And through all the years when using Unix based systems, or Macs or in the last time more and more Android systems I never had problems when upgrading to a newer version of the operating system. The data and the programs sometimes needed some fine tuning, but they worked after the upgrades. So I forgot that Windows is another world.
After all this hype about tablets and new concepts of Windows 8 I was sure that I would not need the look and feel of the new interface. Additionally I have no touch screen connected to my desktop computer. On the other hand my XP system was old and everybody was telling me that Windows 7 would run fine and fast. After the lounge of the new system Microsoft made an offer: 30 Euro for the new system.
I had a bad feeling but there would be a compatibility check and everything would be fine.
Then I made a big mistake and ordered the system. The compatibility check told me that there were some programs not running. I looked at them and found out that they were of minor interest to me. For all other programs Microsoft said, that there would be patches or workarounds and most programs would run out of the box..
The installation was indeed very fast (about 1 hour all in all) and went nearly without a glitch. Finally the well known screen was on my desktop and I was astonished about all that crap apps showing things which I would never have allowed to enter my private world. I found a way to kill the apps so that the screen was nearly blank. But I had done my homework and read articles how to re-install a look that I was used to: Classic Shell. It worked and I installed Chrome to get my normal working environment.
In the meantime I was looking desperately for all my programs. They did not show up. Nothing. Not a hint. During the installation process I was asked if Windows should keep my personal data or nothing. Of course I wanted to keep my data AND the programs.
It took another couple of minutes to find a file-manager and to browse through the file system and was getting desperate. Nowhere a sign of my programs. Finally I found a folder (Windows-Old). I was relieved, found the old program folder and found my programs. Clicked on the executable files and nothing happened. Really nothing. They did not work.
Finally I found out and was told that with Windows 8 you install a brand new operating system and Microsoft doesn't care a bit what is happening with your old software. They just rename the old folder and forget it.
It even gets worse. Ok, they don't like other programs but will love their own ones, e.g. Flight Simulator X. I clicked on the executable and there was an error. I searched the internet in Chrome, but there was nothing. The Internet Explorer found a solution deep in the registry. It did not work. I tried every way possible with no success. So I re-installed FSX. It took three attempts to finish the installation. It asked me if I would like to get the program started. I said happily "Yes" and it started. After a minute or so the famous error message came. "There is an error. We stop FSX and tell you when we found a solution. "
So when it comes down I have to re-install all programs, find all registration keys, have to make all the updates from the past years, have to find the new drivers, if they exist. Have to look for drivers of diverse dongles, ...
And to my pleasure I was told that Windows 8 changes the file system that I could not go back and put the XP on my computer. (There is a way to re- install XP on a new hard disk and make a dual boot system).
But all in all: If you are a Windows XP user with a working computer: Don't dare to touch that running system.
I have not decided what to do.
- I have to re-install all programs. That is work for hours and hours.
- For my backups I will finally switch to Linux
- I will look for a solution for my musical requirements on the Mac OSX
- I will have a closer look to Android and Chrome OS.
Formatting the hard disk with Windows 8 would be an option, so that there will never be a temptation to install a new operating system of a company which does not care about their customers.