On Going For Windows 8 – Or Not

There’s been a lot of conversation this week about the new Windows 8 preview. Personally, I’m not buying it. Not yet.

I’ve come to care less about the pretty skin of a system and more about how it helps me communicate and get things done. I was an early adopter of Office 2010 Beta, which as it turned out doesn’t really do anything that Office 2003 can’t do. It’s just prettier with its ribbons.

A computer is for computing. The operating system should facilitate computing, or you may as well give your devices to the baby to play with. Or the cat.


In the case of Windows 8, little of the week’s conversation, within my hearing, has been about computing. It’s been about set dressing. Metro and Aero. And a lot has been written about getting back features and functions of Windows 7. 

Here we have a very nice page on the How To Geek site, about how to get the start menu back in Windows 8.

Why would you put a new operating system on your computer, if you’re planning on struggling to get back the features of the old operating system? If the new differences aren’t what you need and want, why not keep the system you have?

Eventually, everyone who is installing the 8 preview is going to have to pay for the retail version, or go back to 7. It’s not free. So before I installed it, I would be asking some serious questions, for example:

If I don’t decide to pay for Windows 8, how much of a hassle is it to get my Windows 7 back?

How much is it finally going to cost?

What does it do that Windows 7 can’t do? And I mean distinct operations, not cool methods or little convenience tricks.

Is the file management system an improvement over the Libraries in Windows 7?

Will it come with Office 2010 installed? Or will it just be one of those evil 60 day trials? (I know the answer to this.)

You may be wondering, “But Kyle, don’t you want to play with it, try it out? Look, it’s got gestures instead of just clicks and drags and stuff.”

Sure I do. I’m curious, I like gadgets. But when the day is done we’ve either got stuff done or we haven’t. Our devices have either helped us or not. We should try to be practical about our electronics needs, and keep in mind that Microsoft and companies like it are constantly innovating to take our money, not to improve our lives. That’s as it should be, so judging the value is up to us, not them.