Windows 8 takes a licking, but keeps on ticking

The debate over Windows 8 rages on, with both sides testifying -- and one user claiming it 'shimmers'

As I anticipated, last week's post about Microsoft's latest desktop/tablet operating system ("The great Windows 8 debate") brought forth a torrent of divided opinions, both in the comments fields and in my inbox. Today I'll quote from some of that correspondence on both sides of the coin.

I'll start with a strong defense of Windows 8 from Cringester G.K:

Look, I use Windows 8 on my existing desktop, [and] it's actually better than Windows 7. ... It's definitely faster than Windows 7, on the same hardware. Windows 8 is not a version 1.0, as you state. It's Vista 3.0.

As for the start screen, I hardly ever see it. I click the desktop icon, or press the Windows key after the system boots and I'm at the desktop. I created the shortcuts on the desktop, to the programs I use, I pinned some to the taskbar and I run Windows 8 just like I used to run Windows 7.

[ Get paid for your IT war stories. Send your tale to offtherecord@infoworld.com, and if we publish it you’ll receive a $50 American Express gift cheque. | Got a Windows 8 PC and are frustrated by the lack of the Start menu? Here are 9 apps to get it back. | Stay abreast of key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter.]

On the flip side, reader J.M., who says he goes back to the days of MS-DOS and considers himself a "literate end-user," if not a techie, was more lukewarm:

I have been using Windows 8 since it debuted in October. ... Upon downloading, i immediately installed Classic Shell. By so doing, I have been able to completely ignore the Metro UI and act like it is not there. I run a dual-boot system with Win7 and Win 8 and so am able to switch back and forth between the two and check out similar features in both. My honest evaluation is that, for a desktop PC, I just do not see any compelling reason to upgrade from Win7. I did so just because I could and was bored that day.

Back to the pro-Win8 camp. Cringe fan M.W. says he's sick of all the Windows 8 bashing that's going on at InfoWorld. He writes:

My laptop died and I needed a new one before I went on a business trip. I got a Fujitsu Lifebook T902 with a touchscreen. It came with Windows 8 Professional. I didn't know if I would like it, but frankly it was love at first sight. This business about the missing Start button is ridiculous. My general impression is that Windows 8 is great and I think easier to get used to and get work done than moving to a Mac. You must really love to make a business of being a professional curmudgeon.

Yes, "professional curmudgeon" is printed on my business cards, right next to the phrase "Will blog for food." Thanks for asking.

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