(Original post by Jammy Duel)
If his needs are basic then surely open office is sufficient? And you can hardly expect them to give support to a 10 year old piece of proprietary software when there are two more recent versions.
And as for Solidworks, I would assume the 2012 is used in the conventional sense to show the year if release, so (1) why the need to upgrade already? If the software could run on an older machine before then it still can (2) there is a more recent version that, I should think, is 8/.1 compatible. Also, from my quick Google it doesn't look as if it falls into the "very expensive" category. Not to mention that it's still possible to get Windows 7 if you really need to run it. I also wouldn't be surprised if there is some sort of unofficial patch that will make it work on 8/8.1 somewhere online.
My sister has a surface, so I know that the combined tablet/desktop OS is beneficial for hybrid devices, does Android even have desktop optimised capabilities?
Yes, I have switched him over to OpenOffice, but it's still a pain because he already has a lot of Word documents with tables and such that don't always render perfectly in OpenOffice. And it's something new for him to learn, and he is old.
Single seat standard license for Solidworks is $4000 (~£2400), and professional $5500. I don't know about you but that's definitely in the very expensive category for me.
As an example, I was involved in a fairly big student engineering team (that competed internationally). We had sponsored licenses of SW2012 from years ago (perpetual licenses), but they stopped doing educational sponsorship, so if we wanted SW2014, we would have to pay for it, and there aren't many poor students that can afford it, especially since SW2012 has everything we need. Now what do we do when someone joins the team with a new Windows 8 laptop?
Yes, there are unofficial hacks to get it to run. They don't work very well. Most people with Windows 8 laptops end up pirating a newer version.
Combined tablet/desktop devices are definitely personal preference, and I'm sure there are people that prefer it. Android isn't desktop-optimized. I prefer to use 2 separate devices because I like my bed time reading and Youtube-watching device to be 300g instead of 2kg.