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Reconciling 2 Worlds With Windows 8.1

  1. #1

    Reconciling 2 Worlds With Windows 8.1


    Just about one year ago, Microsoft gave us two new operating systems.

    One was a new version of Windows: the one for use with mouse and keyboard, the one whose desktop at this moment lights up hundreds of millions of screens, the one with a software library of four million programs.
    The other was a new operating system for tablets. It was modeled on Microsoft’s lovely tiled Home screen for Windows Phones: colorful, clear, elegant, filled with fluid touch gestures. You can’t run Photoshop or iTunes or Quicken on it; this new system requires a whole new type of app. Since Microsoft doesn’t have a name for this OS (it abandoned the names Metro and Modern), I call it TileWorld. All of this might have been fine, except for one tragic miscalculation: Microsoft mashed these two new operating systems together into something called Windows 8.

    Now you have two Web browsers to learn. Two completely different Help systems. Two (actually three) control panels. Two kinds of programs: the traditional ones, which have menus and overlapping windows, and TileWorld apps, which don’t have either of those things.

    Reviewers and PC fans gave Microsoft quite a swat on the nose. PC World wrote that Windows 8 is “not worthwhile” for desktop computer users. PC Magazine: “Too drastic for some.” InformationWeek: “A big flop. Its Frankenstein interface combines two fundamentally incompatible operating systems.”
    PC sales plunged 14 percent in the months after Windows 8’s release. The executive who masterminded Windows 8 abruptly left the company.

    Microsoft, licking its wounds, spent a year trying to fix Windows 8. On Thursday, you can download the result: Windows 8.1. It’s free to anyone who already has Windows 8, and it will come preinstalled on new computers. Full disclosure: I have written a how-to book on Windows 8 and will be updating it for Windows 8.1.

    The changes to TileWorld are nearly endless — and terrific. The anemic, pared-down starter apps, like Photos and Mail, have matured. Now you can edit photos in Photos (not just look at them) and drag e-mail messages into folders. The muddled Music app has been redesigned, smartly and handsomely. A suite of utility programs is there now, right where they should have been the first time around: Alarms, Calculator and Sound Recorder. There are also all-new apps, too, like Food and Drink, Health and Fitness and Reading List. It lets you save Web pages, e-mail messages and Twitter posts for use when you have no Internet connection.

    You have more options to tailor your desktop, Start screen and Lock screen in Windows 8.1. For example, you can make your Lock screen a slide show, so that your tablet is a photo frame whenever you’re not working.
    There's a good video here as well:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/te...anted=all&_r=0

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  2. #2


    Posts : 902
    Win8.1 Pro, Desktop Mode


    I suppose I will give it a try... primarily to see if it is in any way usable, without having to resort to a third party start menu. I'm not hopeful, but I will give it a try.(this despite having previously made up my mind not to...)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 86
    Windows 8.1 Pro & OS X Mavericks


    Quote Originally Posted by Rickkins View Post
    I suppose I will give it a try... primarily to see if it is in any way usable, without having to resort to a third party start menu. I'm not hopeful, but I will give it a try.(this despite having previously made up my mind not to...)
    When I installed Windows 8.1, I just could not stand not having the Start Menu on the desktop. It feels so awkward. I immediately installed Start 8 and all feels great again. Seriously why do I want a full screen start menu when I can have a smaller one that also links to my important folders. Microsoft is a joke. I still don't get why they can't implement the old start menu back. Or at least give me a choice to pick which menu I want on the desktop.
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  4. #4


    Give me a call when "TileWorld" will run things like SQL Developer, TOAD, Stat, PeopleSoft Application Designer, UltraEdit, Autosys, Control-M and several other software development tools simultaneously in a multi, overlapping window environment.

    -jeff
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  5. #5


    USA
    Posts : 689
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    As one who's been using Windows 8, and now 8.1, and gotten use to things, I have to agree with this....

    The more you work with Windows 8, the more screamingly obvious the solution becomes: Split it up. Offer regular Windows on regular computers, offer TileWorld on tablets. That way, everyone has to learn only one operating system, and each operating system is suited to its task.
    Yeah Microsoft could have been a bit more attentive to desktop users here; and even though I've got my machine to boot to desktop mode, I'm am constantly jumping between worlds for my daily usage, (even with quite a few items pinned to the taskbar); but... if you think about it, weren't you doing that anyway via the "traditional" start menu?

    But yeah, a totally dedicated desktop with a traditional start menu would have been a welcomed update for desktop users, even if it linked to tileworld.

    My two cents.
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  6. #6


    hope it will patch up all the bad spots caused by its previous version and i am set to add another .1 to 8
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  7. #7


    Delaware, USA
    Posts : 79
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, Windows XP Pro 32-bit, Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
    As one who's been using Windows 8, and now 8.1, and gotten use to things, I have to agree with this....

    The more you work with Windows 8, the more screamingly obvious the solution becomes: Split it up. Offer regular Windows on regular computers, offer TileWorld on tablets. That way, everyone has to learn only one operating system, and each operating system is suited to its task.
    Yeah Microsoft could have been a bit more attentive to desktop users here; and even though I've got my machine to boot to desktop mode, I'm am constantly jumping between worlds for my daily usage, (even with quite a few items pinned to the taskbar); but... if you think about it, weren't you doing that anyway via the "traditional" start menu?

    But yeah, a totally dedicated desktop with a traditional start menu would have been a welcomed update for desktop users, even if it linked to tileworld.

    My two cents.
    My own two cents:

    The more I worked with 8.0, and now with 8.1, the more I feel at home. Sure, there are features I don't use, but as I progressively bring the ones I do "front and center", the better it feels.

    It's true, the new Start Button doesn't behave the same way our beloved button did in Win 7/XP/95, but, as before, it brings us to a list of programs, utilities, and functions. How much you customize the Start Page is up to you, but I have mine organized so that similar things are grouped together (such as, all my imaging programs in one set of columns). Now, with 8.1, there is an easy-to-find down-arrow that simply brings up a mass list of all installed programs, if I want it, but the most commonly-used ones are already in the columns, and labeled by grouping. So in my mind, what I've got now is WAY more functional than the old start button ever really was. Add to that the ability to have it overlay your desktop background, instead of a blank blue screen (the option directly underneath the boot-to-desktop one, in Taskbar & Navigation), and suddenly you're feeling like you really have something the way you've always wanted it.

    Top that off with the fact that the new upgrade seems to run smoother, faster, and with fewer glitches.... I for one am lovin' life!
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  8. #8


    USA, Idaho
    Posts : 1,062
    Win 8, (VM win7, XP, Vista)


    Sure hope this is not one of those. . ."Where we go again. . .
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  9. #9


    USA
    Posts : 689
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by DJRoff View Post
    So in my mind, what I've got now is WAY more functional than the old start button ever really was. Add to that the ability to have it overlay your desktop background, instead of a blank blue screen, and suddenly you're feeling like you really have something the way you've always wanted it.

    Top that off with the fact that the new upgrade seems to run smoother, faster, and with fewer glitches.... I for one am lovin' life!
    Agreed

    And I always thought 8 performed and ran better than 7 anyway, even before the update.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 142
    Win 7 Pro x64


    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMasterFX View Post
    Microsoft is a joke. I still don't get why they can't implement the old start menu back. Or at least give me a choice to pick which menu I want on the desktop.
    What confuses me is the decision against releasing a retail ISO. The only way you can get 8.1 (without MSDN or TechNet subscriptions) is to first install 8, then upgrade. Microsoft has said 8.1 is free to everyone who already has Win8, so why the hard stance?

    Am I the only one who finds it beyond stupid that you can't get an 8.1 ISO, even if you can prove you have legally purchased Win8?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Reconciling 2 Worlds With Windows 8.1
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