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My laptop is about to give up the ghost

My laptop is about to give up the ghost

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My laptop will need replacing fairly soon. The thing is that a new one will probably come preloaded with Windows 7. I currently use Vista Home Premium and I would really appreciate others' views on Windows 7. Is it a lot different to use? Are there any software compatibility issues? I use AccountingWeb (:)), VT, FreeAgent, Moneysoft Payroll Manager, BTC Tax.

I would also probably upgrade to Office 2010 from Office 2007. Would that be a good idea? Are they similar to use; i.e. with the same Ribbon interface etc.

Many thanks.

Replies (14)

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By MaxHeadroom
15th Aug 2011 07:20

No problems

You should have no problems in moving to Windows 7. Infact you will find W7 a lot smoother than Vista.

You will not find any compatibility issues.

Office 2010 - the only difference I have found is on outlook. The rest is not hugley different.


Thanks (1)
Replying to Locutus:
By The Innkeeper
15th Aug 2011 11:52


I never moved from XP to Vista ( my IT chap would not let me) and I did the jump from XP to 7 with no problem. I would check with your software suppliers to see if they will run on 64 bit Windows 7 - if not use 32 bit and there should be no issues.

Office 2010 is also OK

Good luck !



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By ACDWebb
15th Aug 2011 08:49

Went from XP to Win7 with no problem

Office 2010's button bars take a little getting used to when you are used to finding things on the old menus, but other than the odd session when I am clicking round trying to find something I am happy with that as well

Thanks (1)
By [email protected]
15th Aug 2011 10:51


Just started using VT on my new Win7 & Office 2010 Laptop no problem, the VT website did note that VT wouldn't work with 64bit Office 2010, so stick with 32bit (though when I was looking to buy I don't even recall seeing a 64bit version being listed in most of the shops I was looking at).

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By twickers
15th Aug 2011 11:19

Laptop dying

I would agree with the comments made/ make sure you choose the right version as comments advise/  my new laptop came loaded with 64bit version/ not everything you currently use will work/ something to do with file structure.

I would also recommend not waiting to replace/ I left it too late/ very expensive/ and have IT pro switch ur files and programs/ that is

if not completely confident doing yourself.



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By Steve Holloway
15th Aug 2011 11:36

I don't really like the 2010 versions of excel & word but I was getting fed up with having to keep requesting clients to re-send in older formats (makes you sound stingy!). Windows 7 works better than XP with far fewer application type errors.

Thanks (1)
John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
16th Aug 2011 17:56

Summer laptop bonanza?

We had a simlar question to this one a few weeks ago, and I was surprised to hear that the previous questioner got a Toshiba i3 laptop with 320Gb disk and 4Gb of RAM for £313. That's a lot of computer for less than the cost of an iPad.

My suspicion is that PC manufacturers are really having to struggle to shift their inventory in the face of competition from iPads and other tablets, so you can get some very, very impressive machinery for equivalent sums - if you're willing to remain old fashioned and rely on boring old magnetic hard disks, physical keyboards and mice. The Tosh, for example, has 10x the storage capacity of a typical iPad.

Jon Wilcox has been looking at the latest glut of cheap PC laptops and reports on what's available here.

One of the points that was raised in the last thread by "tarman" was the 64-bit compatibility issue. Definitely pay close attention to that. Consult VT, BTC and Moneysoft, and if they are unable to promise support for 64-bit versions, ask the retailer to ensure the 32-bit version is installed.

I've tagged this query to our laptop page, where you can find other queries and advice, including the following:

The top 10 notebook PCs recommended by and for accountants (Jan 2009 - specs/prices are out of date)Anatomy of a laptopHow to buy a laptop

Good luck with your hunt - and do drop back by to tell us what you get.

Thanks (0)
By Flash Gordon
17th Aug 2011 11:07


Go with 32-bit. I've got 64-bit and most stuff works with it but not the old version of VT Transaction (which I adored) (though the new version does & VT Accounts) or some of the Moneysoft programs (Payroll does). I've also had problems with Sage - I can load V11 (and how old is that) but not later versions without it throwing a wobbly and giving up. But then me & Sage don't get on that well when it comes to loading it :(

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By pawncob
17th Aug 2011 11:50

Most people hate Win 7

Many compatibility problems.

You lose Outlook Express.

Systems features are illogical (compared to XP).

Don't use 64 bit if you have the option of a 32 bit program.

I loaded XP on my new laptop with a dual boot, so I didn't have to use Win7 all the time and could use OE etc.



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Replying to Hosted Accountants Ltd:
By Robjoy
18th Aug 2011 17:36

From a computer professional

Our business is computer supply and support for home and small business users.

There are a great many excellent value laptops about - as a previous contributor said, probably in response to the growing tablet market.

From our experience, of a large number of users with a wide variety of computers, problems and expertise, Windows 7 is a much superior OS to XP, and a vast improvement on Vista. Certainly Windows 7 is different to XP (like an Audi R8 is different to a Morris Minor), and it therefore takes a little while to get used to finding what you want in different places - but it's worth the short learning curve. We have very few support calls for problems with Windows 7, it is generally the most stable and well-behaved OS Microsoft have produced up to now. So it certainly isn't in my interests to flatter Windows 7 - we get far more business from Vista and XP users!

It is preferable to get 64-bit if possible, because it allows you to have more than 4GB RAM and take advantage of dual-core processors. Just check your software - there's very often a 64-bit version if necessary. Serious number-crunching 64-bit applications will run faster, but it makes little difference to most ordinary users. In any case, most laptops come with 64-bit pre-installed.

If you like MSO 2007 you don't need to change.

pawncob must have reasons for his negative response to Windows 7, but I can assure you that it is very far from our experience of our clients' responses. We have had hardly any compatibility problems (and I don't think any were insurmountable), Windows 7 comes with 'Windows Mail' (not to be confused with Windows Live Mail), which is very, very like OE, systems features are not illogical, they're just different in my opinion, and there's no reason to prefer 32-bit to 64-bit on principle, it's usually just a matter of getting the most up to date and correct version of drivers and applications.

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By GreyerByTheDay
18th Aug 2011 16:00

XP better than Win7 - I think not!!


Sorry Pawncob, I don't know anyone that use Windows 7 that yearns for the old days and 'Good Old XP'.. 

SteveOH - read Robjoys response carefully.  He has explained the position perfectly, especially the situation reagrding 64 bit over 32 bit.  The extra RAM available with 64 bit machines, may not mean you notice individual applications running discernably faster, but you will see performance improvements when running several applications concurrently.

With regard to MSO, I have 2010 on my Laptop and 2007 on my Desktop.  Yes, Outlook has improved, but Excel & Word are basically the same.  Unless you need to upgrade for some reason, 2007 will continue to serve you well.




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By Daffy Duck
18th Aug 2011 16:09

7 x 64

Windows 7 is great for one reason - it's stable.


32 or 64 bit depends on one thing - how much RAM do you have.  32 is limited, 64 bit isnt.

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By SamJay
08th Sep 2011 09:01

Win7 better - some free manuals and workarounds

I moved straight from Win XP to Win7, and I find it much better and more stable. You can get simply written free manuals for the basics of Win7 and the Office software from here . Also, Microsoft provides Windows XP Mode, which runs virtually within Win7 and provides backward compatibility for software which does not run well under Win7. XPM is only free with Win7 Professional, but there is a workaround for creating an XPM for the Win7 Home Premium and Home Basic described here: Workaround to install WinXP mode.

In addition, you do not need to upgrade to Office 2010 to open docx documents in an older version of office. If you download and install the free OpenOffice suite, then if you attempt to open a docx and you do not have the appropriate MS office version, the document will automatically open in OpenOffice. From there you can either save it in the open document format or an earlier version of Word. The same applies for Excel.

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By Robjoy
08th Sep 2011 09:37

Office file versions

From MS Office 2007 onwards the default file formats are docx, xlsx etc. - , but you can change this to doc, xls in Options in each application. If the majority of what you do needs to be available to users of pre-2007 versions, this is probably the easiest way to go.

However, if you are using a pre-2007 version of Office you can download the Compatibility pack here: This will enable you to open the later format files from your older version. Please read the Overview, System Requirements and Instructions before you download it.

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