Are Windows 8 and 8.1 really dead?
You would think so, with even Microsoft giving up on a successor in Windows 9 and going directly to a ground up overhaul in Windows 10.
Not so fast.
A number of little improvements have come along. Prices have drastically dropped.
The major problem with Windows 8 was always navigation. Blending the old desktop with the new smartphone like Modern was like mixing oil and water.
Improvements have made navigation just a bit better. You can stay with the desktop altogether if you like and avoid the Modern screen.
Meanwhile Microsoft has drastically reduced licensing cost so that the cost of a new computer has drastically dropped. In some cases they are giving away Windows Office.
The latest generation of Windows computers makes good use of the Cloud to cut costs even more. It is all to the good to eliminate a hard drive, a DVD drive, and a lot of memory.
Who needs them nowadays? They are just a source of eventual trouble.
Just being introduced now are lightweight tablets from the major producers, even direct from Microsoft itself.
These are small and look like a small Apple MacBook Air. Typically, these are a little or less than 2 pounds and less than an inch thick.
Because they need to rely on internet, they are optimized for WiFi and even for adding memory if needed via a tiny micro SD card.
So, if you can get around Windows fairly comfortably, know how to avoid viruses, and do your own maintenance support, you might pick one up. You will probably need to get comfortable with swipes and a few modifications to make things easier. (Otherwise stay with a Chromebook.)
You'll have an easily transportable device which can also serve as your tower by plugging in an external keyboard and display.
You will also gain the benefits of running a few applications only available on Window, or better on Windows, such as Calibre for readers or generally genealogy apps and studies.
You will also gain the benefits of Windows which have been overlooked as navigation problems have taken the stage.
These include a speed up in the actual system, a faster and better graphics interface, and far superior printer support from the past. They have very high speed processors and battery life up to 12 hours.
You will have a full laptop you can take easily with you, along with your Windows tablet or phone now available at just $100 or so. One from HP has lifetime phone service free.