8 Worst Windows 8 Annoyances and How to Fix Them

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All new operating systems have a learning curve, but due to its unique blend of new and old interfaces, Windows 8's is particularly steep. Whether it's a menu system that forces you change screens to launch an app or a pair of dueling control panels that each contain different settings, you often have to work harder to perform the same tasks as in Windows 7. Though you can’t solve all these issues on your own -- the Start button is gone for good -- you can make the most of Windows 8 with these tips.

1. No More Start Menu

Multitasking in Windows 8 is like dating Sybil. Because there's no more Start menu, users are encouraged to leave the desktop environment and go to the Modern UI Start screen, just to launch other desktop apps that take you right back to the desktop. Not only does switching screens take more time than simply launching a menu, it takes you out of context by pushing your work in the first application off-screen, making it easy to lose track of what you were doing.

Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid going through the Start screen to launch desktop apps. You can install a third-party Start menu, create keyboard shortcuts or pin applications to the taskbar.

More: How to Launch Apps from The Desktop in Windows 8

2. Switcher Groups All Desktop Apps Into Just One Thumbnail

If you want proof that desktop applications are second-class citizens in Windows 8, look no further than the Switcher menu where you'll find separate thumbnails for all of your open Windows 8 applications. The entire desktop gets just one thumbnail, though, no matter how many different programs are running on it.

if you want to find to a program that's running on the desktop, you must navigate from the Switcher menu back to the desktop and look at the windows or taskbar there, a huge waste of time and mental energy.

The good news is that you can switch between all of your tasks using the good old-fashioned ALT Tab key combination. Also, if you dock the desktop next to your primary app in the Metro UI, you'll see a list of tiles representing all of your open desktop apps.

More: How to Switch Tasks Faster in Windows 8

3. You Must Slide Away the Lock Screen Before Logging In

Sometimes it seems like Windows 8 was designed to make orthopedists rich, because the new OS asks PC users to perform so many unnecessary clicks and mouse gestures. The most blatant waste of time and muscle movement is caused by the cutesy lock screen that you must close by either dragging it offscreen or clicking on it (the faster method) every time you boot or wake your computer.

Tablet users may like to see the weather and time when their devices are inactive, but on PCs, the display is nothing more than a giant roadblock that stands between you and your login prompt.

Fortunately, you can make the lock screen disappear permanently. Just enable the "Do not display lock screen" setting in the under Computer Configuration > Administrative Tools > Control Panel > Personalization in the Local Group Policy editor.

More: How to Disable the Windows 8 Lock Screen: Step-by-Step

4. The Power Button is One Gesture and Three Clicks Away

Since Microsoft designed Windows 8 with the world of always-on tablets in mind, the company thinks you'll need to shut down and restart so rarely that these functions are buried in the menu structure. In Windows 7, the Shut Down button is displayed prominently on the Start menu, whereas in Windows 8, the suggested method is to pull out the Charms menu, click the Settings charm, click the Power button and then select Shut Down from a menu.

If you don't have time and shoulder muscles to waste, you can create your own shortcuts for both the Shut Down and Restart functions. Just assign the shortcuts to the command-line commands "shutdown /s /t 0" (shutdown) and "shutdown /r /t 0" (restart), respectively. Be sure to pin these shortcuts to the Start screen and taskbar for easy access.

More: How to Shutdown Windows 8 In Just One Click

5. Windows Mail Doesn't Support POP Accounts

Many ISPs give users POP email accounts, but Windows 8's built-in mail app not only doesn't support POP connections, it actively disses POP users. The first time you open Windows Mail, if the program doesn't recognize your login email address as Outlook or Hotmail.com, it asks you if that address is POP, IMAP or Exchange. If you select POP, it rudely tells you that Mail doesn't support POP3 accounts and that you should get an IMAP or Exchange account instead.

You can, of course, use a different mail client, but if you want to stick with Windows Mail there's a simple solution. Set up your Outlook.com, Hotmail or Gmail account to check your POP mail and then add that account to Windows Mail. In Outlook.com, the option to send/receive mail from a POP account is listed under the More Mail Settings menu.

More: How to Read POP Mail in Windows 8

6. Secondary Users Cannot Install Applications

One of Windows 8's selling points is its ability to handle multiple users. However, when you add users to your Windows 8 device, by default they aren't given permission to install desktop software on their own. Though they can install Windows 8 Metro-style apps to their heart's content, secondary users are asked for an administrator's password as soon as they launch a desktop installer.

Even after an administrator enters his or her password, Windows 8 installs the program but, in our experience, fails to put a shortcut on the secondary user's desktop, on the Start screen or on the All Apps menu. The only way for the secondary user to launch his new app is to find its .exe file in the Program Files folder and create a shortcut from that. Don't try that at home.

Fortunately, it's fairly easy to grant administrative privileges to a secondary user, provided that you know which menu to use. After adding a user in the PC settings menu, go into the desktop control panel and click Manage Another Account, select the name of the new account and then click Change Account Type and select Administrator from the menu.

More:How to Add a User the Right Way in Windows 8

Tablet Users Need to Enter the Desktop for Key Functions

Though Microsoft focused the Modern UI on touch, it still forces users back to the desktop for such basic operations as file management and controlling the screen resolution or the user permissions (see annoyance #6). So any time a tablet user attaches a USB flash drive and wants to copy files from it, he will need to use Windows Explorer on the desktop.

Microsoft should have made all of its built-in apps -- especially Windows Explorer and Control Panel -- work in Modern UI, but tablet users can address this problem by making the icons on their desktop as large and finger-friendly as possible. Simply right click on the desktop, select Screen Resolution, click "Make text and other items larger or smaller" and adjust as necessary.

More: How to Make Window 8's Desktop More Touch Friendly

8. Bing Search App Opens Results in Another App

With its vibrant photographs of landscapes and its image-heavy tile results, Microsoft's built-in Bing Search app provides a more attractive interface for performing Web searches than you'll find elsewhere. Unfortunately, behind the attractive facade lurks a really annoying usability problem. When you see a result you like and click on it, the Bing app sends you to Internet Explorer to view the page.

Since both Bing and IE 10 run fullscreen, some users may not notice that they have switched apps, so they'll be really confused when they hit the back button in the browser, only to find out that it does not return them to the list of Bing results. To get back where they came from, users will have to switch back to the Bing app.

The easy way to avoid this problem is to pin the Bing (or Google) websites to your Start screen and use the browser, rather than the Bing app, for all your searching needs. If you feel compelled to use the dedicated Bing app, you can dock it to the right so you can see your list of results on the side of the screen while Internet Explorer takes up most of the space.

More: How to Search the Web Faster in Windows 8

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Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
  • TomM60 Says:

    I just set up part of a new computer that came with windows 8 and I'm the most upset person that ever walked on two legs. This is a pathetic operating system that doesn't belong on a PC. Now they want me to upgrade for their free windows 10 which is not a OS at all but more like malware for microsoft. Another pathetic piece of software. I'm going to get my old PC fixed and go back to a real operating system and then I'm taking this computer to someone that knows something and have him or her get rid of Windows 8 and go to one of the open source OS's. I've had it with microsofts poor programming ability in these OS's that are not.

  • Waldo Emerson Says:

    Oh brother. Just because you think you know better. What a bunch of whiners here!!!!

  • richard hilbert Says:

    I tried to install an upgrade from the windows store now the whyole screen is bright orange yellow and it flashes back and forth with a blue screen and i cant get into any program

  • Dick Capon Says:

    How do I get rid of ONE NOTE? Its a pain in the ass, won't let me print envelopes from Microsoft word. It locks me out of a lotta stuff!
    Any Help is appreciated

  • Mary Adcock Says:

    Does anyone know how to disable the zoom function on Chrome? I am using a HP Laptop, Windows 8.1 and a wireless mouse. My zoom keeps coming on accidentally! It is so aggravating! Please email me with any tips on this problems.
    Thanks in advance!

  • Karen Says:

    I am fed up with this touch screen crap! Everytime i go to click on something i get all kinds of window pop ups, also when I drag my cursor to point at something i get that blue highlight over everything, and i cannot click on save an image without it changing t the next picture not he one i want, what is gong on and how do i understand this and fix it help please!i am tired of one place pushing me off to another.

  • Prnmp Says:

    I have an Acer with Window 8.1
    The screen tilded to vertival position but the computer is place horizontaly
    How can I get it back to its normal position.
    Other than this you do not give any vauable info. Everything you type is readily available elsewhere.

  • Kelly Says:

    How the heck do you read this article? I can see the #1 annoyance, then there is a link that further explains how to fix that one. I don't see anymore and don't see tabs or anything to click to get to more of the article. I hate it when people post articles on slide shows, but this doesn't even make it clear how to get to the rest of it!

  • R1CK Says:

    How to fix all the bugs and changes and annoyances in a single step!

    Get any other Operative System, run from W8!

    That will be the best fix ever!

  • pissed off user inyaface Says:

    Fkin crap, operating system, >cant play this file on windows crappy phone<
    fk microwaves fktard programming, should be thrown out a moving car.

  • Jolafunk Says:

    I need to state my severe appolling and devestated meaning of devolopment so called OS wich s no more than a re ocurring money suck (dis is not free GUYS AND DOLLS) way of windows sucking you into more troubles ANYTHING TO GET XP BACK ON THE BOARD if else i declare you so much deader than meat than meat that DOES not live

  • dr m barlow Says:

    my new windows8 .keeps changing size of format all the time . it is driving me crazy and very close to being smashed against the wall

  • Mike Says:

    here is How i fixed all the problems I was having with 8.

    I loaded up 7 and tossed 8. I never used vista, I didn't use 2000 for more than a Bit and I wont use 8. there is enough people that do not like something like this that they can make something else. i don't really like 7 either but it's at least 50 times better than 8. if i wanted some crap that operated some way I hate I would buy a mac.

  • Zoe Says:

    when u zoom in on google chrome it doesn't get bigger it just shows bold black lines at the side of the screen. im on the E for the internet
    and its happening. it didn't do that before. before this happened I restarted my computer.

    how do I get it back to what it was before? please tell me I will be very happy if u found out the answer for me

  • CeeBee Says:

    Does anyone know how to lock the side panel on the notebook laptop that has settings, search, share, start and device setting? It is so annoying and pops up every time I move my mouse sideways.

  • Nick Gunning Says:

    Worst annoyance- when opening after sleep the sound fails. Using HPG70 with Win 8-1. Hundreds of others suffer same complaint but none of the various solutions seem to work more than 1-2 sessions.

  • nixter Says:

    nice article. how about the "back" buttons that pop up in windows explorer on touchscreen devices that completely interfere with using common sites, like google spreadsheets? (You go to click on a row and end up going "back" instead) Argh! I waste at least 10% of my time working on google spreadsheets getting back to where I was!

  • lawrence Says:

    how do you stop the mouse from being so touchy

  • what Says:

    So you say there is a list of annoyances yet I only see a single paragraph and no actual list unless we click the arrows and wait for each page to load individually and slowly. Now that is annoying. ha ha This site is a fail!

  • Des Buckley Says:

    MICROSOFT!! i am the fucking administrator of this fucking laptop! I have windows 8 and I cannot install ANYTHING!!!!!!!! The damn computer doesn't work properly and it's YOUR fault!! Microsoft, you're losing customers EVERY day! Why? Because you have too many useless, space cadet engineers!!

  • janet northam Says:

    i wish you would write information for people who dont"know it all"as in no abbreiviations,call the buttons what they are and use verbs that people can to connect to as in no more "snap"what does that meanwhy would we need you if you're so above it all

  • Joyce Says:

    My computer won't get off the "Trending" sight. I clicked it by mistake.

  • Kany Says:

    Bollocks you fat cunt

  • hello everyone Says:

    This website is annoying. All the annoying advertisements. And you have to click on the arrow to get to the next step.(of course that is intentional so that you're exposed to more adds)

  • Jer Says:

    "Forrest Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    The problem is not that it is difficult to get used too – that is an annoyance. The problem is not that the interface is bloated or ill-conceived; obviously non-tech savvy users are having a more rich and fulfilling PC experience.
    The problem is that with each iteration of simplifying the interface, windows is taking more and more control away from power-users, and/or hobbyists that want to play with the (metaphorical) nuts and bolts of their machines and tweak them to work certain way.
    Provide the option to have the simplified (technical and complex) interface as an account option, or as an admin account where only the bare minimum services required are loaded and users can directly manipulate (and at their own risk damage) their settings without hunting down hidden system controls, or worse yet have NO access to them.
    I for one do not own any Apple products because I detest a dumbed-down interface. My wife would love it, and so do many users who do not want to have some sort of technical certificate to simply operate their PC.
    I may end up going fully over to Linux and WINEing my way into Windows software simply because I have actual root-level control over my own system that way. My wife and all the non-technical users can enjoy Apple Light."
    I think, Forrest, it may be time to 'see the trees';? A) extremely talented programmers and wise, educated folk are using OSx as their primary and ONLY OS. As OSx allows (through Bootcamp) the installation of ANY OS you'd like, I'm not sure I'm following. 'Your wife?' Is she participating in this conversation? While I'll agree OSx is a 'simple' GUI on the face, it's HARDLY an OS of 'simplicity'. Simple UIs are incredibly HARD to design, code and execute. With your abundance if experience, you should know this, right? If you're unfamiliar Google Terminal. Tricks, tips and incredible control (from the ol' prompt) over your system. With a VM program ala Parallels, Fusion, and may freeware software...you can run instances of different OS'es simultaneously. Drag n drop between WinXP, 7, Vista, 8.1, Ubuntu...doesn't matter! You set up the partition. YOU dedicate the RAM. It's ALL up to YOU, the user to determine how your system is set up. By no means is it a 'closed' OS. In fact, I'd argue OSx is the MOST powerful system architecture on the market right now. This isn't a reciprocal relationship. MS is MS. While I'll continue my Window's usage for the short term, we've completely moved our family business in Alaska to OSx and iOS over the past decade. We run an airline company and audio/video production company. The new rMBP line is hands down the first laptop I can ever remember actually 'loving' to use. The display. PCIe SSD. Phenomenal OS, 10.9.3 is built and refined from 10.7(aka Lion, 10.8 MntnLion, now Mavericks). An incredibly intuitive design and execution of gesture control. I own a pair of Windows laptops. Current gen (Haswell and SSD speed) as well as an Ivy Bridge, last gen mode. Scaling in Windows is an absolute joke for HiDPI displays. Manipulation and management between multiple monitors is a joke. OSx reigns supreme right now with HiDPI displays, it's 'pixel doubling' system for sharp, natural and true 1920x1200 display on a 15" monitor is exemplary. Even using the iGPUs from Intel, the new IrisPro, I'm achieving incredible fluency with a dozen tabs open, flight plan, Jep charts for destination or contingency planning as well as weather checks, email up and live... & it's aggregation, integration with iOS devices. iPad mini (new one) is my kneeboard..replacing my 50lb flight bag with current, up to date plates, charts, Wx conditions...even ADS-B! Terrain and other A/C, three dimensional terrain views and mapping under crappy conditions, and when I'm back on the ground, my laptop is current with my hours, fuel remaining, current Pax anticipation, weight, CG...as well as a default, BTB flight turnaround option (back2base). I'm in the minority it seems, but on a Window's based article, that's to be expected. Though with Atablarasa and Kabal, I'll completely agree (with one caveat)... In enterprise, Win 8 will NOT win. It's not designed for EP, nor is it functional in a corporate setting. The caveat...while I'm with them on 'touch' being a joke @ the desk, I believe ...again, OSx has nailed it. The magic track pad is literally 'magic'. While the Magic Mouse has a way to go ergonomically, it, too is functional and intuitive with settings you create, define and attribute to your personal actions and skillset necessary for your tasking. Whether it's 'pinch' to desktop, four finger swipe up for mission control, four down to bring that last program up, two fingers swipe left/right to go back/forward in any app/program... Single click open, (yes, it's got a right click just like Windows), right click to see the drop down menu...natural (or as we're used to, unnatural scrolling), THIS is how 'gesture' control MUST work in a desk/laptop configuration. You can NOT treat the desk or laptops as a tablet. Ergonomically this is a horrible JOKE. & as others have mentioned, if you don't have the 'latest gen' lap or desktop, there isn't an option 'to touch' control the display. Nor is there a reliable, working and consistent trackpad on a Win OEM machine...why? I'm almost 50. Carry both Android and iOS phones (Note 3/5s). Use Windows (7 for my proprietary software that is Window's only...now only two programs that aren't cross platform that necessitate me holding a partition for 7--- though that's down tremendously since making the 'switch' almost a decade ago!). I own a pair of Win8 laptops. HP 2in1 and Yoga convertible. Nice having a 13" i5 tablet with 128GB SSD, but that's about the extent of our usage with the new rigs. Our Window's productivity takes place on...believe it or not, a 2010 MacPro with it's own 'partition', which is actually one of four HDDs in the rig itself. It's a 3TB HDD because we dump a LOT of high resolution images for mapping, CAD, as well as topography specifics (terrain details like spec heights, unmapped lakes, rivers and streams as well as weather forecast number 'crunching' for accuracy down the line on flight weather conditions).
    I'll stop there. As I've said enough. Tl/dr...OSx is an incredible OS regardless of your 'hate', discontent or...just plain 'envy' of Cupertino. It even comes with training wheels, Bootcamp is ready to pop your OS of choice. Couple extra bucks, parallels allows you to run OSx in tandem and 'within' itself your OS of choice. 99% of the time, it's Windows with fill driver support AND the efficiency, HiDPI displays...incredibly quick PCIe storage, fantastic energy and battery life (though running Windows WILL automatically turn your discreet GPU on, negating the iGPU's energy saving options in OSx when you don't necessarily need discreet power). Dual GPUs for computation and display...not to mention the on board, stock software you'll receive. Not bloat...actual, real, honest to goodness software MOST folks will be perfectly content with...whether it be iLife with iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand (easily the most powerful and incredible piece of stock, default, free software offered on ANY OEM rig, period!)... Again, making most users proficient at editing and organizing their media (pics n flicks). iTunes is extraordinarily powerful and significantly more fluent on OSx vs it's MS counterpart (which has DEFINITELY improved in the past two, three years). If you own an iPhone, iPad or other iOS device...there's no need to use or sync via USB or FW any longer. It's all wireless. Then there's iWork. This is where MS really dogged itself under the watchful, blind eye(s) of Ballmer. Good. Riddance. That fella blew it BiGtImE! MicroSOFT. Software. They're a software company. Not hardware (Apple). Not mobile (iOS, Android). Software period. That's where they completely 'missed' the boat. Ballmer laughed his way to losing billions at the release in '07 of the iPhone. Kept laughing in '08 when Google dropped Android in our laps. They SHOULD have been on top of Office for iOS and Android immediately! Halo and other MS gaming wisdom. Their ability to run Quickbooks. The list is long and distinguished from the 90's to the early double otts of software that ONLY ran on the Window's kernel/core. IMHO, that's where they should have concentrated efforts initially. Their software and services FOR the evolving iOS and Android handsets and tablets. Instead, they've given both a half decade lead...allowing Apple to drop the iWork pkg into the iOS ecosystem and now to ALL browsers via iCloud, devastating the 'need' for Office for all but a VERY few select spreadsheet Jockeys, accountants and weird 30,000 line excel formulas and layouts. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote (which BLOWS PP out out of the ocean, even on an iPad!) are incredibly intuitive, cross platform, easily compatible with MS and 'saveable' as a .doc(x), xls(x), or Power Point's extension...I'm drawing a blank, lol. PDF, txt, or as a Pages, Numbers or KN file. Sharing, collaboration and...it bears another mention the cross platform access is unbelievable. On my crappy Win box on my receptionist's desk to my iPad mini en route (in the air) to my iPhone to my Note3--- you betcha, you can easily store, save n open your iWork docs in Google's Drive.
    Windows 8(.1) is an awesome idea. For mobile applications. It's NOT a compatible replacement for the enterprise sector, nor the avid prosumer @ home...or even the 'wife' mentioned earlier that isn't tech savvy (my wife works for the FAA, was one of the first female strike fighters allowed to fly in the AF, & with 5,300 hours in the F15, 2,100 in an F16--- my wife IS tech savvy), Windows 8.1 isn't good for either 'wife'. Whether you're Facebooking or scientifically crunching weather forecast history and futures, figuring out DNA structuring and disease/virus mutations....it's an absolute JOKE to use the touch'centric' platform for any amount of time. Move that 'touch' to an ergonomic device like the touchpad, you're going the right direction. Separate the metro for the X86 platform we've ALL grown up on WITH the evident 'start' button shown, not hidden...that's where I would be happy to see Windows go with 9. Touch and tablets go well together. Just as mice and monitors are like PB&J or MacnCheese. Simplicity in an OS is a bitch to code. To be such intelligent 'IT' pros in this discussion and NOT give props to OSx, it's simplicity (for the masses) yet easily and efficiently located 'tools' for us geeks to use, utilize and operate free of charge (terminal, Xcode, the iOS emulation or simulation program...you're literally an eyelash from low level programming and definitely in COMPLETE CONTROL of your OS, it's 'look', its 'feel' and it's ability to 'do what your want and when you want with WHAT OS you'd like' is absolutely second to none. It's ability to properly display pixel by pixel it's true 'size' while simultaneously quadrupling the icons, UI and user elements for usability is simply Magic! You're able to cut, edit and manipulate frames in true 1080p on Premier, After Effects or FCPx (extraordinarily powerful and a MASSIVE Leap from it's introduction) with EVERY pixel in your 1080p footage properly displayed, yet the clickable elements and UI are laid out perfectly, legibly and 'legible' within the SAME Application! WTF is wrong with Window's scaling? Thunderbolt is another true improvement. Where are the Windows rigs with thunderbolt? Where are the Win rigs with Intel's new iGPUs? The 5000 and 5100? It's sad right now BUT I think without Ballmer in the throne...sh@#t is a changing. The 1.0 iOS drop from MS's office suite IS Sweet! At $10/month for five tabs and computers...Win, OSx, Android or iOS, it's incredibly affordable. Now it's time to drop the ridiculous over pricing for updates, get back to their roots. Drop the hardware. Focus on the software. And concentrate ALL efforts in software optimization. From their primary OS to cross platform mobile and IE...that's where & when MS turned into M$. Gates needs to come back state side and continue his foundation but take a good, hard look at management. From there, the richest dude in the world that built the empire (by stealing Jobs' UI ;)) of MS should be able to refocus their efforts, drop the BS that isn't working and join the fray. The Massive populace movement from the traditional lap or desktop to mobile. Other than Apple and OSx, the Windows and PC sales are down and down significantly. Choice is good. As is competition. BUT if you've created an 'easy' to use OS for the layman that half these self proclaimed Tech Pros in this discussion can't figure out, it's a HUGE fail! That said, it didn't take me an hour to figure it out (without reading Google;)). It's fairly straight forward. Just don't forget AltF4, your RtClick, and look around for different ideas, third party software and other options to set and forget your whoas ...you'll find Win8 to be faster, more stable and definitely a step forward in OS design. It's just raw. It's a baby. Just like babies, diapers need to be changed, they learn how to crawl before they walk and talk...yada, yada, yada. We're seeing the same with iOS 7. The .1 update was unparalleled. Just as the .1 release of Win8. These are brand new re-writes. With > 20,000,000 lines of code to make it to the desktop...isn't it OK to applaud Redmond for this release booting in <15 seconds? Faults aside, there's typically an 'app for that' and it's Usually a buck or two;). If you're not satisfied...try a Mac. Install your Win7 key on Bootcamp and give it a whirl. Apple's Win7 drivers are fully mature. Win8 as well though without 'touch screen' ability (as with ANY older MS box) or related 'gesture' control like OSx, it's relatively silly to use Win8 on a non touch computer today. Win7 on an rMBP is, IMHO, the very pinnacle of computing today! Best Window's rig I own are my Macs. And I've got $2250 invested in a pair of new touch based, Window's 8 stock installed laptops. They're a joke in comparison...and today, a decent Ultrabook from ANY OEM with comparable specs to the Apple rigs are identical in price! The Apple tax is gone. You can get a MBA for $900. PCIe storage. An iGPU with real power (5000, not the 4000). Almost 13 hours of battery life...two pounds and the ability to run ANY OS you'd like. No bloat, just incredibly productive software. Free OS updates. Amazing displays across their range... Unparalleled customer service. Durability, longevity...and when it's time to upgrade, you can actually SELL an OSx rig. Ever tired selling a three year old PC? So have I. It's easier to donate a decent working computer than sell. Take the write off. Macs retain value. I sold my 2011 MBA for $1250 just two months ago. It was an update model with the 256GB SSD, core i7 proc and RAM but I was able to recoup almost 75% of the original price and replace it with a similar, updated and less expensive new 13" rMBP for a couple hundred extra. Just. Too. Many. Positives to discount OSx as so many have done. And again, for the non believing folk, please...drop by your Apple store. Grab a 'genius'. Play for an hour and if you're as intrigued as I was almost a decade ago (bought my wife a a MacBook when she left the service for the FAA) ...I couldn't put it down! Pre iPhone, pre iPad. But compelling none the less....you'll be able to buy it, play with it for 29 days. Don't like it, bring or ship it back for 100% refund no questions asked. Problem with your computer in the first year? Bring it to the shop or ship it to Apple. They pay the shipping. Send a box to u, within a week, it's back in your lap with the new display, logic board or whatever you broke. Of there's a store nearby, Apple will often just grab a new computer. Retrieve the data via thunderbolt target on the new rig (hauls ass compared to USB 3/FW800) and you're out the door. New computer in hand. Look @ Amazon or B&H for discounted Applecare as they're certified resellers and you'll save a hundred bucks. Bumper to bumper three year protection. I'm not sure I hit every attribute of OSx mocked by several in this discussion (to remain nameless yet clueless) but for ANYONE that considers a Mac a toy, my point is ...‘ignorance'. Not dumb, stupid, or non tech savvy. Just. Ignorance. As soon as you turn the Mac on, you'll find it's intuitivity to be a dead giveaway. Need to uninstall an app? Put in trash can, flush, repeat. No control panel. No add/remove programs...waiting for it to populate. Just throw it away. Yes you can right click and indeed you can get extremely deep into the OS. But screwing it up isn't as easy as F'ING around in your registry. While malware, spyware and viruses have been PROVEN to be OSx vulnerable, I can assure you it's NOT a concern at all. I've got two dozen Macs of all shapes, sizes, builds and age. Not a single one has EVER had security or protective measures taken, no anti virus, malware or Trojan gatekeeper software tying up resources. No system scans, chkdsk or other crazy crap. Good. Riddance. As well, by default only Mac App Store programs and applications are 'installable'. But, there are system preferences for a reason and indeed from the preference pain you can elect to 'install from anywhere'. It's definitely NOT closed, walled or for that matter inflexible. As I mentioned, install ANY OS you prefer and you're off and running without ever having to turn OSx on. That said, Windows MUST work out their scaling challenges as HiDPI displays are becoming commonplace and ARE THE future. 3D was dead at CES'13 thank The Lord. This year we saw HiDPI displays, cameras ...even smartphones now capable of shooting 4k! That's the way forward. Not metro/Win7 packaged together on your workstation. Separate them and make a mark. Keep me together and go down with the ship. Way too many options on the market today that replace MS's often needed in the past suites, OS and functionality. For free! From Google Docs and Evernote to iOS and OSx'es iWork suites to Docs2Go and many others....today there is more software available at our fingertips for a buck or two than ANY POINT in history! MS isn't the end all, be all today as it was yesterday. If they don't get their poop in a group, they'll end up in the same rut as Sony, without the media labels to keep them in operation (Sony has music and movie libraries. MS doesn't )

  • Mike Says:

    I have been using PC's for nearly 30 years. My first "nouse" was actually a kind of foot mouse pad connected by serial cable. Now, would someone please tell me how to swipe on my PC without having a touch screen or trackpad? One of Microsoft's worst screw-ups in history (along side of selling a product they didn't own, forcing IE onto everyone, etc.) was making Windows 8 have a touch screen interface for desktop PCs and vertical screens. It didn't take long before people were having shoulder problems from constantly having to reach out and up to touch the screen. Microsoft should have offered the user a choice between an traditional interface and their touch screen interface so that those who didn't have touch screens weren't frustrated with trying to blindly figure out how to do things with this new interface. I have found it so frustrating that nearly everything i knew about working with Windows and its more technical aspects was suddenly changed. At the very least they could have left the "old" way of doing things and let new users learn the new way without making the old users suddenly find years of learning suddenly tossed out the Window. i for one could not afford to pay for another round of MCSE courses to catch up to Windows 8. That cost over $10K the first time. I inow it is great news for all the training programs out there, but for those of us who used to be professionals with the stuff if really sucks to have so much time, effort, and money tossed down the drain needlessly.

  • Brad Says:

    A month ago I bought a laptop with Windows 8 on it. After a week I decided Win 8 achieves levels of stupidity no OS has achieved thus far. I fixed it by installing Ubuntu Linux over top of it. Linux... the OS Microsoft would have created if it had ever found the talent required to design and code it.

  • hfdcfhmjbg Says:

    you complain about unnecesary clicks, yet i have to click 8 times to read this whole article. ridiculous.

  • Kathleen Says:

    While using the computer the screen will blows up everything gets huge or it will shrink down so small you cant see it how do you fix it so that does not keep happen? thank you.

  • Ray Says:

    Learning curves.....hmmm. I've used DOS, Windows 3.1 an onwards, OS2 version 1 and on, Mac, and Apple, butt the learning curve for Windows8 sucks ass most of all. What were they thinking???

  • Ray Says:

    You need a way to print the 7 tips by clicking on a single button.

  • Bill Says:

    when I hit enter I keep getting a url address no mater how many times I clean it out.

  • venkatesh Says:

    in windows 8 you should make use of lot many shortcuts to avoid wastage of time. since many people dont know much about them, they may feel difficulty but windows 8.1 is awesome

  • venkatesh Says:

    I never got annoyed while using windows 8 rather i loved it.. only thing u should know how to use it.. u can simply use alt+F4 for shutdown or restart or to kill an running windows 8 app

  • Ann Dambruoso Says:

    Windows 8 is just a nightmare. If someone is not real computer smart don't get windows 8. Get will leave you in tears.

  • jaime Says:

    People! It's called change! Adapt to it! It may be uncomfortable and different at first but you will grow and learn skills that you didn't have! Try it!

  • Unknown by society Says:

    Well i read all the comments here and its hilarious half of you seem to think its a bad move by Microsoft, Half think it's the users... if i was microsoft this is laughing candy your not really saying WHY you feel what you feel just pointless opinions if you don't know windows 7 then you don't know windows 8 and visa versa that simple there are a few things you need to be aware of as users of Windows you need to read it practically tells you how new things work with the new really useful corners scheme i love that ALOT... but when is it a problem i couldn't tell you IT people remember Users computers react differently to changes EVEN if its the same hardware its a golden rule you should know instead of being babies and blaming users face it microsoft made an apple style move which is quite different.

    I guess I'm going all out here to explain things microsoft should have included in the simulation now i only dealt with Laptop and Desktop environments for windows 8 I can imagine tablets/touch based systems just makes Frucking sense. Explaining how to interactively use windows 8 to the fullest and simpler and faster using keyboard and mouse has a few confusing things in it... now on to it!

    1. The corners scheme FAQ
    What is it? My answer create a new user and watch the simulation it shows you actually. You can get to users fast by going to the bottom left corner(you should see the windows 8 logo) right click that and goto control panel> if you have category view click user accounts and family saftey>users... create a new one use what ever that user is not going to stay long log into it by pressing windows key on your keyboard click your user name in the top right area (not the corner) and click the new "user" (what ever the name you typed in and dont set it up as a microsoft account) of the new user then it should show you what corners are and if you used the steps i provided you also know how to create users now as a result...<Bonus! go through the same steps upto creating users and you should always read the side panel to the left when in control panel some easy quick links are there as well ahh the beauty of windows 7 version of control panel! Oh the symbols are mag glass for search...circle of a huge circle symbolizing share<kinda useless in my opinion EVEN IF YOU HAVE WINDOWSPHONE without USB cable... windows 8 symbol directs you to start screen... what looks like a TV O.o for devices<useless unless you have portable device... and a gear perfect symbol for settings! ok ok thats the basic description of them...

  • Steve Newman Says:

    I see Win 8 as a half-baked next gen interface. I am not in the field but I think I know what this should have been. I won't say here. It's prob'ly would be a duh thing after all. If I could 'draw it' does that mean it could receive a trademark or patent. MS either lacked the ability or vision to make it! My Venue Pro 8 is my first Win 8.1 experience. My worst mistake was login setting up a MS ID- mispelling my own email for the id which set up verifying and login problems that ONLY could be corrected by resetting the whole thing or late r I found their web page on my ol desktop for the website of same and removing any Win ID then putting in new one to match the one on the tablet. Later,after installing all updates available, a wifi issue occurred and instead or trying to roll back a driver[s] I used the only system restore point which was almost the out of the box condition but left my home router SSID and the Office still set up functional. I set everything up quickly this time including more apps, links to Library of mp3 and pics on the micro SD. No MS cloud for me [GMail has enough of that]; I still want POP email; my best choice seemed to be Opera mail so I put that in.

  • DarrenMB Says:

    Windows 8 is moderately "ok" for a tablet. Even on the Win 8 Pro tablet I have, I use the normal desktop and desktop apps most of the time, mainly because I find the RT app's are missing simple features or are just not intuitive. for example, I don't want to have my apps all maximized, I use my apps in windows intentionally.

    On all the Windows 8 machines I have seen so far used by anyone with more then a simple understanding of computers gets irritated and we re-install windows 7 with "Classic Shell" application to replace the start menu.

  • r Says:

    Windows * is SOOOOOO stupid. Just click on a picture and then try to figure out how to close it! Everything is more difficult and time consuming. Clearly Microsoft has given up. They cant possibly be getting a human to test out a computer with this operating system on it before launching it to millions of people. Windows 7 was fine. Leave it alone and quit trying to re-invent the wheel. You failed!

  • RWH Says:

    Windows 8 is a piece of shit there is no fixing it!

  • Aqib Says:

    Ok, windows 8 is awesome for me. The Start screen is better than the old and basic start menu. The metro apps can't run in windows 7, but they can run in windows 8. The start menu is awesome!

  • Jen Roan Says:

    My windows 8 laptop won't let me pin to start menu, I follow the instructions and right click from the all apps page and it says unpin from start instead of pin to start, Windows 8 drives me crazy.

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  • NotAMicrosoftEmployee Says:

    What I can't understand is why Microsoft has to repeatedly re-invent the wheel. They live in their own little bubble world. Don't they realize the time wasted by employees having to learn everything all over again, not to mention the costs involved to large corporations having to re-train people to find their way around again.

    Once they have an interface that people like and have become used to, why in the name of common sense can't they leave that interface intact and implement the changes that merit an upgrade to the operating system. Surely they have the talent to accomplish that.

    I get the feeling they are trying their level best to remove as much user control as possible. Look at the history of their updates and you will see that each new version has the controls hidden deeper and deeper. Thank god for the people who come up with the hacks and fixes to Microsoft's nonsense!

  • Mile High Joe Says:

    This Windows 8 interface is suitable for a smartphone, I suppose, but it's a pain in the ass on a laptop without a touch screen. When I'm moving the mouse, suddenly the Start screen pops up . . . or the the so-called "Charm Bar" pops up from the right side and blocks half my window.

    Sometimes it seems like I can't find anything. I had to do internet research just to find out how to stop the damned screensaver from starting after only one minute.

    I can maneuver my way around Windows 8 but for a laptop or desktop without a touch screen, Windows 8 sucks. It just gets in the way of what I'm trying to get done.

  • SquidTheKidRS Says:

    Hey i have a windows 8 laptop but when i try to play games such as tf2 or minecraft when i hold down the moving buttons such as wasd i cant look around. Help? :(

  • shed Says:

    If you are old school, and you need the start button, all programs, simply download classic 8 and install. All your troubles will be over. I think win 8 was made for touch screens, not pointing devices and keyboards. I am one of the lucky Guys who used DOS, win 95, 98, 2000, Xp, vista, 7 and now windows 8. I like win 7 and 8 since it has most of the hardware drivers you will need. Trouble is you may need another set of new applications. e.g. I need Alcohol 120% which is compatible with windows 8.

  • John Sutanto Says:

    Jbs comments:
    I like Windows 8 for its performance, faster than Windows 7 (e.g. copying files, etc) and better for searching apps from the Store tile in the Start (Metro) screen. Literally hundreds or thousands apps listed for your choice!! You need only to learn few combination of the keys to get you somewhere, i.e. Windows KEY plus other key. If you get lost, press the Windows Key. We've been spoiled with the previous Windows XP & 7 forgetting that the useful "old" DOS commands are still there. Don't forget also that this Windows 8 will operate on tablets vs Android OS closer to more universal apps.

  • rwdfreelance Says:

    For the first time you use windows 8 is hard to use but when you use for more than a week it so easy to use.

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