Restore the Windows 7 Interface in Windows 8

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John Corpuz

John Corpuz flip-flopped between computer science and creative writing courses in school. As a contributor to Tom's Guide he's found a happy middle ground writing about apps, mobile gaming and other geekery.

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  • blackmagnum
    If you are not ready for the change, please stay with the 'good enough' Windows 7.
  • n700a_g1
    blackmagnumIf you are not ready for the change, please stay with the 'good enough' Windows 7.

    ... how about those who are being FORCED to use Win8?
    (Those who purchased their PC with Win8 installed already)
  • harrkev
    Classic Shell **DOES** have the option to boot straight to desktop
  • lradunovic77
    This is what Windows 8 should be

    but MS went for less and some square flat bs.
  • daglesj
    Been using Windows 8 for a few months now and yes at first I was very much WTF!!! about 8. However, as I have got used to it (didn't take long) I now know why MS did what they did.

    If I now switch to a Windows 7/Vista/XP machine and have to ferret around in Start Menu folders and subfolders to find applications I find it really slow and old fashioned. Windows 8 is just a slicker and smoother OS experience now.

    However, I do agree that if you are on 7 then the need to upgrade isn't really there. I haven't upgraded any of my Win7 machines. But if you have an old dual core with XP or Vista then go ahead, makes a big difference.
  • kalten
    Classic Shell is not only free, it lets you have the version of choice for start menu (if you want it, can give you a ie9 look and feel to ie, and a classic file explorer, again if you want it.
    It also allows you to boot directly to the desktop avoiding Metro (which I think is great, but not on a mouse and keyboard driven desktop PC).
    It also displays W8 apps in the start menu....Only a 3 out of 5? I think you need to go back and re-evaluate again!

    If you want to go the full W8 way, great, but I love that I have the choice witha free app!
  • cyberjawn
    OH, Classic Shell takes you straight to the desktop too
  • Anonymous
    The 3 out of 5 score is based on feature set. When compared to RetroUI and Start8, Classic Shell doesn't have the same feature set, although Classic Shell is closer to Start8 when it comes to features if what you are saying is true. But based on the total number of features, RetroUI is the clear winner here. A certain subset of people are always going to go the route of the free application - so Classic Shell has its merits. If Classic Shell really is on par with Start8, they should be charging so the owners can at least make some money off it.
  • flyflinger
    Yup, no need to pay for Classic8, I tried a few shell apps and I like Classic Shell the best and it's free. I miss gadgets, so yeah, thumbs up to 8Gadget Pack.
  • Anonymous
    Why pay for a OS upgrade and then play around with third-party tools to get back at what you already had with Windows 7. Seems a little pointless to me. Why not just stick to Windows 7 and hope Microsoft will get it right next time around. Just as many people skipped Windows ME and Windows Vista and the following OSs Windows XP and Windows 7 respectively where simply great, Microsoft just misses the target sometimes.
  • SteelCity1981
    you're still stuck with the aeroless windows though.
  • MEA17
    I upgraded to Windows 8 over a month ago. It's been unfriendly and buggy (often lost internet connection when it went to sleep - had to disable/reboot/reenable). Schitzo operating system wants to be touch and mouse but doesn't integrate very well. Wife hated it.

    I just wiped the machine and started with a clean Win 7 install. All better!
  • kalten
    Marty1408 - That's a very good question...I did it to ease me into the way in which Metro works.
    I'm a Systems Administrator and really need to learn the Metro way of working, but I wanted something that would ease me into it...being able to run Classic gives me both worlds on the one operating system.
    I'm sure that soon enough I will uninstall Classic and switch completely to Metro, but on the otherhand, maybe I wont...but I'll still have both to choose from instead of being stuck in one mode only!
  • virtualban
    Ribbon Disabler - did not know about this; awesome; thank you; my WinH8 virtual machine works excellent with it.

    On why I still have a W8 virtual machine after trying it out and deciding it is not for me, and with expired trial and rebooting ever 2 hours: hehe, it will still be there till I need the disk space.
  • virtualban
    RetroUI Pro is how metro should have been in the first place. An icon on the desktop maybe, full screen or window, stretched or not, giving me as user the choice to use it on my phone/tablet since it works nicely on touch screens, or not use it at all.
  • Kami3k
    Or just use windows 7 and make it clear to Microsoft we don't want this crappy tablet UI on desktops.

    Oh wait, sale numbers are already doing that!
  • bobzter
    Tried them all. RetroUi has unique features like the Start Menu toolbar in Metro and windowed apps. But besides the cost, it takes a huge amount of memory, in fact more than all other windows services and process combined also including the antivirus/firewall and video/mouse drivers. It's bad programming, resources hogging and margin for buggy design.

    ViStart is just awful. Tried to install a couple of crapware, takes about 5 secs for it to load and then discard the Metro screen and, uninstalling it did not revert the changes to the UI.

    To cut it short, Classic Shell is the most reliable, smallest, full featured, no bullshit and yes, it does skip Metro - no need for extra software. I only missed an option to disable the silly lock screen on all of them.
  • virtualban
    bobzterTo cut it short, Classic Shell is the most reliable, smallest, full featured, no bullshit and yes, it does skip Metro - no need for extra software. I only missed an option to disable the silly lock screen on all of them.

    Indeed Classic Shell is the best. I use it on Windows 7 also. I love the plus sign in windows explorer and the functional status bar.
  • tommyjones605
    RetroUI works awesome for me, I love having the taskbar visible in the live tiles screen.

    It works really well for me, worth every penny and clearly better than the others that just do a start menu.
  • Pailin
    Quite happy with with my Win 7 Pro 64bit :)

    But LEAP Motion makes me start to contemplate Win 8...

    But I am guessing that I can install plenty of good "touch" interfaces to work with Win 7
    - will be looking into this myself soon