I run a laptop with Windows 8 64bit. I also run OpenCPN
with no problems (don't have the other software you're referring to).
In general operation you won't see any speed boost over Win7, but I get a cold boot from switch-on to desktop in about 20 seconds.
For all the negativity surrounding Win8, the actual functionality for someone who uses the desktop most of the time is virtually identical to Win7. Instead of a pop-up menu in the bottom left corner, you have a big menu the size of the screen (metro interface). You can still pin programs to your taskbar. Typically, I never go anywhere near the metro interface during a session and its not like I have had to make any compromises.
The best thing about Win8 with skydrive is the synchronisation between your devices..Windows Phone
, Laptop, tablet, PC etc...all can share the same settings so if you logged onto the wifi
on your tablet, your Laptop already knows the password to log on. And with skydrive all your documents/music/videos are available, up to date on all your devices without having to think about it.
Windows 8 (like Win7) also has compatibility mode, which allows you to run older software. You right click the program file and tell to pretend its running on Windows XP or whatever and the system will run it, usually, no problem.
Also for marine uses, there is the Microsoft Surface Pro - a full Win8 PC in a tablet form-factor with detachable keyboard. You can operate it like a laptop or a tablet, which makes it very versatile. Shove it in a waterproof plastic wallet and keep it in the cockpit! (Although you would need external GPS). I think Samsung makes a similar device (Ativ) with onboard GPS
. (Note, don't get the Windows RT version - that is a cut-down version of Windows that only runs apps from the store, it doesn't run normal windows program...but they have better battery
life than full windows version so you could use Remote
Desktop and wifi
onboard to control your laptop...)
So yeah, I don't work for Microsoft or anything, just a keen user of their latest software and devices that have really, really improved in terms of features but are somehow less known than the apple or android ecosystems.