Chances are, if you are searching for a new laptop or desktop computer these days, many have low-star reviews primarily because of Microsoft Windows 8.

Microsoft Windows 8 was designed for touchscreen devices, plain and simple. For desktops and non-touchscreen laptops, Windows 7 is a better option. You can't get a new system from a major retailer with Windows 7 anymore, but you can make your Windows 8 computer run like Windows 7 with a few easy tricks.

1. Get your Start Menu back by installing Classic Shell

Classic Shell is one of a number of applications you can download that put a Start menu back on your Windows 8 desktop for easy access to file searches, programs, your control panel, etc. We like Classic Shell because it's free.

2. Boot right to your Windows 8 desktop

The Windows 8 live tile home screen is actually a nice feature- if you have a touchscreen computer or you only need to go back and forth between Internet Explorer and Windows Live Mail. Others may prefer to boot right to their Windows 8 desktop so they can get to work quickly. We can't make the instructions any simpler than Rick Broida of PC Magazine did, so we'll just link to his instructional article.

3. Disable touchpad gestures

Microsoft knew Windows 8 would be deployed on non-touchscreen computers, so they created touchpad gestures that allow you to simulate different taps and slides normally done on a touchscreen. The drawback is this can cause unintended program and screen changes when you are just trying to scroll a page or move your mouse arrow. Chris Hoffman at Makeuseof.com has three ways you can do this.

4. Just Google it!

If there is something else you don't like about Windows 8, just Google it! Chances are other people have already voiced complaints about it somewhere online, and other people have commented with solutions or fixes. What, you want a link to Google too? Okay, here you go.