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Old 10-03-2014, 01:12   #1
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Thumbs up Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

Hi, to the fleet!
I have been advised against purchasing a computer running windows 8. Upon checking both Winlink and OpenCPN websites, however current software appears to address this operating system. Is anyone able to advise positive results?
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:58   #2
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

I have windows 8.1 and am fine with it. There's a short learning curve but once you get used to it, it's fine. LL
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:19   #3
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

Most people I know don't care for the Windows 8.1 user interface referred to quite often as "Metro". I've installed a program called "Classic Shell" which gives the operating system the look and feel of the older versions of Windows. After that everyone seems to be able to cope with operating system. Also stay away from their "app" store programs which haven't been as good as the standard versions of the software.

No one I know has purchased any system with a touch screen, even a friend of mine who got a new desktop machine last week. I ended up having to install Classic Shell on it so he could even use the machine.

Other than that the operating system seems stable. I will have to admit I do like their built in virus software which Microsoft continually updates with new virus definitions.

Currently I'm running a linux "Mint" test machine to see if I can live without Microsoft. I really do dislike the Windows 8 and 8.1 user interface.
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Old 10-03-2014, 14:04   #4
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

I am very much interested in the input of this thread also as I will be purchasing a PC Tablet for Open CPN and Winlink. So far I get pretty flat reviews from articles I read online and also read enthusiastic expectations of a new and better system. Seems Microsoft is always in too much of a hurry to release a new product.
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Old 10-03-2014, 14:56   #5
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

The last article I read on the upcoming 'new release' of Windows 8.1 stated they're not going back to the old 'start button' that was used up to Windows 7.

All Microsoft did was tweak the current "Metro" interface to make it a little more user friendly but they refuse to re-instate a 'start button'.

The way they're treating their customer base leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Not that I really trust any big business but I really don't feel comfortable with Microsoft.

A new Windows 8.1 update tries to win back desktop diehards | ZDNet

A close-up look at Windows 8.1 Update 1 | ZDNet
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Old 10-03-2014, 15:01   #6
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

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Originally Posted by kentobin View Post
The last article I read on the upcoming 'new release' of Windows 8.1 stated they're not going back to the old 'start button' that was used up to Windows 7.

All Microsoft did was tweak the current "Metro" interface to make it a little more user friendly but they refuse to re-instate a 'start button'.

The way they're treating their customer base leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Not that I really trust any big business but I really don't feel comfortable with Microsoft.

A new Windows 8.1 update tries to win back desktop diehards | ZDNet

A close-up look at Windows 8.1 Update 1 | ZDNet
Simple answer: Install Classic Shell. Problem solved, in less time than it took you to post your message.
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Old 10-03-2014, 15:57   #7
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

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Simple answer: Install Classic Shell. Problem solved, in less time than it took you to post your message.
Not to start a fight here but to find a solution that was acceptable took a lot longer than 5 minutes and my experience is that most non-technical people haven't a clue what to do aside from getting frustrated.
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Old 10-03-2014, 16:08   #8
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

I have Win 8.1 on a laptop I recently purchased. I have installed openCPN on it, but not winlink. From what I've seen, there are no compatibility issues between software that runs on win 7 and win 8. If it ran on 7, it will more than likeley run on 8.

I bought the new laptop for it's screen size and CPU power and was planning to install win 7 on the SSD I installed in it, but after playing with win 8 it wasn't so bad. Yes, it was a bit of a learning curve to get around in, it's not as intuitive as they seem to think it is, but it's actually faster in bootup and shutdown than win 7 and I couldn't really find anything wrong with the way it operates, so I kept it.
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Old 10-03-2014, 16:14   #9
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

I agree with socaldmax.

It's not hard to get past the initial revulsion caused by the "metro" start window. All the apps I use run off the desktop, just like in Win 7. I have them all available either as buttons on the tray or shortcuts on the desktop. The "metro" window shows up at startup, but clicking on my browser button takes me to the desktop and all is good.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:18   #10
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

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Simple answer: Install Classic Shell.
That is the simple answer, it's true. But it begs the question, what's wrong with this picture?

Microsoft comes out with a "new and improved" user interface, which almost all of their existing customers hate, and almost immediately a cottage industry springs up providing a wrapper to hide their hideously bad interface from the user.

Do these guys NEVER learn!?! Of course, the good news is that Microsoft--almost single-handedly--has supplied all the fuel necessary to keep the Linux revolution going for years and years.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:54   #11
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

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That is the simple answer, it's true. But it begs the question, what's wrong with this picture?

Microsoft comes out with a "new and improved" user interface, which almost all of their existing customers hate, and almost immediately a cottage industry springs up providing a wrapper to hide their hideously bad interface from the user.

Do these guys NEVER learn!?! Of course, the good news is that Microsoft--almost single-handedly--has supplied all the fuel necessary to keep the Linux revolution going for years and years.
Exactly. Making billions of dollars in profits along the way - not by providing a better product - but by providing an unstable, unusable, more bloated new version of the product every 2 or 3 yrs. Remember all of the iterations of windoze before XP? The first usable version that didn't go BSOD every single day.

I call it the Microsoft product evolution strategy, and quite a few US companies are following the example. Not just in software, but in every day products as well. Build 23 versions of crap, make billions in the process. It's not about excellence in engineering, it's about selling volume.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:55   #12
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

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That is the simple answer, it's true. But it begs the question, what's wrong with this picture?

Microsoft comes out with a "new and improved" user interface, which almost all of their existing customers hate, and almost immediately a cottage industry springs up providing a wrapper to hide their hideously bad interface from the user.

Do these guys NEVER learn!?! Of course, the good news is that Microsoft--almost single-handedly--has supplied all the fuel necessary to keep the Linux revolution going for years and years.
Large companies make lots of mistakes. Remember Apple's Newton? What a terrible idea! Who would ever want a tablet computer to hold in their hand? Oh wait a second, maybe that's not the best example....

My point is this - There are lots of mistakes that are really mistakes. Then there are "mistakes" that are misunderstood, or are simply ahead of their time, perhaps because the hardware technology is not ready to accommodate the software demands. The Newton was a flop. But the Newton team formed Palm, and the mobile handheld device was born. Then they made the Treo, one of the very first smartphones. Then Blackberry, iPhone, Android, iPad, etc.... But much of it is traceable to that one big flop.

It's too early to tell about Microsoft's move with Modern interface. I agree that eliminating the Start Menu was a mistake. But it is SO EASY TO FIX that there's really no reason to complain. At this point, I'd rather Microsoft work on other enhancements and just let the 3rd party developers provide the Start Menu for those who want one. Why redo something that's been done perfectly fine already?

To desktop users the Modern interface may not make much sense. But to those with touchscreens, whether in a desktop, kiosk, laptop, or tablet form factor, it brings a more touch friendly environment. And consolidating all of that down to a single OS could be a great strategy.

Personally, I think that the ability to run legacy desktop programs and touch-opimized Modern apps side-by-side on the same hardware is a powerful combination. I think that there's a good chance that Microsoft-powered devices (Surface Pro plus 3rd party tablets like those made by Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, etc.) could grab a dominant share of the enterprise tablet market within the next year.

For me, I'm just thrilled that I can now run OpenCPN on a tablet, right out of the box. My Miix2 8" tablet is the perfect platform for that.

I'm also pleased that I was able to purchase very low-cost Windows 8 desktop PCs for my wife and son a year ago. They aren't very tech-savvy, they just wanted faster machines than their 10-year-old XP machines. With Classic Shell on their machines, they have had no complaints and no compatibility issues. They work fine for them, and they don't care about any of the stuff that people are complaining about.

As for fueling the "Linux revolution," I haven't heard much about Linux running on tablets. Desktops are dying, tablets and handheld devices are where it's at. A few dribbles here and there, but also heard a lot of power management issues, etc. What fraction of tablets out there run Linux? I'd bet it's well under 1%. And Linux phones are non-existent. Not sure that's a revolution yet.
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Old 11-03-2014, 13:35   #13
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

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For me, I'm just thrilled that I can now run OpenCPN on a tablet, right out of the box. My Miix2 8" tablet is the perfect platform for that.
Am I understanding correctly that the Miix2 is PC program based and not app. based to be able to run OpenCPN?
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Old 11-03-2014, 13:42   #14
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

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Am I understanding correctly that the Miix2 is PC program based and not app. based to be able to run OpenCPN?
I don't know what you mean by "not app based." The Miix2 8" tablet runs Windows 8.1. No additional explanation is needed.

Perhaps you (and some of the other naysayers) are mixing Win 8.1 up with Windows RT.

Your best bet may be to head to a Best Buy or Microsoft Store and get a look at Windows 8.1. If you really want to put it through its paces, create a portable version of OpenCPN on a microSD card and try it out on the machine at the store
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Old 11-03-2014, 13:49   #15
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Re: Suitability of Windows 8 for cruisers

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I don't know what you mean by "not app based." The Miix2 8" tablet runs Windows 8.1. No additional explanation is needed.

Perhaps you (and some of the other naysayers) are mixing Win 8.1 up with Windows RT.

Your best bet may be to head to a Best Buy or Microsoft Store and get a look at Windows 8.1. If you really want to put it through its paces, create a portable version of OpenCPN on a microSD card and try it out on the machine at the store
First...I'm not naysaying. I was asking a question. I am ready to purchase something and was told that a tablet that was app. only based could not run OpenCPN. so I certainly did not want to make that mistake and was looking for clarification.
Second...I'm not mixing up anything. I don't know an 8.1 from a 6.9 from a RT to a POS.
I have tried Fry's for info but they're not interested in explaining anything. I talked to a friend in the anchorage that is using an Acer PC (programs, not apps.) with OpenCPN. I have OpenCPN on my Dell laptop but it's a power hog.
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