How can you get rid of that awful Operating System the guy in the shop said was so wonderful (did you know he gets paid to tell you that). Well, it is possible but such a great pain in the proverbial so we're not going to bother in this article, maybe later. Apart from being a big pain, removing that awful mishmash of an OS will also invalidate your warranty, so what we're going to do is make this awful system a bit more manageable. It will still be Windows 8 with all the 'wonderful' gadgets it has but you will be able to actually use it on your Laptop and Desktop machine without all the cursing and swearing. That's nice then.
OK, how do we go about it then? Well, when we start our computer, or should that be wake it up (Windows 8 doesn't actually turn off the computer - that's why it starts so fast) the Modern UI (or Metro as it was) is wonderful for touch screen devices but useless if you're using a mouse and keyboard so we need to bypass that and go straight to the desktop that we're all familiar with. To do this, you can download a little free utility called WinAero that will do just that. There are probably other downloads that will do the same thing but this is the one that I used and so far, no complaints.
WinAero will take you straight to the classic desktop, bypassing the Modern UI allowing us to get on with being productive in a way that works - almost. There is something very important missing from the desktop - access to your program list - the Start button! With WinAero, you can disable the hotspot corners rather than just hiding them, including that silly little start screen.
But if I don't have a start button or start screen, how do I access my programs. Have you tried accessing you programs from the desktop in Windows 8 - you can't - so this needs a little fix as well.
To resolve the problem of accessing programs, I used a little utility called Classic Shell. Classic Shell gives us the the 'missing' start button back with a few general improvements into the bargain. It even allows us to choose what style of start menu to have from the classic style of Win98/2000/ME or WinXP or Win7 - witwoo.
There we have it. A way to 'tame' that Windows 8 machine of yours without breaking the bank, without losing your warranty and without losing your sanity. I would rate this task somewhere between easy and moderate. I know some people who will faint at the prospect of doing something for themselves and class this as hard but it isn't if you can follow instructions.
Both of these handy utilities are free at the time of writing and instructions on how to instal them is available on the respective owners/websites and elsewhere on the internet. I have no connection whatsoever with any of the programs mentioned in this article and can accept no responsibility if anything goes wrong if you try this yourself. I am simply providing a solution to a problem that was brought to me by one of my clients. You can try this yourself or call me and I'll do it for you at my normal rates.
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