Bit of Deja Vu here -- Windows 95 which essentially was a considerable GUI change from Windows 3.11 didn't have a Menu or even a "Program Manager" and I can't remember too many people having issues with it -- although the later versions of Windows 98 (Windows 98 SE) were quite well regarded Windows 95 wasn't thought of in any way at all as being a disaster.
HA! dont understant what all the start button fuss is about, bought my first windows computer in 1996 win3.1,using win8 now nd liking it since August ,we bought a I-pad 4 last night ,don't need to know where the start button is ,found that ,I need to know where the FFing stop button is!!!,who the fugg designed that device ,lol
and to your 21 year old friend ,im 60 and i don't need icons on my phone ,i just need a dial tone .lol
What's a PHONE !!! I thought all these tiny devices with small screens on them were mini tablets -- don't tell me people actually make PHONE CALLS these days !!!
Anyway I still have a set of Ships message / communication flags at home --those always work and aren't dependent on external power of any sort. !!! They don't depend on any OS and only require as hardware a stout pole and a piece of Rope -- no "OS updating" or "rooting" required either. No subscriptions payable either -- and even "The Cloud" can't get in the way unless the weather becomes incredibly foggy.
Maritime Signal Flags
Cool ,on E-bay getting me a set of flags as we speak ,i mean wave a flag !
Just a couple of comments, then I'll move on to my current opinion of 8.1;
I'm 3 days older than black pepper, so I still consider a phone to be for talking.
I was a "Wing Wiper", so I never learned to use Maritime signalling, but I do "speak phonetically".
I find myself amused by young people who think the abbreviations they use when they text are their invention. I was using them in the 70s and they were hardly new then. We in the Military picked them up from HAM Radio operators.
I too am disappointed that the Start Button doesn't open a Start Menu, but I can live with or without it. I've actually become accustomed to the Start Screen, which seems better under 8.1. I like having two separate screens, with my picks on one of them and everything on the other. It seems easier to me than the All Apps option, which is still there if you need or want it. I like the inclusion of "Shut Down" when you right click on it though.
My cheap, discontinued USB Bluetooth adapter doesn't work under 8.1 though it worked just fine under 8. I jumped through several hoops a couple of days ago trying to make it work, but it just won't happen. "Settings" opens, then dies leaving me no way to configure any connections, etc. This is no big deal since Bluetooth is not mission critical, but I would like to see it work if only as a convenience now and then. We have some new hardware showing up in a few days. I'll try it again in case it's an issue with the older hardware I have on my desk right now.
I was glad to see the Enterprise version offered for download. I have the ISO, but haven't applied it anywhere yet. I'll probably start with it on a laptop, then again on our new hardware that's coming. I ordered a WD WTG Certified USB Drive this morning from NewEgg (shameless plug; 49.99 if you use the promo code in the eBlast newsletter) so I'll be tinkering with Windows To Go as well. I'm chomping at the bit to start showing that off to some people who could really use it.
I won't say the performance is better under 8.1 than it was under 8, but it certainly handles its resources well. I've taking to loading my Windows box much more than I used to and it has yet to "break a sweat" with anything I've thrown at it. My hardware is rather old and limited in how much I can upgrade. I'm looking forward to the new boxen coming in so I can put it through its paces on new hardware.
The new look of File Explorer I can take or leave, though I will say I appreciate the name change. Maybe it will be easier for end users to understand the difference when you try to get them to open a folder rather than a web page.
I'm still learning my way around (I intend to know it intimately before I'm done) and I still have a few apps to test with it, but overall I'm very happy with 8 / 8.1 and look forward to deploying it some day for our users.
That's my opinion, as complete as I can give it.
I've posted elsewhere but the Navigation in Enterprise is a bit stupid.
The START screen shows the Metro tiles just like W8 - but APPS are shown on a second screen accessed via the DOWN arrow on the Start screen. Fortunately you can at least navigate back to the desktop directly without needing to use the UP arrow to get back to the start screen first.
It would be more useful to show the APPS screen FIRST - especially on the Enterprise version which is what I'm using.
OK they are pinnable to the start but what a dogs dinner of a mess --it means EVEN MORE WORK after installing any proper desktop type application.