I’ve moved on to Windows 8 on my primary laptop and desktop because, well, time marches on. Microsoft did well with 7. 8, not so much. 9 will probably be better. But I have to admit that things seem peppier on 8, especially my virtualbox vms. That may just be the byproduct of a fresh build though.
Two things I absolutely have to do with a fresh 8 install are to wrest control of the UI from the poorly conceived desktop-for-a-tablet, and stop the damned thing from force rebooting after updates.
When it comes to the UI, Classic Shell is your savior. And it’s free! Can’t recommend it enough.
Stopping the auto-reboot is a simple reg hack. In the editor, head to:
Create the dword value NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers with a hexi value of 1. Or even easier, slap the below into a text file, rename it .reg and double click it to insert into the registry: