Q. I am a long-time Windows 7 user, and I recently bought a new computer that came with Windows 8. I just hate it! Is there anything I can do to get the Windows 7 Graphical User Interface back, but retain the new security features of Windows 8?
A. For those who simply cannot stand the Windows 8 GUI called Metro, plop down $5 to buy the outstanding Start8 from Stardock. Stardock heard the cries from Windows 8 users, and put the Start menu back in Windows 8. They accurately recreated the most used desktop feature that billions of users depend on every day and packed it with additional functionality. With Start8, you can:
- Search for Windows 8-style (modern UI) apps
- Pin desktop and Metro apps to the Start menu
- Get Jump List support
- Search for apps, settings, and files
- Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
- Shut down Windows 8 the Windows 7 way
- Get one-click access to devices, music, documents, and videos
Stardock offers loads of other Windows 8 utilities. Like Start8, you can download a free 30-day trial or purchase each utility individually for about $5 each. For those who are hungry for more efficiency with their Windows 8 computer, Stardock has a $50 offer to own Start8 plus more than a dozen other utilities. Visit www.stardock.com for more information.
Take note of this fix
As many of you know, Microsoft releases its patches on Tuesdays, which is why many of us spend our Wednesdays dealing with updates and reboots of our computers. However, when Microsoft releases a fix that is not on a Tuesday, then it behooves us to listen to the warning.
On Sept. 17, Microsoft released Security Advisory 2887505, which reported a new vulnerability in all supported versions of Internet Explorer. Microsoft may be including a fix for this on a future Patch Tuesday, but at this writing, there is no patch for this latest threat to IE. However, there is a Microsoft Fixit available.
We should take this notice seriously. Microsoft reports that there are already a small number of attacks targeting IE 8 and 9 on Windows XP and Windows 7 systems. At this time, there are no reports of attacks against IE 10.
Be careful about what links you click while surfing the Web with Internet Explorer (or any other browser, for that matter). Website administrators should test their sites with the Fixit installed in IE. And if you use the Fixit, be sure to download the companion undo Fixit and save it on your computer. You'll probably need to run the undo when the formal patch is released.
Until there is an official update for this vulnerability, use an alternative browser or download the Fixit posted on the Microsoft Security Research & Defense blog, which can be found at this URL: