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Y H8 8?


Steve from Oklahoma writes:

“It appears all the questions revolve around people going back to Windows 7. If 8 and 8.1 are so great, why are so many people wanting to go back to, or stay with, 7?”

Well, Steve from Oklahoma, you’ve asked the million dollar question.   Although, in my experience, there are far more questions concerning staying with XP than 7.  All that I can offer about this is my educated guess, so here it is…

Windows XP was introduced in 2001, the year after the tragic release of Windows ME (Millennium Edition).  ME was an ME-SS.  I’ve never found anyone who liked it, and, in the time that I lived in Seattle and knew a lot of Microsoft employees, I never met one who would admit that they worked on it.


So when XP… an actually GOOD OS was released, people were overjoyed.   They loved XP.  Heck, I loved XP too. 


XP was such a great program that it hung around for a long, long time.  XP was the standard for six years.  To put that in perspective, over the last six years we’ve seen the introduction of THREE new Windows operating systems.  For many of us, XP was kind of the program that we “grew up” with in our computer use.   Which brings me to my next point…

People… for the most part… don’t like change.  The sales of personal computers BOOMED between 2000 and 2006, and so, for a lot of people, their whole experience of computers was XP.   Because of this, when Windows announced the release of Vista, they got the same kind of backlash that they’re experiencing now over 8.  Vista was a good program, but it was just… different.  It was not XP.  It’s kind of like the amount of griping that I endured from people in their fifties an sixties (my age and slightly older, in other words) about J J Abram’s reboot of Star Trek.  It was good… it just wasn’t what they were used to. 

When 7 was introduced, it didn’t suffer the kind of backlash that Vista did, because Vista had softened the fall for it.  People were okay with it because of the (undeservedly I feel) bad reputation that Vista had, and because they had had three years to wean themselves off of XP.  


So why the backlash against 8?  Because 8 is the first truly different OS from Windows.  I’ve always asserted that Windows 8 should rightfully be called “Tiles 1″ because unless (like me) you use the “classic” desktop, the Windows are gone.  It is primarily designed for touch-screen computers, which some of us don’t use. 

But I think that it comes down to this… people are trying to stay with XP or 7 simply because they don’t like change.

But that’s just my opinion.

~ Randal Schaffer


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23 Responses to “Y H8 8?”

  1. bob price says:

    Win 8 was sort of okay, but 8.1 is annoying. I click some keys and a charm page appears and can’t kill the beast. ESC does not work. It also contains some sync features that I don’t like, but can’t kill. And of course, the highly annoying start button dilemma.

  2. Chauncey R. Black says:

    Your reference to the new Windows 8 being more aptly called Tiles 1 is a suggestion that I (and perhaps many others) would like for you to suggest to Microsoft. Tiles 1 is a vastly more honest and descriptive name than Windows.

  3. k.p.subramanian says:

    Bought a new table desk Lenovo 20″ ()C 260 model)screen, 8.1. version (all in one model) during second week of Dec., 2014. All along I have been using XP,(7 years). I must say, XP was a very much simpler version and met with all my requirements. I wish I had continued with my old desktop only (The old one was slow and used to go on hang several times during the working, hence the need for new one)

  4. Doug says:

    Plus the change to Importing Pictures using Windows is not forgiveable.

  5. John Myers says:

    I like your article. Well written and right on the button. I just hope that Microsoft does get a look at it.They may get some better ideas from it.

  6. Frank A Wheeler says:

    I have been working with computers since they were analog. When Digital came, I programed in machine language.
    I spent 30 years as a typographer and worked with as many as five different phototypesetting machines a day. Each machine had different formatting.
    I learned to program in machine language as memory and storage were small.
    My first home use computer was a Sinclair, then Atari followed by a PC built with an 8080 chip and using Windows 1.1.
    On all of those home PCs I used spreadsheets and word processing with no problem. I was younger, but I don’t think that is why I did not have problems jumping from computer to computer.
    When Mac II came out, I picked it up quickly and drew over a hundred Post Script fonts for an engraving company.
    When I retire I went from Windows 3.4 to ME and then to XP Pro with no problem I had nearly a dozen programs I worked with on the desk top that died a nasty death approximately 3 years ago.
    As my wife did not like me being in the computer room so much, I bought a 17″ Laptop that came with Windows 8 and no choice in the mater.
    Come may, I will be using this useless thing for three years. I have given up on doing any work on it and use it for e-mail, surfing and a very expensive card game partner.
    Windows 8 is MS’s New Coke error. They could have made a new platform for performing work and had a second program for the kids who use telephones and pads to get through their day. If I wanted tiles, which interfere with most everything, I could have gotten a program or patch to perform that. Or just bought a Pad or over-sized telephone.
    Like Coke they will offer a substitue and like Coke will lie and say it is as before. Coke Classic is not the old Coke. Basically, what MicroSoft has done is make me think real hard of finding a used Mac. None of my many programs will work on Windows 8 anyway. As a matter of fact, I had to reboot in the middle of this note because there was one or two seconds delay between keystroke and character on the screen. Plus the screen going up and down and having to scroll back to it about every 15 seconds.
    No Steve, on this one you are wrong and I hope you are right about Ubuntu as I have been printing out your news letters on the subject. When my wife finishes this cancer treatment and I can think straight again, I will probably change.

  7. Mark says:

    You say that’s just your opinion. It’s your opinion and the opinion of millions of other people whether they want to admit it or not.
    It has been said if a technology was in place when you were born then it is second nature to you since you grew up with it. When you are in your 20’s and a new technology comes out you accept it without much thought and move on. When you are in your 30’s and a new technology comes out, you are excited about it. When you get to your 50’s and a big technology change comes along it is the work of the devil.
    I never believed that until I got to my 50’s. You hit the nail on the head with this article. Excellent article, you have said everything I’ve been saying for a long time.

  8. Peggy says:

    You hit the nail on the head.
    I’m turning85 this month, and not crazy about spending so much time trying to learn how to do something new again. I mostly read e-mail and doing genealogy.
    I have Windows7 on 1 laptop and Windows8.1 on another. Have trouble trying tod remember how to turn it on and off.

  9. Lonnie Hobbs says:

    I disagree with your assumptions several times:
    1. I had great luck with ME and did not have any problem with it crashing. It worked great the whole time I was using it which was a number of years until I bought an XP version which has been good as well.

    2. My daughter has Vesta and that has crashed, locked up and just went south more than she could keep count. It is on a Dell computer and is horrible!

    3. Windows 7 was working great and had some very good improvements to [like the search routine] until I cracked my 64 bit mother board. Now, I am back to using an old XP.

  10. R.T.Mills says:

    My Question is simple (KISS).
    Having a new Laptop which came with Windows 8. I took advantage of the FREE update to Win 8.1. Still not impressed. No one to date even MS Support can explain\Advice how to downgrade back to WIN 7 Pro. Now that’s a simple

  11. Karen says:

    I think you are right about people not wanting change. I’m now 66 and am certainly not great with computers. However, I’ve progressed from a MacLC through XP, Vista, 7 Pro, and now 8.1. This is definitely different, but I’m learning my way around pretty well. I agree it is quite different, but not necessarily worse.

    • Karen says:

      This Karen Disagrees. I do not like Win 8 or the .1 it is awful. And I am no dummy can learn and have. But I still don’t like it.

  12. Ron says:

    I agree your basic idea, resistance to change is a big part of the “problem” with Win 8.

    But also, the problem I had (have) with it is the focus on touch. It is designed with the assumption that the user is intimately familiar with “smartphones”, things like swiping, only being able to run/see one application at a time etc. I’m using a non-touch (OLD) laptop. The first time I installed Win8 it lasted all of 5 hours before I wiped it. I found it a total exercise in frustration. What sane pre-Win8 windows user would “intuitively” figure out that to “scroll” the screen horizontally you had to use the mouse scroll wheel. Or to close an app you have to drag it down off screen.

    After 6 months of reading “how to” articles about Win8 I tried it again and was able to get by. Mainly by using tricks I learned to totally defeat the “new and improved” Metro UI. I boot directly into the desktop and only use desk desktop applications. I’ve found any “Metro” app I tried to simply be a “craplet”, lacking in BASIC functionality I am used to having in “real” Windows applications.

    To summarize, I really HATE anything to do with the “METRO” side of Win 8. I find the apps … juvenile, not really mature.

    That being said, I have found that Win 8 is “better” than Win 7 on my laptop. I’ve been working entirely in the Win 8 desktop for over a year now. Recently I’ve been booting into Win 7 on the same laptop (I have multip boot setup) and find that Win 7 seems to be noticeably slower booting, starting applications and swapping between apps and even when running some apps.

  13. Randal says:

    WOW! I am so impressed at the number of diverse comments that this article has inspired. I always love it when I can spark intelligent discussion. So first off, thanks for all of the compliments on my article. It’s awesome to know that you guys enjoy my work.

    Lonnie, I’m glad to hear that you used ME with no problem. Now I have to stop saying that I’ve never met anyone who liked it, and can say that I’ve met one person who did. :)

    Mark, thanks for bringing Douglas Adams’ great quote into your comment. Your expansion was less on the humor than his and more on the informative. His original was more like “Anything that was invented before you were born is a part of nature. Anything invented before you’re fifty is an amazing technological advancement and you’ll probably have a career in it. Anything invented after you’re fifty is obviously the work of the devil.”

    Frank, I think that your Coke analogy is great. Personally, I enjoyed “New” Coke, and think that they would have had a winner of a product on their hands if, instead of trying to replace Coke with it they had marketed it as something else, while continuing to give Coke drinkers what they liked. (By the way, the difference between “Coke Classic” and classic Coke was the change from sugar to HFCS. If you find Coke with real sugar (bottled in Mexico mostly) you’ll find the Coke taste that you enjoyed in your youth.)


  14. bobphi says:

    I have been using computers since the late 60’s. Over time things have become much easier. Your well written article is right on the money. Gimmicks have always sold products and touching the screen instead of the keyboard is a gimmick that the younger generation have got used to. I have many computers around the house (XP, WIN7, and WIN8.1) and I am looking forward to WIN10. I find that the old XP computer makes a good internet radio computer. I use WIN7 for most of my daily tasks, and I use WIN8.1 when I get an urge to put fingerprints on the screen.

  15. Adele says:

    You hit the nail on the head with this article. I have used computers since the commador 64 came out!!!! I have used XP, Vista, WIndows 7 and now Windows 8.1 and they all were great because they each offered something new and better, easier this or that!!!!! Learning something new is exciting for me and I never want to stay put with something outdated.
    Thanks for the article

  16. Vernon says:

    I have migrated to Windows 7 except for my Toshiba laptop. I attempted to use Windows 7 on it but seven did not support my laptop with audio and security features so I returned to my Windows XP. I don’t use it online very much because of my concern about viruses but I like my Windows XP.

  17. Louis says:

    Hey Randal, you is gooood!
    Just joking! I’ve had Xp, Vista, Win 7, still have Win 7, and now 8.1 and liking it. It just takes a little getting used to it.

  18. […] for someone who loves XP, as a matter of fact, I wrote an article about it that can be found here, but I think that the change will be worthwhile for you.  Not only will it provide you with added […]

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