Windows 7 or Windows 8?

Dear Computer Lady:

I learn a lot from you newsletter. I purchased your book “7 Things You Should Know Before You Buy Your Next Computer” It is really good information.

My question is, now that I am ready to purchase a computer, I am asked the question “do I want Windows 7 or Windows 8?. Which is the best choice. The system I am now using is Windows Vista Home Premium. I looked on your site and did not see any comparisons. What are the pros and cons of each?

Thanks, Betty

Dear Betty,

Windows 7 and Windows 8 are both great operating systems, so your choice is going to be based mostly on personal preference.

Windows 7 will be more like the Vista that you are using now, while Windows 8 is newer and will be supported by Microsoft longer.

When Windows 8 first came out, it worked very differently from previous versions of Windows, in fact it didn’t even have a start button or start menu. The first major update that will come out for Windows 8 will include an option to have the start button and the start menu. This will make Windows 8 much easier to use for those of us who are used to earlier versions of Windows.

In addition to the differences in user interface, remember that each version of windows that comes out is a little better than the previous version.



It’s Your Turn: What do you think?
…. Share your experience in the comments box below.

Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • garybeafl
    • June 30, 2013

    From what I have read the start button in Windows 8.1 will only take you back to the tiles on the Metro start screen. I don’t think that it will give you a start menu either. Microsoft wants everyone to go mobile and not use desktop computers anymore.

      • JSH
      • June 30, 2013

      Which is, of course, utter nonsense. I have read a generalization that desktops and laptops are for content generators, tablets are for content consumers. I, for one, am a content generator FOR MYSELF. I don’t need or use aps. In fact, I have two that I wrote for myself. I am in control of my computer – Microsoft wants my computer to be in control of me! I don’t think so!!!

    • JSH
    • June 30, 2013

    “remember that each version of windows that comes out is a little better than the previous version”

    Wellllll, if you’re talking Vista and beyond, maybe so. IMO XP is heads and shoulders better than all of those. I still use XP and will as long as I possibly can (i.e. until my laptop goes belly up and I’m forced to buy a new one). All of my relatives and friends who use Vista or 7 complain and do not like it and wish they could go back to XP. Win 8 I don’t even want to think about – none of us are tablet users.

    • ron007
    • June 30, 2013

    Yes, I agree that Win8 has a number of underlying functional improvements that are not really apparent to the average user.

    The “metro” start screen is NOT one of those improvements, IMHO.

    When I’m asked this question, the choice between Win 7 and Win 8 depends entirely on the hardware you are buying.

    If you are getting a handheld “tablet” type computer (like the Windows Surface, but other makers are available), no question, go with Win8.

    On the other end of the range, if you are getting a “desktop” computer, especially if it does NOT include a touch screen, you probably will be more comfortable with Win7.

    The wishy-washy part comes when you are getting a desktop, like an “All-in-one” type, or a portable computer (various category names like laptop, tablet, ultrabook) that includes a touch screen. Windows 8 is better suited to a touch screen, but is usable with a mouse (I run it on my old laptop with a mouse). In this case (touch hardware included) I would suggest going with Win8. Although using Win8 does take some adjustment to get used to the “start screen” concept, eventually you will get used to it. And eventually you will find the touch functionality useful in specific situations. A “Touch” enabled computer includes simply buying external 3rd party “touch pad” hardware for a desktop or laptop.

    Don’t count on Win8.1 to make it very much more “old school friendly”. The returned “start button” is just another way of calling up the Start Screen. It does not return the Start menu.

    • PC Man
    • July 2, 2013

    Windows 7 or 8 seems moot since new computers using Win 7 have all but disappeared from retail shelves. Also there does seem to be 3rd party software that brings back the start menu to Win 8.

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