I gave up on the standard version of Windows 8.1 -- however the Enterprise version seems to have fixed a number of niggling issues -- can't remember exactly what they all were but I gave up (and that was with a CLEAN install from the TechNet ISO PRO version).
The Enterprise version seems (so far) to be a much better experience now -- There is obviously some difference between the PRO version and the ENTERPRISE version. Enterprise also seems much snappier all ways around and I don't have nearly as much trouble having multiple languages for both WINDOWS itself and OFFICE as the W8.1 PRO version gave.
I'm still running OFFICE 2010 on 8.1 Enterprise and that works. (Incidentally Classic Windows 7 Games work as well !! I prefer the old Spider Solitaire, Hearts etc etc than the store new ones).
With Enterprise though there's some fiddling around before the Store works properly -- but I don't give a monkey's toss about the store anyway -- I haven't needed it in any case. To activate though get into Cmd mode (administrator) and run SLUI 3 and then at the popup choose Change product number -- then enter the Serial number. Product will activate and then normal updates etc will work.
I never really understood that? The TechNet version doesn't ask for a product code during install and you have to jump though hoops to enter your TechNet product code to activate it?
There is no Media Center in Enterprise and no way to add it. That won't matter to most but I thought I'd mention it before someone asks. I do believe enterprise has all the other features you'd find in Pro though, plus a few more.
You DON'T Have to activate the product unless you need to install specific updates from Microsoft. The same method of Activation is used in the Standard version of W8 Enterprise too.
The reason for this is that the ISO is standard for all users who download the product - but the keys are UNIQUE to the individual subscriber who downloads the product - and Ms can keep tables on where and how the keys are used since the Enterprise versions are Multiple Activation.
Also it enables some testing to be performed - so one can "try" to see if it's worth buying. I have a gripe with the standard Windows 8 in that you don't get a reasonable trial -- Windows 7 allowed 30 days before activation so you could perform quite a few changes to your hardware and do some configuration testing and activate after you had it all set up as you wanted to.
As for Media center -- who really wants or needs it -- what's wrong with things like (FREE) VLC and other multi-media programs.
(Actually the START button does exactly "what it says on the tin" -- Launches the START SCREEN. People should have asked for what they really wanted -- a MENU system !!! so be careful what you ask for -- the request might be answered in a different way to what you were expecting !!).
Exactly. The last thing wanted is something to launch into the despised Metro. The oligophrenic squares are what many are trying to avoid.
A 21 yr old girl with an 8 machine said to me "It is very annoying. I don't want apps on my laptop, that is what my phone is for."
She has recently finished University. She is not stupid or uneducated, maybe that has something to do with it. She could not return the machine as it was a gift.
The other 3 people I know who had win 8 machines have got rid of them.
A button to take them into those ghastly squares would have annoyed them even more, ( if that is possible).
Last time I checked, a phone is for talking, a.k.a. the telephone....A 21 yr old girl with an 8 machine said to me "It is very annoying. I don't want apps on my laptop, that is what my phone is for." ... She has recently finished University ...
It is a deliberate and cynical move. MS deserve a bloody nose for it.