Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 first look: Finally, Windows the way you want

  1. #1

    Windows 8.1 first look: Finally, Windows the way you want


    With Windows 8.1 Microsoft finally recognizes that a big portion of the world actively dislikes the new "Modern" interface and Start screen, and lets people downplay it, bypass it, or make it work the way they like. It doesn't solve the basic problem of Windows 8 having dueling interfaces -- one for touch and tablets, and another for the desktop and mouse and keyboard -- but it gives desktop fans enough options to make the operating system much better to use.
    Big changes include the ability to go directly to the desktop when you sign in, and a whole host of Start screen customizations that make it more useful for those who primarily use the desktop. There's also now a not-particularly useful Start button that doesn't come close to having the features offered by the old school Start button you've come to love in earlier Windows versions.
    If you're like me, what you care about most about is the go-to-desktop option, and changes that make the Start screen easier to use. You would expect that you'd get to those changes from the Start screen somewhere...but if you expected that, you'd be wrong. Instead, head to the desktop, right-click the taskbar and select Properties to get to the Taskbar and Navigation properties screen. There's a new tab here called Navigation. This is essentially command central for the new features for customizing the Start screen and booting to the desktop. It's got two sections: Core navigation and Start screen.

    The bottom line
    Windows 8.1 is far more configurable than Windows 8, and those who primarily use the desktop will be especially pleased to be able to go directly to it when they sign in. Also useful are the new features for customizing the Start screen, particularly for using it as an app launcher. This new version of Windows 8 isn't perfect, but this newfound power to tweak and customize makes it a far better operating system than the one that shipped.
    Note: I'll have a more in-depth look at Windows 8.1 on Computerworld in several days.
    Windows 8.1 first look: Finally, Windows the way you want it | Computerworld Blogs

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  2. #2


    Posts : 142
    Win 7 Pro x64


    Its no where close to what I want.
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  3. #3


    It's not that bad, but could be far better if they listened what consumers say !
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  4. #4


    South Coast NSW, Australia
    Posts : 615
    Windows 8.1 'Ultimate' RTM 64 bit (Pro/WMC).


    Quote Originally Posted by acr731 View Post
    Its no where close to what I want.

    Me, either.


    Wenda.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    I will take a pass on 8.1 thanks.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 902
    Win8.1 Pro, Desktop Mode


    Quote Originally Posted by DooRules View Post
    I will take a pass on 8.1 thanks.
    Same here. If it had eliminated the need for a 3rd party addon to achieve the normal desktop experience, as we had demanded, it would be a different story, but alas.

    At some point, ms will have to understand that the desktop community is a mature community and will not be bullied. Perhaps a second consecutive massive flop will help them figure it out....
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  7. #7


    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    Since this preview is too fresh and I've had some driver issues with it, I'll go back to 8.0 the next days.

    I'll probably keep it as a VM but no real benefits to that as well.
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  8. #8


    I liked Files History feature very much. Very useful indeed !

    Click image for larger version



    Since this preview is too fresh and I've had some driver issues with it, I'll go back to 8.0 the next days.

    I'll probably keep it as a VM but no real benefits to that as well.
    I'll keep it dual booting along with Windows 8, but won't use it that much.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by vrosa View Post
    I liked Files History feature very much. Very useful indeed !

    Click image for larger version



    Since this preview is too fresh and I've had some driver issues with it, I'll go back to 8.0 the next days.

    I'll probably keep it as a VM but no real benefits to that as well.
    I'll keep it dual booting along with Windows 8, but won't use it that much.

    Yeah, between the drivers I needed to reinstall the sound (there was no bass anymore). VirtualBox networking had some weird driver warnings: Windows 8.1 and VirtualBox
    I was worried about the stability a bit.

    But I've already restored. Took just 10 minutes.

    You can keep it if you have spare disk space... to me both OSes look the same. I like the new start screen customization, the button (don't like the hover stuff from 8.0) but I needed the Win7 file recovery back, I still need to get used to the new backup system.

    Overall the preview worked fine. New stuff works, old stuff works. There was no cloud issues and I was using a local account, libraries still exist (just need to be enabled for those interested).
    All programs and apps were still working, no compatibility issues: old DirectPlay needed to be enabled (as a feature) but Dune2000 (from 1997) still runs fine on the preview so now I'm waiting for the final release.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Wenda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by acr731 View Post
    Its no where close to what I want.

    Me, either.


    Wenda.
    Add me to that list. It's not what I want, it's marginally better in some areas.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8.1 first look: Finally, Windows the way you want
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