Windows 8 Blues

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Windows 8. My intention was to upgrade both my desktop and laptop to Win 8. My laptop (a ThinkPad Edge) is now upgraded, but, after several failed attempts, my desktop is still running Windows 7. One thing I can say about the Windows 8 upgrade process: if it fails, it does a great job of restoring back to Win 7. I’ve had, I think, three failed attempts to upgrade my desktop. Each time, the Win 8 installer figured out that things weren’t working out, and got me back to Win 7.

Meanwhile, my laptop has been working fine under Win 8 for several weeks. I used Start8 to get the Start Menu back, and I haven’t used the Metro interface at all, really. I have Start8 set up to take me straight to the desktop when I log in, so I really don’t even look at it.

I did have an issue on the laptop with Windows Updates this week though. Somewhere in the process of installing the most recent batch of updates, something went wrong, and left my machine unable to completely boot up. Win 8 detected a problem, and tried to automatically fix it, but that didn’t work. I used System Restore to go back to a restore point, and that got me up and running again, though there was some residual weirdness after that. I *think* I’m back to a stable state now, with all critical updates installed, but I’m not 100% sure of that.

So, for anyone looking for an opinion on Windows 8:
(1) It’s workable, if you do something the get the start menu back, and ignore the Metro interface.
(2) Upgrades from Win 7 are kind of an iffy proposition, but probably won’t destroy your machine if they fail.
(3) Once installed, it’s no less likely to go south than Win 7 was. (The BSOD looks different now, but it’s still a BSOD.)

Oh, and if you’re looking for some useful advice on  Win 8, check out these posts from Scott Hanselman and Paul Allen.

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