For those of you (including myself) who don’t want to be dragged into the new user interface of Windows 8, there are several alternatives to be considered.
Right now I have the 90 day trial version of Windows 8 installed on an older computer, just testing how it works. I dislike the Start menu and the way the apps work in it. I also dislike being herded into Microsoft’s little scheme for controlling applications in this operating system, so I have a built-in bias towards the whole thing.
Trying to work with the apps using mouse and keyboard is unintuitive, but can be managed. It simply isn’t an improvement, and without some sort of improvement in work flow, there isn’t an incentive to use it.
So, back on topic. It is possible to use this operating system in a manner that mimics Win 7. In fact, it is hard to distinguish it from the earlier operating system. Right now I am trying out Classic Shell, using the Win 7 emulation. Here is a screenshot showing the start button and Programs list that it adds.
When you boot up the system, you will see the Start screen for a couple of seconds, but then it goes over to the Desktop. I’ve been keeping my Start screen fairly clear, unpinning apps there, but I don’t think it is really necessary. If you need to get into the other interface for some reason, it is easy enough to go to the Charms bar by moving the mouse to the bottom right corner.
This solution is working quite well for me, including the Search function. I suggest trying the 90 day free version of Win 8 and see if one of the alternative shells will suit you. The only downside is that this installation is definitely a temporary one, and cannot be upgraded or extended.
So what’s the point of this, if I prefer Windows 7? $40 for a Pro version of the operating system, plus 3 years of improvements under the hood. And anytime you feel up to it, you can tinker with the new interface. If they come out with an app you want that has to be used in the new GUI, its still there, available if you need it.
There really isn’t much of a downside.