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Windows 8.1 'Blue' preview: It beats Windows 8

Yesterday at the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Windows dev chief Julie Larson-Green introduced the one-and-only "Milestone Preview" of Windows 8.1 (aka Windows "Blue"), touting its remarkable improvements over the much-maligned Windows 8 and Windows RT.
In the 24 hours since, I've had a chance to kick the Preview's tires a bit and look under the hood, employing the jaundiced eye of a longtime Windows veteran who isn't the least bit impressed with Windows 8's Jekyll-and-Hyde approach. What I see leaves me more convinced than ever that Microsoft is running Windows into the ground.

Here's the good news: Windows 8.1 isn't worse than Windows 8.
If you're forced to use Windows 8 or if you're one of the 1 percent (OK, 5 percent) who actually prefer Win8 over Win7, Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 are shaping up to be must-have updates.

While most of the features in Windows 8.1 should have been in Windows 8, my hat's off to the engineering work done on the update. Microsoft has put together an enormous number of improvements, and it's well on the way to shipping them in less than a year. That has to be the fastest "version 2.0" of a major product in Microsoft history. Plus, it establishes a cadence of annual, substantive updates that Microsoft claims it can maintain.
You can install and run the beta, but it would be wise to understand the limitations first. The final version of Windows 8.1 is widely expected in August or possibly September.
Windows 8.1 'Blue' preview: Well, it beats Windows 8 | Microsoft Windows - InfoWorld
 

labeeman

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The verdict
If anybody at Microsoft really believes that Windows 8.1 will turn the tide of public sentiment against Windows 8, they're sorely mistaken. If Microsoft had the willingness or wherewithal to implement something akin to the Windows Red proposal, both consumers and business users would have more cause to be excited about the next version of Windows. As it stands, Windows 8.1 will rightfully be viewed as another missed opportunity.
That said, if you have Windows 8, by either an error of omission or commission, you should definitely install Windows 8.1 when it's available. Win 8.1 embodies serious benefits on the Metro side, tiny improvements to the Desktop side, and no noticeable downsides to either.

Windows 8.1 'Blue' preview: Well, it beats Windows 8 | Microsoft Windows - InfoWorld
 

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SIW2

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I find it interesting -- disturbing, really -- that one of the two major Desktop improvements is the ability to disable overbearing Windows 8 features.

And another.


Ersatz Start button. In Ballmer's Build keynote, the reemergence of the Start button drew one of the few noncomatose responses from the audience. For the life of me, I don't understand why. Consider this: In Windows 8, if you click or tap in the lower-left corner of the Desktop, you're transported to the Metro Start menu. In Windows 8.1, nothing has changed -- except Win 8.1 has a Start button at the left end of the taskbar (see Figure 6). In Win8 if you right-click on the lower-left corner of the Desktop, you get the power user menu commonly called the WinX menu. In Win8.1, if you right-click in the lower-left corner of the Desktop, you still get the WinX menu.
For this, people actually applauded.
 

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andyparks

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it might do for them that can install it
 

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SIW2

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LOL, Andy, it installs fine from the iso. Don't worry, unless you like playing with kiddie building blocks, you aren't missing much.

For anyone who loves that kind of thing, here you go, for ten bucks, hours of fun:

$T2eC16V,!)!E9s2fB+N5BRV)9kRU3Q~~60_35.JPG

192 Wooden Play or Craft Building Blocks for Crafts or Kids Building New Nice | eBay


Those look a lot better than the stuff in 8.1
 

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andyparks

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do you lose your programs and apps
 

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SIW2

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No, I installed 8.1 onto a separate partition just to have play with it. It is only a preview - will be removed in the not too distant future.

My 8.0 partition is exactly as it was.
 

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Wenda

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Here's the good news: Windows 8.1 isn't worse than Windows 8.

Oh, yes, it is!!

It has most of W8's faults, but magnified and compounded. Plus it has even more added.

The push to the despised 'cloud',and the 'dumbing-down' is even more 'in-your-face'.

And the desktop user is still under the bus.

No, thanks, MS can keep this piece of rubbish. I'm staying on 8.0


Wenda.
 

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acr731

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8.1 beats Win8? LOL.........

Microsoft did very little to address the main issues customers were complaining about. For example there's the "Start" button. You boot into Windows and are taken to the stupid tiles. Click on "desktop" and you will see a start button in the normal place. But here's the shocker.... click on the start button and what happens? It takes you back to the tiles that practically no one likes.

WTF Microsoft??!!??

Win 8.1 spent a total of 10 minutes of uptime on my PC before I restored a Win 7 image. I really wonder if Microsoft did that on purpose just to tick off the people begging for the return of the start button and start menu. What a way to give your potential customers the middle finger.
 

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pparks1

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Yes, I don't think Windows 8 caused the PC slump, but I can certainly say that it didn't help it, or fix it

We have had a slump because
  1. People get by just fine with their smartphones and tablets..they didn't really need a computer but it was the only real way to access the net.
  2. Since people use all kinds of other devices, they have simply held on longer to their desktops and laptops. They haven't had the perceived need to be on something new and more powerful.


As far as the Start Menu goes, I think lots of people simply got confused as to where the tiled screen went when they got onto the desktop. Many don't realize that they can hit the little Windows key on their keyboard to pull up the tiled screen. This is why MS put that start icon back on the desktop as a much more obvious method for getting back out to the tiled screen.

I understand the complaint though, I don't like or use the full screen tile start stuff. I prefer and use a menu. (Start8).
 

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Yes, I don't think Windows 8 caused the PC slump, but I can certainly say that it didn't help it, or fix it

We have had a slump because
  1. People get by just fine with their smartphones and tablets..they didn't really need a computer but it was the only real way to access the net.
  2. Since people use all kinds of other devices, they have simply held on longer to their desktops and laptops. They haven't had the perceived need to be on something new and more powerful.
Oh, no argument here. All I'm saying is looking at the facts that we know we can only infer that something else has been causing the slump in PC sales. What that thing is is probably the fact that most people are brain dead twitter and facebook users, so the smartphones and tablets are sufficient. People can have another opinion. But only brain-dead tech media would blame the slump in PC sales on windows 8, considering that the slump started long before it came out.

And you're right, windows 8 didn't help or fix it. But that's completely different than saying windows 8 is responsible for the slump.
 

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Wenda

Member
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8.1 beats Win8? LOL.........

Microsoft did very little to address the main issues customers were complaining about. For example there's the "Start" button. You boot into Windows and are taken to the stupid tiles. Click on "desktop" and you will see a start button in the normal place. But here's the shocker.... click on the start button and what happens? It takes you back to the tiles that practically no one likes.

WTF Microsoft??!!??

Win 8.1 spent a total of 10 minutes of uptime on my PC before I restored a Win 7 image. I really wonder if Microsoft did that on purpose just to tick off the people begging for the return of the start button and start menu. What a way to give your potential customers the middle finger.


I won't even be giving it that much. I'm staying with W8, now that I've repaired all MS' mistakes it's great. But I'm not prepared to go through the same, and more, to get this 'kiddie's OS' running to my satisfaction.

I've seen enough to know that it's nothing like what it should (and could) have been.

There's simply nothing there for me. As a desktop user who likes to create, not consume, and has no interest in social media or 'cloud computing', it's a waste of time, money (yes, I know it's free, but my time surely isn't) and effort to even bother with it.

At best, it might go into my VM-based OS collection as a curiosity, but it won't be becoming my primary OS. I'll go over to one of my Linux distros first, or else simply stay on Win 7/8. Heck, I'd even go back to Vista in preference... But I have no need or use for such a blatantly net-centric OS. They tried that in W98 with their much-maligned 'integrated desktop'. This is the same rubbish, just dragged into the 21st century, and I want it as much now as I did then, ie, not at all.

Colour me angry, and very disappointed.


Wenda.
 
Last edited:

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vrosa

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I really liked the improvements in the Metro side of the OS, but again I think it's not enough to encourage Metro haters to use it. The new Store and some new apps are cool, but some good old features, like WEI for example, are missing, and it's not clear if those things will be in RTM. The reloaded start menu is a shame. I don't need a stupid button to take to Metro, I already had other ways to go there, and as far as I could research there's no way to disable/remove it.

I know it's far from what we would like to see in that release, but at the end of the day it's not that horrible. Despite all the problems of that build I was able to install all the software that I need to work, except Rocscience RS3 which causes a BSOD due to a SafeNet Hardlock driver (hardlock.sys). Also my Motorola RAZR isn't recognized, but it's a minor issue. Of course I won't be using that build as a production environment, but it's good to know that it is compatible with 95% of the software I need and hopefully RTM will run all of them.
Works:

Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6)
Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 (*1)
Bittorrent 7.8.0
Cacheman 7.60
CCleaner 4.0.3
CorelDRAW Suite X6 (Update 2)
Doro PDF Writer
EVGA PrecisionX 4.2
Filezilla 3.7.1
K-Lite Code Pack 9.9.5
Nero Multimedia Suite 12
Virtual CloneDrive 5.4.1 (*2)
Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate (Preview)
Visual Studio Express 2012
VMWARE Workstation 9.0.2

*1) Must be installed with customized Setup.ini


1. Copy the Media contents to a local drive.
2. Open file setup.ini from the root folder using a text editor.
3 .Search for (without quotes) “[DOTNET4LANG]” and “[DOTNET45LANG]”
4. Add a new line “IGNORE_FAILURE=YES” for them if found. This line can be added anywhere below “EXE_PARAM=”


*2) VCD virtual device driver disappears randomly

:)
:: DRIVERS ISSUES ::

SafeNet Authentication Hardlock Driver - BSOD (hardlock.sys)
Motorola V3 RAZR USB Driver - Installs but doesn't recognize the phone

:redcarded:

Tomorrow I'll test compatibility of a dozen of games, and once it's done I'll forget that until the next release (Preview refresh or RTM).

Vlad.

:)
 

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brummyfan

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Except IE11 nothing in 8.1 impresses me (and the fish), I don't understand the purpose of the start button, will try it for sometime and back to 8.
 

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Lee

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. . .it's a beta (I know Consumer Review).:orb:
 

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Mustang

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I'm staying with W8, now that I've repaired all MS' mistakes it's great. But I'm not prepared to go through the same, and more, to get this 'kiddie's OS' running to my satisfaction.

There's simply nothing there for me. As a desktop user who likes to create, not consume, and has no interest in social media or 'cloud computing', it's a waste of time, money (yes, I know it's free, but my time surely isn't) and effort to even bother with it.

Colour me angry, and very disappointed.


Wenda.
:thumb: :ditto:

How did the McCain pizza ad go? "Good on you McCain ... you've done it again!"

I'll transliterate that to read: "Good on you Wenda ... you've done it again!" ... in voicing my mind re W8.1. :redcarded:

Is it true M$ are "salting the mine = market" by funding thousands of purchasers to buy W8 to up their shares! Just asking!
:roflmao:
 

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Mustang

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pcRat

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eNuff about that start button. We pretty much knew it was going to be a Start Screen Shortcut :orb: which Brink has made available from here "Start" Screen Shortcut - Create in Windows 8 since day 1.

The one aggravating factor about 98, XP, Vista & 7 was after logging in to the desktop and programs are loading. Being in a hurry and familiar with what I needed from start menu. I would click the start button, the menu would pop out and before I could click an item on the menu, a program finished loading and the menu disappeared.
That has not happened in 8 because we log into the start menu and it opens on the desktop. (Unless it is a Modern App)

Why is nobody commenting about the new tile controls that are suppose to be available in 8.1 ?

Why is nobody commenting about the new split portion sizes and multiple windows on the Modern side ?
 

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labeeman

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Why is nobody commenting about the new tile controls that are suppose to be available in 8.1 ?

Why is nobody commenting about the new split portion sizes and multiple windows on the Modern side ?

Might be because not many like the Metro side of Window 8.
 

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