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