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Windows 8.1 Not Too Different From 7?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Windows 10, Windows 8

Richard from Little Egg Harbor, NJ writes:

Not a question, per se, but whenever I see questions re: the merits of Win 8.1 versus Win 7, I have great difficulty as I wonder why respondents to those kinds of questions always seem to fail to mention that when one runs Win 8.1 in the Desktop mode, it’s just like having an improved version of Win 7. It’s easy to set a Win ‘8.1’ computer to boot up in Desktop/Win 7 mode (which is what I do) and, if I don’t want to, I never have to see any tiles, etc., and never have my brain get out of my “Win 7 mindset”…. I have 3 computers in a semi-circle–two have Win 7 Pro, and the 3rd (an upgrade from XP) has Win 8.1 – – and anyone looking at them would be hard-pressed to see any difference one from the other.



Richard, you’re preaching to the converted here. That’s been my experience with using 8.1 on my personal computer and Windows 7 on my work computer.  But many users don’t seem to feel that way at all. Some were so discouraged by the metro/modern interface that they gave up before even learning about desktop option. Some just don’t like that the Start Menu has essentially moved from lower left and turned into a search charm accessed in the upper-right.


My device has a keyboard and a touch screen, and I have no trouble at all accessing the charms. I have tried out Windows 8.1 on keyboard and mouse setups with no touchscreen and I will admit that getting the hang of it takes a little longer with a mouse than with a swipe.

Although I agree with you about Windows 8.1 and feel that it can be easily customized to give virtually the same user experience as Windows 7, I think there are a lot of users who would disagree. When it comes down to it, whether or not you like something is completely subjective. What feels like a great operating system to you, may feel clunky to someone else.


I’ve found that when I’ve offered to find solutions to specific issues with Windows 8.1, the majority of responses have been, “I just don’t like it.”  I think many who didn’t like the changes in 8.1 will feel more comfortable with Windows 10 once they get used to it.

Since you are comfortable with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Richard, you’ll probably enjoy it a lot.

~ Cynthia


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5 Responses to “Windows 8.1 Not Too Different From 7?”

  1. Richard Clark says:

    Only had a few days with it before my laptop was stolen by the maintenance crew at my apartment. But I liked it quite a bit. seemed very stable and easy to learn. Not crazy about the live tiles. That’s a lot of stuff going on in the background, that seems unnecessary to me. I like doing things for myself Turning off those you don’t want running was easy. I also like a clean screen. I always had my icons hidden anyways. Why have a wall paper and then cover it up? same with the touch screen, always having to clean the smudges off of it. Soon you just say forget the touch screen.

  2. Karen says:

    I got the Classic Shell for my win 8.1 and I still hate 8.1 The charms bar and the stupid clock pop up when ever they want and a fight to shut it off. It will revert to the tile window at will. The apps are harder to read. Harder to find. I do have my programs in a list which is much easier. The PDF goes directly to the 8.1 platform.. Hard to get to shut off. I don’t care how you drag it. Covering the whole desk top so you can not get to anything else. Spend more time dragging crap out of the way. Then discovered I could shut it off through the task manager. Which is a pain but better than fighting shutting it off. At least in Win 7 and previous. It shut off with the click of the X or went to the taskbar with the click of -.. or just make smaller with the click of the square. Then if you are having a computer problem, getting into the innards is a lot harder and of course they have changed the language, names, and locations of items such as the Restore!!! I have had this for almost two years now and am still unhappy with it. The only reason I have not gone back to my old computer is the mic and web cam being built in on this one.

  3. Karen says:

    clunky is an understatement! And they keep telling me more stable. I have not found that to be true. They say faster. I have not found that true either. Slower to start up that is for sure. And I have shut off all the start up apps.

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  5. Jolyn says:

    Just would like to thank you for the positive response to Windows 8.1.+. I volunteer at a local computer club and am seriously weary of those people who never gave W8 a chance and say how much they hate it.

    I have been saying since I first “got it” and understood the Tiles/Start screen as the start menu but with tiles with icons on them instead of just icons on the desktop.

    I still do a lot of work on my Windows 7 system. Have a great Lenovo Twist that has allowed me to learn, play with and understand W8 to help our membership understand better. I look forward to sharing this post with my monthly “All Things Windows Special Interest Group or SIG)…. Thank you.

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