Andrew bought a new computer with Windows 8, but wants to switch to Windows 7. He wants to know if he can erase Windows 8, but still keep the Windows 8 recovery partition. Leo says that Windows 8 initially was confusing and it didn't really know what it wanted to be. But he's gotten used to it, and Leo says it's the future of Windows, so we might as well get used to it. Andrew just has to learn its quirks like just typing to launch programs.
Michael wants to get a Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series Windows 8 laptop, but he doesn't really need a touchscreen. Leo says to get it anyway. It doesn't cost him any more and it's what Windows 8 is really designed for.
Rich has an ASUS T100 Windows 8 tablet with attachable keyboard. It came with 32GB of internal storage, with the option to expand using an SD card. He's wondering if he can combine the internal storage and the SD card so that they appear as one single drive. Leo says he could, but it raises the failure rate because if one fails, it all fails. It's called "Scary RAID." Even if he adds more space with a MicroSD card, he may or may not be able to add apps to it. Tablets really aren't upgradable.
Mike bought a new computer and now he needs to get a new scanner because his old one isn't supported in Windows 8. He doesn't want to spend a lot of money. Leo suggests Epson scanners. They're great and they're what he uses. They have several different models with various features, so he'll want to select the one that does what Mike needs.
(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)
Billy is getting a new Windows 8 desktop and wants to be sure he sets it up with the proper security. Leo says that Microsoft is now bundling Windows Defender (formerly called Security Essentials) with Windows 8, so he'll be protected as long as he keeps it up to date. There are other things he can do to protect yourself more, though:
Making it available on every platform, Microsoft finally made their note taking app OneNote free in an attempt to take on Evernote. We also think that Microsoft will announce plans to release Microsoft Office for iPad. Leo also believes a touch centric Office suite is coming for Windows 8 Surface tablets as well. But while people are enjoying the tablet experience, Leo says it seems like Microsoft is forcing touch on computer users.
Tom likes Windows 8 and saw that Microsoft may be giving away Windows 8.1. Leo heard that and they pretty much give away 8.1 to people who own Windows 8 already. It would be a clever move to do so, but Leo can't really imagine them doing that since Microsoft is a software company, unless they're reinventing themselves again. It just barely passed Windows Vista in market saturation. People just don't trust it because the word went out that Windows 8 is terrible.
Lynella brought her sister's laptop in to get fixed, but she didn't make a copy of the hard drive before she did. Leo says techs usually wipe the drive or replace it and then restore the OS from a backup recovery disc. But that may not include the restore partitions that originally came with it. If they claim they restore to manufacturer specs, then it should have the recovery partition. If they refuse to restore that for her, then Lynella may be able to get recovery discs from the laptop manufacturer. Recovery discs are better anyway because then she still has it if the drive dies.
Rick wants to know if Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 8. Leo says yes it is, and it's always a better idea to go with the latest version of the OS, if for no other reason than security updates. But Windows 8.1 has enabled users to bring back the Start button and can work much more like Windows 7.
Leo also recommends getting Start8 by Stardock. It's only $5 and can make Windows 8 look exactly like Windows 7.