I am looking to replace my old Dell M90 Precision Workstation with something that has better performance (and more mobile) for SolidWorks. The Dell Precision M4700 with docking station looks promising, and I am undecided to order it with Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed. It appears that the touch screen and windows 8 keyboard are specific to Windows 8, and that configuration cannot be ordered with Windows 7. Can Windows 8 be run in a Windows 7 mode? I do not plan to update my other software (MS Office, Quickbooks, Adobe Professional, etc.) with the exception of SolidWorks as I plan to go to SolidWorks 2013 in the near future. I need to order this workstation soon so I can get my tax deduction as it may not be available next year.
I also have another question. At my current job site, the IT admin is reluctant to have my workstation (non-company) connect directly to the network even though I have an anti-virus installed, which causes a problem when working from home. Not sure how to alleviate his fears of protecting the network, what is the best option for accessing a network from a non-company workstation without the potential risk of compromising it and taking a significant performance hit? My experience with VMware is that there is a significant performance hit when accessing the server, so I am wondering how others have handled this situation? I need to take this to my boss as the company cannot supply me with a mobile workstation, and I would like to use my own while finding a way to work with the IT department.