Here we are more than a year after the release of Windows 8 and it still remains a hot topic. The points of consternation among its critics are that Microsoft overhauled the user interface with a focus on touch computing, and then added insult to injury by removing the Start button and Start menu (the Start button has since returned, but without the handy menu). Nevertheless, it's a faster and more secure operating system than Windows 7. What's a user to do? Well, if you're buying a rig from boutique builder Puget Systems, you can have the company give Windows 8 a makeover so that it essentially feels like Windows 7.
The new service is called "Windows 8 Makeover: Emulate Windows 7" and it's a free as a courtesy install on new system orders. It includes a handful of tweaks that you can apply yourself, but for less savvy users, this is a neat option that starts with installing Classic Shell, a utility that brings back the Start menu and prompts the system to boot directly into the desktop.
Beyond the installation of Classic Shell, Puget Systems will configure desktop programs to be the default over Windows 8 apps where possible (Windows Photo Viewer, Windows Media Player, etc.). And finally, the Charms bar is disabled, as Puget Systems says it's an unnecessary feature with the added functionality of the Classi Shell Start menu.
Is a service like this even necessary? Puget Systems says the adoption of Windows 8 from its customers is "very weak" and even slower than it was with Vista. At the same time, the boutique builder recognizes there are some distinct advantages to running Windows 8, one of them being a longer support windows from Microsoft.
You can read more of the company's reasoning in a blog post by its founder, Jon Bach.