Yeah, what happened to version 9? (And of course we all know what happened to 7.)
Doobster, over at Mindful Digressions, came across what we all face, one time or another, going to the electronics store: “we no longer sell that.” Or at least, they no longer sell it in-store. He decided to go for the online-only laptop with 7 Pro, end of story.
Well. Of course, I knew Windows 7 was no longer sold at places like…Best Buy? I thought Best Buy was gone too. They closed so many stores, I figured they’ve closed them all by now. …Oh, no, that was Circuit City. Sigh. Just a memory now…
Aah, yes, the decline of retail stores. It’s blamed on the many that use the stores now merely as a place to peruse so they can make their purchase online. And who can blame them?…other than the media research people I just said that blame them… I always see lower prices in the Best Buy flier for online deals than in-store. (Of course, it’s credit-not-cash, not to mention shipping costs…)
But back to the main point.
As a Windows 8 user (and not by choice), I would say that 8 is better than 7 in some ways, with the return of the Up-one-level button, and a more understated interface, which helps the actual apps stand out. And of course, there are features that 7 doesn’t have.
Version 8 does, however, force vertical-sync, that it waits until screen refresh to actually update a whole window on the screen, so some programs that ran smoothly under Windows XP will be a bit jerky, visually…including the 32-bit DVD player software that comes with 8. And like version 7, it also won’t run 16-bit programs, so ancient software has to be emulated…
Emulation basically solves the issue of being able to run older software, with emulators like DOSBox, MESS and Basilisk II (above). The typical PC of today is fast enough to simulate any console or computer of the ’90s. It’s also a good thing that the Mac version of my trusty (but also ancient) digital dictionary is less buggy than the Win3.x version.
So the switch to Windows 8 wasn’t as bad as I thought, though I had to adapt. It can be set up to go straight to the desktop on launch. I guess I was hasty with irritation, back in 2013. (And boy does time fly in Hell, Maine.)
With upgrades, Microsoft brought back some classic features (yay!). But… recently, Windows 9 died a quick death, so Microsoft decided to just go ahead, and move “forward” on merging the PC, phone and tablet interfaces, into one, with version 10.
Now, I know, from experience as a programmer, how flawed if not insane it is to try to merge absolutely everything into one package. The one-size-fits-all approach never worked out for me, probably ’cause it shouldn’t be done in the first place. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want giant buttons on my computer screen.
Okay…Microsoft…can I call you MS? Oh, it sounds too much like Multiple Sclerosis—sorry. I know, like any product maker, if you make something perfect enough, you’ll have fewer customers looking for upgrades, you’ll make less money, and may run a snag with new projects and new ambitions.
So I’ll just be brief with this one and only request—even though it’s very late and won’t be heard anyway: don’t treat your customers like children! A desktop computer is not a toy!
…Okay, okay, so I often emulate some kind of Nintendo® or legacy game with mine…
But, Microsoft, you merged Office’s main menus into a somewhat-confusing one with the logo at the top. And now, if you merge everything into one OS, you force users into it when it comes to buying new PCs and devices, am I right?
Okay, maybe I’m being cynical. …No. No, I know it’s been done before…
But at least the Start Menu looks like a menu and not a screen. Of course, everything is subject to change, so I’m not sure it’s a good idea to provide a link.
For those looking to get the Start Menu back in Windows 8, here’s a comprehensive list of third party software, most of them free.