If the Metro design of Windows 8 looks like your worst nightmare, there are alternatives worth considering, and they don’t just have to mean sticking with what you’ve already got.
Even lifelong fans of PCs, and of Microsoft software, are finding the tile-dominated, designed-for-touch interface of Windows 8 a challenge, and if your hardware doesn’t allow for a touchscreen, you could be forgiven for feeling as though your needs have not been met in this latest version.
However, there is still plenty of choice in the computing market – and here are the main contenders for those of you who are not yet ready to embrace Metro as the ‘best’ option.
What you’ve got
In many cases, what you already have is likely to continue to serve your needs for quite some time to come – only hardcore PC gamers typically need the latest hardware and operating system in order to get by.
Keep your existing PC just as it is, and you’ll probably get several more years out of it for common tasks like word processing, playing back media files, browsing the internet and so on.
Even as programming languages like HTML develop into new versions, you can probably expect a good degree of backwards-compatibility, so older computers are unlikely to ever be totally obsolete for simple tasks like loading websites.
There is the added bonus that, when you stick with what you know, there’s no learning curve involved – so to simply do nothing is a reasonable solution to any doubts about Windows 8.
It is also worth remembering that Microsoft are not the only developers of operating systems for PCs, and the main rival is Linux.
This is open-source and, therefore, usually free; however, you will need a certain amount of computer know-how in order to understand how to install and use it.
As such, it is not the best option for casual computer users, but is a very progressive approach to your computer’s main piece of software, if you know what you’re doing.
The other main alternative, of course, is an Apple Mac system, which are available in desktop and laptop versions, not to mention the option of a tablet like the iPad.
Again, there will be a learning curve involved, but you might reasonably find this easier to handle than the switch to the Windows 8 Metro interface.
Like Linux, Macs also typically take a little more know-how – with fewer ‘wizards’ for things like network setup, for instance – but this can soon lead to a greater level of knowledge of how your system actually works.
In this sense, the learning curve is arguably a more profitable one, as you will be picking up an understanding of the actual processes that go into powering a modern-day computer, and not just trying to get to grips with an operating system that redefines the visual experience for the sake of it.