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Windows 8: changes or tweaks?

Are the upcoming changes to Windows 8 significant or just tweaks that make little difference.

It’s been interesting to watch Microsoft trying to trick the media with their orchestrated campaign of ‘leaks’ and announcements about a Windows 8 update.

We’re now told that an upcoming Windows 8 Service Pack will address some of the obvious concerns about the new operating system. The planned ‘leaks’ have been coordinated with the familiar but unsubstantiated boasts about sales of Windows.

Some commentators have gushed about how Microsoft is making a ‘U-turn‘ or even comparing the move with the ‘New Coke‘ debacle of 1985. Frankly we don’t expect an update to Windows 8 to reverse course as much as some people are guessing or hoping.

For example, the planted rumors are that the Windows 8 ‘Blue’ update will include a Start Button. That’s true but that does NOT mean the return of the familiar Start Menu from Windows 7.

Most likely there’ll be a button or icon on the bottom left of the taskbar that, when clicked, will show the Windows 8 tiled Start Menu.

The other change will be an official way to bypass the tiled Start Menu on startup and go to the traditional desktop instead. Big deal. All that does is highlight Microsoft’s arrogance in not providing that choice in the first place.

You don’t need to wait for an update to Windows 8 to get a proper Start Menu and desktop on start. As we detail in Windows 8 for Microsoft Office users, there’s several add-ons which give you both features. Our choice is Classic Start Menu which has been around for some time and is very handy for Windows 8 users … plus it’s free.

Windows 8 isn’t bad and if you’re getting a new computer, certainly get Windows 8 (plus Windows 8 for Microsoft Office users !). Unless you have a touch screen, ignore the tiled menu and Windows 8 apps. Just jump to the familiar desktop using Classic Start Menu or similar tool then use Windows 8 in the familiar desktop environment.

If you have Windows 7, stick with it.   There’s little in Windows 8 that a traditional desktop user will get from the changeover, once you take the money and time of upgrading into account.

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