Dwight Watt Newspaper Article #251
Although Windows 8 has been out a while now (and revised to 8.1) machines with Windows 7 are still available.
Windows 8 has a totally different user interface than Windows 7, Vista and XP had. It is a user interface similar to the interface on mobile devices including phones. It uses buttons for each program or app while are called titles and only a few appear on the screen at a time. It is designed for touch screens and to give you the same feel and interface whether on a phone, tablet or desktop or laptop.
Windows 8 (and more so with 8.1) will allow you to switch to a desktop similar looking to Windows 7 but without the start button menu. It appears either in Windows 8.2 or Windows 9 that Microsoft will bring back the start menu here also. Currently to get to control panel or shutdown option you must move the cursor in upper right corner and a bar of tasks will appear on the right side. There are 3rd party utilities available to give you the start button in the Windows 7 type desktop on Windows 8.
If you are considering getting a computer with Windows 8 and have not used it try it first in the store and see how comfortable you are with it. If you have done a lot on a tablet or with apps on your phone it may feel natural. If you have just used laptops and desktops for your applications it may feel very foreign.
Microsoft will continue to support Windows 7 with updates and patches for a number of years in the future. They will probably cease selling new copies in the near future.
Either operating system should be fine to use for a number of years in the future, I expect in 10 years we will see a large number still using Windows 7 just as we are seeing Windows XP usage now although it is over 11 years old.
Choose the one you are more comfortable using.
Thanks to Carol for the question