questionsam i stuck getting a computer with windows 8?

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I saw a laptop computer advertised that stated it came with Win 8 and a free downgrade to Win 7. Sorry I don't have a link since it was in a Sunday paper.

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Off the shelf, probably so.

Note that with Windows 8 Pro, you have downgrade rights to Windows 7 but you'll probably be tracking down hardware drivers and all that yourself.

If you do a custom build, you can sometimes choose Win 7. My son just did that for his new Alienware laptop that he's waiting desperately for.

There are also free utilities out there that remove the "metro" stuff from Windows 8 making it more like Windows 7.

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Of course you could always go Mac ! * ducks and runs *

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I don't know why would say you're "stuck" getting Windows 8.
It's an improvement in nearly every way over 7, and 8.1 is going to offer even further improvements to address some of the complaints about the UI.
Vista also wasn't bad, it was largely a problem of the OS getting put on computers that didn't have enough resources to run it, so it (surprise) ran poorly.
XP didn't run so well on pre-Pentium computers either, but nobody blamed the OS for that.
Anyhow, give 8 a try. You'll probably like it. Everyone I know who has used it for more than five minutes does, including those who used to bash it for the redesigned UI.

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If you must have a brand-new system, I think Win8 is your only current option. I wouldn't suggest buying a new PC now though, even if you're among the very few who prefer Win8. Why? The next version, Windows Blue, is coming soon. So far early reviews are mixed but pretty much everyone agrees it improves on plain Win8.

If you don't need a new PC, there's very nice refurbs available with Win7 out there. I bought mine from Blair, a frequent Deals.Woot advertiser with generally good reputation: https://blairtg.com/shop/ They mostly stock refurbs from major brands that were formerly in corporate office use, so they're workhorses with solid all-around performance but tend not to be gaming oriented, at least not right out of the box, anyway.

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@stryker4526: My son, who does a lot of heavy-duty work-related computations and queries, didn't like 8 initially but now loves it for work. He also told me I'd hate it for what I use my computer for, which is exactly what I've heard from a dozen friends. And The Spouse, who serves as my live-in tech support guy, agrees with them all.

The "gaming" that I do makes true gamers laugh at me (I'm a happy customer of bigfish and gamehouse), and I mostly do a lot of surfing, email, news reading, and other simple stuff.

I'm currently using XP, which has been good to me, and when I have to give up XP in the next few months I'll go to 7.

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@magic cave: I highly doubt you'd hate it for anything if you actually used it.
The only major outward appearance change is the start screen, and there are minor improvements to Explorer. Considering you'd likely spend most of your time in a web browser on the desktop, I doubt you'd find a significant difference between 7 and 8 from a usability perspective.
One majorly nice thing about the start screen is that you can have access to all of your frequently used programs without having disorganized icons cluttering up your desktop.

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Dell, for one, still sells some PCs with Windows 7 rather than Windows 8. The selection may be more limited, but you CAN still buy a computer with Win 7 if that's what you want.

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@djp519: This is also true.
It's limited to older models, though.

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Before you shell out for a Windows 7 license, why not try Classic Shell? It's not a perfect replication of Win7 but it brings back most of the familiar UI elements.

http://www.classicshell.net/

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@toasterbicycle: Assuming it's anything but a home or starter version, there's nothing to shell out for. I downgraded my spouse's latest laptop beck in December, and everything just worked.
Plus, she doesn't hate it or have to re-learn how to do anything- yet...

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@stryker4526: Thank you for your further explanation; I was aware of that particular feature of Win 8.

I'm highly resistant to change, and I'm using a critical (to me, anyway) piece of software that hasn't been updated in years and likely won't run on Win 8. I don't see any magical reason to change to 8 if using 7 will let me do what I do without making any more changes than necessary.

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As someone who doesn't like Windows 8, I still don't think it's too bad. I've been using it off and on for a couple years (pre-release and post)

Unlike the era of Vista, Windows 8 is not slow at all - actually a bit faster all around. The big complaint is the start screen. I find it hard to use, and it's inconvenient if you have a lot of installed programs.

I recommend as others have said. Classic Shell - http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/ - my wife has been using this since the day Windows 8 came out and she hasn't missed Windows 7 too badly. But I also re-added the Windows Vista sidebar gadgets back for her (including the ones that were removed for Windows 7).

If you want to stay toward the cutting edge of games, you might as well stick with the newest OS you can. Games drop support for old systems faster than other programs - there's a lot of games already that won't run on XP.

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@starblind: Windows "BLUE" is Windows 8.1 which is a FREE upgrade from Windows 8 anyway...

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@stryker4526: While you are entitiled to your opinion, I find it to be crazy and reject it.

In all seriousness, my wife has a laptop with Windows 8 and it drives her nuts. Windows 8 was designed for a tablet, not a laptop or desktop. Luckly she was able to download a program that gave her a start button.

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@magic cave: If it works on 7, it will most likely work on 8. I don't think I've run into a single program of mine that hasn't been compatible, even before being updated to officially support 8.