Sunday, September 22, 2013

Avoid Windows 8 at All Costs

I like to be practical and to help my readers as much as possible.

And I'm not joking, this isn't a sarcastic post or a satirical one - it's REALLY one of the most practical ones I've ever done.


In following this humble advice you are saving yourself AT LEAST 10 hours of your life and labor.  Pro-rated at a normal wage that's like saving $200.

Hold onto your old copy of Windows 7 and wait for Windows 9.  And if it doesn't improve switch to Mac or even Linux.

Yes, it is THAT bad.


SM777 said...

How about Linux Mint? It's forked off of ubuntu and fully supported. From my experience, it's also more user friendly than ubuntu.

It comes in either 32 or 64 bit. Firefox with Flash is already loaded along with most, if not all of the video drivers.

If you have a P3 to P1 class system, Puppy Linux is the best bet there. Again, fully supported.

Also, they have themes such as Win XP, Win 7, Win 95 so you can make it look like what you want.

These two systems are better than windoze and they are free.

I have a few Pentium 1's and I fool people sometimes with the WinXP theme on Puppy Linux. It looks just like XP if you want, but then XP can't run on a Pentium 1. You can still surf the web with a Pentium 1 and perform MS Office type tasks fairly quickly too. Linux has it's own version of MS Office which is also free.

Johnycomelately said...

Too late, and yes it is that bad.

It's so incomprehensively bad that the mind boggles how this ever made it to market. Surely they had to do some market research.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

Since your geekiness runs in slightly different areas, I will point out that Ubuntu bug #1 (Microsoft has a majority market share) was closed earlier this year.

I run Linux on all but one system and that one Windows XP system is for supporting iTunes.

daniel_ream said...


Yes, they're that bad.

Jennifer Clark said...

I'd say your estimate of 10 hours to become fluent and productive with the new system is accurate. I do like the simplified desktop interface and start screen now I'm used to it.

One thing I didn't like was being unable to open the new metro style apps on the desktop. Stardock ModernMix solves this problem though. I'd definitely recommend it.

Rory said...

Windows has been bad for many years... Yes time for Linux or Mac, quit waiting on msft to make it 'right' in the next version.... They ALWAYS say that....

Paul, Dammit! said...

I discovered this about a month ago, when I unwrapped my new $3000 laptop, and spent 3 days figuring out how to use it by disabling all the 'features.'

Windows 8 is the OS for Microsoft's phones and tablet. It is NOT for laptops and desktops, but got shoehorned in.
There's a program called 'classic shell' that helps undo much of the fuss.
Just awful. I'm almost tempted to be the first straight man ever to own an Apple.

Pax Empyrean said...

I'd switch to Linux before I'd switch to a Mac, certainly.

I'm currently on Windows because it's the most convenient for gaming.

Anonymous said...

It is pretty awful. I got a cheap POS laptop for trips and the like that its Win 8 on it. I have nothing good to say about this OS, it makes Vista look competent. Thank goodness it is not the computer I use 90% of the time.

Aerodawg said...

I dislike it heavily but it got better once I realized you can keep it in desktop mode all the time...

Unknown said...

I've been on Windows 8 since the day after Christmas, and I don't mind it. I don't have much use for the Metro apps, so I still run "legacy" programs on it like I would Windows 7. I'm running the 8.1 RC, which brings back the Start Menu if that's a concern.

What exactly is bad about it? When I ask most people that, the answers I usually get have to do with "it's different" or "Where's the Start Menu?"

I generally like Linux, but every time I try it out, there's a glaring limitation. Wine won't run iTunes within the last 5 releases. I don't have any real loyalty to Windows, but Linux just never seems to be mature enough for a complete changeover.

Anonymous said...

I switched my Vista laptop to 8. It runs better than ever and the startup time is amazing. Yes there were a few growing pains, like needing to find a driver for the DVD drive because there isn't one in 8. The the computer does what I want it to do a lot faster and more reliably now.

And I got it for $35. So it's not all bad.

jaericho said...

I'm going to have to disagree with you Cap. If I don't use metro apps and I spend all of my time in desktop mode. How is it worse than Win7?

Is it a move forward? Meh, maybe not. But I don't think it's that bad.

Anonymous said...

If you do find yourself stuck with Windows 8 here are a few suggestions for making it easier to work with:

1)Change the default programs for common file types like .pdf and .jpg. By default Windows 8 will try to open these with tablet optimized programs that are annoying on a traditional desktop or laptop. Change the default to more classic desktop optimized programs that and this problem goes away.

2) Pin your top 5 programs to the task bar so you can browse the internet and do your job without having to hunt around for them in the strange new start screen.

3) Take some time to organize your start screen. Put your most used programs near the beginning to minimize the time you spend on the start screen.

After doing these three things and spending a few hours with Windows 8 I now find it just as easy to use as any of my other Windows and Linux machines.

Mike said...

The hard drive in my daughter's Windows 7 laptop crashed. I spent hours installing a hard drive, finding drivers, and re-installing software. Of course she never backed up her computer.

My other daughter has a Chromebook. No hard drive. Everything is stored in the cloud, so no backups. She can log into my Chromebook, and has the exact same user experience as her own. And it costs half as much.

Windows, MAC OS and Linux are all based on the same paradigm of complex software installed on a failure-prone hard drive. Chrome OS is much easier to maintain.

ChrisP said...

I'm something of a "computer expert" and have been using Windows 8 for a while now without problems. Of course part of the reason is I didn't upgrade to it before having a plan to get the start menu back which I did via the $5 program Start8.

If folks could use some quick advice because they are stuck with Windows 8 I could answer a quick question or two but I'm not sure if the captain wants to have his forum used for this.

Captain, you didn't explain what your problems with Windows 8 were.

Anything that runs on Windows 7 should also run on Windows 8.

(I'm also running Windows 8.1 early developer release version and no issues so far.)

ChrisP said...

Linux Mint is very nice but I suggest people run Linxu using a VM until they know how to get around. VirtualBox is free as is VM Player.

What often happens with new Linux users is that they struggle with anything not configurable via UI (user interface) and even a great distro like Mint will still have plenty of that.

S. Harvey said...

Try searching for what your looking for rather then the old hide and seak with the mouse. You'll streamline your workflow and win8 will be saving you hours a week in no time.

Southern Man said...

Cappy Cap is right, and here's another video that expresses in some detail just what is horribly, terminally broken in Windows 8.

I've been a Microsoft OS user since DOS 1.0. For you young 'uns, that was before the concept of "subdirectories." Work just provided me with a shiny new Windows Surface. It is pretty much unuseable as a tablet, for the reasons expressed in the video above. The UI in my three year old first-gen iPad completely blows it away.

ChrisP said...

The video Southern man posted reminded me of headaches I did have with my laptop after I upgraded it to Windows 8. The touchpad was set so that the edges of the pad worked like the edges of a tablet screen.

This did indeed cause me to open up things mysteriously that I didn't intend to.

This turned out to be a feature of the touchpad software and I disabled it as soon as I realized what was going on. Disable this horrible thing and install Start8 and you get a faster Windows 7 with the ability to use Metro apps and the new features of Windows 8 and little to no headaches.

Of course if you use don't get Start8 and/or use metro you need to know the basics like how the corners of the screen are important hotspots.

jaericho said...

I'm diggin' elementaryOS too. I tried Linux Mint, but hated the interface. elementaryOS give you a very OSX-y looking desktop. The built in apps are a bit sparse and minimal, but I think it's really nice.

Anonymous said...

My XP machine is going to Win 7. Win 8 sucks.

At work we use Open Client for Linux 6 (it think it's Redhat's and it woks well, but the corporate people have loaded it with lots of crapware, which slows it down. I also have a Win 7 KVM on the Linux machine for stuff that doesn't run on Linux.

Joe America said...

Start 8 is a good idea
5 bucks will save you much frustration.

Agent Trask said...

You shouldn't have to spend money to fix a broken OS.

Start8 is good evidence that Microsoft needs to remove some schoolkids who think they can design an OS.

CelticTigerDad said...

The essential complaint that Windows 8 users has is that they want the simple desktop and Start button of XP and Win 7. Well, you can go to a desktop display on Win 8, but damn --- no start button with all your applications on it. For accessing the most common apps you have to go back to the opening screen touch in interface.

NOT TO WORRY. There simple shells that you can buy (or download for free) which will bypass the opening screen on boot, go straight to the desktop view and have a Start button with all your installed programs.

Just google "start button for windows 8" and get one.

Win 8 does boot up quick, that's certainly nicer than the eternity that booting took with previous Windows versions. Also, I'm stuck with Windows because I write B2B telecom software for a living, and it's ALL a Windows world there.

Red said...

When I booted up windows 8 for the first time I thought: I remember this interface. AOL 94 is back and my god it color scheme is even worse than I remember.

Jones said...

I'm shifting to Linux with Windows in a virtual machine.

If I need a version of Microsoft's OS just to run some tax or accounting software, I can install that version in its own virtual machine.

LibreOffice does most of what the Office suite does, and it runs under Linux as well as Windows.

Besides, once Gabe Newell finally releases Half Life 3 for SteamOS (Linux packaged by Valve), it's going to look like the better choice. :-)

Jones said...

I'm shifting to Linux with Windows in a virtual machine.

If I need a version of Microsoft's OS just to run some tax or accounting software, I can install that version in its own virtual machine.

LibreOffice does most of what the Office suite does, and it runs under Linux as well as Windows.

Besides, once Gabe Newell finally releases Half Life 3 for SteamOS (Linux packaged by Valve), it's going to look like the better choice. :-)

Ecclesiastes said...

Oh, come on now!

It can't be worse than Vista, or CE.

Can it?

SewerDweller said...

Sure, by all means, go with Chrome. I'm sure Google would -never- do anything evil with All. Your. Data.

And of -course- you'll always have an internet connection to reach your data.

And Google would -never- suffer a penetration of user data and not tell anyone, right? I'm sure your personal data's -totally- safe.

Ubuntu signed it's own death warrant when they tried to fuck over intel. (long story, not worth explaining. short version, they 'stole' code. Yes, it's possible in open source. )

Red Hat's Fedora 19 is pretty stable, and so far, does everything I want. I'd look into it if I were you.