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Should I buy a Windows 7 system now, before it's too late?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 30, 2013 9:25 AM PDT

Should I buy a Windows 7 system now, before it's too late?

So EVERYTHING I read is so negative about Windows 8 as an OS for a laptop (I don't want a tablet), and Windows 7 laptops are on the chopping block becoming so rare - do I go out and buy one now even though I don't need a new machine right now? My current laptop is getting a little funky, yet it would probably last another 6 months or more. But I don't want to be forced to buy an 8 laptop because that's all that's available next year... What are my options, please advise. Thank you kindly!

--Submitted by Joe A.
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7 vs 8
by bo1 / August 30, 2013 11:31 AM PDT

i have been using win 8 on a pc for more than a year. I love it. I use one of the free classic menu apps that puts you right into what looks and feels like windows 7. never see the other windows.

very little experience with MACs always because of the price and lack of software I like to run on Apple. you can buy a pretty good windows machine on the used market for a couple hundred bucks and there is lots of pretty decent freeware available. ie IBM symphony, gives good word processor, spread sheet and presentation.

OH. Did I mention that its extremely quick. my machine boots from a cold start in less than 20 seconds to scouring the internet,

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Windows 7
by shot34ever / August 30, 2013 11:50 AM PDT

Being 61 years old and a PC Tech, here is my opinion. Keep in mind what happened when the VCR turned into the CD, which turned into Blue Ray, and what will be next. I am not convinced to switch at the present time. Being in the Tech business, the past two years has advanced greatly and almost all of my previous inventory is obsolete. Windows 8 is for the younger generation who most luckily will have vision problems from trying to use these small products. Windows 8 with the touch screens is not for the older person, at least not for me. Windows 7 for me has been the most stable system in the history of Microsoft.
Windows 7 still appears in some Laptops and really is not too hard to find. Depending on your age and your vision and having the ability to reach the touch screen your decision on which to buy can be solved with a trip to your local Best Buy and try both. I did this recently just to satisfy my curiosity.
I have never used Windows 8 for a long period of time, but I bet it is very stable and most likely very easy to use. I have used every version of Windows and my choice would be Windows 7.

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The older the better if you use a tablet:-)
by NinaSP / September 6, 2013 11:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows 7

I am 62 and totally disagree. Tablet enabled computers are the best for anyone who needs to see larger fonts. PCs or MACs. I really like windows 8 although I have to set up easy access to the start button and programs. It starts up so much faster and on my full windows tablet with office and other basic business programs it works really well. Some of my clients have had some trouble adjusting until I got the substitute start button going. I like how it gets new printers and wireless anywhere. Like a MAC, but I can communicate with everyone and type word documents without worrying. And, of course, it joins corporate networks easily.

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Windows 7 or 8
by joedi1 / September 6, 2013 4:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows 7

You cannot buy a Windows 7 machines at best buy. They only have Windows 8.Soon to be Windows 8.1

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touchscreens=the future, but Win8 works fine without them
by monsieurms / September 6, 2013 9:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows 7

I am still using XP! So, I hardly have upgrade-itis. And I'm not far from your age.

Nonetheless, since MS has announced no more support for XP as of next Spring, the clock is ticking. I may rely on my AVG for another year. But soon, a decision has to be made. I will go with Win 8 when I go. I'd like to postpone that for about 2 years, because as you say lots of things are in flux. But eventually people are going to start making apps that make sense and are redesigned for touchscreens. The size of the screens is getting larger, to answer your other objection. I was thinking of one of those Dell 27" all-in-ones. That will make touchscreens come alive.

The Android/iOS experience on phones and tablets has gotten people used to touchscreens. There are many apps where the touchscreen is of little use. And that won't change. You'll use the touchscreen or voice command to open them, and then you'll want a real keyboard. But the basic process has become familiar and easy. Again, it isn't much good today. Big screens are expensive. And not many traditional apps have been fully redesigned for touchscreens. But eventually it will be a revolution.

The complaints on touchscreens notwithstanding, it is a mistake to think that is all Win 8 is good for. THat's not true at all. I'd really wish MS would announce supporting XP for another 24 months. The upgrade paths for XP are so difficult. I would've upgraded if it didn't require wiping my hard drive to get Win7. But there's NO POINT to uprgrading NOW to a OS that has already been superseded IMHO. The choice is Win 8. As many have pointed out, 8.1 as well as 3rd party apps will make Win8 function more like WIn 7.

It isn't a big deal. The PR about touchscreens has confused everyone. I definitely want a touchscreen-capable OS when I upgrade, but I'm planning on using it much initially.

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Support ending
by Jeskickit / September 8, 2013 2:12 AM PDT

Windows XP support is to end in April, 8, 2014

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Not necessarily
by 4Denise / August 30, 2013 11:52 AM PDT

It all depends on you. Yes, most people hate Windows 8, but you don't know if you will be one of them unless you try it. Another consideration is your willingness to buy used. Windows 7 computers will be available used for quite some time. It is also possible to buy the computer you want, format the hard drive, and install Windows 7 from a purchased copy, even though that might be a bit more expensive than you want.

I suggest that you find a way to try a Windows 8 computer before you decide that you don't like it. I understand the frustration of feeling as if you are forced into a new operating system, whether you like it or not, but there's no need to panic and buy something that may not be what you really want. Check out the newer OS, look around, and consider what would best meet your needs. Even if you miss your prime opportunity, there will be ways to get around the switch to Windows 8 for years to come.

If, on the other hand, you really know that you want to stick with Windows 7, no matter what, and you already know basically what you want in a laptop, and you can afford to do it, go ahead and get your new one in advance. It won't hurt anything. Just be aware that it will be an "older" computer by the time you need it.

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Tried Windows 8, ordered Windows 7 with my next Dell PC
by PaulMemoli / September 6, 2013 11:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Not necessarily

Sorry for the placement.. the thread seems closed except for a "reply".

After one of my office pcs caught the S.M.A.R.T. virus last year I needed to wipe it clean and install a new operating system. Windows 8 was being sold at the "intro" price of about $80, vs the $200 for Windows 7. I bought Win 8, knowing that I was going to have some difficulties because the afflicted pc did not have a touchscreen, and I was not about to go buy one. I figured the mouse would function well enough

Everyone in my office, even those with smartphone touchscreen experience and a Windows 7 background, found Windows 8 to be very difficult to adjust to. I myself, having been brought up with the Dewey decimal system when I started to use the public library back in the 1960s, had a very hard time with Windows 8 on a full sized desktop pc 6 months later, when I decided to buy a new desktop for my home, I made sure that it came with Windows 7.

It may be that at my age of 60, I simply have adopted the concept that: if it is not broke, then don't fix it. My experience with the pc at my office that I "updated" to Win 8 did not reveal any good reason as to why I would want or need to inflict this "learning curve" on myself. I do not care if "updates" to Windows 7 will never be available, it is a fine tool as it is and one that I am very comfortable with.

Change, simply for the sake of change, is assinine.

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I agree
by 4Denise / September 6, 2013 5:38 PM PDT

I believe that Microsoft is stupid. Unfortunately, they won't listen to their customers, so we can expect more of the same.

The only way for the original poster to know for sure what he really should do is to explore the options. Also, I don't care how many people try to tell me that Windows 8 is "better." It is hated by the vast majority of people for good reason. If anything, the people who try to pressure me to accept Windows 8 are even worse than Microsoft. I don't care for control freaks who try to run my life. They should all shut up and let us do what works best for us.

Windows 7 is far from dead, and updates are still being made available regularly. Those of us who prefer it (meaning the vast majority of us) have no reason to panic. We may not be able to buy it with a new computer, but we can always buy it separately and install it. The original poster will be fine.

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Where are the statistics
by JazzGuyy / September 7, 2013 12:31 AM PDT
In reply to: I agree

A lot of people say that everyone hates Windows 8 but I have yet to see statistics that prove this. There are certainly lots of people who don't like it but I doubt they are even a majority of PC users. So much of what people think about Windows 8 seems to be based on what they have heard and not on real experience with it.

Some myths that are spread about Windows 8 and are not true:

You need a touch screen to use it. Definitely untrue. You can use it with no difficulty with a mouse and keyboard. Instead of touching something, you click it. There are a couple of new mouse movements you have to learn but that only takes a couple of minutes.

You have to use the Modern interface: again not true. You can easily skip over to the Desktop (which works just like it does in Windows 7) by clicking one tile. If you want, you can install a program that will make it start like Windows 7 or even XP or wait a few weeks and get Windows 8.1 which will allow you to set up whether to boot into Modern or the Desktop.

Your old programs won't run on it: with only a very few exceptions (mostly things like antivirus programs which you can easily upgraded to a version that works fine on Windows 8), any program that runs on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8. This even includes a lot of programs people claim won't run on Windows 8.

Not having the old Start screen makes Windows 8 unusable: The Modern tiles essentially do what the old Start screen did. You can easily manage the tiles (change their size, move them around, remove them from the main screen (they'll still be on All Apps), group them, and do lots of other things. Windows 8.1 will bring more choices. Yes, it's a little different but, once you get used to it, is just as fast and effective.

You lose productivity in Windows 8: you lose productivity on anything you are unfamiliar with until you have used it for a little while. Once you get used to Windows 8, it is every bit as productive as earlier versions and probably better because it is generally a bit faster. It is especially better, in my experience, with operations like moving and copying files (especially big ones). No one has yet published any statistics or other reliable information that shows Windows 8 is less productive than Windows 7.

Windows 8 is ugly: well that's subjective so you have to make your own judgments. If you stay on the Desktop, it will look pretty much like it always has. The only thing you lose is Aero and you actually keep most of its important features except for some of the glass and transparent look eye candy.

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Same stuff every time
by Batman / September 9, 2013 6:05 AM PDT

I have no clue what everyone is talking about regarding the tiles. I simply click on my desktop app, tile, icon--whatever anyone wishes to call it, and there is everything. I placed a simple shortcut on my desktop for my computer and Control Panel, and everything is pretty close to windows 7, Vista, and XP. There's also the windows button on the keyboard that brings things back to what theyre used to. But, seriously? Dont these people get tired of whining every time a new version of Windows comes out? I know I get tired of reading it.

Windows 8 is ugly? I agree, that is subjective, but, we can use our own pictures, so, if its ugly, then its their own fault. I think my laptop looks awesome. I have a cool Batman and Joker start page; totally cool Batman sign in page, and an even cooler Batman wallpaper desktop. MY choice, my look. My awesomeness.

oh, and one more point. I have a couple games that ran on windows 95, that still work on windows 8! Not as perfectly as back then, but they still work. I have tons of stuff to go thru from over the years, but a couple still do: Star Wars Monopoly, and Army Men. Army men 2 and later work a little better, but, they do work.
The reason? The programmers designed the games properly. Most are lazy and take shortcuts.

You are so right on with your post, you probably dont even realize how right you are

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But you can still buy Windows 7
by Backup Bob / September 7, 2013 12:49 PM PDT
In reply to: I agree

Check out Micro Center. They have plenty of systems with Windows 7 and plenty more with both versions. Microsoft may not like it but that is keeping their machines moving off the shelves.

I am hoping Microsoft will realize they need to keep Windows 7 alive a few more years. XP was here over a decade so why can't 7 continue to be supported? It is a solid product and not everyone will go along with their program of updating to Windows 8. It would be better for them to support a large number of technology stragglers and update them to a newer version such as Windows 9 than to have them go to Apple.

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Only the interface
by johnaudie / September 6, 2013 7:50 PM PDT

Only the interface is bad for non-touch computers. Windows 8 is a faster version of Windows 7 with a different cover. Install Classic Shell and you have a faster version of Windows 7 with a 10-12 sec start to screen on power-up. The internals are still more or less windows 7. Or wait till Windows 8.1 is out. The start button will be back on that.

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by monsieurms / September 6, 2013 9:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Only the interface

The PR on touchscreens has scared off some people averse to them. But the OS will work fine without a touchscreen. It can look just like Win7, but still be advanced. Wait for 8.1.

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I have non-touch screen
by Batman / September 9, 2013 6:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Only the interface

I completely disagree with the interface being bad on non touch screens. Sure, its designed for touch, but works well for me.
I was told well, it works better on laptops.
Bought my friend a new computer, using the same old old flat screen i gave her 3 years ago. Works just as great.

I agree,though, its basically 7, which is basically Vista. There is a learning curve, where did ____________ go. But, thats the only gripe I give anyone.

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The problem is Microsoft's market share
by Backup Bob / September 7, 2013 12:44 PM PDT

If Windows 8 were a new product we could all decide to learn it or buy something else. That is not the case here.

There are well over a billion Windows users. If you are producing a top selling product you really do not want to give people a reason to evaluate whether they should stay with you . Just ask Coca Cola how successful "New Coke" was at convincing lovers of the top selling cola that they needed a different product. With this new, difficult to use product Microsoft is all but begging their customers to take a good look at Apple products.

That so many established Windows users are discussing the merits and demerits of Windows 8 a year after it was released tells me there is a major problem with it. Microsoft has conceded that some changes are needed and Windows 8.1 will come out as a free upgrade for Windows 8.0 users but even so, they could not swallow their pride enough to make all of the changes necessary to keep their users happy.

I have installed Windows 8 on a test machine. It is fast. It boots up quickly. It is also ugly as sin, what with all of those icons thrown together on the Metro screen wiggling and jiggling and jumping about, but that is another story. I can handle the ugly part but I can't handle the loss of functionality. Please give me back my desktop and my start button, without forcing me to jump to the Metro screen all the time. I won't be your new young, hip user but I will still be a user. At age 67 my money spends just as well as a 20 or 30 year old's money, just as it has since DOS 3.1.

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7 or 8, what about installation?
by Stubear57 / September 8, 2013 1:47 AM PDT

Hey, 60 ain't that old! What I am not seeing, is a definit response to a previous issue regarding updating to Win 8 from a older O/S. It has been said many times that this is not a good idea and it should be a wipe and complete install. I'm running Vista Home Premium and am totally paranoid about updating. I missed the intro sale of Win 8 but managed to get in on the upgrade deal but am very wary of using it. It is the 64 bit version but Microsoft says that can be changed with a click of a button. They recommend using 32 bit for running older apps. What so you?

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I may agree
by Batman / September 9, 2013 5:50 AM PDT

You admit your reasoning may be associated with the concept "If its not broke, dont fix it".

Very commendable to admit that. I wont debate whether or not 8 bytes (intentional misspelling for intentional pun) or not. I like it. Others dont. I will say, however, that the very reason you state, may be why many dont like it.
Many dont remember why they hated XP. Initially. It happens to be, because most games no longer worked. People did not know where things were relocated at. Most printers and hardware did not work. It was not until probably the second service pack it gained it's status of likability. Before at least the first service pack, everyone was saying how they were sticking with Windows 98. 98 lasted 6 years. So, people got used to it. Btw, it was supposed to be the last OS ever. Just continued updates. MS realized they couldnt do that, because thered be no reason to buy the software. So, they came out with Vista, which was hated. (For the same reasons XP was hated. A service pack and long shelf life would have cured that). So, MS created Windows 7, three years later. Since people were already beginning to upgrade, 7 worked right out of the box, for the most part. Now, here we are, and three years after 7 comes out, 8 is released. Those who hate it, hate it for the same reasons they hated XP. So, we have had windows 8 for about a year, and in two years, windows 9 will be released. Unless MS realizes three years is too soon. Every five years is good. By then, new technology is out, and a new OS is good for working with that. But 3 years? Too soon. The betas come out, within months of the latest release, and everyone is talking about the next generation, and yet they barely have the new one released.

I do agree, however, that change just to change is indeed asinine. Windows Millennium Edition and 7 and 8 seem to be exactly that. "We wanted to make one last OS before the end of the millennium". They did. Windows 98. Should have left it there, rather than rushing to get it through. Windows Vista was good to do, but, with it's failure, they announced they would be releasing a new OS every three years.
Now that is asinine.

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Hated XP? Really??
by wpgwpg / September 9, 2013 6:19 AM PDT
In reply to: I may agree

I was one of the first to go to XP, and I don't remember hearing anyone complaining about it. Most were so glad to have something more stable than Me and even 98SE, they were very quick to go to XP. People complained about Me and Vista because they were buggy, although I never had the problems with Vista some complained about. I've been a huge fan of MS from the early DOS days through every new OS until Windows 8 came out. It's not about change for change sake, and it's not about giving users what they asked for. It's a pure marketing attempt to have a consistent UI from smart phones to tablets to desktops. As I've said before, trying to make a desktop work like a smart phone makes about as much sense as trying to make a garbage disposal work like a toilet. Most folks agree. That's why MS missed its profits target last quarter, the stock hasn't gone anywhere, and Mr. Balmer is being forced to retire. Asinine judgement has finally caught up with him. I hope the new CEO listens to his customers, Mr. Balmer certainly didn't.

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Win 8.1 revised to make more friendly
by Jeskickit / September 8, 2013 2:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Not necessarily

The upcoming Windows 8.1 will be revised to feel similar to Win 7 and others, by giving you the option to use the familiar Windows interface. Windows 8 is very secure, and 8.1 may be right for you when available.

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More lock down or "We know what's good for you" in 8.1.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 8, 2013 2:28 AM PDT writes:

"WARNING! The Pin to 8 application will not work properly witn Windows 8.1 RTM. Microsoft has disabled the programmatic access to Start Screen items pinning. This is impossible to fix."

Microsoft continues to lock down the Windows OS.
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by liguorid / September 8, 2013 4:28 AM PDT

Why do you need an application to pin something to the start screen?

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When you try to pin a batch file to it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 8, 2013 9:07 AM PDT
In reply to: ???

Sorry but it's widely discussed that Microsoft is locking down the OS with each version. I know you may not appreciate the removal of features but it's happening and in short, MSFT is taking the Personal out of the Personal Computer.

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Totally Agrre with Joe A.have BOTH PC Notebook and Macbook
by Benklee3 / August 30, 2013 12:03 PM PDT

While the Macbook Pro is more expensive.. It beats the pants off any Windows Notebook in terms of usability and performance.
I am running Windows 7 Ultimate and while it is good. Microsoft has decided to go and forced Windows 8 on the FULL PC world....

For your use that will be reliable and fast and just GREAT Walking Apple stores to go in to ask questions. As sorry with the multiplicity of Notebook vendors, you are at the mercy of a particular PC Vendor somewhere and what they have put on it....just a nightmare.
Microsoft has put a HUGE amount of money into WIndows 8 with the target of you buying a touch screen computer. I The WIndows Surface Tablet was the flagship and unfortunately because of it's sales.
Microsoft is drastically trying to unload them....stay away from the WIndows Surface unless you have bucks to bur...
Unless your applications are specifically for WIndows/ PC, don't worry..

Good luck!

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Bucks to burn
by remmeler / August 31, 2013 12:34 AM PDT

So stay away from Surface unless you have bucks to burn but consider a MacBook Pro - What? Because it is so cheap? You have got to be kidding.

What do you do with all your legacy Windows program that a person has been using. Throw them out and get all new one at Apples cheap prices. You have got to be kidding.

Your are really talking Apples and Oranges.

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Yup, it is more expensive
by Batman / September 9, 2013 6:18 AM PDT

My laptop is reliable. Its already over 2 years old. I had Windows 7 on it. For an additional $70 I got windows 8 pro. Thanks to Amazon, I even received a $30 gift card code when I bought Win 8 pro, making the price to upgrade essentially $40! So, yep, I'd say that my PC with 8 Pro is a lot cheaper than your high school mentality "cool factor" Macbook.
Since I'm not in high school any more, I dont need to have this "cool" label slapped on me. Btw, I didn't need that label when I was in HS. But, now that I am many years removed, I am still cooler than most. Even if I dont use what used to be called "MacIntrash".

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Win 8
by jkk5us / August 30, 2013 12:08 PM PDT

I certainly did not like the loss of the start menu on Win 8. I bought Start8 from for $4.99 and got my start menu back. I understand you will get it back for real with Win 8.1. It is always best to have the latest from a quality and security standpoint. You can also downgrade Win 8 to Win 7 if you choose.

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Start Menu will NOT be back in Windows 8.1
by chippe01 / August 30, 2013 12:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Win 8

They are only providing a start button which, when clicked will take you to the start screen. Hopefully, the right click menu will still be present.

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by stephen7144 / September 6, 2013 11:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Win 8

Going back to 7 sounds easier than it may turn out to be. I wanted to upgrade my Vista notebook from Dell to 7 for a long time. However all the Dell drivers for my computer were made specifically for that hardware and Windows Vista. I asked Dell and even though I was going to buy a new copy of 7 from them, they left me totally on my own concerning drivers to be sure the hardware would work. In short, I had Vista and was stuck with Vista until I bought a new computer with 7.

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If you wanted to Upgrade from Vista to 7
by itsdigger / September 6, 2013 11:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Downgrading

all you needed was the Windows 7 Upgrade . I installed it and it used all of the Vista drivers with no problems. Everything worked perfectly. Than I created a set of Windows 7 Image Disks and never looked back,,,,,Digger

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