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Tom's Guide: Restore the Windows 7 Interface in Windows 8

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February 19, 2013 2:56:39 PM

Quote:
Microsoft's Windows 8 OS is drastically different to Windows 7
: No it's not.

Quote:
UI called metro
: Modern UI

Quote:
ditches several key concepts
: What? Moves the start menu into a full interface that looks like WMC?

Was this article written last year?
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-8
February 19, 2013 2:59:49 PM

I don't know, for some reason I don't quite think that third-party apps are truly "restoring" the W7 interface. I know it's just psychological, but I have this mental image of using air freshener after taking a dump - the smell's still there, it's just being masked...
Score
19
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February 19, 2013 3:07:11 PM

damianrobertjones: No it's not.: Modern UI: What? Moves the start menu into a full interface that looks like WMC?Was this article written last year?


All I hear is waaah waaah waaah. Cry harder, Microfan.
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-4
February 19, 2013 3:16:57 PM

I basically have to agree with damianrobertjones. What is the difference between the modern ui tiles and the 10 or so recently used application icons in the start menu? Start-menu even had an "all applications" just like modern UI.

Try using your imagination and pretending that modern UI is actually still called "start menu". You should realize, "oh wow, this is a much fuller featured start menu than ever before," instead of lamenting the disappearance of the bottom left window icon. Difference is, it defaults open instead of closed. It even responds to the windows key.

That's the irony of this article. It is basically how to turn OFF the start menu and load the old icon organizer. People, leave the funeral already... modern UI isn't going anywhere.
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-3
February 19, 2013 3:28:06 PM

cocogorillaWhat is the difference between the modern ui tiles and the 10 or so recently used application icons in the start menu?


Fullscreen? Shitty use of screen realestate? The entirely new and incompatible software ecosystem that Microsoft wants to replace the existing Windows ecosystem with, so they can get 30% on apps sales and push a few more of their mobile devices?

Windows 8 adoption rate is lower than that of Vista, the Surface line is a Zune-grade flop, and Windows Phones are back below 3%. Shouldn't Microfans be past the denial stage by now?
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7
February 19, 2013 3:33:19 PM

I agree with you 100% keillerclick. I couldn't have said it any better.
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2
Anonymous
February 19, 2013 3:47:24 PM

CocoGorilla,
Just because you are ok with the "modern UI", doesn't mean everyone else is. Feel free to use the new UI all you want, but don’t chastise others if they want to use an application that allows them boot directly to the desktop along with the familiar 'start' button.
That's fine if you or Microsoft want people to try it out before making a decision, but I don't agree with taking that decision away nor trying to make others feel bad because they don't agree with you. I can see where the "modern UI" could be a benefit for content consumption, but not for content creation. There are many users who multitask between applications throughout the day that find the new UI to be drain on productivity.
Also, unless you work for Microsoft you have no idea what their future plans are. If enough customers complain or purchase tools like START8, they may very well return the option of booting to the desktop and/or a start menu. Or maybe they will better integrate the features of both the Win7 UI and the "modern UI", offering an improved experience. If they don't, then other developers will be more than happy to offer alternatives like the very applications referenced by this article.

Have a great day!
Score
6
February 19, 2013 3:48:07 PM

I already installed some freeware to give me a Start Menu but it now gives me additional features I didn't have on Windows 7 either, similar to functions you get when using 3rd party explorer programs like Explorer++ or Xplorer2
...
Every OS has it's vanilla install which is annoying and has 3rd party programs to enhance it, Windows 7 is no exception, too many people are putting Windows 7 in an ivory tower and saying it is perfect - OK it is good and has lots of backend functionality but is it perfect? Far from it
...
Roll forward to Windows 8 and the vanilla install isn't perfect either and a lot of doubters say "why should I install any 3rd party programs to make it better, MS should have done it for me" - no, they really shouldn't, it has been a part of Windows all the way back to year dot to customise with 3rd party software - the world is full of alternate notepads, calculators, file managers, browsers, compression, security and MILLIONS of other programs, most of which are free and this is a good thing
...
Microsoft has provided an OS that at it's core is more secure and more functional, if the UI is not to your taste then do what every other Windows user has done for the last 2 decades and download something to make it suit you
Score
-3
February 19, 2013 3:51:04 PM

Sorry but when I read the title "Restore the Windows 7 Interface in Windows 8" my first thought was ... or I could just stick with Windows 7 :) 

I almost upgraded, but Win 8 just seems like trash unless you have a touchscreen.
Score
6
Anonymous
February 19, 2013 3:54:25 PM

If you spend your time on Tom's Hardware you probably have some interest in computers and operating systems. Metro is just a big start button, configure It the way you want. Don't like something, remove it. Want a power button, make one. Windows 8 is better then Windows 7, even for desktops.

Really I'm surprised everyone puts up with all the whining. Learning the new isn't that hard.
Score
-1
February 19, 2013 3:57:59 PM

killerclickFullscreen? Shitty use of screen realestate? The entirely new and incompatible software ecosystem that Microsoft wants to replace the existing Windows ecosystem with, so they can get 30% on apps sales and push a few more of their mobile devices?Windows 8 adoption rate is lower than that of Vista, the Surface line is a Zune-grade flop, and Windows Phones are back below 3%. Shouldn't Microfans be past the denial stage by now?


Zune was almost absolutely awesome. Please don't group it with Windows 8.
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1
February 19, 2013 4:08:17 PM

No need, i'm getting used to the "no start button" thing and i'm avoiding the metro crap, so i'm having a great time with windows 8.
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0
February 19, 2013 4:11:12 PM

There is an easy and fool proof way to get a Windows 7 GUI...stick with Windows 7.
I sure did so far :-)
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3
February 19, 2013 4:14:08 PM

nivek999If you spend your time on Tom's Hardware you probably have some interest in computers and operating systems. Metro is just a big start button, configure It the way you want. Don't like something, remove it. Want a power button, make one. Windows 8 is better then Windows 7, even for desktops. Really I'm surprised everyone puts up with all the whining. Learning the new isn't that hard.


One of the issue I have with the new Start Screen is that the new 'tiles' are so BIG, that it covers most of the screen. So now I could not see my beautiful background image upon boot. And I doubt the tiles can shrink to the size of the old start menu icons.

Without those 3rd party customization tool, I'm stuck with those big annoying tiles.
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4
February 19, 2013 4:23:22 PM

Why on earth would you want the old interface? Once you learn the new one, even with a mouse and keyboard it's every bit as user friendly as Windows 7. And on top of that it works rather nicely with my Surface also.

True, maybe not for everyone, but if people would just actually learn the new interface instead of complain about it, I think they'd see it, even if they don't entirely agree.
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1
February 19, 2013 4:34:03 PM

omnimodis78I don't know, for some reason I don't quite think that third-party apps are truly "restoring" the W7 interface. I know it's just psychological, but I have this mental image of using air freshener after taking a dump - the smell's still there, it's just being masked...


This is just stupid. Windows 8's only serious issue is its UI (even that is debatable when you actually give it a fair shot). Changing the UI to your needs is not anything like using air freshener after taking a dump. It's more like flushing the toilet, scrubbing it if necessary, and washing your hands if we were to continue on the lines of your analogy.
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0
February 19, 2013 5:39:18 PM

blazorthonWindows 8's only serious issue is its UI

No, it has other issues too.

The biggest issue for me is it keeps connecting to Microsoft's servers without user permission to download massive quantities of data, and yes, I have turned off auto-updates etc.

I will most likely be using Win8 as my next OS despite this. I'll just use a decent firewall to block it from accessing Microsoft's servers unless it has my say-so.
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-1
February 19, 2013 5:41:15 PM

PheruleNo, it has other issues too.The biggest issue for me is it keeps connecting to Microsoft's servers without user permission to download massive quantities of data, and yes, I have turned off auto-updates etc.I will most likely be using Win8 as my next OS despite this. I'll just use a decent firewall to block it from accessing Microsoft's servers unless it has my say-so.


Huh. I never noticed that on my network, but that might just be my firewalls in action.
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0
February 19, 2013 8:21:05 PM

I still believe it was probably well within Microsoft's means as a capable software house to give people a choice. People love their right to choose. I think MS missed out on some brownie points with it's clientèle.

I am yet to decide whether I am a convert.
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2
February 19, 2013 8:33:41 PM

The_TrutherizerI still believe it was probably well within Microsoft's means as a capable software house to give people a choice. People love their right to choose. I think MS missed out on some brownie points with it's clientèle.I am yet to decide whether I am a convert.


I agree in that MS could have both done a far better job on *Metro* (they can say it's not called that anymore all they want, but the name is stuck for all I care since their replacement is worse) and/or at least made it more manageable without third party programs. I just don't like people complaining about it as if there's nothing that can be done and that Windows 8 is ultimately junk just because of easily fixed UI issues. 8 has it's advantages and a lot of people seem intent on glossing them over or outright ignoring them.
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0
February 19, 2013 9:26:11 PM

LanWhy on earth would you want the old interface? Once you learn the new one, even with a mouse and keyboard it's every bit as user friendly as Windows 7. And on top of that it works rather nicely with my Surface also.True, maybe not for everyone, but if people would just actually learn the new interface instead of complain about it, I think they'd see it, even if they don't entirely agree.


True, the use of short cuts help greatly as well, especially WIN + X, WIN + E, WIN + R. But many in the corp world hate change and even complain when new version of Office is released...lol.
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0
February 19, 2013 9:27:02 PM

The four greatest user interface inventions for the desktop PC are the keyboard, the mouse, windowed applications, and the start menu. Microsoft tries to remove three of the four with Windows 8. I don't understand it. Its good that there are other developers who have not lost their minds that still support all four.
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0
February 19, 2013 9:47:32 PM

matt911The four greatest user interface inventions for the desktop PC are the keyboard, the mouse, windowed applications, and the start menu. Microsoft tries to remove three of the four with Windows 8. I don't understand it. Its good that there are other developers who have not lost their minds that still support all four.


Other than the start menu, Windows 8 works just fine with those without any third party apps and such and with free third party apps, you can get a start menu back in a few minutes. Heck, the start menu's functionality is all there, given it's not all in the same place, and some of it has even been improved on. Metro apps definitely don't seem practical to me and how MS handled Metro regardless of the apps leaves a lot to be desired, but I still find most complaints to be exaggerations at best from where I stand.

Whether or not MS intended to get rid of (excluding the obvious start menu) the others of those four is something else. What they intend to do and will do are potentially problematic, especially if they go deeper into this without making huge improvements in the entirety of the concepts that they're working on. That can worry me.

However, Windows 8, as it is, seems to be way underrated in many ways. A lot of people just seem to over-exaggerate complaints greatly.
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0
February 19, 2013 10:24:30 PM

Microsoft is giving everybody a shit sandwich with Windows 8.
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-1
February 20, 2013 12:34:38 AM

Microsoft played the people, the only thing they really did was open their apps store 24/7 to every w8 user. now thats marketing, the rest is a shell game such as three card monty. just move this here that their and call it new. benchmarks are the same as w7 or worse. I also noticed an intrusion were as microsoft was right their collecting data as soon as my system burped. I am not paranoid but it scared me to thinking is big brother watching . Knock on the door "why have you not initialized your w8" you scream Honey Microwave the hard drives. solent green?
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0
February 20, 2013 12:40:02 AM

rpdonMicrosoft played the people, the only thing they really did was open their apps store 24/7 to every w8 user. now thats marketing, the rest is a shell game such as three card monty. just move this here that their and call it new. benchmarks are the same as w7 or worse. I also noticed an intrusion were as microsoft was right their collecting data as soon as my system burped. I am not paranoid but it scared me to thinking is big brother watching . Knock on the door "why have you not initialized your w8" you scream Honey Microwave the hard drives. solent green?


Tom's WBGP proved that Windows 8 has some considerable performance advantages in some workloads.
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0
February 20, 2013 8:02:40 AM

blazorthonI agree in that MS could have both done a far better job on *Metro* (they can say it's not called that anymore all they want, but the name is stuck for all I care since their replacement is worse) and/or at least made it more manageable without third party programs. I just don't like people complaining about it as if there's nothing that can be done and that Windows 8 is ultimately junk just because of easily fixed UI issues. 8 has it's advantages and a lot of people seem intent on glossing them over or outright ignoring them.


Yeah I was an avid complainer myself, but now I am mostly over it. As far as the actual OS is concerned the Windows 8 environment is surely more advanced than Windows 7. The interface seems to be where most gripes are, but as you said it's easily fixable.
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1
February 20, 2013 12:44:40 PM

beardguySorry but when I read the title "Restore the Windows 7 Interface in Windows 8" my first thought was ... or I could just stick with Windows 7 I almost upgraded, but Win 8 just seems like trash unless you have a touchscreen.

It's trash on the touch version of the Vaio E14A and the Dell XPS 12, i've had both for review...Win 8 and a touchscreen is pointless on the E14A, as you end up using the mouse but you pay Rs.18K (i'm talking INR) more over the equivalent windows 7, non touch version.

the dell xps 12 is horrifically priced and has a duct on the bottom, which effectively kills the tablet experience. It's also sort of too heavy.
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0
February 21, 2013 6:52:01 AM

back_by_demandI already installed some freeware to give me a Start Menu but it now gives me additional features I didn't have on Windows 7 either, similar to functions you get when using 3rd party explorer programs like Explorer++ or Xplorer2...Every OS has it's vanilla install which is annoying and has 3rd party programs to enhance it, Windows 7 is no exception, too many people are putting Windows 7 in an ivory tower and saying it is perfect - OK it is good and has lots of backend functionality but is it perfect? Far from it...


Windows 7 is a very nice operating system. The features in Windows 8 hardly justify an upgrade, in my humble opinion.
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1
February 21, 2013 8:25:50 PM

Maza20Windows 7 is a very nice operating system. The features in Windows 8 hardly justify an upgrade, in my humble opinion.


I agree in the sense that going from 7 to 8 would not be worth doing, but if someone was coming from say XP, 8 is currently the best option from a modernization/feature/performance perspective.
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0
March 12, 2013 12:24:43 AM

Modern UI, Metro, or Mickey D Menu, call it whatever you like, but why are the tiles so large? Was this interface designed for the 85 and up crowd? Ok, for a tablet this may be ok but for desktop systems this makes no sense. A user who may have as many as 90+ programs can’t see these on one screen. With a normal start menu (XP or W7) clicking on programs from a Start Menu shows all programs on one screen. Hovering the mouse over any program folder will show the folder contents. Now consider Metro interface, selecting “All apps” expands what would normally be a one screen view to about 7 screen widths. This is insane for a desktop system without a touch screen. It’s even insane with at touch screen. To consider this in a corporate work environment is beyond belief.
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0
March 24, 2013 12:53:49 PM

and how to Restore the Windows 7 Interface in Windows 8 just an image
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0
May 19, 2013 6:19:32 PM

The New UI is only a Tinny part of the Issues with Windows 8. They know the Masses of Newbies to the Tech world will change nothing!!
Windows has built tons of Control and Identity issues, AKA Live Tiles for starters. A few commented on Win8 connecting to servers all the time, this is true and every last one is opens you up to Identity theft and Tracking of EVERYTHING you do think see and buy. They claim these connection are safe but Java and ActiveX were also supposed to Virus and Hack Proof Don't forget the Devices other then a desktop all have Mics and Cams. Bill Gates has openly admitted to wanted to help provide an environment were all data is shared and out of our control. In his eyes our ideas are not our own but owned by the community, Hmmm but he patents all he can and makes billions but i dont see him sharing the $$$ "OUR" ideas have created. think about it and feel free to line up and buy Win8 without thinking about what you do on those machines.
The New UI is only good for TOUCH devices and 80-90% of Win legacy computers are Business. Microsoft "Bill Gates" has had a culture from the start to get all the $$$ over Quality at every chance. They have many times released BS and called it an upgrade. WinMe, Vista Home, Vista Premium, Win7 home premium, and Now Win8!
XP is just 95c/Windows 2000 (win 95 with Direct X and Direct sound with NTFS from 2000) ALL the Security holes have been created by Bling apps Microsoft has created with errors and never tested before released)
Windows 7 is just no more then Vista Ultimate sliced in many versions.
Win8 is more like XP with Bells and Whistles then anything else.
XP was their best over all version after 3 service packs and a decade of delayed fixes.
Yes Win8 works on less then Win7 --- more like XP but with added devices like touch and cameras built in. don't forget we have had Touch/Pen sense ""95c"" for over almost two decades and Win8 only added slide windows with Tiles. I used and used a 486 DRT-1 running 3.11 or tweaked 95c only with Pen touch screen almost 20 years ago.
boil it down simply Win8 is truly Win95c/XP with more devices, more security but NOT!!! more like millions of exploits, Active X and DirectX only newer and a new look.
Currently i run just about every app on the market on Vista Ultimate 64bit with VM versions of every version of windows to date Server and desktop. Plus removable stack of HD's those VM version came from and Vista Ultimate 64bit bench marks equal to or faster then Win7 and Win8 only thing faster is Win7 Ultimate 64bit but only by 1.02% on average. Not worth the upgrade.
Microsoft know all this and wants to push out updates to slow down legacy OS's to force you to buy Win8. or any new version of office. learn before you buy. Unless you live in the could and like letting anyone know everything about yourself you don't want Win8 or anything more then office 2003. none of the "upgrades" are worth the time.
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December 23, 2013 12:07:15 AM

"Why on earth would you want the old interface? Once you learn the new one, even with a mouse and keyboard it's every bit as user friendly as Windows 7."
This is a tool not an "experience!" Learning curves are time consuming. Microsoft continues to be insensitive to user frustration and inconvenience. How would you like to buy a new car and have it's operation be so different that you practically have to learn to drive all over again in a new way?
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