We had been fairly recently posed this query, and its an excellent one, from one of our very good clients:
“I am just starting to look for a pc for school, and the only thing I manage to find are laptops or netbooks which have MS Windows 8. I have utilized MS Win 7 for an extended time now, and would not have difficulty giving it up, however not for MS Win 8. After visiting some main online retail sites, I have observed that finding either a MS Win 7 notebook, or even a pc without an operating system is practically impossible. So where must I go if looking for laptops sans os, or at the very least sans MS Windows 8? ”
Win 8: Missing a Start Menu
You have numerous options accessible. First I’ll address the biggest complaint we receive about Win 8: the lack of a start button. If you’re anything like me you keep your desktop clean, and nearly exclusively use the start button to access Apps. I do not like clutter, and only use my desktop for a couple of widgets and short term file storage. The start button is vastly better for running multiple tasks than a desktop: the desktop is already concealed by the programs that are already open, and I tend not to want to have to go back to it just to open a new program.
This isn’t the end of the world. What with doing Windows support as a proffession I use the new and old Windows versions all the time. I run MS Windows 8 at work, Win 7 at home. MS Win 8 is fine, once you get a windows start menu back.
If you really require a windows start menu multiple alternatives exist for for instance a windows start menu to Microsoft Win 8. Start 8 is my favorite, costs $5. Start is Back costs $3 and essentially restores the Windows start menu, the code is still in Microsoft Win 8, at least most of it. Classic Shell is needless to say free and functions fine, I just tend not to care for it as much.
Downgrading MS Win 8 to MS Win 7
Numerous consider purchasing a MS Windows 8 machine and re-installing Microsoft Win 7 onto it a feasible option. But, a wipe and reinstall of Microsoft Windows 7 isn’t really inexpensive. Microsoft Win 7 isn’t really given away, and if you tend not to have an old non-OEM edition hanging around it can cost you. Actually the reason so a number of individuals have Windows is simply because it comes free or close to free with pcs. If individuals ever had to pay complete non-OEM prices then it would die quickly. generally sticking to whichever OS the notebook came with will give you the least amount of trouble.
Currently the hardware supports Microsoft Windows 7 just fine, but releasing customized versions (the customizations are necessary for things like battery life optimization) of MS Win 7 drivers is costly and time-consuming. A lot of suppliers just won’t bother unless they’re still selling the same equipment with Microsoft Windows 7 anyway, or supply an official downgrade option (like Dell or Lenovo on their enterprise designs).
If you just download a generic driver from Intel, nVidia, ATi or the like you typically won’t get everything your equipment has to deliver – be it things like OSDs for display of volume/brightness or battery life. For instance, Installing straight from the manufacturer, all original Intel drivers, on a Thinkpad instead of the Lenovo custom-made drivers may well reduce your battery life by about 40% – its a huge distinction.
Distributors of MS Win 7 Machines
I additionally recommend Lenovo Thinkpads. I not too long ago put together a W530 with a 1920×1080 screen, one of the few you will discover outside Apple. It has excellent Linux support, even down to the crazy fingerprint scanner. I will easily get 7 hours or so on the battery along with the recommended alterations. There’s a whole wiki just for Thinkpad stuff. It ships with Win 7, but you never have to boot into Windows. You can blow away the complete drive, “recovery” and “boot” partitions, and never look back. It has a standard BIOS let alone UEFI (disabled by default; leave it that way), so you should never have any issues there.
It’s a tank, it’s not very sexy like an ultrabook, however its great if you want a desktop-fast Linux-friendly workstation notebook.
system 76 sells/ships pcs, desktops, and servers with Ubuntu. If you’re a linux user or feel as if you are able to be ready to take the plunge, this is a fantastic place to start. At least their systems are entirely linux compatible. Even if you really don’t like ubuntu and have some other pet distribution, it has a better possibility of working on one of these than if you get a windows pc and flush the hard drive to install linux.
Windows 8 – Is It Really That Bad?
Honestly not much has changed. Actually, the largest change in Win 8, is that I have to press the windows key when I logon as a way to reach the desktop. I still just hit win+r for the “Run” prompt, or click a shortcut in the variety of places I’ve aggregated them that make far more sense than a Microsoft Windows 7 or MS Windows 8 start button layout.
I will say I don’t hate MS Windows 8. Quite a few things I like about Microsoft Windows 8 are this: low memory and disk footprint, easier access to commonly utilized functions (mouse to the far bottom left, right click; works with start8 too). Effective copy dialog that even shows instant rather than average transfer rates (pretty nice feature to have, yet shockingly MS Win 8 is the only OS that does it). Enhanced explorer features like e. g. “admin console here”, and built in support for mounting iso’s. With MS Win 7 you have to add these in on your own, with microsoft windows 8 they are already there.
I am in whole agreement that there is no reason to upgrade from Windows 7 to MS Win 8. However if you get Windows 8, it’s not the end of the world. Its quick and secure, and it has some improvements I like, the new task manager is quite nice. But it is not difficult. It runs every program I have tried on it that additionally ran on 7 (and I’ve tried a lot) and it isn’t difficult to use.
For that matter even the new start menu is perfectly usable, it’s just more clunky than what it replaced. It isn’t hard to use, just slower and inelegant. Perfectly usable though, we leave it on the 2012 servers we have.
Deals on Win 7 Devices
If you happen to be set on a win 7 machine and have a little bit of time to hunt for bargains my best suggestion is to get an account at fatwallet. co. (a coupon and deal aggregator website), and set up a “topic alert” where you get emails sent to you whenever a good deal with a specific keyword (I used “i5″ in addition to “14. 1″ as keywords for my last notebook). Also frequently visit slickdeals as they have a nicer layout and faster response time for sales of limited quantity. It is almost always these deal aggregator sites that select up the best limited quantity sales of clearances (which may well almost always be Win7 nowadays).