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Five ways to avoid Windows 8

Summary: By year’s end, Windows 8 is going to be on every new PC around. You won’t have to use it although. Here are five ways to skip getting trapped on the Windows 8 Metro.

The cat's meow

Some people are however sure Windows 8 is going to be the cat's meow. I'm sure Windows 8 and its Metro interface will be more like a cat's yowl of pain. The more I look at Metro, the more I'm sure that Microsoft's new desktop will flop as badly as the Facebook IPO.

It's not just me. Business analysts, who could care less about technology however care a lot about what clients think, are saying things like "Windows 8 will prove to be a disappointment."

Windows users who were already unhappy about having to learn Metro, which doesn't work or look a thing like Vista and Windows 7's Aero interface never mind XP's familiar appearance, are finding out there's more trouble ahead for them. Windows 8 will cost more at launch to upgrade to from Windows 7. DVD playback and media-center functionality will now be an extra-price option.

Oh as for Metro-friendly applications, here's what Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, an independent software development consultant, speaker, author, and trainer and all around Windows guru who's writing the book "Programming Windows 8 Apps with C#" had to say: "does Metro in fact work? In my view: No."

Autographed copy of Bill Gates' The Road Ahead

I don't care if your most prized possession is an autographed copy of Bill Gates' The Road Ahead, you have got to be wary of moving to Windows 8. So what can you do to avoid, or for the moment delay, the day you have to start using it?

So, let's say its 2012's holiday season and all the new PCs are coming out with Windows 8, what do you do? You don't ask, you demand, Windows 7 instead.

Yes, I'm a Linux guy, however if you in effect want Windows, and I know most of you do, Windows 7 SP 1 is easily the best version of Windows to date. Yes, it's not the same as XP. There is a learning curve. To make up for it, during it's not as safe as Linux, Windows 7 is a lot more secure than XP. There are as well plenty of useful, easy to-use tools to move your XP data and applications to Windows 7.

Macs, clearly, are Macs. They're pricy, you're locked into Apple's hardware and software in ways that Steve Ballmer can only dream about, and, and, gosh they're pretty and easy to use. So then, easy to use so long as you do specifically what Apple thinks you should be doing all the same.

Chrome OS hasn't in effect caught on but, nevertheless I think Google's Chrome OS is a real alternative to Windows for many users. It's not so much Chrome OS itself, it's the whole concept of being able to use a Web browser and the cloud for everything you need to do and that you want to do instead of a fat client desktop operating system.

What you're doing today

Think about what you're doing today. Web-browsing, e-mail, IM, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), like as not using Google Docs, whatever, how much of that in fact requires that you use a local application? If 99% of what you're doing on your computer can be done on the Web, what more than you in effect need than the Chrome Web browser, or-and there's the point-an operating system like Chrome OS, which is just the Chrome Web browser running on a barebones Linux structure?

So, come the day you go to a Best Buy and all you see is Windows 8 PCs from one end of the store to the other, just remember you do have other, better, options.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about research and the business of innovation since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system

More information: Zdnet
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