Cindy bought a SONY Vaio and she can't find Skype on it. Leo says that's because of the way the Metro interface looks. Cindy can use the desktop though, and then it looks like the old Skype.
David upgraded to Windows 8, but he's lost his firewire connection as a result. Leo says that upgrading an old PC to Windows 8 usually isn't recommended, but it sounds like David needs to get a firewire driver from the motherboard manufacturer. There's no indication that Windows 8 doesn't support it. He just would need the driver. Leo also says that doing a clean install wiped out all the older drivers, this is one case where an upgrade may have been the better move.
Kirks wants to know if Leo has used the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T convertible Tablet. Leo says he likes it. He says it's Samsung's response to the Windows Surface Pro. A bit more expensive, with the same graphics card and i5 processor.
Dawn also has a bunch of Office programs and she can't install them. Leo says they're likely OEM versions that can't be installed on another computer. The new Office 2013 is a good option for $100 a year for up to 5PCs. There's also Google Docs, or ZoHo Office. There's a free open source Office suite called Libre Office. The chatroom says that voice dictation is part of Windows 8 natively, and it supports Libre.
Mary bought a new computer with Windows 8 because she couldn't find a new computer with Windows 7. She's having issues with printer errors and her email freezing up. Can she just wipe Windows 8 and install Windows 7? Leo says he gets that question a lot and many people are choosing that option. He's torn on the issue because it's always better to be updated to the recent OS, if possible, and if she can bypass the touch interface, Windows 8 is great. She shouldn't be having basic problems like this, though.
Dick's gadget this week is the Targus Touch Pen for Windows 8. This is designed to make any non-touch screen laptop into a touch screen for use with the touch pen. It will cost $99.99 and will be shipping this Spring.
There are a few ways to bring back a start menu:
Leo has been hearing about a lot of pain from users who have upgraded to Windows 8. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make Windows 8 a little more familiar without having to downgrade back to Windows 7.
This brings back a start menu to Windows 8, but not the exact same menu from Windows 7. It creates a kind of hybrid of the two user interfaces, and makes Windows easier to understand.
Leo mentioned that Windows 8 seemed to him to be a failure, but not everyone agrees. Several Twitter users replied to him saying that they generally liked Windows 8.
There's a utility called RetroUI that doesn't exactly turn it into Windows 7, but does bring back a more traditional Start menu. This could help those who are having difficulty in the Windows 8 interface. This isn't exactly a vote of confidence for the new operating system, though. Leo doesn't see a reason to upgrade if you're happy with Windows 7.