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Windows 7 Still Being Sold On Up To 93% of British PCs 295

Posted by timothy
from the arbitrage-opportunities dept.
nk497 writes "The vast majority of PCs sold by British PC makers are running Windows 7 — not Windows 8. PC Pro spoke to several PC builders, with some reporting as many as 93% of recently sold machines were on the older OS. One company initially sold its PCs with Windows 8, but feedback from users soon changed that. Customers quickly began to specify systems with Windows 7, those with Windows 8 'took delivery and wanted to change back to Windows 7' – a process the firm described as a 'nightmare.' Another firm found success by installing a 'start menu' tool on Windows 8 machines, and others said the switch would have gone smoother if Microsoft has offered a Windows 8 tutorial or better explained the new OS."
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Windows 7 Still Being Sold On Up To 93% of British PCs

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  • That's because (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:47AM (#42944403)

    Windows 8 UI is ghastly. With Classic Shell though, you'll never need to load metro again, and then its just a fast Win 7...

    • Re:That's because (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:50AM (#42944449) Homepage

      Start8Menu was the best "free" alternative for me. Stardock's Start8 is the best trialware one that I saw.

      I tried Classic Shell but it aims to emulate the classic Windows 2000 and earlier Start Menu. I much prefer the more modern Vista/7 Start Menu, which my top two choices provide.

      • Re:That's because (Score:5, Informative)

        by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:32AM (#42944927)

        Classic Shell can emulate later versions, just check the options. I have noticed that when you search for something and don't find it or select the wrong thing it'll lock up Explorer though. Oh well, just another WER submission on Explorer. Not half as bad as not being able to delete Windows 8 store purchases from your history.

      • Have a look again, [classicshell.net] because it's there - as an option.

        I'd pick Win7 over Win8 any time. Hopefully Win9 will bring back much of Win7, including an upgrade/migration path from Win7 (are you listening, MS?).

      • Re:That's because (Score:5, Insightful)

        by linebackn (131821) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @12:13PM (#42945375)

        But this raises the question why should millions of customers have go to the trouble of installing a separate program just to get a sane UI. And how many actually will, or can.

        What this story tells me is that Microsoft didn't threaten to break enough legs in the British PC sales market.

        Nobody here in the US wants Windows 8, and the manufacturers know it. They just sell it to make their Microsoft monkey overlords happy. Customers be damned.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by KiloByte (825081)

      That's not enough, there's Metro poking its ugly head out in many places beyond the start menu.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm probably alone here, but I prefer the start screen over a start menu. If I'm using the mouse I find it easier to hit a large tile than a small row of text. And if I'm using the keyboard I press Win-key and type just like in previous versions.
      The Win+x menu is also nice, although I'm sure there's a way to get that functionality on Win 7 as well.

      I haven't found any useful Metro programs though so I can't comment on their (dis)usability on the desktop.

      • Re:That's because (Score:5, Insightful)

        by linebackn (131821) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @12:08PM (#42945315)

        And if I'm using the keyboard I press Win-key and type just like in previous versions.
        The Win+x menu is also nice, although I'm sure there's a way to get that functionality on Win 7 as well.

        Memorizing keyboard shortcuts? how 1970s. Do you also like to use WordPerfect for DOS? I bet you are so good you don't even need the PC keyboard overlays.

        • by Alioth (221270)

          Keyboard shortcuts are "how 2013". Or do you laboriously go to Edit - Copy/Edit - Paste instead of just using Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V and not having to take your hands off the keyboard?

          One of Shneiderman's 8 Golden Rules of user interface design is to provide frequent users with shortcuts. In programs that are keyboard input based, it's best that they be keyboard shortcuts so your hands can remain on the keyboard as much as possible.

    • Re:That's because (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @01:40PM (#42946383) Journal

      No its not, all those shell replacements do is HIDE metro but do NOT kill it, so all that tweeting twitting FB crap is still sucking memory and bandwidth, you just can't see it. Not to mention that unlike Win 7 a good chunk of the programs in win 8 are ADWARE so you also have to figure in the time to remove that crap.

      This article just confirms what any of us little shop guys could have told you, nobody wants Windows 8. There really is no point in windows 8 unless its on a cellphone or tablet and the "extra speed" is frankly just a VERY bad hack (look up "hybrid boot" to see what is actually happening, you no longer can get a clean start of Win 8 without going CLI, instead you get hybrid boot which is more like hibernate than shutdown) and Win 7 on an SSD more than makes up for it.

      If for no other reason refuse to take windows 8 on principle...I mean do you REALLY want MSFT to continue in this direction? Stuffing the OS full of ads, making UIs that look like a 14 year old with ADHD went nuts with a box of crayons, not to mention trying to drive us towards an appstore?

      Windows 7 is fast, its rock solid stable, and most importantly IT JUST WORKS and will keep on working until 2020 at the least, so why get stuck with something you don't want and tell MSFT its okay to ignore the users like that because you're willing to "put up with it" and try to hack your way back to a functional OS? Just say No to Metro, if enough people just say no then MSFT will have no choice but go back to the drawing board and fix their mess, just as they did with Vista.

  • Vista 2 (Score:5, Funny)

    by coinreturn (617535) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:49AM (#42944427)
    The new name for Windows 8: Vista Part 2.
    • Re:Vista 2 (Score:5, Funny)

      by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:58AM (#42944569) Homepage

      Windows Millennium Edition Part 3.

  • by jaymz666 (34050) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:49AM (#42944443)

    is 100% too sensational a number? Up to doesn't mean squat

  • I'm not switching. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by concealment (2447304) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:49AM (#42944447) Homepage Journal

    There's a number of reasons for not switching from Windows 7.

    First, it's the operating system most of us always wanted. It gets closer to a perfected version of Windows XP. It does everything we need with the software and the interface paradigms we've known for 20 years.

    Second, I don't trust any new product until it has been on the market for 18 months in order to get the bugs out. Developers know why, and the reason isn't developers (generally).

    Finally, I distrust trends. They blow through, take your money, and blow out the other door. I trust reliability and paradigms that are time-tested.

    As a lack of positive reason, I'm not sure what Windows 8 offers that Windows 7 does not. There are improvements; they look really neat. I'd like to play with them, on some computer I'm not using for work when I have lots of spare time to play around with it.

    The computer is a tool for me. I use it to achieve other ends. Thus I'm not that fascinated with the OS and want it to "just work." Windows 7 does that, or an adequate job of it at least, on a wide variety of hardware.

    • by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:02AM (#42944609) Journal
      And then off course there is the nightmare of "secure" boot. I have seen professionals burn a few days over installing an OS that, according to the manufacturer, should be no problem. And this despite the manufacturer's support department tried its best. So if you order a new machine, order it with win7 pre-installed.
    • by bickerdyke (670000) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:12AM (#42944713)

      There's a number of reasons for not switching from Windows 7.

      First, it's the operating system most of us always wanted. It gets closer to a perfected version of Windows XP. It does everything we need with the software and the interface paradigms we've known for 20 years.

      Yep. Win7 is the OS that made me switch my Deskop back from Linux. (That and the fact that ordering my new PC without Win7 wouldn't have been any cheaper thanks to the ridiciously low OEM prices)

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      First, it's the operating system most of us always wanted. It gets closer to a perfected version of Windows XP. It does everything we need with the software and the interface paradigms we've known for 20 years.

      Uh, I'd submit that Windows 7 doesn't resemble anything like Window 3.1 or Windows for Workgroups other than having a window and an X button to close it.
      I'd also say that Windows XP is deficient in a lot of ways, but I also agree that most of the features and functionality are well baked. This of course happened after Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows NT 3.5, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000 all were evolutionary so XP didn't miraculously have all of this built in. I purposefully forgot to mention Windows ME beca

      • by dkf (304284)

        Uh, I'd submit that Windows 7 doesn't resemble anything like Window 3.1 or Windows for Workgroups other than having a window and an X button to close it.

        Do you really need that much more? Do you think most users see much more than that, leaving aside the fact that the colors have changed (which normal users spot very easily indeed by comparison with techies).

        • by Virtucon (127420)

          So by that token DOS 6.22 was the shiznit? We should have packed up on things like Linux, Windows NT and the iterations of other operating systems? I mean I can't fathom an IPAD or any Android device running DOS 6.22 and running halfway reliably at all. I still have a 6.22 running in VirtualBox, I'm wondering if I can run Excel on that or maybe Oracle 12?

    • I was recently put in a position where a UPS failure hosed my Win7 Raid 0 array. I had a Win8 disk lying around, so I figured I would give it a go. Once you get used to the fact that Metro is just a full screen start menu, it's nearly identical to Win7. The file copy dialog is more informative, the "start menu" is really just a list of links from the "all apps" drawer which is really just the start menu folders organized differently. The search is just partitioned off into three areas instead of the who

    • Apart from one thing... Windows 7 doesn't run perfectly good 32 bit drivers for perfectly good, sometimes hellishly expensive and still best in breed, hardware that works 100% perfectly under Windows XP.

      Why ? it's not like it can't be done ?

      I'd love to go 64 bit (for the extra memory if nothing else) but there are no drivers for lots of my (perfectly working) audio hardware.

      Ho hum

  • if US manufacturers offered Windows 7. Unfortunately, no Windows 7 downgrade is offered with most PC manufacturers in the US. So, most people (average consumer) are relegated to using 8 as it is, using Start 8 or other similiar apps, or finding someone that knows how to install an OS on a computer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My brother (in the US) just ordered a PC from a manufacturer's website (discontinued model, inventory clearance, actually a decent deal).

      Windows 8 was the default. Windows 7 was a $50 option (over 10% of the total price). He paid the $50.

      Microsoft, are you listening? (Yeah, I didn't think so...)

      • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:34AM (#42944957)

        Of course Microsoft is listening.

        They know that they can make regular people buy 2 OS' for each laptop. What else are lemmings to do? Install Linux? (Maybe in 2015 after Linux gaming takes off.)

        It's like corporations buying PCs with OEM windows installed and then get wiped to install their Corporate image using another license. So each PC uses 2 licenses: OEM (non-transferable) and Corporate.

        It's win-win times 2 for Microsoft. They can abuse their customers and still roll in it. They have a monopoly.

    • Walk over to the company's business line website. Plenty of new machines there with Windows 7 preloaded. Windows 8 Pro also has downgrade rights, just don't expect driver support from the vendor. Not a big deal as almost all the hardware in today's machines still had Windows 7 support, although I wonder if those fancy touch screens will work.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Unfortunately, no Windows 7 upgrade is offered with most PC manufacturers in the US.

      Fixed that for you.

  • And the outcome will be pow (Vista_type_disaster, 2).

    Even an idiot would know that. This was hopefully the last desperate attempt by Microsoft to "leverage" their desktop monopoly to gain some mobile market share.

    Don't get me started on why it's called Windows when I see all window-less full-screen apps from MS now on desktop (like the native MS PDF viewer). Just WTF, man. WTF.

    • by medcalf (68293)
      No doubt. I think MS would have been better off had they called their mobile OS "Metro" and left Windows for their desktop OS. Trying to blend the two is a disaster waiting to happen. Really, that's not even true, it is a repeat of the same disaster that has been happening to MS for a decade as they've tried to establish Windows on tablets and mobile phones, only now going in the other direction. Sane people create an OS that is suitable for the conditions in which it is to be used. MS creates an OS and dec
  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:04AM (#42944633)
    Honestly, Windows 8 is a train wreck. Microsoft for some reason thinks that by completely redesigning the UI to a bulky, hard to use, non fluid system, that they would gain customers. They should of done a massive back end upgrade to 7 and called it 8 rather then put make up on a pig and call it a prom date.
  • Windows 8 nightmare (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:05AM (#42944639)

    I bought my mother an Asus "Ultrabook" for christmas as her old laptop had finally given out. It had a hard drive failure last week, and rather than send it in I decided to swap out the drive myself.

    Never have I had more trouble attempting to reinstall something like I did with Windows 8. Previously, you could just get a windows ISO, punch in the OEM serial from the sticker on the case, and you'd be set. Now, everything is certificate based, and will only work with a specific OEM copy of Windows made for that machine, and NOTHING else. On top of this, ASUS wants $50 for the disc to reinstall windows.

    This OS was a giant step towards appliance computing for Microsoft. If the next version is like this or worse, I'll deal with support issues for my family on Linux instead.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      so why not spend the $120 and get a win 7 download?

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Actually, this only ever worked on Windows 7, and I'm sad to see it go. With Windows XP, you had keys that only worked on disks you had to acquire from the OEM, but those usually weren't even included with the PC. With Windows 7, if you could get your hands on a retail Windows 7 disc, it didn't matter if you had bought a computer from HP, Dell, Acer, or whoever, the same key would always work. I wasn't aware they had gotten rid of this feature in Windows 8, but that gives me another reason not to like it
      • You should be able to manually install the certificate for Windows 8 OEM copies. Windows 8 brought out a very complicated OEM pre-activation system since the system used for Vista/7 was easily reverse engineered and used to avoid product activation.
    • I have told all family and friends that I don't do Windows. I have given up trying to single handedly save the whole bloody computer world.
  • For the whole month i actually bothered to try it, it felt like my computer skills where impeded by a HUGE brain tumor which hindered and rendered painful each and every action. And someone still wonders why sane people hate it?
  • New user experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:15AM (#42944759)

    Having recently taken the plunge, the new user experience can be summarised as "swipe a bit, here's some corners, now don't drown". I really like the OS now I've had some practice, in both its content-browsing Metro guise and as an updated version of Windows 7 but they've made no effort to bridge the gap between the two in such a way that a confident use of one can get to grips with the other. It takes some real lateral thinking to see what the mouse or touchpad equivalent of a touchscreen gesture is.

    It doesn't help that touchpad gesture support is uniformly terrible. A look at regedit suggests that scrolling support is mostly hacked in on a per-app basis.

  • Ah, statistics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:20AM (#42944799) Homepage

    Windows 7 Still Being Sold On Up To 93% of British PCs

    Good old "up to" - how many times have those two little words helped someone weasel out of a corner, or pull in punters from off the street.

    PC Pro spoke to several PC builders, with some reporting as many as 93% of recently sold machines were on the older OS

    "Some" is most likely journo-speak for "one." And it's probably one that caters to the hardened geek/gamer crowd, both of whom are going to be avoiding 8 for a while yet.

    • by Inda (580031)
      I call bullshit too.

      I'm in the market for a small footprint PC and I really can't be bothered to build yet another one, so I've been hunting around.

      Some "business" PCs still come with W7, but they're too big and powerful for what I need. All the major brick and mortar electric retailers in the UK (Tesco, Asda, PC World, Curries, John Lewis, etc, etc) are selling nothing but W8 and it's pissing me off. Big W8 posters on the doors. Salesmen who give me weird looks when I ask about W7. It's all bollocks.

      I just
  • Ive seen here in the US how new pc sales have fallen faster than in a long time but look at the Best Buy and Office Max ads and you have no choice, everything is Win 8. People don't want Win 8, so they don't buy a new computer. At my work, for desktop's we have 5 Win 7's and 3 XP's. All of them working great, the XP's lack the hardware to goto Win 7 and since they serve their purpose just fine they are likely to be in use for several more years. Even with out security updates, with AVG free & Firefox w
  • Hey Microsoft.

    She's not doing you any favors here.

    First, that hot mess that is the Office Ribbon.

    Now the flaming, shit-covered mess of Metro.

    How many more fucked-up interface choices are going to come on her watch? Costing you customers each and every time.

    You guys currently have the underpinnings of a decent OS.

    But your UI choices lately have people wondering if you got a bad batch of crack.

    Fuck XBox, Fuck Touchscreens Everyplace. Give the user back their productive UI, keyboard shortcuts and all.

  • I needed to use Windows only e-banking and borrowed an unused laptop from with Windows 8 on it - great chance to see what the fuss was all about, especially since it was stock installation and nobody has used it before.

    First impressions were good: I figured out I can click on Desktop box in the Metro UI and I started Internet Explorer from the taskbar (if I needed some other app, though, I have no idea how I would go about it).

    Then I wanted to turn off the machine. But I really couldn't figure out how. I re

    • by DogDude (805747)
      Thanks for your "first 15 minutes with Windows 8" review. That was very helpful. Would you care to hear my "first 15 minutes with Linux" review? Or how about my "first 15 minutes with Apple* review"? Would that be useful?
  • by argoff (142580) * on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @12:38PM (#42945665)

    Does anybody else just wish ReactOS and/or WINE would just take over, and reach a point where everything can run on them. That way we could kick out Microsoft and not have to play their upgrade and licensing games all the time.

  • if 2000 or xp or 7 is working for me, who are you to say otherwise ? and, in teh real world, don't most people upgrade when their hardware dies, or when their job requires it ? i only upgrade when my hardware dies, altho this hasn't worked well for me - in my family, 3 computers died when Vista came out...sigh
  • Ubuntu, the other white meat!

  • You may remember Windows Compact Edition- only Microsoft could make a product whose all-but-official nickname meant "grimace in pain." Well, for WinCE, MS decided to shoehorn the desktop- complete w/the Start Menu- onto phones of the day, phones that had much smaller displays than they do now. Well, with Win8, MS did exactly the opposite thing: instead of shoehorning the desktop onto a phone, they blew up a phone to desktop size. The result is... interesting. But not convincing, and certainly not interestin

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