Patricia from Nevada writes:

I am going to waste a little of your time to tell you why nothing you say is going to persuade me to like Win8 in any form.  It was not designed for someone like me.  It was designed for the person Microsoft wants me to be, or thinks I should be.  It does what Microsoft wants it to not what I want it to.

I use my computer for correspondence, accounting, finances, taxes, etc., with a bit of shopping, e-mail, and reading the news.  I am advised Office 2013 is mostly web-based, with some kind of family subscription plan.  What family?  I would be the only user.  I don’t use the cloud because I don’t trust it.  I don’t collaborate.  I don’t share anything.  I have no shared or public folders or files, and I never will.  I don’t listen to music, or the radio.  I don’t watch movies or television.  I don’t stream anything and don’t plan to.  I don’t use Skype.  I don’t play games.  I don’t take, edit or share pictures or video.  I don’t have any “My Pictures” or “My Videos” or “My Movies.”  I don’t need to see the weather because I live in the Las Vegas Valley where it doesn’t change much.  I am a very private person.  I have no social media accounts and don’t want any.  I use a keyboard.  Period.  I have a form of dyslexia, and I cannot learn to swipe, tap, squeeze, flap, whatever.  (I can’t use a mouse, either.)

So, when the sad day arrives that I have no alternative to Win8, I will be spending my first weeks with it trying to figure out how to strip out all the stuff I don’t want, don’t need, cannot use and won’t use, and then finding 3rd-party utilities that will make me a computer I want.

Patricia, I love a challenge. And although nothing I can say can make anyone love a particular operating system, I do think you have some misconceptions about Windows 8 and Office 2013. But let me play devil’s advocate (Microsoft being the devil in this case.)

You can use Windows 8 for Word Processing and Accounting the same way you use previous versions of Windows. The Office 2013 interface is a little different, but certainly familiar. There is an Office 365 subscription plan available (that makes Office available on up to 5 devices), but you can still purchase a single use, one computer copy if you choose. And you don’t have to use the Internet with Office 365 if you don’t choose to.

You do not have to use the Cloud with Office 2013, though it is a great feature. As for the safety of the Cloud, you are most likely already using it, whether you like it or not.  All of your e-mail is stored in a cloud by your ISP. Now you many eventually download it to your computer, but it’s there.

But you certainly don’t have to use any cloud features if you don’t want to. Windows 8 will serve you well for surfing the Internet and reading e-mails plus your basic word processing and accounting needs.

The display is also highly customizable, so you can remove any functions you aren’t interested in from view and never bother to access them again. You could attempt to have the Windows 8 features stripped off by someone, but that seems an unnecessary step. None of these programs would slow down a new computer you’re using for Word Processing or accounting purposes.

You can use a keyboard with Windows 8 and also a feature that many people with dyslexia find very helpful, the voice controls. They allow you to move the cursor and also to dictate text.

I don’t think Mircosoft is trying to make a program for the person they want you to be, but a program that covers the needs of the billions of potential users out there.  Facebook reports more than a billion active monthly users, so there are a lot of people interested in social media and sharing.

Many people want to use their computers for photos and video and increasingly for streaming movies. There were 1.65 billion music downloads in 2012 – many younger people have never purchased a physical CD.  So Microsoft needed to design an operating system to meet their needs as well as yours.

I can’t say you will love Windows 8, it does have more features than you want to use. But a Windows 8 system should certainly be capable of easily meeting your needs and it would be fairly simple for you to put the programs you want front and center and not be bothered with any of the other features.

Since you don’t care for cloud integration, an Apple computer would not be a good choice for you. But could consider having a Linux system built and find word processing, accounting, browser and e-mail applications that work for your purposes.

And it’s kind of shame you don’t share on the Internet, Patricia. I really enjoy your writing style and if you had a blog, I would read it.

~ Cynthia