Shocking Amounts of Windows 8 Misinformation

by Woody Leonhard for Windows Secrets Newsletter

Shocking Amounts of Windows 8 Misinformation

During recent travels around the western U.S., I asked many computer salespeople about Windows 8 — and was truly shocked at inaccurate information provided about the new OS.

Few knew the key differences between versions, and almost all offered “advice” that was way off the mark.

On October 26, Microsoft will release two distinctly different versions of its latest OS — Windows 8 and Windows RT. Do you know the difference? Try tackling these seemingly simple, real-world questions. I’ll provide the correct answers (they might surprise you) to these questions and others further below. They should help you make the right Windows choice — especially if you’re interested in a new Windows-based tablet.

  • Is it true I have to buy all apps for my new Surface tablet from Microsoft’s Windows Store?
  • Will all Windows Store apps work on the new Microsoft Surface tablets?
  • I use LastPass to manage all my passwords. Will LastPass work with Lenovo’s IdeaPad tablets and notebooks?
  • Are there significant differences between Office 2013 and Office 2013 RT?
  • My new Windows tablet came with Word 2013 preinstalled. Can I print documents from Word on my HP LaserJet?
  • Can I sync SkyDrive files with my new Surface tablet?
  • Can I run Outlook on the new Microsoft Surface tablets? How about Windows Live Mail or Windows Photo Gallery?
  • Significant differences separate RT and Win8

    Back in August, I wrote a Top Story that delved into the ways Windows 8 differed from Windows RT. Here’s how I summarized those differences:

    “Windows RT is the version of Windows 8 that doesn’t run Windows programs.”

    That’s really the heart of the matter — and it’s the source of ongoing confusion for consumers, sales clerks, and others who really should know what you can — and can’t — do with the two OSes.

    In a July column, “Win8 + Windows RT + WinRT = mass confusion,” I chided Microsoft for its extraordinarily poor choice of terminology. I urged the Redmondians to get the confusion sorted out so consumers can make an easily understood, informed decision about Win8 and Windows RT — on both traditional PCs and tablets. But as best I can tell, Microsoft has done virtually nothing to make the distinctions clear.

    Soon, you’ll be able to buy two fundamentally different kinds of computers that share the Windows name. And unlike the iPad, hardware won’t define the version of OS installed. Desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and slates will all run Windows 8. It’s unlikely you’ll ever see Windows RT on a desktop, but it will be found on various ultralight laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices.

    Unfortunately, with the two OSes sharing a similar name and appearance, many Windows 8 buyers might make a costly mistake — they’ll have purchased a Windows RT–based device that’s not up to their needs. Windows RT does look and run like Windows 8, but it does not run traditional Windows apps.

    Rest of the Story Here…

    This excerpt appears with permission from Windows Secrets Newsletter.

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    2 thoughts on “Shocking Amounts of Windows 8 Misinformation

    1. @Scott: Installing a 32-bit OS on a system wictch a64-bit CPU makes a lot of sense if the system has 4GB or less of RAM, because in these cases the system will be faster in most instances (there are exceptions, some software is available as 64-bit and runs faster on 64-bit systems, but most isn’t available as 64-bit version or the 64-bit version isn’t faster).

    2. Windows is trying to control things too much.How about the fact they release a 32 bit version of Win 8, but at the last minute make a change the will not allow you to install Win 8 on a system that has a CPU that does not support NX, like NX really made any difference in Anti virus protection. The problem is the NX support came with 64 bit processors, so who is going to by a 32 bit OS for a 64 Bit System. I did try to install the 32 bit preview on 8 different 32 bit systems, all gave errors before it even started for no NX

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