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Tom Briant

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Lukewarm Case for going with Windows 7 or 8.1 if you can't afford a Mac

Okay, your budget is $500 and you’re weighing your choices. At this point, you may have to settle for a Windows 7 or 8.1 machine.

If you use your home machine for work-related stuff, the IT department may require you to have a current version of  Windows on your machine. As much as I like Macs, I can understand the necessity in this case of choosing Windows.

Microsoft would really, really, Really like you to switch to Windows 8.1. Their latest update to Windows 8.1 finally acknowledges that some users have found fault with their precious baby.

If you run the latest version of Windows 8.1 on a desktop with a mouse and keyboard and a non-touch enabled monitor; Windows 8.1 boots you into a familiar screen with a task bar at the bottom, icons on the desktop, and even your choice of desktop wallpaper.

Parallels Picture

But What Is That  in the lower left-hand corner? That doesn’t look like the stock Microsoft Start Screen icon!

Indeed, it doesn’t. I have incorporated a couple of programs from to enhance my Windows 8.1 experience.

To keep  Windows 8.1 from driving me up with the wall with that whole Tile business, I added the Start8 substitute Start menu

And to keep the Windows 8 full-screen apps in their place, I also got Stardock’s ModernMix for $4.99. Best $4.99 I’ve spent lately!

Here you see the iHeart Radio app and the Microsoft Calendar app confined to windows



PHarell and Calendar Parallels Picture


Of course, the fact that Microsoft didn’t immediately snap these programs up and make their programmers instant gazillionaires is proof that corporations are people. People are often complete fools! (You with the mad Photoshop skills? How about a picture of Ballmer dressed in motley?)

Well, I’ll end this with the same things I ended my OS X post with:

If you deal with oddball formats, look into downloading LibreOffice 4. If you find yourself with a bunch of old Clarisworks/Appleworks word processing files and you’re a Windows person, this program can save your (tofu) bacon

Perform regular maintenance on your computer. Computers, like closets, need periodic clearing and cleaning.. 

And Back UP your computer regularly. Hard Drives and SSD’s have finite lives. Regret is cross-platform.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog













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