Colchester: 01206 805 629 Braintree & Witham: 01376 388 751 Engineer: 07900 000 666 Dylan IT | Workshop & mobile computer repairs Colchester, Braintree & Witham | PC, Mac, tablets, phone
Colchester: 01206 805 629
Braintree & Witham: 01376 388 751
Engineer: 07900 000 666

Dylan IT writes a monthly editorial in the Look Magazine. Here is his April Issue

windows 8 interface dylan it

This month I thought I would address the woes of a lot of Windows 8 users that I have spoken to. The common complaint seems to be around the new layout, tiled interface and loss of start menu. Windows 8 users feel great frustration, as they don't understand why the familiar desktop and start menu that have been with us since Windows 95 have now been replaced with what at first seems like something inferior.......

 Let me explain: Microsoft has always been a software company. They make the software, then vendors like Toshiba, Lenovo, HP, Dell etc make the hardware and preinstall the Windows operating system. Microsoft set guidelines for these vendors to allow the end user to get the best experience from their Windows computer. But with Windows 8 that all changed. This is because for the first time ever, Microsoft in conjunction with Nokia (a recent acquisition) designed and built their own laptop come tablet called 'Surface'. Similar to what Apple do with their iPad, Microsoft could now build the perfect device to showcase their Windows 8. If you have ever seen or used a 'Surface' you'll soon see that even with the absence of the familiar desktop and start menu, the large tiles that cover the screen are very intuitive to touch and navigation seems strangely familiar.

However, my opinion and that of others is this: The tiled interface works great on small touchscreens tablets. (7"-11") On a small screen, you do need large, easy to read icons, text and buttons even if it is at the cost of screen real estate. The trouble is, most other vendors are still making, at the request of customers 15"-17" laptops or desktops with 22" - 27" screens. Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to have forgotten about these desktop users that prefer to use their keyboard and mouse or touchpad. They don't want a touchscreen where you have to reach out in an uncomfortable manner to touch a display that sits perpendicular to your desk. Also, those same large tiles and fonts that make life easy on small device just don't work on a large desktop or laptop screen. All that screen area we were used to is gone and if you don't have a touch screen, no effort has been made by Microsoft to remedy this, not even the much-hyped Windows 8.1 update.

Solution: Whilst I am not normally one to suggest installing free, third party applications that promise to enhance user experience, I will in this instance. 'Classic Shell' is a completely safe, free download that will allow Windows 8 users to have a familiar Windows 7 user experience. It will skip the tile screen at start-up and boot directly to the desktop. It reinstates the start menu that will display all your programs, document and picture links and a proper search function. It is highly customizable and if you have updated to Windows 8.1, it makes use of your new Start button. Novice users can feel confident knowing that although there are a lot of settings that can be changed, it can simply be installed in an 'out of the box' state and do everything mentioned above.

Should I upgrade to Windows 8? If you have Windows 7 and don't plan on moving to a tablet = No. If you are a Windows XP or Vista user = Yes. Despite the tricky user experience, which can be fixed as mentioned above, Windows 8 is faster, more secure and a lot smarter than XP and Vista and that in itself should be more than enough of a reason to upgrade.

Dylan's Tip of the Month: If you want to improve your Internet search accuracy, take advantage of the minus sign. E.g: good pizza toppings –anchovies will give you all search results for 'good pizza toppings' and leave out any results with 'anchovies'. Go ahead give it a try.

Dylan runs his own specialist IT company called 'Dylan IT' that services local home users and small business at their homes and workplaces. If you would like to contact Dylan for advice or perhaps you would like him to cover a particular topic in his next editorial, he can be contacted on: 07900 000 666 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dylan is always available on short notice, is on time, is fast, explains the problem in simple non-techie terms, offers follow up service for any further problems. The cost comes in within the price quoted. I could not be happier with the service I received.

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Our PC died suddenly and we hadn't backed up our photos and writing for quite a while, so we needed help and fast. Dylan was brilliant - friendly, not judgmental (no frowns or lectures about backing up our files), he worked fast and logically, and let us know exactly what he was doing and why. We're very impressed, and would certainly use Dylan IT again, and will definitely recommend your business to other people.

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Dylan was knowledgeable and knew what he was doing. He also explained all the other services that the company offers. He phoned before he arrived and he was earlier than scheduled. He also knew what questions to ask and fully appreciated my situation. Dylan is to be congratulated for his professionalism.

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The first contact with Dylan IT was over the phone and he was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Dylan came to our home, fixed the problem we had in a short time and then proceeded to help and advise with other questions I had. Extremely impressed with the whole service.

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I received excellent service from Dylan when my computer was badly infected.  He is an extremely knowledgeable, professional and courteous person.  I was very impressed with his work and would have no hesitation in recommending him to family, friends and work colleagues.  Many thanks.

Jackie Pettitt. Timbercraft Windows & Doors. Colchester.

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Dylan IT built me a monster gaming rig as per my specification. I came to Dylan with a rough idea of what I wanted and that idea was ever so slightly polished, then it was built. I had Dylan IT build my rig in a clear perspex box that other companies wanted nothing to do with as it was deemed 'too finicky'. I love looking over my desk at this work of art. All the LED lighting and neatly laid cables have all been constructed with care and attention. I would recommend Dylan IT very highly indeed!

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Dylan is a life saver! I couldn't be more impressed with his willingness to help out. I run my business from my laptop and without it everything comes to a halt. Dylan had me up and running again in a few hours. He was very helpful and very understanding when a complete techno-moron like me calls up! Thank you very much for your help.

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I was thoroughly impressed with your Company from start to finish. I spoke to Dylan on the phone, who was polite, friendly and helpful - an unfortunate rarity these days. The email reminder, the phone call from Dylan on the day to confirm his arrival, his appearance, his demeanour and work. I could not be happier! Thank you very much.

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