Rusty on Windows, don't want 10 - options?
August 26, 2016 6:36 AM   Subscribe

I haven't used a Windows machine in quite a while, but now need one for a project. 10 is baffling to me, I have no interest in putting in the time to become proficient, and I don't want to deal w/what appears to be its total privacy dumpster fire. What are my best options for getting a new machine w/an older but still reasonably useful Windows OS?

Off the shelf would be great, but I will reinstall on a 10 machine if need be.
posted by ryanshepard to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
It would be Windows 7 for an older OS, but I am not sure if you can still get Windows 7 machines. Otherwise, go right to Windows 10 (skip all versions of 8). Two things to know based on your question:

1) Opt out of all the privacy stuff by going into the OS' settings and turning things off.

2) Just right-click on the Start menu to see all the stuff you are used to seeing.

That is it, really, the rest is just like Windows 7 from a perspective of someone who hasn't used Windows in a while and just needs to do a project and not power-user stuff.
posted by TinWhistle at 6:41 AM on August 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

You could still get windows 7 machines -- easily -- earlier this year. I got one!

Here's Newegg's 2808 listings of laptops with Windows 7.

I also had no trouble getting support from a local computer shop when I wanted Windows 7 reinstalled.
posted by amtho at 6:44 AM on August 26, 2016

Dell was still selling laptops from their professionl range with win 7 pro (at least in the UK--maybe also in US?) recently. I would understand if you weren't too keen on a Dell but the business range is a whole different beast. They will sell the business range to individuals. I've bought a couple of the business range and been happy with them.
posted by Logophiliac at 8:48 AM on August 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

For longevity, find something with Window 8.1. Win 7 is great, but by adding a something free like Classic Shell, you get the Win 7 experience with a newer OS that has a lot of years left on its support lifecycle. Windows 7 SP 1 goes out of support in January 2020, while 8.1 is supported until 2023. 8.1 is a very nice OS, it just needs a good UI, and Classic Shell (as well as Stardock's Start 8, which costs money) provides that.

If you can get past the fear of Win 10's privacy issues, both Classic Shell and Stardock work well there, too.
posted by lhauser at 12:58 PM on August 26, 2016

Yup, just this morning ordered a computer from Dell for work with Windows 7 Pro preinstalled, because we have hardware with drivers that are sketchy under 8 or 10. Windows 7 ones are also about $50 cheaper than the ones with 10 that I saw, same specs.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:25 PM on August 26, 2016

Just download the free program Classic Shell, it looks just like your original Windows and yet you have the newest version of Windows. If you don't stay current you get left behind, for example Windows XP and ME are obsolete, they have no support and you can't even get updates on them anymore.
posted by just asking at 6:38 PM on August 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

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