No doubt, you are aware that Windows 10 has been released and adoption is going at a NASCAR pace. But, you’ve heard the privacy concerns surrounding the new operating system. While those concerns are unfounded, you may have reservations nonetheless. And, you may think, Windows 8 is working well, why should upgrade and run the risk?
Well, there are lots of great reasons to upgrade, there’s really no hurry. You have a year to get the upgrade for free (after which, you will, presumably, have to purchase the upgrade.) SIDENOTE: if you do upgrade now, or a year from now, you are not going to have to continue to pay after that year, the copy is yours for the life of the machine you’ve put it on. Windows will not become a subscription service.
So, if you choose not to upgrade Windows 8, but want some of those cool Windows 10 features, don’t worry, you can get some of them and make Windows 8 work more like Windows 10.
First thing you will need to do, however, is go to Stardock. com and purchase the Start8 program and ModernMix. They are cheap and you will be happy that you got them.
So, what are they?
ModernMix allows you to run the Windows Store applications in a window instead of full screen, a behavior that is common in Windows 10. Your Modern apps (also known as Windows Store or Metro apps because Microsoft would not make up their minds) will now have minimize, maximize and close buttons in addition to a title bar, just like in Windows 10.
Start8 adds back the traditional Start menu you loved in Windows 7 and below. In addition, it lets you customize it to look like Windows 7 or incorporate tiles, like Windows 8. Choosing the Windows 8 look will make it work more like Windows 10.
Start8 allow you to boot to the desktop, a feature included in Windows 8.1. You can do so in the Settings for Start8.
In Windows 8.1, click the Desktop tile to enter the desktop if you are not already in the desktop. Right click the desktop and select properties. Click on Navigation then ‘Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in’. This is enabled by default if you use a non-touch device.
Windows 8.x hides many traditional desktop icons. You can restore them using the control panel. Right click on the desktop, select Personalize, Change Desktop icons, select the icons you want to show or hide and click Apply, then OK.
These are the ‘biggies’ to make Windows 8.x look and work more like Windows 10 without actually installing the new operating system. There are other things you can do, but they, too, involve purchasing software. Decor8 gives you many of the same customization features on the Start screen that Windows 10 has, including the ability to change the background.
Of course, the best way and cheapest for now is to just upgrade. But, until you do, you can do the above steps to get the next best experience.
So, after I posted this article, I was reminded of Classic Shell. Classic Shell does exactly what its name implies: it restores Windows back to the way it was in Windows XP and 7. It brings the OLD Start Menu back from XP, 2000/ME or 7. It also makes Explorer work more like XP’s Explorer than 8 or 10. So, this may be an excellent choice for someone who wants to really remain in past version of Windows and doesn’t want the more modern eye candy. It does not really fit with the spirit of this post, however, it may appeal to you anyway. It is freeware, but the author wouldn’t turn down a donation. You can go here to check it out.