Windows 8 generated a lot of derision and angst — but it also brought some updated desktop capabilities that are begging for a place in Windows 7.
If Microsoft won’t update Windows 7, you can do much of it yourself — for free. Here’s how.
Windows 7 still beats Win8 in many ways
I make no bones — or apologies — about my opinion of Microsoft’s newest OS. Most Win8 users are just getting their feet wet. But I’ve been using the operating system (both beta and final) for more than a year. And I currently use it all day, every day.
Simply put, I don’t like Windows 8. It’s a royal pain on a nontouch desktop, even when you take steps to make it more palatable — a topic I discussed at length in the Dec. 20, 2012, Woody’s Windows column (and will continue discussing until we see what’s new in Windows Blue — more info).
Of the people I know who are using Windows 8, most got it when they purchased a new computer and didn’t have a real choice of OS. Most others had their arms twisted into using Win8: their company requires it; they need a program that works only with Win8; or whatever. I use it because it’s my job to hammer away at the latest versions of Windows and Office so I can provide useful advice to others. In other words, I have to use it! That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.
But now I have a full, real (not virtual) Windows 7 machine sitting right next to my main, Windows 8–equipped system — and find myself flipping over to it, frequently.
Given a choice, it seems foolish to change a perfectly usable, nontouch–centric, Win7 PC over to Win8. But Win8 has a handful of new Win7-style, traditional-desktop features that really are useful. I’ve begged Microsoft to release an upgrade to Windows 7 (which I wrote about in an Oct. 25, 2012, InfoWorld story). It’s a futile quest, of course. So far, the silence from Microsoft has been deafening — if not unexpected.