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Why I love today’s Windows 8.1 Update


Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,788
#1
Last week we heard from Brandon LeBlanc about the new Windows 8.1 Update. In his post, he gives details on the update that offers refinements to the current Windows 8.1 experience. I’m happy to let you know that the update is beginning to roll out to customers worldwide today via Windows Update. The rollout will take a few weeks to get to everybody, so you might not see it right away. If you have automatic updates turned on, you’ll get it automatically. I’ve been using the Windows 8.1 Update for a few weeks now, and I wanted to share some of my impressions of it.

Here’s my deal: I have a Surface, a Lenovo ThinkPad Twist touch laptop, and an HP desktop PC that I have hooked up to two monitors, a mouse, and a keyboard. I affectionately refer to the HP as my “Big Ol’ Desktop.”

Before you start judging me as someone with too many devices, let me say: you can never have too many devices. Even before I worked at Microsoft, I had a reputation for having multiple devices and possibly being a little bit obsessed with them. I love and use all of them, and I have them all connected to OneDrive and my Microsoft account, so it’s easy to switch from writing a document on my Big Ol’ Desktop to editing that same document on my laptop without sticking it on a flash drive or emailing it to myself. (I remember back when I was in school, I’d burn an ENTIRE CD just so I could bring a paper from one computer to another.)

But the convenience of OneDrive and access to all my stuff from anywhere was already around before today’s update (though it used to be called SkyDrive).

The main reason I love the Windows 8.1 Update is that now, Windows responds to what kind of device and what kind of input method I’m using in order to make things as convenient and easy as they can be. Let me explain further:


If I’m using a mouse, Windows optimizes for a mouse

One of the first things I noticed with the update is that when I’m on my mouse-and-keyboard desktop PC, there are now more familiar mouse controls that show up to make it faster for me to get around. When I open up an app, if Windows detects that I’m using a mouse, it’ll show me a title bar with familiar-looking minimize and close buttons.



Also, if I right-click something on the Start screen with my mouse, it’ll show me a menu right next to my mouse pointer instead of the more touch-friendly app controls at the bottom of the screen.




If I’m using touch, it shows me touch options


One of my machines is a laptop with a touch screen—so sometimes I use the touch screen, and sometimes I only interact with the keyboard and a wireless mouse.

With the latest update, Windows now switches seamlessly to show me the controls that are most useful for how I’m interacting with my PC. If I press and hold something on the Start screen instead of right-clicking it to select it, the app commands at the bottom of the screen, which are big and easy to touch, pop up instead of the mouse-friendly but not finger-friendly right-click menus.



And all the same great gestures that I’ve gotten used to using with my Surface and touch laptop still work just like they always did. It’s nice to be able to choose and experience the best of both worlds.


Less separation between the desktop and Start

Now all the apps show up on the taskbar on the desktop, and you can pin apps from the Windows Store to the taskbar in addition to desktop apps. When you’re using a mouse, you can also point to the bottom edge of the screen to bring up the taskbar from wherever you are in your PC—from within an app like Mail or the Windows Store, from the Apps view, or from the Start screen. It’s no longer just a thing of the desktop. I’ve found this makes it especially easy to switch between apps and to launch apps I use often without leaving where I already am.



The Windows 8.1 Update doesn’t change any of the things I’ve already learned how to do with Windows 8.1, but it adds a few new options that make it more personal—so I can do things in a way that fits the kind of device I’m using, and fits the kind of thing I’m trying to get done.

If you’re wondering when the update will be available to you, you can check to see if it’s available for you in Windows Update. If it is, you can install it right from there. Remember that because it’s a rolling update, it won’t be available for everyone right away. Also remember that if you have automatic updates turned on, you’ll get the update without needing to do anything. You can check to see if there’s a search button near your account name on the Start screen—if so, you’ve got the latest update!



To read more about the Windows 8.1 Update, check out What's new in Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update?

For any support-related questions, be sure to post in the Windows forum where there will be folks who’ll be able to help troubleshoot any issues or answer any specific questions.

Thanks, and enjoy!
More...
 

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sygnus21

Member
VIP Member
Power User
USA

Posts
670
#2
I'm not really seeing a whole lot of difference between 8.1 and this latest update except for the added convenience of having an X to close out apps and the shutdown switch next to your user profile, now making the OS more "mouse friendly"

Yeah there's also the added capability of adding apps to the taskbar but... Don't get me wrong, like the update and looked forward to it, just thought I'd see major differences. Those moving from 8 to this update would see a major change, but for those of us already having 8.1... not so much.

Maybe I'm missing something.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
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    Custom built by me
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    Haswell i7-4770K
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    Gigabyte G1 Sniper 5 (BIOS F9)
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    Corsair Dominator Platinum 32 gig (1866MHz)
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    Soundblaster ZXR
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alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
Guru
Gold Member
#3
Minor tweaks really, compared to the 8.0 to 8.1 upgrade. I'm happy with what they did.
 

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    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
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    Asus
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    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
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    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
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    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
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    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
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    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
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    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
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sygnus21

Member
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Power User
USA

Posts
670
#4
Understand. And I like what they did as well, just thought I'd see more of a visual difference.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built by me
    CPU
    Haswell i7-4770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte G1 Sniper 5 (BIOS F9)
    Memory
    Corsair Dominator Platinum 32 gig (1866MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire R9-280 Vapor X
    Sound Card
    Soundblaster ZXR
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC PA242W - 24 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 512gig 850 Pro SSD (OS), Samsung 256gig 840 Pro SSD (photo editing), Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB HD
    PSU
    EVGA Supernova 1000 G2
    Case
    Cooler Master HAF X
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    Corsair H100i Closed Loop Cooler
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    Logitech Wireless Wave
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    Logitech Performance MX
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    RAM Speed: 1866MHZ @ 9-10-10-27-2T, 1.5v

Phone Man

Retired Bell Head
VIP Member
Pro User
Covington, La

Posts
1,177
#5
From what I understand this Update contains all the updates from the release of 8.1 through Feb. So it will make it easier in the future to install 8.1.

Jim :cool:
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7 HP 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64BIT
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    ASUS - Home Built
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    ASUS M5A99X EVO
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    Seasonic X650 80 Plus GOLD Modular
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    Antec Kuhler H2O 620, Two 120mm and four 140mm
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    Logitech Marble Mouse USB, Logitech Precision Game Pad
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    15MB
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    NIS, Malwarebytes Premium 2
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    APC UPS ES 750, Netgear WNR3500L Gigabit & Wireless N Router with SamKnows Test Program,
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sygnus21

Member
VIP Member
Power User
USA

Posts
670
#6
It's a bit more than that since it also adds features not found in any of the previous updates.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
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    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built by me
    CPU
    Haswell i7-4770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte G1 Sniper 5 (BIOS F9)
    Memory
    Corsair Dominator Platinum 32 gig (1866MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire R9-280 Vapor X
    Sound Card
    Soundblaster ZXR
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC PA242W - 24 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 512gig 850 Pro SSD (OS), Samsung 256gig 840 Pro SSD (photo editing), Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB HD
    PSU
    EVGA Supernova 1000 G2
    Case
    Cooler Master HAF X
    Cooling
    Corsair H100i Closed Loop Cooler
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech Performance MX
    Internet Speed
    High Speed
    Browser
    IE11
    Antivirus
    Norton Security
    Other Info
    RAM Speed: 1866MHZ @ 9-10-10-27-2T, 1.5v

HippsieGypsie

It's Gururrrrrr8!
Lilymoor, IL

Posts
13,547
#7
Of course I'm all for security updates and other tweaks, but so far as the UI? Well, they stuck a pacifier in the kid's mouth to stop it from crying so far as I'm concerned. Geez.

Anyone know how to turn the taskbar off on the Start Screen? I looked in properties and saw nothing.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    8.1 Pro X64
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    Acer T690
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    Intel Pentium D Dual Core
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    Acer/Intel E946GZ
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    2GB (max upgrade)
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    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3000 - PCI Express x16
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    Integrated RealTek ALC888 high-definition audio with 7.1 channel audio support
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    Acer AL1917W A LCD
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    350 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10
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    Standard 250 watt
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    Desktop 7.2" (183mm) W x 17.5" (445mm) L x 14.5"
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    Dual case fans + CPU fan
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Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,788
#8

My Computer

System One

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    Custom self built
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    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech MX Master
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    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
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    Internet Explorer 11
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    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
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    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

antspants

I'm on a Horse ...
Pro User
#9
Hippsie I am getting annoyed that I dont see what you do. I know Ive updated, its just not showing any of that. Maybe Ill try uninstalling stardock and see if all that shows. Like I mentioned, literally the only change for me was the store icon on desktop taskbar

EDIT

Ahhh brink to the rescue :) I'll have a look
 

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System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
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    PC/Desktop
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    0i812
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    Intel Core i7 4770K LGA1150
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    Asus Maximus VI Formula
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    Corsair 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 1866MH
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    2 x Crappy GeForce GT 640 2GB DDR3
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    I haz lollies ..
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    2 x LG / 2 x Samsung 21 Inch
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    Crispy
    Hard Drives
    2 x Samsung 250GB SSD 840 EVO (OS / Other)
    1 x Kingston 120G HyperX SSD (Swap)
    3 x Seagate SATA III 2TB Barracuda (Data Drives)
    1 x Seagate SATA III 1TB Barracuda (Media to XBox)
    1 x W/Digital SATA II 300G VelociRaptor (Image)
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    Silverstone 1500w
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    NZXT Phantom 820 White Full Tower
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    Noctua NH-D14
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    Logitech G19
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    ADSL 2+ (Australian version ... lol)
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    All of them
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    Nortons IS
    Other Info
    This one time at band camp ...

HippsieGypsie

It's Gururrrrrr8!
Lilymoor, IL

Posts
13,547
#10
Thank you, Shawn! I'm on it.

You sure are one rootin' tootin' tutor. Sure can crank these tutorials out! :thumb:
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    8.1 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer T690
    CPU
    Intel Pentium D Dual Core
    Motherboard
    Acer/Intel E946GZ
    Memory
    2GB (max upgrade)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3000 - PCI Express x16
    Sound Card
    Integrated RealTek ALC888 high-definition audio with 7.1 channel audio support
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer AL1917W A LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1440 X 900
    Hard Drives
    350 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10
    Thumb drives
    PSU
    Standard 250 watt
    Case
    Desktop 7.2" (183mm) W x 17.5" (445mm) L x 14.5"
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    Dual case fans + CPU fan
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    Acer Windows PS/2
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    Wireless Microsoft Arc
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    54mbp/s
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    Office Pro 2013 / Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows Phone 8.1DP GDR1

antspants

I'm on a Horse ...
Pro User
#11
Thank you, Shawn! I'm on it.

You sure are one rootin' tootin' tutor. Sure can crank these tutorials out! :thumb:
I have a feeling Shawn was a cpu in a past life, probably an i7. Either that or he is the love child of a CPU and a word processor, he is in the next Avengers :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
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    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    0i812
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 4770K LGA1150
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    Corsair 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 1866MH
    Graphics Card(s)
    2 x Crappy GeForce GT 640 2GB DDR3
    Sound Card
    I haz lollies ..
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x LG / 2 x Samsung 21 Inch
    Screen Resolution
    Crispy
    Hard Drives
    2 x Samsung 250GB SSD 840 EVO (OS / Other)
    1 x Kingston 120G HyperX SSD (Swap)
    3 x Seagate SATA III 2TB Barracuda (Data Drives)
    1 x Seagate SATA III 1TB Barracuda (Media to XBox)
    1 x W/Digital SATA II 300G VelociRaptor (Image)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500w
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 White Full Tower
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D14
    Keyboard
    Logitech G19
    Mouse
    Logitech G700 / Logitech T650 Touchpad Thingy
    Internet Speed
    ADSL 2+ (Australian version ... lol)
    Browser
    All of them
    Antivirus
    Nortons IS
    Other Info
    This one time at band camp ...

nicosxm

New Member
Posts
3
#12
Hi all, since I updated today my windows 8.1 with update KB2919355 I notice(never before) taskhost.exe using over 13% of my CPU even when my PC is Idle.....what is this and why is it burning so much CPU usage....????...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS

HippsieGypsie

It's Gururrrrrr8!
Lilymoor, IL

Posts
13,547
#13

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    8.1 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
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    Acer T690
    CPU
    Intel Pentium D Dual Core
    Motherboard
    Acer/Intel E946GZ
    Memory
    2GB (max upgrade)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3000 - PCI Express x16
    Sound Card
    Integrated RealTek ALC888 high-definition audio with 7.1 channel audio support
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer AL1917W A LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1440 X 900
    Hard Drives
    350 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10
    Thumb drives
    PSU
    Standard 250 watt
    Case
    Desktop 7.2" (183mm) W x 17.5" (445mm) L x 14.5"
    Cooling
    Dual case fans + CPU fan
    Keyboard
    Acer Windows PS/2
    Mouse
    Wireless Microsoft Arc
    Internet Speed
    54mbp/s
    Browser
    IE11
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Office Pro 2013 / Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows Phone 8.1DP GDR1

Wenda

Member
Power User
#14
Well, after taking nearly two hours and nearly 10% of my monthly quota to d/l and install, it's up and running, and apparently without any major problems. The install was painless, if slow.

So far, there's nothing I dislike, it's the same to use and to look at as the early 8.1.1 leak I tested, but with the taskbar--in-Metro working. And when you un-pin the Store from the taskbar, it stays un-pinned upon rebooting, unlike the preview.

Two issues, neither of which are major...

*The new Power option in the Start screen. Why not put it in All Apps as well, as many (myself included) use All Apps almost exclusively, and not the SS?

*It has caused my Tor browser to display as an out-of-date version (it's not, I checked, so should be OK).

Now, I'm off to take a system image, and have a bit of a look around the OS.

TTFN. :geek::)



Wenda.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 'Ultimate' RTM 64 bit (Pro/WMC).
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    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer AS8951G 'Desktop Replacement'.
    CPU
    [email protected]/3.1Ghz.
    Motherboard
    Acer
    Memory
    [email protected]
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GT555M 2GB DDR3
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD w/Dolby 5.1 surround.
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built-in. Non-touch.
    Screen Resolution
    18/4" 1920x1080 full-HD.
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 750GBx2 internal. 1x2TB, 2x640GB, 1x500GB external.
    PSU
    Stock.
    Case
    Laptop.
    Cooling
    Stock.
    Keyboard
    Full 101-key
    Mouse
    USB cordless.
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    IE11, Firefox, Tor.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, MalwareBytes Pro.
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    BD-ROM drive.

Superfly

Developer
VIP Member
Guru
Cape Town

Posts
1,098
#15
Not sure if this link has been posted before... but I have found it quite enlightening, thus thought I'd share it...

Read here....
 

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  • OS
    PC-DOS v1.0
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    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    IBM
    CPU
    Intel 8088, 4.77MHz
    Memory
    16K, 640K max
    Graphics Card(s)
    What's that?
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    Not quite
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    80 X 24 text
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    dual 160KB 5.25-inch disk drives

mick823

New Member
Member
Chicago USA

Posts
84
#16
One thing I noticed when using the "X" in the upper right corner to close out a modern app is that the app is still running in the background when you check in the task manager. If I close out an app I would expect it to quit running. Tested with the App Store and Skype.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro 32 bit and 64 bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo and Dell
    CPU
    Intel i3

HippsieGypsie

It's Gururrrrrr8!
Lilymoor, IL

Posts
13,547
#17
One thing I noticed when using the "X" in the upper right corner to close out a modern app is that the app is still running in the background when you check in the task manager. If I close out an app I would expect it to quit running. Tested with the App Store and Skype.

Yes, it's always been that way. They will run full blast for a time then go into suspended mode using less RAM. Alt/F4 or going into Task Manager to kill is the only way to completely close.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    8.1 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer T690
    CPU
    Intel Pentium D Dual Core
    Motherboard
    Acer/Intel E946GZ
    Memory
    2GB (max upgrade)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3000 - PCI Express x16
    Sound Card
    Integrated RealTek ALC888 high-definition audio with 7.1 channel audio support
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer AL1917W A LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1440 X 900
    Hard Drives
    350 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10
    Thumb drives
    PSU
    Standard 250 watt
    Case
    Desktop 7.2" (183mm) W x 17.5" (445mm) L x 14.5"
    Cooling
    Dual case fans + CPU fan
    Keyboard
    Acer Windows PS/2
    Mouse
    Wireless Microsoft Arc
    Internet Speed
    54mbp/s
    Browser
    IE11
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Office Pro 2013 / Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows Phone 8.1DP GDR1
Posts
3
#18
Newbie here. I'm kind of ambivalent about the changes. I never had issues using Windows 8 from the beginning. I never minded Metro. I never missed the start button. I never got it. I use a mouse a lot too. I think the two new buttons are ugliness in a cool design. I did boot into Metro which I wanted to. I pinned one app to my taskbar. That's a good feature. I like the highlighting of new apps that are downloaded. Despise that alphabetic list. Ugly and not helpful. Overall, I think it should appease the people who seemed to be unable to adapt to Windows 8 for some reason. Hopefully, they will all shut up now and I won't have to read any more articles about what a HUGE mistake Microsoft made with Windows 8 because I love it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus S500CA
    CPU
    Intel I5
    Motherboard
    Asus
    Memory
    6 GBx
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel
    Browser
    IE 11
    Antivirus
    Avast

HippsieGypsie

It's Gururrrrrr8!
Lilymoor, IL

Posts
13,547
#19
Newbie here. I'm kind of ambivalent about the changes. I never had issues using Windows 8 from the beginning. I never minded Metro. I never missed the start button. I never got it. I use a mouse a lot too. I think the two new buttons are ugliness in a cool design. I did boot into Metro which I wanted to. I pinned one app to my taskbar. That's a good feature. I like the highlighting of new apps that are downloaded. Despise that alphabetic list. Ugly and not helpful. Overall, I think it should appease the people who seemed to be unable to adapt to Windows 8 for some reason. Hopefully, they will all shut up now and I won't have to read any more articles about what a HUGE mistake Microsoft made with Windows 8 because I love it.

Welcome to Windows Eight Forums.

Right on! I couldn't agree more! :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    8.1 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer T690
    CPU
    Intel Pentium D Dual Core
    Motherboard
    Acer/Intel E946GZ
    Memory
    2GB (max upgrade)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3000 - PCI Express x16
    Sound Card
    Integrated RealTek ALC888 high-definition audio with 7.1 channel audio support
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer AL1917W A LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1440 X 900
    Hard Drives
    350 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10
    Thumb drives
    PSU
    Standard 250 watt
    Case
    Desktop 7.2" (183mm) W x 17.5" (445mm) L x 14.5"
    Cooling
    Dual case fans + CPU fan
    Keyboard
    Acer Windows PS/2
    Mouse
    Wireless Microsoft Arc
    Internet Speed
    54mbp/s
    Browser
    IE11
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Office Pro 2013 / Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows Phone 8.1DP GDR1

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