first time and played with it a while (although I did not attempt to get WMC running on it). My initial impression of it... I was reminded of the "WTFs per minute" code quality cartoon...

Lots of WTFs were flying around here last night.
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post #7 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 10:11 AM
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I'll get an upgrade license to Windows 8 Pro for my HTPC while the special offer deal is in force ($39.99 + free Windows Media Center add-on). This deal expires end January 2013, and then the prices go up considerably.

I'll try out the upgrade to W8 on my HTPC, but if it doesn't pan out, I can always go back to W7, and wait for the Windows 8 applications market to surpass what I currently have.

My main desktop PC gets upgraded to W8 on day one. I've been running W8 previews since last February, and have no wish to go back to W7.

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post #8 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 11:05 AM
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Does anyone know if the boxed upgrade versions have the free MCE upgrade? The only things I've seen have said that the download version, directly from MSFT, includes it. Microcenter has a deal for $38.88 for a Win 8 Pro upgrade in the box, but it doesn't say if it includes the free MCE upgrade.
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post #9 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 11:10 AM
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I haven't seen this addressed yet. When you do an upgrade vs a fresh install windows preserves your installed programs. does the Windows 8 upgrade over 7 wipe out WMC? even if you have installed 3rd party plugins? Curious...
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post #10 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 11:38 AM
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RTM version of Win8 WMC is not possible to purchase/activate yet (altought Win8 Pro RTM has been available since 8/15), so not much is known for final release of Win8 WMC although expectations are it will be not much different than Win7.
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post #11 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 12:39 PM
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You can compare the effect to what happens if you uninstall WMC in Windows 7 (=removing the feature). Afaik plugins will be back, once you re-install.
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post #12 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 04:20 PM
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Remember this old saying : ?

If it ain't broke , keep fixing it until you break it . Then , come back here and whine like hell about it . rolleyes.gif
davdev and mhobart like this.
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post #13 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flocko View Post

Remember this old saying : ?
If it ain't broke , keep fixing it until you break it . Then , come back here and whine like hell about it . rolleyes.gif

Doesn't apply to OS's. Win 8 is more secure, faster, and has a swag of useful features - built in antivirus, built-in .iso support, built in .pdf support, storage spaces, built-in USB 3 native support etc. It was not designed back when VHS's were popular. Of course to get the full benefit, you should be running nothing older than the first gen Core i3/'s/i5's (530, 750, 860 etc), and have a newish SSD. Time to chuck the olde Core 2's and Pentium 4's and *vomits* XP. Its 2012, you should have a modern OS and modern hardware.
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post #14 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Doesn't apply to OS's. Win 8 is more secure, faster, and has a swag of useful features - built in antivirus, built-in .iso support, built in .pdf support, storage spaces, built-in USB 3 native support etc. It was not designed back when VHS's were popular. Of course to get the full benefit, you should be running nothing older than the first gen Core i3/'s/i5's (530, 750, 860 etc), and have a newish SSD. Time to chuck the olde Core 2's and Pentium 4's and *vomits* XP. Its 2012, you should have a modern OS and modern hardware.
Still, you don't really gain anything for a htpc, especially if WMC is the main program that you're using. There is a good chance that not everything works as expected.
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post #15 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 05:55 PM
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There are many improvements in Windows 8, but if Windows 7 is doing the job, then maybe hold off unless you would benefit from the improvements in a tangible way.

There is talk of J River media center possibly making a Metro app, I think VLC might in the future - though not sure of the legality of that one (so it could just be wishful thinking).

What we really need is close integration between Windows 8 and say a Surface tablet (or windows phone 8) to use as a remote - and not just a dumb remote, but a proper 2 way remote with all the trimmings, being able to watch on the tablet but switch to the TV etc. From what I've read, it would require a dedicated application to do that. Something like Plex maybe.
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post #16 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Doesn't apply to OS's. Win 8 is more secure, faster, and has a swag of useful features - built in antivirus, built-in .iso support, built in .pdf support, storage spaces, built-in USB 3 native support etc. It was not designed back when VHS's were popular. Of course to get the full benefit, you should be running nothing older than the first gen Core i3/'s/i5's (530, 750, 860 etc), and have a newish SSD. Time to chuck the olde Core 2's and Pentium 4's and *vomits* XP. Its 2012, you should have a modern OS and modern hardware.

To each his own for sure . If Droid 8 is what u (or anyone) calls up to date or any other quip "of the day" one could come up with then more power to ya. I for one and many others as I can plainly see here would think otherwise . Every time some new os comes bee bopping along folks want to use it cause it's NEW. I love my Android phone . Does everything and more I need it to but I don't want it for a personnel computer and for sure not a htpc.

Tell u what .... sell me a copy of Win 8 pro for retail price and I will give it back to you for free !!! tongue.gif
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post #17 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Doesn't apply to OS's. Win 8 is more secure, faster, and has a swag of useful features - built in antivirus, built-in .iso support, built in .pdf support, storage spaces, built-in USB 3 native support etc. It was not designed back when VHS's were popular. Of course to get the full benefit, you should be running nothing older than the first gen Core i3/'s/i5's (530, 750, 860 etc), and have a newish SSD. Time to chuck the olde Core 2's and Pentium 4's and *vomits* XP. Its 2012, you should have a modern OS and modern hardware.
If you say so. It's kind of like buying a porche with the doors locked (metro) so you can't even get in. And once you break the locks and get inside, the steering wheel is gone (no start menu), the seats have been removed (very uncomfortable to drive), the transmission has only one gear (no multitasking capability whatsoever) and the head unit is an AM radio (childish retro interface). Sure the engine is great, but if the rest of the experience sucks, what's the point. If this is modern, I'll happily stay in the past as long as I can.
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post #18 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 07:24 PM
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WMC aside, I can't believe how melodramatic people are being about Win8. Don't like Metro? Stay on the desktop. Sheesh.
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post #19 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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I have a Dreamspark account, so I have been running the same version you will buy in the stores for a few days now. It requires a bit of change to the way you think - took me a while to find the shutdown selection. (note, go to the lower or upper right side corner, a menu will appear, select settings, it is in there (control panel is in there too). I do like the tiles, once I got used to them. I added my most commonly used programs to the metro tiles page and removed all the stupid stuff I do not want. If I want something else, I just start typing and it comes up with suggestions. There is also a desktop tile - click it and you are back to your comfortable old desktop again.

Windows boots to the metro screen in 15 seconds - and this is with a normal 7200 rpm HDD. It took over a minute to do it with Win 7 on the exact same machine as a point of reference. I was shocked at how fast the metro screen appeared and something was wrong (it was a cold boot - I removed the 3 seconds of BIOS time from the startup since that is not anything MS can change).

Almost all my Win7 drivers worked without a need to change them - but I changed to Win8 drivers anyway. My Cisco VPN client stopped working and reinstalling it did not help. I now run the free Shrew Soft VPN Access Manager which can import Cisco profiles and connect without an issue. I had to remove Microsoft Security Essentials prior to the upgrade, but then Win8 put a new version on for me.

My only real complaint is how the new IE10 deals with flash - which is horrifying bad. It has a LOT of trouble with this forum as well - the drop downs do not appear unless I go to compatibility mode and back out of it again. Forum Nav drop down, mark forums read, etc. Forget about facebook games. I now use Firefox for facebook.

Everything is a bit peppier now that I am running Win8. I like it for my gaming machine. I am not sure if I will upgrade my HTPC or not since I am using old hardware (Intel E7200 CPU) and do not want to worry about potential driver problems.
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post #20 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

WMC aside, I can't believe how melodramatic people are being about Win8. Don't like Metro? Stay on the desktop. Sheesh.

Can you stay on the desktop? When I had asked they said that it booted to metro regardless.
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post #21 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

If you say so. It's kind of like buying a porche with the doors locked (metro) so you can't even get in. And once you break the locks and get inside, the steering wheel is gone (no start menu), the seats have been removed (very uncomfortable to drive), the transmission has only one gear (no multitasking capability whatsoever) and the head unit is an AM radio (childish retro interface). Sure the engine is great, but if the rest of the experience sucks, what's the point. If this is modern, I'll happily stay in the past as long as I can.

Nope. Win + D = desktop. Or just hit the Windows key. One shortcut/button press and Metro vanishes. Desktop is essentially identical to 7. Charms are Win + C, all apps Win + Q, just type to search and enter to start. Win 8 is a great OS. Just spend an hour learning two or three new shortcuts. The start menu has been reduced to Win+X, a power menu with critical shortcuts to the guts of the OS.
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post #22 of 497 Old 10-23-2012, 09:40 PM
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That will work great on an HTPC with no keyboard! Text search every task and memorize yet another alphabet soup of Win key shortcuts which are useless on an MCE remote.

The GUI has taken a huge step backwards in terms of looks and ease of use. No easy mouse navigation, no thanks. I have no desire to go back to the days of DOS.

My frustration is directed squarely at Microsoft, not at you. So please forgive my sarcasm. I appreciate you posting all this information, but honestly, none of it makes Win 8 any more desirable to me.
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post #23 of 497 Old 10-24-2012, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdkhang View Post

What we really need is close integration between Windows 8 and say a Surface tablet (or windows phone 8) to use as a remote - and not just a dumb remote, but a proper 2 way remote with all the trimmings, being able to watch on the tablet but switch to the TV etc. From what I've read, it would require a dedicated application to do that. Something like Plex maybe.

Er, you mean like Smartglass? See http://www.xbox.com/en-US/smartglass

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post #24 of 497 Old 10-24-2012, 06:07 AM
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Newegg is selling Win 8 pro 64 (full version) OEM. I get the OEM part, but what do you think full version means if WMC license is sold seperately? Wouldn't Pro have everything already?
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post #25 of 497 Old 10-24-2012, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

I'm upgrading Day 1 on my work system, the following week on my gaming system for $15 x 2. You need Win 8 drivers, but programs that work with 7 will work with 8. As for your HTPC, try it out first elsewhere.

$15 dollars, how so cheap?
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post #26 of 497 Old 10-24-2012, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Doesn't apply to OS's. Win 8 is more secure, faster, and has a swag of useful features - built in antivirus, built-in .iso support, built in .pdf support, storage spaces, built-in USB 3 native support etc. It was not designed back when VHS's were popular. Of course to get the full benefit, you should be running nothing older than the first gen Core i3/'s/i5's (530, 750, 860 etc), and have a newish SSD. Time to chuck the olde Core 2's and Pentium 4's and *vomits* XP. Its 2012, you should have a modern OS and modern hardware.

Uhm, if it needs stronger hardware then it isn't faster. But this is not what I've heard.
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post #27 of 497 Old 10-24-2012, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scopeyus View Post

Newegg is selling Win 8 pro 64 (full version) OEM. I get the OEM part, but what do you think full version means if WMC license is sold seperately? Wouldn't Pro have everything already?
Nope. WMC is an add-on feature. Microsoft originally said that it would be "low-cost", what ever that means. Until end January 2013, the WMC add-on is free for the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade. It's not clear whether this offer also applies to the OEM version.

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post #28 of 497 Old 10-24-2012, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

That will work great on an HTPC with no keyboard! Text search every task and memorize yet another alphabet soup of Win key shortcuts which are useless on an MCE remote.
The GUI has taken a huge step backwards in terms of looks and ease of use. No easy mouse navigation, no thanks. I have no desire to go back to the days of DOS.
My frustration is directed squarely at Microsoft, not at you. So please forgive my sarcasm. I appreciate you posting all this information, but honestly, none of it makes Win 8 any more desirable to me.

Yup, I love me some start bar.
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post #29 of 497 Old 10-24-2012, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

$15 dollars, how so cheap?
Presumably the desktop and gaming systems were bought as Windows 7 systems after June 2nd 2012, and hence qualify for the $14.99 upgrade?

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/10/12/reserve-your-copy-of-windows-8-pro-and-pre-order-windows-8-pcs-today.aspx

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post #30 of 497 Old 10-24-2012, 09:16 AM
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Unless some kick-butt 3rd party HTPC apps are designed for windows 8 that aren't available on Win7, I see absolutely no reason to change your HTPC to Win8. Unlike Win7 over Vista, there are no updates or improvements to WMC that I've heard of.

I've been using Win8 on a touchscreen HP laptop. Took a little getting used to, but it is a nice OS for touchscreens. I really don't care to update a regular laptop to Win8. This OS was built around their new tablet. They figured they'd get extra revenue stream by also marketing it for existing PCs, which is a smart company move.
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