I hope you’ll welcome me back to the club. Although I support Mac and Windows clients equally, I am now primarily a Windows user after 10 years of being a dedicated Mac user. I sold my MacBook Air in late January and bought a business class HP laptop from CDW.com . Specifically, I chose a model with Windows 7 Professional installed.
I want to start by saying that I have set up numerous Windows 8 and 8.1 computers for clients since October 2012. Through customizations I make to Windows, I set up 8 to look has much like Windows 7 or XP as possible. My clients have noticed speed improvements, improvements in file backup, and security WITHOUT a lot of the distractions of Windows 8. In the marketplace, there is a lot of frustration with Windows 8. It’s been hugely unpopular. There are too many quirks. Here is my buying advice which will run through Spring 2015 when “the Next Windows” is released:
1. If you are buying a new computer, I will steer you toward one with Windows 7, unless you want a tablet. I’m sure you will be upgrading that system to “the Next Windows” at some point, but even if you never do, Windows 7 will get security updates from Microsoft until some time in 2020.
2. The Next Windows, which we can call Windows 9 for sake of discussion, should be released between April and June of next year. I will recommend Windows 7 until that time and then I will be fully on board promoting new PC’s with Windows 9. That will be the only new Windows computers I will endorse from that point forward.
3. Windows 9 will be touch optimized if you buy a tablet computer and desktop optimized if you buy a traditional computer. This separation was handled very poorly in Windows 8 by Microsoft, hence the need for the customizations I put in place for all of you.
4. If you have Windows 8.1 now, hang in there. Microsoft will push out an “Update pack” to you next month and perhaps one more in the fall. This will come to you automatically. We don’t need an appointment for Update 1 or the potential fall update. I will e-mail you about feature enhancements related to the update.
Given some of the bonehead moves by both Apple and Microsoft lately concerning computers, I still feel like Windows is the preferred platform. Apple is going down a path with the computers that they will never reverse course on. Windows 8 has been worse in perception than performance and I truly feel Microsoft will “make it right” with Windows 9.