I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview 64 bit on a PC we are planning to upgrade. I was primarily interested in checking whether the new OS supports OmegaT and offers any additional efficiencies for translators as compared to the current Windows version. Although this is a beta version carrying risks typical of software that is still under development, Windows 8 has proved to be quite stable. If you are considering an upgrade to Windows 8, I think it’s quite safe to give it a go.
Running OmegaT in Windows 8
I didn’t install OmegaT, but simply copied its installation folder from another PC. This is our preferred way to update the program since it makes sure the latest plug-ins and scripts are also included. I also copied the OmegaT configuration folder to c:Usersuser nameAppDataRoamingOmegaT.
However, the program didn’t launch initially. The command line gave this error:
Java is not recognized as an internal or external command
This is how I fixed it:
- In the panel that appears if you hover over the low right corner of the Start Menu, choose Settings > Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings.
- Go to Advanced tab and click Environment Variables.
- In System Variables, locate Path and click Edit.
- Add a semicolon and insert the path to the bin folder of your Java installation folder. In my case, this is c:Program Files (x86)Javajre6bin.
- Click OK three times.
Other than that, I’ve had no problems running OmegaT under Windows 8 so far.
Other Translator Tools
All major productivity and language tools we use on a day-to-day basis have been working fine under Windows 8. Here is a list of them:
- Abbyy Lingvo x3. In fact, we’ve experienced a performance improvement as compared to Windows 7.
- QA Distiller
- ApSIC Xbench
- Foxit Reader
- Punto Switcher
- Built-in remote desktop feature
The only software I haven’t been able to run under Windows 8 so far is Okapi tools.
The good news for the Russian translation professionals is that although Windows 8 is not available in Russian yet, it doesn’t seem to have any problems with Russian text. With some of the programs, you might need to manually switch the GUI to Russian (if necessary), though.
Because Windows 8 Consumer Preview is activated until 2012, it’s a compelling option for those translators who are planning to upgrade from Windows XP. You can use it for free for almost a year and then buy the new version. For those translators who use Windows 7, I’m not completely sure yet if an upgrade makes sense because we haven’t noticed any major advantages that could justify the investment.