Forced Into the Windows 8 World

Forced Into the Windows 8 World

By Bob Rankin

Switching to Windows 8 Made Easier

A reader asks: ‘I really need a new laptop computer, but all of them come with Windows 8 now. I’ve heard many negative things about Windows 8, but my friend says it’s not so bad once you get used to it. Are there any tips or tricks you can share to ease the transition to Windows 8?’ Actually yes! Read on for my tips on restoring sanity to Windows 8, and some surprising things you’ll actually LIKE in Windows 8…

What’s the Problem With Windows 8?

It’s true that Windows 8 has been greeted by both pundits and consumers with generally negative reactions. Although there are some good things in the Windows 8 package, the radical change to the familiar desktop interface is what has so many people bothered.

Microsoft is clearly pushing the new “tiles and apps” interface that was first called “Metro”, and is now the “Modern UI”. This type of interface seems to make perfect sense on a smartphone, a tablet, and to some degree on touch-enabled laptops. It’s understandable that Microsoft was aiming for a common experience across all types of screens, but forcing this brave new world on desktop PC users was not a popular decision.

Yes the tried and true Desktop is still there, but it takes an extra click to get there from the new “Modern UI” Start screen. And adding insult to injury, the Start button was eliminated from the Desktop interface. For users who are accustomed to using the Start button to launch programs, open files, and navigate to other Windows functions, this is a big deal. Maybe even a deal breaker.

Other gripes commonly heard from Windows 8 adopters include the confusion that arises when they have to deal with apps that only run in either the new or the old interface, and the hassle of switching between the two. One example is that there are now two versions of Internet Explorer, and they’re slightly different in how they look and work. And then there’s the fact that the tiled apps on the Modern UI screen will only run full-screen. Switching between them requires learning when and where to click (or swipe) and it’s not never clear if you’re closing or just hiding an app. Yes, it’s Windows, but without the windows. Why, Microsoft, why?

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Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

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12 thoughts on “Forced Into the Windows 8 World

  1. I have Windows 7 on a machine I built up from scratch. Four Core AMD with Gigabite Motherboard. I have been able to run AutoCAD 2002 and Rasterdesigned on this machine even though they are 32 bit programs. Actually AutoCAD seems to run faster. However I have not been without problems. PUP Viruse messed up my administrative rights and now the windows installer will not run. It seems that Microsoft made Windows 7 more resistant to change by adding more layers to the Administrative controls. That’s Ok until the Administrative controls themselves get invaded. That will screw up the whole windows system and so far it has not be easy to fix. Right now some programs are running well, though mostly X86 32 bit programs and I am still having trouble with X64 programs. Will continue to try, but Microsoft either needs to better or needs more competition.

  2. When I want to switch off it takes some time swiping the mouse to the right to get the control icons. When I want to use the right scroll bar, say in Firefox, the icons on the right appear when I don’t want them. I wanted to use V8 of Alpha SW Db but the wizard won’t install it. There does seem to be an option, if I can install it, to allow this program to operate in the Vista mode but so far i can’t get the wizard to work.

  3. I loaded windows 8 on a pc here at the house and used it for some everyday tasks and I can tell you there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I LIKE ABOUT IT. Its a drastic step backwards. I do a lot of photo editing on a large monitor controled by a keyboard, mouse, and wacom tablet. I just plain HATE windows 8. I have no desire of need for a tablet, and I rarely use my android smartphone for anything but making calls. I'm sick of cooperations trying to convince us we need crap just because they want to sell it to us. Microsoft Windows 8 is the best thing that ever happen to Apple computers. It will kill the pc market. I build my own machines, overclock them, tweak them etc, so I'm not ignorant on this stuff. You cant use the same os on a desktop as you do a phone….get a freaking clue msft!

  4. Hello,

    I have a photo and video business. I regularly use five computers. One for studio, one for my internet connection, and three to edit photos and videos. One editing computer died, and I went for a new, high-power computer from HP. What the heck – go first class. That was January 2012.

    The new computer came with Windows 7. For privacy, my photo and video computers are not hooked up to the internet. The first problem was that the new computer, which I wanted to use for one of my photo editing computers, kept trying to connect to the internet every thirty seconds or so. Since there is no internet connection, this caused my editing program to freeze momentarily – a big problem. Next, several of my apps, which I paid up to $700 for, would not work with Windows 7, and the manufacturer did not have upgrades – they told me to buy their new Windows 7 version for another $700. Other problems: not enough connectors for my internal hard drives – fewer than the older machines! Also, the USB connectors on the front panel are too close together and the jacks on the USB cables collide with each other. Also, the USB connectors are immediately above the optical drive, and the wires collide with the tray for the optical drive. Nuisances that should not be there – the USB connectors could be anywhere on the front panel.

    I decided to switch everything around, and use the new computer for my internet computer (email and so forth). My internet computer is the least demanding application.

    I replaced all of the hard drives in the new computer, and installed Vista. HP told me that they could not provide the drivers for Vista because they did not know what devices were in my computer! This, even though they just finished building the computer, AND there is a list of devices for the computer ON THEIR WEBSITE.

    I searched the internet for the drivers, and finally got the last two (one from a gamer site and one from a guy in Shanghai who was nice enough to send it to me).

    The next thing I did was to rescue my old computers from the dumpster, and repair them. They both needed power supplies (about $20 each from Amazon). Those 8 year old computers are more functional than the new junk from HP.

    I bought the new HP computer in January 2012, and finally put it in service four months later. Many hours searching for drivers and working around the obstacles placed in my way.

    I threw away the original hard drives that came with the new HP computer because there was a section on the hard drives that was inaccessible, and was the probable cause of the computer trying to access the internet every thirty seconds or so.

    As a result of the above, I will probably never again buy a new desktop computer. It’s easier to restore an old one. I now have three old ones in reserve.

    I don’t think my experience with the new computer is unusual. Other people tell me that they are experiencing similar problems. What the hell is going on? It’s like they’ve forgotten how to build a desktop computer.

    Just My Thoughts,
    Bill Moore

  5. Yes, I need to get to my work. Windows 8 makes any normal PC task seem like seeking a needle in a haystack. Called Microsoft as HP would do nothing to amilioate my pain. Microsoft said that If I went back to Windows 7, I would void my warranty as did HP.

    Should have bought an Apple.

    • Hello Mr. Thoreson,

      A woman who works for me bought an Apple about two years ago. She has had nothing but trouble with it.

      She sends her Apple out to be repaired about once every six months, and they keep it for about a month each time. How is she supposed to do her work under that situation?

      For the past few years, it’s as though the computer manufacturers have forgotten how to manufacture computers.

      Very sad,
      Bill Moore

    • @Jim Thoreson: Just install windows 7. It will run just fine on the computer you bought assuming the hardware is intact. You might have to wipe the system drive first though, since it may not let you install 7 with 8 on there since its a older operating system. Do a clean install. Boot from the win7 disk. Also partition your hard drive so the os isnt on the same partition as data.

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