What other equipment are you referring to? Why is it that it doesn’t work properly with the newest release, do you see any errors or hardware malfunction?
You also say that using smbus messes your other programs, what errors are you receiving?
Have you already configured the muxing required for I2C functionality? You can see a detailed description of it in section 11.6 here Intel® Edison Boards — Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino* Hardware Guide
I’d recommend you to update to the latest image, and work the issues from there. Some issues tend to get fixed when performing software updates, so that may help to troubleshoot this issue faster.