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Operating Systems Windows

Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8 570

First time accepted submitter Sagan's Pie writes "I'm starting to look for a laptop for college, and the only thing I seem to find are laptops or tablets that have Windows 8. I have used Windows 7 for a long time now, and would not have a problem giving it up, but not for Windows 8. After visiting many major online retail sites, I've found that finding either a Windows 7 laptop, or even a laptop without an operating system is nearly impossible. So where should I go if looking for laptops sans os, or at the very least sans Windows 8?"
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Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8

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  • Downgrade Rights (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:09PM (#42825481)

    Windows 8 licensing includes downgrade rights. If you have the key and a Windows 7 disk you can re-install to Windows 7 with minimal problems. Double check to make sure this won't void your warranty though, if you care about that.

  • Re:Try NewEgg (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:10PM (#42825499)

    Buy a computer that has the specs you want, then wipe the hard drive and install Windows 7. Problem solved.

  • by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:11PM (#42825543)

    I never do.

    Really, the biggest change in Windows 8, is that I have to press the windows key when I login. Nothing else really changed in the OS for me. I still just hit win+r for the "Run" prompt, or click a shortcut in the number of places I've aggregated them that make much more sense than Win 7's start menu layout. I got Windows 8 because it was just $15 for a valid windows license.

    I'm in full agreement that there's no reason to upgrade from windows 7 to windows 8. But if you get windows 8, it's not the end of the world (unless you're really married to the start menu). Or hell, if you really need the start menu, just go download it and install it. If you're on slashdot you should know how to do this. This askslashdot is kind of a no-brainer.

  • by Tim Cook ( 2821587 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:13PM (#42825575)
    Actually, please don't do this. M$ needs to know what a hunk of crap they've released reflected by low sales.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:14PM (#42825597)

    If you are a fan of Windows 7, why are you so against Windows 8? Just click on the "Desktop" tile on the start screen and boom, it's Windows 7. There really aren't that many differences in user experience other than the start menu is now a start screen. You can continue to use Win8 the same way you used Win7.

  • Re:Try NewEgg (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:14PM (#42825605)
    Or check out this site: [] .
  • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:25PM (#42825785) Homepage Journal


    Ctrl-Esc does the same thing. You just don't get the Windows-key shortcuts that you've been missing all these years, like always.

  • by The Dancing Panda ( 1321121 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:27PM (#42825835)
    Seriously. It's the same, with a small UI change. The Start Menu is now accessed by moving your mouse to bottom left corner of the screen, and it's redesigned in a tile format. Other than that small change (which people make way too big a deal of), and moving the Control Panel to the settings menu (bottom right corner, click Settings), it works exactly the same, in my experience.
  • Ubuntu.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paracelcus ( 151056 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @07:01PM (#42826373) Journal

    Problem Solved!

  • by WillgasM ( 1646719 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @07:20PM (#42826619) Homepage
    I'm sure the subsidies microsoft paid to have Win8 installed on that laptop actually make it cheaper overall than buying a laptop without an os. If you were thinking of moving to a linux distro, just wipe the damn thing.
  • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @07:34PM (#42826787)

    reduced memory/disk footprint

    Wait, what? Smaller disk footprint? []

    better explorer functions like e.g. "admin console here", and built in support for mounting iso's. With windows 7 you have to add these in on your own, with windows 8 they are already there.

    With windows 8, you need to add the start button on your own. I'll take the start button over some little-used run cmd as admin anytime.

    If you want to show your distaste with metro, enable the customer experience reporting setting and just don't use it. They actually do make design decisions based on that.

    I have a better idea. Instead of we the end user put up with Microsoft's crap just so we can give them feedback, why not just give them feedback by not purchasing it at all.

    Is that Stockholm syndrome I smell?

  • Re:Try NewEgg (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Friday February 08, 2013 @04:50AM (#42830009)

    "You should be able to find the drivers for your mobo, gfx card, soundcard, nic etc direct from the pages of those manufacturers. Not as straightforward as slamming in the recovery disk but I doubt the hardware on new laptops won't support Windows 7."

    That's just it - the hardware supports Windows 7 just fine, but releasing customized versions (the customizations are necessary for things like battery life optimization) of Windows 7 drivers is expensive and time-consuming... many manufacturers simply won't bother unless they're still selling the same hardware with Windows 7 anyway, or offer an official downgrade option (like Dell or Lenovo on their business models)...

    If you just download a generic driver from Intel/nVidia/ATi, you usually won't get everything your hardware has to offer - be it things like OSDs for display of volume/brightness or battery life (example: Installing straight-from-manufacturer [i.e. all original Intel drivers] on a Thinkpad instead of the Lenovo-customized drivers will reduce your battery life by about 40% - it's a *huge* difference).

  • Re:Is it normal ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chalnoth ( 1334923 ) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:28PM (#42834177)
    Yes. I purposefully keep my desktop clean, and almost exclusively use the start menu to access my programs. I do not like clutter, and only use my desktop for a couple of widgets and temporary file storage.

    The start menu is vastly, vastly better for multitasking than a desktop: the desktop is already hidden by the programs that are already open, and I don't want to have to go back to it just to open a new program.

    So no, I think the Windows 8 UI is a stupid attempt to bring a user interface that is okay for the tablet into the desktop/laptop space where it absolutely does not belong.
  • Re:Is it normal ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Friday February 08, 2013 @02:45PM (#42835305) Homepage Journal

    Do you find it normal having to re-learn how to do stuff with your pc because the OS producer needs to make his products unique so you have more trouble using the alternatives? Every 3 years?

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer