- Chuck Gray
Nobody I’ve met likes Windows 8 or 8.1. One of my most frequently requested services at the Headquarters branch is to make customers’ Windows 8 laptops act like Windows 7. Are you in the market for a new PC but want to avoid Windows 8? It’s all but impossible to find Windows 7 PCs in stores these days, but you’ve got lots of choices if you shop online.
First let’s start with buying directly from the PC manufacturers. The best three I could find that still sell Windows 7 machines from their own sites are Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Why might you wish to buy directly from the manufacturer?
- Many models have customizable components to give you added power and functionality where you need it most.
- Often you’ll get deals on computers directly from the maker that stores will not offer, including some excellent financing options.
- In my experience, extended warranties offered by manufacturers are better than those offered by retailers.
- Finally, buying directly will help you avoid bloatware programs that big-box retailers pre-install. These can slow your computer way down, even—heck, especially—when it is fresh out of the box. Ostensibly these programs are bundled to lower the price of the machine, but I think they’re really just a scam so that retailers can "generously" offer a $100-and-up service to “optimize” the machine, which is really just getting rid of all that junk.
By the by, if you want to optimize your new Windows 7 or 8.1 laptop (I can’t help with desktop machines, sorry!), bring it to me at the Headquarters branch, and I’ll do it for free. Just be sure to call me first to set up an appointment.
Now back to the main point: buying directly from the manufacturers. Here’s where to go
The selection of machines sold directly from the manufacturers is a little anemic. You can find a better selection buying from online retailers such as BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, and Newegg.com.
Why Best Buy online instead of the actual store? Modern Best Buy stores carry a very limited selection of PCs, considering the rise of tablet computers, smartphones, and Macs. Their online selection, on the other hand, is much larger with many Windows 7 machines. And, what if you don’t like what you’ve purchased or have problems with it? Take it to your local Best Buy store instead of dealing with online or phone support!
If you’ve never used Amazon before, shopping for a new Windows 7 computer might be a good time to start. You get great prices, fast shipping, good customer service, and a ton of buyer feedback to help you buy exactly the right machine for your needs.
Newegg is the tech geek’s candy store. There is very little in the way of modern tech that cannot be purchased through them, and they have a reputation for fast deliveries and excellent customer service. If you want to do some more comparison shopping, give them a shot.
Windows 7 is going to receive support and updates from Microsoft until January 14, 2020, but manufacturers only have until October 31, 2014, to continue selling Windows 7 PCs to the consumer market. Supplies will dwindle quickly after that, maybe even before then, so now is the time to get a Windows 7 PC before it's too late.
Hopefully by 2020, Windows 8—and maybe even Windows in general, will be a fuzzy memory of a bygone era.