The Computer Club: I experiment with a lot of software for the benefit of my clients. I want to learn the basics, become able to teach others, and be able to give accurate product reviews.
Most of you know of my switch from Mac to Windows in January of this year. I have written about it in depth on my blog, theacronym.com Recently, I tried out the new Mac OS, version 10.10. As improved as it was over the awful 10.9 (what caused me to switch in the first place), it was not enough to get me to switch back.
Since May, I have been experimenting with or going back and forth between Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 on my HP ProBook 450 laptop. At times, I have had both Win 8.1 and Win 7 installed, allowing me to choose either one when I turned my computer on. I tinker with my computer a lot. Perhaps you live in a town where they have a community “car club.” At this club, everyone purchases or rents a bay to work on or “trick out” their rides. With the devices I own, I live in a perpetual “computer club” state of existence. I am always getting under the hood. For me, Windows 7 simply works better. My laptop was built by HP for Windows 7 even though it came with Windows 8 discs (upgradable to 8.1).
Windows 8/ 8.1 has worked out well for a lot of you. I have customized those installations as best as I can to make them work like the Windows you were familiar with. For some of you, I have ordered a Windows 7 computer recently because I thought it be most appropriate for your work flow and learning style. Those were business class computers, shipped with Windows 7 as the primary option from the factory. There are many new computers today shipped from the factory with Windows 8.1; this was their intended operating system and it is not even possible to roll back to Windows 7.
Windows 8 is great (in some cases): Windows 8.1 clearly has some benefits on those systems it was intended for. When things go wrong and you need to refresh or reinstall (called reset) your software, this entire process might take only 2 hours. If I have to do this for a Windows 7 client, the process could easily take 3 to 5 hours.
My overall point is: there is nothing wrong using the operating system your computer was intended to use. My HP laptop, though sold in the Windows 8 era (a fall 2013 model), was clearly intended to be used with Windows 7 because this was installed from the factory. There are other computers optimized for Windows 8.1 and they are great machines. Windows 10 is coming out next year and its being designed to appeal to people who felt most comfortable in Windows 7. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 uses will be able to upgrade to it, easily and cheaply, but I think a direct upgrade would only be appropriate for the “Windows 8 crowd”. If you have Windows 7 and love it, keep using that computer. You can use Windows 7 until 2020. If you have Windows 7, and want Windows 10 next year, buy a new computer with Windows 10 — a computer designed for this upcoming operating system. If your Windows 7 computer fails, you will be shopping for a Windows 10 computer at that point. It will be the “new normal” in the Windows-sphere.
Bottom line: Even though that C7 Corvette engine is great, don’t think of popping it into your trusty Toyota.