I know that desktops are most likely dying, but they’re not dead yet. What
didn’t Microsoft make two version of Windows 8? Touch and No Touch, or towers
and tablets, or at least allow manufacturers to install Windows 7 on ordinary
towers without touch and give its customers a choice of killing Metro without
hacking? Someone just got a desktop computer with Windows 8 and lots of
features are harder to find or have been stripped out. The Start menu file
search was either hidden or removed for no reason whatsoever. I had less than
10 minutes before I ran out of time. She does not want Linux or Mac, she just
wants what she’s been using for the last 10 years. The old OS was Windows XP.
Maybe 8 also has an XP mode?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #82, I look at some of the issues around adjusting to Windows 8
and options for returning to a familiar desktop.
Windows 8 without Metro
Unfortunately, no, Windows 8 does not have an XP mode like Windows 7 did.
So let me start by answering the first question. Why? Microsoft is only attempting to move forward.
When they put something out for various and sundry valid business reasons, their intent is to only move forward; to move the industry forward – and that means that Windows 7 is not necessarily an option if you’re only moving forward.
Windows 7 downgrade
Now, with that having been said, many manufacturers have been allowed (and will be allowed for some time) to offer what they call a Windows 7 downgrade.
So it is very possible that what you are looking for is in fact available today… that when you buy a new computer, the manufacturer may give you the option of installing Windows 7 instead of Windows 8.
That being said:
It’s not gonna last forever and;
In my opinion, it’s not necessary.
Windows 8 is different
Yes, Windows 8, when you fire it up the first time, is strikingly different. There’s this whole Metro-tiled user interface.
You know what? You don’t have to use that. If you click on the Desktop tile, you will find something that looks amazingly like a Windows 7 desktop.
Yes, there’s no Start button. If you move the mouse into the lower left-hand corner, you’ll get something that may take you to a Start menu – and there are several third-party applications that will provide you with a Start button and a Start menu once again.
One of the ones that I see referred to frequently is called ClassicShell.sourceforge.net. You’ll find a link to it in the notes for this audio transcript. The bottom line is that you can get a Start menu back.
Configuring Windows 8
The desktop that you’re used to is still there under the hood. Windows 8 really is, for the most part, Windows 7 with some window dressing. It’s some tablet-based window dressing, I will totally admit that, but fundamentally, the innards of Windows 8 is Windows 7.
My guess is you will find that people who are used to Windows XP are going to have a much harder time of it.
There we have even less of an answer because Windows XP is 12 years old; it’s long past its prime. I know many people continue to use it and will try to use it for as long as they can, but it’s no longer a viable long-term solution as hardware support goes away and eventually support will also die off.
Progress to Windows 8
So, my strong recommendation is to continue with Windows 8.
Look into “Classic Shell” to provide people with a start menu if they react really negatively to the tile interface. Realize that the tiled interface is one click away from a traditional desktop if that’s what you want to run.
It’s really not… I want to say “that bad.”
I say that with some hesitation because I know many people are reacting extremely negatively to some aspects of Windows 8: most notably the tiled interface.
But, like Windows 7 before it, give it a chance. Give it some time. You will find, I strongly believe, that Windows 8 is a fine operating system that you can get used to – and get used to quickly – probably more quickly than the Windows XP to Windows 7 transition.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
End of Answercast #82 Back to – Audio Segment