Windows 8 Nightmare

My old friend Connell called me up tonight to update me on his saga of getting a new laptop with Windows 8.  From the last installment I had thought everything was great.  Connell is not a computer guy.  He’s been using Windows XP for years and never went to Vista or Windows 7.  Both Connell and my wife Susan bought a new laptop with Windows 8 the same week.  Susan wanted Windows 7, but none of the stores had a machine that came with it, and she didn’t want to custom order one from Dell or HP.  Both Susan and Connell bought their machines and set them up without my help.  I thought that was a good sign.  I did help Susan by giving her a Windows Easy Transfer cable and telling her how to use it.

Connell was quite angry when he called tonight.  Susan’s initial calls claimed Windows 8 wasn’t too bad, but since then she’s been running into some problems, mainly frustrated that some of her games aren’t Windows 8 compatible.  It’s frozen up a couple of times and she had to hold the power button down until it shut off.  But she loves her new machine anyway, especially that it doesn’t run hot like her old laptop.

Connell’s biggest frustration has been with the Charms bar.  He can’t get it to open when he wants it, and it opens when he doesn’t, driving him crazy.  Neither know how to go deep and configure their machine, or find options when they need them.

I’ve set Windows 8 up three times now on test machines at work.  I can use it, but it’s a pain in the ass, and it’s butt ugly.  I really, really, really dislike Windows 8.  Windows 7 is my all time favorite operating system, and I have OS X on an iMac at work.  I’m worried what will happen if I want to buy a new machine and my only choice for a PC is Windows 8.  I guess I’ll have to choose between Linux and OS X, and since I’m too cheap to buy a Mac, it will be Linux.  By the way, I put Ubuntu on my iMac as a dual boot and I really think Ubuntu looks great on an iMac.  But I won’t spend $1200 for that either.

Connell is planning on taking his laptop back and getting a Chromebook.  I’m curious how that will work out.  Susan is adapting to Windows 8, but she mainly plays Farmville and GameHouse games.  She’s going to give me her old laptop and I’m going to buy a SSD drive for it and put Ubuntu on it.  I wonder if she’ll want it back?

I’m also thinking about buying Android on a stick for my television and experimenting with it.

What’s happening is Windows 8 is forcing people to consider alternative OSes.  At work I’ve decided not to roll out Windows 8.  We can still get Windows 7 from Dell.  Many of our professors are now wanting Macs.  The iPhone and iPad have convinced many of our Windows users to try iMacs and MacBooks.  We were 95% PC, but that’s changing.  I still push Windows 7, but the tide might be turning.  Windows 8 will only inspire more switching.  I’ve already gotten several calls from people buying Windows 8 for their home machines.  Some have asked how can they put Windows 7 on their new machines.  Luckily I don’t have to support home machines, but I tell them they need to get used to Windows 8, because going back to Windows 7 is costly and time consuming.  Microsoft should make a Revert to 7 disc and give it away.  Connell was told he could pay $60 to have Windows 7 put on his machine from the store where he bought his new laptop, but he thought that was insulting and a ripoff.  You shouldn’t have to pay $60 to fix a new machine.

Microsoft, I think you need to pull a Coke Classic and bring back Windows 7.

JWH – 11/14/13

10 Responses

  1. I just got Carol a vivobook with Windows 8. She is having a little bit of a hard time with it too, but she seems to like it overall. I decided from the start that this was her computer and I wasn’t going to even try to learn it. :)

  2. Yes! it absolutely does. Windows 8 wouldn’t be much good without it from what I understand. I heard it was originally designed for windows phones and tablets, but it was too big an OS to fit on those devices. Is that a myth?

    • That’s good she has a touch screen. Susan didn’t want one, but I’m thinking Windows 8 must be much less annoying with one. No, Windows 8 isn’t too big for tablets, and you can get the full Windows 8 on a tablet, but what most people get is Windows RT, which runs on a different chip, and isn’t fully backwards compatible with Windows. Windows RT is a breakaway from the Intel legacy.

  3. I will avoid going to Windows 8 as long as possible. My husband has it on his computer and hates it too. I have Windows 7 and have no issues with it. Seems as reliable and unobtrusive as XP. The good thing about building your own machines is that you can buy builder copies of the operating systems for dirt cheap, so you don’t have to upgrade to the newest, buggiest thing as soon as it comes out (which inevitably is what happens when you buy a pre-built computer from Best Buy or Target.). I will continue to run Windows 7 until Microsoft stops supporting it, and hopefully by then they will have fixed the craptasticness that is Windows 8.

    • Yeah, I build my own desktops too. So I’m counting on Windows 7. But laptop users can’t do that. Also, it’s tricky with laptops. Some newer ones might not even having drivers for Windows 7.

  4. Just as an aside. I went through the same problem back in 2008 only it was Windows Vista that I didn’t want to get when I needed a new PC. The only way I could get Windows XP was through a Dell Business account. I considered going through the same process this time and getting Carol’s laptop through a business account so she could have Window 7, but I decided to just deal with Window 8 because honestly I feel like some of the problems I’ve had with my PC the last few years are because XP is “old” technology.

  5. Whatever you say, I’m still the hardcore fan of Windows 8. However it is, I bought it to use within a week of release.

    • That’s great Devis. I expect I’m just old and stuck in my ways. I also assume you’re young, but that might not be true. I tend to think the people who love Windows 8 will be smartphone users.

      Years ago when we were first transitioning to Windows I met a man who was retiring and he asked me to help him set up his computers. He bought three, all DOS machines with copies of WordStar, an early word processor that used what was called dot commands. He wanted to make sure he had that setup for the rest of his life. At the time I thought he was being foolish. Now I know how he feels. One day Devis you might be like us and want to hang onto a technology you’ve come to love and not want it supplanted by something new.

  6. Jim, I’m a gamer, so Windows 8 worries me. I’ve got hundreds of games – cases of old games in the basement, even – and I don’t want to give them up by switching to a new operating system.

    Of course, I can’t play the old games that came on a 5 1/4″ floppy anyway – not without buying them again at GOG.com (which is dirt cheap, so that’s OK). But I’ve got plenty of games which aren’t that old, and I tend to play as many old games as new ones.

    Microsoft seems to want gamers to buy their game console, so they’re not supporting us on the PC. Well, luckily, I just bought a brand-new Windows 7 machine, so I’ll be OK for awhile. I, too, skipped Vista, and XP turned out to be much better. So I’ll hope for that this time, too.

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