Microsoft found itself in a bind after the launch of Windows 7. Struggling for relevance in the mobile sector, the company attempted to fill the void in its portfolio by adding a touch-friendly UI layer over the Windows desktop. However, Metro came with a myriad of issues and complaints, mostly because of poor choices in usability design -- part of what we've been hoping Microsoft will fix in Windows 8.1. And it has, somewhat.

Despite that and the fact that a single-year turnaround for any kind of Windows iteration is quick for the folks at Redmond, we're not sure if it's enough to please detractors. Before installing the free upgrade next Thursday, let's review what's been improved and what's still missing.

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