Some people love the Windows 8 UI. While it certainly takes a bit of getting used to, they’re right at home with it not long after picking up the new operating system.
I’m not one of those people – quite the opposite. Windows 8 isn’t my cup of tea, and as such, I’m quite thankful that I’m still using Windows 7, and I plan to keep on using it for as long as it’s feasible – probably until a new iteration of the Windows OS impresses me enough to merit an upgrade. Maybe Windows 9?
Anyway, we’re getting off track. Let’s say you’re one of those folks who got saddled with Windows 8: and you’re not particularly happy about it. Rather than having to go through the trial of learning how to use it (or worse, the process of uninstalling 8 and reinstalling 7), why not simply install Classic Shell? You’ll still have Windows 8, of course – so you may run into a few compatibility issues with older applications – but at the same time, you won’t have to deal with the Metro UI.
At the end of the day, that’s what most people (myself included) find most problematic about the operating system. You can check out the SourceForge page for Classic Shell (which includes a download link) here. As an added bonus, you can actually install it on older versions of Windows, as well: if, for example, there are some features in Windows XP that you miss having in Windows 7, Classic Shell’s just the ticket.
Installation is quite simple, and once you’ve got it installed, you can pick and choose which elements of classic Windows installations to keep or get rid of. The best feature for many is the option to skip metro (though you can always do that by installing the Skip Metro Suite, as well). Either way, you don’t have to slog your way through Metro whenever you start up the computer (or inadvertently press a Super key).
I’m sure there are those of you out there who thoroughly enjoy Metro, and think Windows 8 is a total godsend. For the rest of us, it’s a good thing projects like Classic Shell exist.
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