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Windows 8/windows 8 drastically differs from windows7


QUESTION: I needed a new laptop, and got an HP with Windows 8. To me, it seems nothing like Windows 7, which I was accustomed to. Windows 8 has far too many features, and being somewhat of a novice seems way too complex to learn. I'm at the point I want to return it and buy the Google Chrome operating system. Am I correct to assume that Google Chrome will be much easier to use?
My intended usage for having a laptop is almost entirely for accessing the internet and sending email, with some occasional word processing.
Also curious to know how the Apple operating system compares to Windows 8. Is it simpler to use than Windows 8? And is Apple simpler than Google Chrome?

ANSWER: Hi Mitch!

"Am I correct to assume that Google Chrome will be much easier to use?"

I wouldn't assume that.  "Easy" is very relative and subjective.  Windows 8 is not so different from Windows 7 that Chrome (or Linux or iOS/Mac or any other OS) would be a more likely or friendlier alternative.  They are altogether different from Windows and there is likely to be a steeper learning curve going with a non-Windows OS than learning Windows 8.  Again, this is subjective and only my opinion, based on some experience with pretty much all OS's.

What about Windows 8 seems so drastically different to you?  There is probably a way to "fix", customize, or work around whatever that is.  For example, many people "miss" the Start Button, and while it is still there (just hidden in the corner) and its functionality altered slightly, it still takes you to a [full] screen menu of your apps, similar to the Start Menu of Windows 7.  Two apps are very popular to return the Start Button AND Menu that people were used to in previous versions of Windows:  Start8 ($5) and Classic Shell (free).  I don't personally use them, but many people have found comfort in using these utilities.

What else seems foreign to you?

Again, since it is so subjective, I can't tell you that you will have a harder or easier time with another OS, but my feeling is that you can't switch to something totally different without feeling uncomfortable - probably more so than you do now.

Feel free to follow up with any additional questions or clarifications.

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your quick reply. I'd try to stick with Windows 8. Do you know if I can get the old style toolbar with the file feature without doing a download? How do I print on Windows 8? Also how do I access internet options to clear tracking cookies and delete recent internet history on Windows 8?

ANSWER: Hi Mitch!

Downloading a utility is the only way to restore the classic Start Menu.  The update, Windows 8.1, restores the Start Button, but its functionality remains the same (it is now simply visible).  There are no settings or registry edits  (I am aware of) to restore the button/functionality from within Windows.

Printing in Windows 8:  Hit Start/Windows key, type in 'printers', on the right select Settings, then Devices and Printers and add a printer like in Windows 7.  You can pretty much type anything you need at the Start Screen.

Internet Options ... this depends on which Internet Explorer you use.  The Start Screen has a built-in, full-screen Internet Explorer, which is separate from the Desktop version of Internet Explorer (which is what you will use most of the time).  You can go to the Start Screen and type in 'internet options' (under Settings) to clear history, cookies, etc.  You can also access them from the Desktop version of IE like you would any other version of Windows - the settings/tool icon in the top-right corner of IE.

Let me know if there is anything else!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Does Windows 8 include Notepad? How do I access it, and save documents to the hard drive?
Thanks again!

Yes, it does ... it all Notepad's glory, unchanged for like 25 years :)

Go to Start and type in 'notepad', under Apps (or you can find it in C:\Windows\notepad.exe using Windows Explorer).

Saving files to the hard drive is also no different ... in Notepad (not sure if you meant in Notepad or in general), go to File, Save As, and choose your location.

You will probably get a message soon that you have reached the limit on questions in this topic ... feel free to ask a new question.

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I can answer nearly all questions about Windows 8 - installation, upgrade, virtualization (Hyper-V, etc.), configuration, how to get the most out of it, how to buy it, etc. I won't pretend to know it all - nobody can - if I don't know, I will try and find the answer. If I can't find it, I'll tell you.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I have been using Windows 8 since the early Developer Preview days and use it on all of my primary PC's for a number of activities.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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