Yesterday I was helping a friend with a new Windows 8 Laptop. Best Buy had an awesome deal for two days, about 70% off. Yay!
The previous laptop died and we recovered the hard disk and put it into an external drive case. All I needed to do was move the files over and get MS Office installed.
Since I had heard the Metro interface could be turned off, I started looking for how to turn it off. Plus there are a number of programs that purport to do it for you. One is supposed to let you switch back and forth. Well… they don’t work and Microsoft has removed the ability to turn off Metro.
A Microsoft Support Engineer responded to the question in Microsoft Answers:
Mahesh B G replied on December 12, 2012
Thank you for posting your question in Microsoft Community.
Modern User Interface [Metro] is one of the main new feature introduced in Windows 8 operating system, when compared with the previous version of Windows operating system.
It is by design and cannot be turned off or disabled.
I hope the above information helps you.
I have found out how to disable Metro, but it cripples Win 8 when you do. Not a good solution.
If you have not been using a smart phone, you are in for a hard time. The user interface behaves drastically different than Vista or Win 7. Too many visual queues that users are familiar with are missing. You won’t just sit down and use a Win 8 machine. You WILL spend time learning to use it.
The Windows Store proved to be a problem too. Way too many times when I tried to do something I was asked to open my Windows Store account. Trying to install Skype was particularly frustrating. Without opening the Windows Store I could not download Skype from Microsoft’s main site. Instead I had to get it from CNET.
Trying to get the Norton Anti-Virus out of the system and all associated Norton programs off was another frustrating experience. There is still a Norton reminder to JOINsome Norton update program. Even after removing every listed Norton anything and running Norton Removal Tools.
Once you get the hang of Metro, it is not all that bad. It is lame for a desktop. No eye candy. It obviously was made for a touch screen and a smart phone user. If you don’t know about edge gestures or moving your mouse to the upper left and right corners to open side bars, you’re going to flounder around trying to find controls you are used to finding in the task bar and Start menu.
If we lived 10 years in the future and were using holographic screen projected into the air it would be a nice interface.
If you have a Launch Bar like mine, Metro is going to be a useless mess. In my opinion Win 8 is going to be useless for power users on high end professional systems. I had thought of getting Win 8. Now I am advising clients to put off Win 8 and stay with Win 7. I’ll probably eventually change out my Vista for a Win 7. But, I’ll give it some time. I’m doing more programming for smart phones and tablets, so I am somewhat accustomed to the new user interface and expect I can learn it quickly.
I cannot imagine any business changing over to Win 8. The hit in productivity would be horrendous. For that reason I expect Microsoft to eventually give in and make it switchable so one can use the more classical Win 7/Vista interface. Until then I expect businesses and IT departments to hold their companies in Win 7.
The interface is much more layered. It is harder to drill down to controls geeks are used to using. I was caught a couple of times in panels familiar on Vista that were incomplete and lacked tools and setting I commonly use. There are other ways to go to deeper menus and panels. But, previous experience just mislead me.
For now I am not a fan of Win 8.