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Windows 8 - will it work like Windows 7

Posted on 2013-01-09
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Last Modified: 2013-01-16
I trust this question will not be answered by Microsoft people, because I am hoping for some candid advice.

I am contemplating the purchase of a new PC.  I don't want to purchase a new PC with an old OS (Windows 7) although Windows 7 has worked very well for me.  On the other hand, if Windows 8 cannot behave like Windows 7 it is of little use to me.  I have seen and read just enough to feel that Microsoft's answer to the iPad may or may not work.

Basically, I would like to purchase a machine with Windows 8 on it, just so I'll have the newest OS.  But I have little intention or desire to use the new interface.

My question is this:  If I purchase a machine with Windows 8 on it, will I still be able to use it like I did  Windows 7?  Does it works as good?  Any problems there to be aware of?

Thank you
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Question by:WoodrowA
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PowerEdgeTech earned 72 total points
ID: 38759461
I do not personally feel it is so different from Windows 7 - I use it much as I did Windows 7 (without adding any 'retro' addons to make it look/feel more like Windows 7), and have not skipped a beat.  It took a few hours to get used to the missing Start button (now you simply mouse to the corner and click for the Start Screen).  And the Start Menu is now full screen.  Many people don't like the Start Screen (or its apps - but the apps  you don't have to use - there just aren't many yet), and honestly, I rarely see it unless I need to find something I rarely use, then I just hit the Start button and start typing for what I need (just like you could do in Windows 7).
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by:ded9
ded9 earned 72 total points
ID: 38759512
You require a new o.s to handle new types of hardware like ssd,usb 3.0 etc.

If you are buying laptop then go for ultrabook .

Its stable o.s and would recommend buying it.



Ded9
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by:Joseph Moody
Joseph Moody earned 72 total points
ID: 38759536
I would recommend buying it. It is a lot faster than 7 is and only takes an hour or so to get used to the new stuff.

This link helped me a lot: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/Windows8ProductivityWhoMovedMyCheeseOhThereItIs.aspx
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 71 total points
ID: 38759882
Le me ask you something.  Stop and think about this for a minute.  HOW MUCH TIME ARE YOU IN THE START MENU?  Me, I'm in it about 15-30 seconds per day.  

The biggest change in Windows 8 from a usability perspective is the start menu.  There are a lot of people SCREAMING there is no start menu or there is no start button.  Bull$h!t.  It's just been changed.  The start button is permanently set to auto-hide.  Go to the bottom left corner of the screen and what pops up?  a START button!  The Start menu itself, unlike before where it popped up and was blocked by most of the desktop, now COVERS the ENTIRE desktop on one monitor.  It has big, mostly ugly (in my opinion) icons, but it's the SAME THING.

The biggest hassle I've had is changing a few of the default programs.  But you CAN change them and VERY easily.  Same way you used to in Win7.  Right click on a file, in the menu that pops up, select "Open with >" and then "select default program".  One case in point, PDF files.  Win7 comes with a metro style PDF reader and Microsoft (BY DEFAULT) uses that to read PDFs.  You can easily change it to Acrobat.

Otherwise, it's VERY VERY SIMILAR to Windows 7.  I pin all the applications I use on a regular basis to the taskbar.  And the metro start menu screen allows you to easily search for things (just bring it up with the Windows key and start typing).

If you're an absolute opponent to change, you'll hate it.  If you STOP and THINK about what they've done, you'll realize that yes, they did something stupid with good intentions (what's new?) but that it's really the same thing it was before, just with a new skin.
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by:WoodrowA
ID: 38760070
Well these are all good responses.  I am not concerned about the start button.  As long as I have the same functionality I am used to, doing it in a little different way is not a problem.

Thank you all.
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by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 71 total points
ID: 38760591
I currently dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8, and also have XP and Vista on virtual machines, but I really like Windows 8 on my regular (non-touch) pc.  I find that the Windows 8 interface (the Desktop and its accompanying programs) that mimics Windows 7 is quite good, and I don't mind the regular Windows 8 programs that are like the Apple computer (Mac and iPad).  I think these two articles should be helpful in making the decision:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411451,00.asp
5 Reasons You Should Upgrade to Windows 8

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012834/windows-7-to-windows-8-the-systems-biggest-improvements.html
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by:nobus
nobus earned 71 total points
ID: 38762012
you can still use it like W7 with this cheap application : http://www.areaguard.com/startw8
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by:garycase
garycase earned 71 total points
ID: 38762167
There are several add-ons that provide you a Wndows 7 - like GUI.    I've looked at most of them, and by far the best implementation (IMHO) is StarDock's Start8 [http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ ]   It's a LOT more expensive than the areaguard tool noted above (66% more !!!) ... but in absolute terms the difference is unlikely to matter :-) [$4.99 instead of $3.00]

With one of these tools installed, a Windows 8 will "feel" very much like a Windows 7 system.    There are 3 things that are notably missing -- whether that matters depends on you:   (1)  Aero is not supported (this is actually a good thing in terms of resource demands by the OS -- particularly on the graphics hardware);   (2)  Windows 8 does not support gadgets (I REALLY like gadgets);  and (3)  Windows 8 does not include a codec for DVD decryption, so Windows 8 Media Player cannot play DVDs unless you buy the optional Media Center package or a 3rd party DVD player.

... but other than those 3 things, if you install Start8 it will "feel" very much like Windows 7.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38764046
And to be clear - the Media Center Package is FREE for the taking until the End of January - you just need to request a key on Microsoft's site (must be activated by Feb. 1 if I'm not mistaken).
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 38764181
I thought it was free until the end of 2012, then $40 until the end of January ...

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/buy
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by:garycase
ID: 38764395
The link above is for an upgrade from XP, Vista, or '7 to Windows 8 Pro ($39.99 until the end of January).

If you have Windows 8 Pro, the Media Center pack is free until the end of January (as leew noted), then $9.99 afterwards.

If you have the standard edition of Windows 8 and want Media Center, you'll need buy the "Pro Pack" for $69.99 (through the end of January -- $99.99 afterwards), which will both upgrade your system to Win8 Pro and add Media Center.

If the only feature of Media Center you need is the ability to play DVDs, the free VLC player will do that quite nicely.    The current version works fine with Windows 8, and there's an updated "Metro" version coming soon that will work on the tiled desktop.
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 38770587
WoodrowA, any more feedback?
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Author Closing Comment

by:WoodrowA
ID: 38783009
Thank you
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