Here's the pros of 8/8.1, based on what I actually care about and use: -
8/8.1 Pros: -
Faster startup and shutdown. My PC starts up in a few seconds and literally shuts down in 1 second. It uses a hybrid shut down by default, which is kinda of a mix of a regular shut down and sleep mode, plus the boot up process has been optimised. The difference is noticeable.
Increased security. Windows Defender is baked into the system and doesn't seem to have much impact on performance. There have also been some other tweaks to security to tighten it up.
Metro apps and live tiles. I know a lot of people don't like this stuff, but to me it's easy to ignore if you don't want to use it. Even though I'm running 8.1 and could boot to the desktop, I don't, because I have live tiles that show me calendar events, the weather forecast etc. and I see those as soon as my PC is turned on, before I get into the desktop where I spend 90+% of my time. It's also handy if you have a Windows 8/8.1 tablet or laptop, as you can log into those with your MS account and use all of your Metro apps. Some apps have notifications, which can be really handy, say, if you're a big eBay user as you can set it to pop up a notification when an item sells, when someone has paid etc.
Better syncing across devices. You can use SkyDrive to sync all kinds of things, including your apps, start screen layout, passwords, other PC settings etc.
SkyDrive is baked into the system on 8.1. I think this could still be improved and those who don't use SkyDrive may see it as a con that it's baked in, but you get 7GB of free space to store files and it's easy to use, so I see it as a pro.
Search in 8.1 Again, I know some people see this is a con, but I really like it. If I search for "public enemy" for example, I get results of files on my PC, categorised into files, music, photos etc., but I also get web search results including videos from various sites. If I click on the list of web videos then type in a new search term, it will show me web-based videos for that new search term. It also integrates your contacts if you've linked your Facebook, Twitter etc. accounts, so if I search for "dave", for example, my friend Dave's Facebook account appears in the results and I can post direct to his timeline from there, I can click "View Map" to see a map of his location etc.
Task Manager is much improved, shows more info than it used to and in a better way, and it also has new capabilities such as being able to see a list of start-up items and disable them - something you used to do with MSConfig or via the registry in 7.
To me, even if you're the kind of person that thinks "bring the Start menu back!!!" I would still go with 8 over 7, because you can easily install a third party app and then you've basically got Windows 7, but better. That said, if you are perfectly happy with Windows 7, there are not any hugely compelling reasons to upgrade.
The only tip I would give you is that whether you use 8 or 8.1, if you right-click in the bottom left corner of the screen, you get a "power menu" with a list of things on it, including Control Panel, Command Prompt, Device Manager etc. In 8.1, that also includes an entry that quickly allows you to shut down, log off etc. Some people do miss that because there isn't any hints that it actually exists, but it's very useful.
8.1 does go some way to fixing that. There are a few bundled apps with 8.1, but after initially installing it and removing the tiles/apps you don't want, from there it's a lot better than 8 because you manually choose to add new tiles via the All Apps screen, rather them being added by default when you install a new program. That's much better IMO, because some programs would add several new tiles in Windows 8, then you'd immediately remove either most of them or all of them.Originally Posted by Wynona