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I wanted to know -due to a client's requirement- if the support for Windows 8 means that it's also backwards compatible to Windows 7.

I haven't tried Windows 8 yet. And I would like to know if the drivers both systems use, are the same. -because of the apparent similarities between them-. Maximum compatibility is needed because I need to buy an All In One PC. (example: Compaq 18-3004LA).

My client wants to acquire this specific model, and while I've been able to find some of the hardware that's in it, to be compatible with Windows 7, not every part is specified to detail, And I wondered if Windows 7 and 8 had driver inter-compatibility and the OS could be changed without any toll on operability.

I'm aware that this depends entirely on the hardware, but my question is a bit broader than to ask for this specific model, It's to know if the drivers that both OS's use, could be the same without any problem whatsoever.

Thanks in advance.

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AFAIK, Windows 7 should work fine – pratnala Nov 13 '12 at 15:01
There is no guarantee. The hardware will is supported ( i.e. if it breaks ) but there might not be a Windows 7 driver provided, so the device might not work, if Windows 7 is used and there isn't a generic driver for it. This question is way to localized.....Even if its not the answer depends on the exact hardware in question. – Ramhound Nov 13 '12 at 15:05
Then the answer to my question is a simple 'no', the Windows 7 and 8 drivers aren't the same. correct?. – Jesús Otero Nov 13 '12 at 15:11
win8 dropped support for few old cpus, but that pc you linked will be fine – Zeela Nov 13 '12 at 15:15
@JesúsOtero - The answer is that "it depends" some hardware will have Windows 7 drivers, some hardware won't, some hardware will have generic drivers so it won't matter. – Ramhound Nov 13 '12 at 15:49
up vote 2 down vote accepted

As some already commented, it really depends on hardware and the drivers.

As for software, at this time, virtually all apps that work with win 8 will work with win 7, EXCEPT for the "Metro" (modern UI) ones of course, they only work with win 8.

Getting back to drivers, If the vendor is selling the pc with windows 8 pre installed, it is 'obligated' to provide drivers for THAT version of windows only, and there is no guarantee that they will provide drivers for past versions.

Note that anyway, win 8 drivers MAY work in win 7, but it is a long shot.

a better option would be to get a pc with windows 7, and then upgrade to windows 8, if the computer is recent, the vendor is very likely to provide drivers to work with win 8, but again, there is NO guarantee.

Some kind of hardware require more specific drivers, for instance, Graphic Cards with switchable graphics option in laptops (use of internal graphics, generally intel, and also use dedicated graphics), i myself am struggling with the drivers of my card, because the vendor provides them for win7 but not win 8 (till now at least).

In other words, you will have to weight the pros and cons of each version. If win 7 does what you want / need, why to get win 8? And if then you try and like win 8 using it elsewhere, you are most likely going to be able to upgrade to it later, when most software and drivers get updated. However, rolling back from 8 to 7 will most likely give you more compatibility issues and headaches. Plus, win 7 machines are likely to drop price soon.

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