A Heads-Up on Windows 8.1


At the end of June, Microsoft will release the first beta copies of Windows 8.1, ahead of shipping the final version before the end of the year.  Win8.1 will be a free upgrade for all users of Windows 8.

If you want a sneak peek into the major new features, the mostly-excellent Ed Bott over at ZDNet has a good round-up at http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-1-unveiled-will-it-change-your-mind-about-windows-8-7000016112/

As a user of Windows 8 since I replaced my PC recently, which I couldn't be bothered to reformat with Windows 7, I have to say that it does take some time to get used to.  The most annoying feature for me is the new Start screen, which I hate, which means clicking through to the traditional desktop each time I reboot.  Thankfully, the option to boot straight into the desktop, which was present in the Win8 beta builds but removed before the final release, is coming back.  So I'll be first in the queue when 8.1 starts shipping.





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Microsoft (again), completely missed the point - and dropped the ball.

I shouldn't have to downgrade, or pay for a third party app to restore the start menu, yet I *am* paying for a third party app to do just that. Compatibility issues have been an ongoing problem as well.

Obviously Microsoft felt that people were getting waaaaayyyy to comfy with using their computers & wanted to throw a wrench into the works.

8.1 is worthless from what I could glean via the review. It's just an overhaul of the crap a lot of us could care less about.

Thanks for restoring the start button though Micro$oft. Not that it makes it any easier to use your computer, but hey...it looks familiar. What more could a consumer want? Usability is overrated anyway.


I still think that Microsoft's refusal to restore the start menu to the desktop will be a major hindrance in the acceptance of Windows 8 for most businesses and many home users. Sure, there are numerous free and paid-for replacements for the start menu (I use Stardock's Start8 utility) but their reluctance to listen to the number of people who are complaining about missing the start menu shows that Microsoft really doesn't understand that they made a terrible mistake. The Modern start screen and the UI are acceptable for mobile devices with touch screens like tablets and phones, but many of us are keyboard and mice users who have been accustomed to the traditional start screen and most of us have no intention of buying new machines that are touch based just because Microsoft released a new operating system.

I've installed Windows 8 on a two-year old laptop and with the addition of several utilities I get along quite well. But I'm not installing the program on my desktop (which is running Windows 7) for the high price that Microsoft is charging for the upgrade (over $100) when Linux is free and Apple is charging $30 for their users to upgrade to their latest OS.