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More desktop friendly tweaks show up in Windows 8.1 Update 1 leak, April 8 release expected

By Jos ยท 55 replies
Feb 10, 2014
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  1. Following last week's public leak of Windows 8.1 Update 1, a newer build has made its way online, revealing even more desktop friendly tweaks in what's reportedly a near final version of the code. First and foremost, it's been confirmed...

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  2. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Evangelist Posts: 742   +273

    A day late and a dollar short for Windows 8. I am not sure what the point is of having the capability to mix desktop applications with metro applications. They are making compromises for desktop users, as they absolutely should be, but still acting allowing the mix of the old and new? It seems like they are still not sure what they really want to do but at least the desktop community has been vocal enough to get them to start actually listening.

    I will continue to sit this one out(Windows 8 that is, why jump in the frying pan now?) and have at least a bit of optimism with the upcoming release of the next major Windows operating system. I will probably, begrudingly, take the time to install Windows 9 when it is released, to see where things stand. Of course, anything could change between now and the release of Windows 9.

    If I have to sit Windows 9 out...I can do that just as easily as I have Windows 8. Watch where you tread Microsoft. Watch where you tread....
  3. All welcome changes, hopefully Microsoft has learned a thing or two from this and the Xbox debacle.
  4. Everyone has an opinion. Most of those opinions seem to be from people that have far more expertise with PCs than I. So, let me just relate my perspective. I'm a senior citizen. I have a laptop with Windows 7 which is a recent purchase. I also have a desktop with Windows Vista. I enjoy the mobility of the laptop. But at home, I greatly enjoy the desktop. It has two things that I find suit my needs, a mouse and a keyboard. I'm ready for a new desktop, but I've read the comments from many people. I don't want a touchscreen monitor, and I don't want confusing operating systems that I have to learn. That is just me. Some people adapt easily. I don't. My Win Vista operates fine, and the Win 7 is simply an improvemt over Vista. I won't buy another desktop unless I get one with Win 7. HP is offering desktops with Win 7 Pro, but I think it is actually a Win 8 that can be downgraded to Win 7 with MS's approval. There is plenty of electronics out there that is hurting the desktop, and unfortuantely, MS is contributing to that hurt with a one size fits all operating system.
  5. Agreed. I may finally choose to install windows alongside Ubuntu on my HTPC. I have 2-3 spare copies of windows 8 lying around, so why not, especially now that it is in a usuable form.
  6. Microsoft hasn't learned a thing.
    Instead of trying to fix the root of the problems (I.e. Metro), they are trying to herd Desktop users to the desktop and introducing ugly hacks to make Metro more desktop-like.

    When will they actually fix Metro so that it works equally well on Desktop and on Touch screens? Surely those "Metro" apps are meant to be the "future", no?
  7. Personally, I don't mind there being Metro in Windows desktop I just like it to remain an option (oh and please make the UI at least more attractive, maybe bring back aero?), easily accessible when I need it and away when I don't need it.

    When thinking about the rumored changes in Windows 9 that suggest that Metro apps will be able to open in regular windows in the desktop, I think it can only be a good thing. I think developers will be more encouraged to look at things and just develop one app for both desktop and mobile users. Sure it would not work with certain apps or games that require different inputs on desktops/mobile but it would certainly be a good step towards unifying the experience across devices.
  8. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Evangelist Posts: 742   +273

    I am not sure if you are trying to use satire to make a point or what but your post is somewhat confusing.
    Trying to herd desktop users to the desktop????? Herding is a term that should be used in the sense of coercion against ones own will. So that statement doesn't make any sense.

    But I agree with the part about ugly hacks. Microsoft just won't give up the idea of bringing two separate worlds together that should not be brought together. The core behind-the-scenes functionality can be shared, in theory, for the most part I would imagine. But the UI for desktops and tablets should be kept distinct and separate. Which is I why ask the question, "Why are you trying to acclimate desktop users to Metro applications....or to ask another related question....what the hell do desktop users even NEED metro 'apps' for when we have the beauty, elegance and power of full-blown in yer face 'applications'! If metro apps are to be viewed as a replacement for 'widgets' then I guess I would be more willing to accept metro 'apps' on the desktop. But if apps are simply 'applications for dummies', I.e., they by definition, are meant to be used with a swipe interface......WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT OF BRINGING THEM TO THE DESKTOP? I am completely lost with what these *****s are trying to accomplish at this point in the game.

    Yes, I am happy that they are listening to the voice of business and desktop users. But I am not sure they still have a clear understanding of the problem at hand.

    Desktops and tablets are not the same, they cannot be treated the same, no matter how hard you try to attempt to blur the lines between the two, which is honestly what I think they are trying to do.

    Fix metro that so that it works "equally well" on desktops? Metro has no logical place on a desktop.Everybody keeps making universal statements with no context. "Metro apps are the future. Touch is the future. Long live the desktop". Completely *****ic statements that have no context. Everything has its place. Keyboard and mouse UI on desktops and touch interface on tablets. There is no other real, or better solution.
  9. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Evangelist Posts: 742   +273

    Will somebody who actually enjoys sitting 3" from their 21+ inch monitor at home and swiping their screen all day please explain to me why you didn't just purchase a tablet? I wanna understand the insanity in the world that I am living in right now.
  10. Guest17

    Guest17 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +37

    Windows 8 is toxic, period. Nothing Microsoft and its minions say or do with will purge the OS and bring it back to life. Even the mainstream tech press is now echoing the negative consensus articulated by users since W8 was unleashed two years ago. Micro-shill and Micro-hacks, however, will still blurb all the latest updates as though spreading butter on toast.
  11. @TheBigFatClown:
    Don't take what is written literally. Microsoft "herds" desktops users towards the desktop as in they are trying to make them avoid Metro as much as possible. You can see it in their actions. They boot to desktop by default. They use the Desktop Apps for imagines, video, etc, by default instead of the Metro Apps. So, in some sense, they're trying to make Desktop users "avoid" Metro. That's what I mean by herding.

    Also, Metro isn't just about the (awfully ugly) UI. Metro is more than that. Metro is a new foundation for apps written in modern object oriented languages (no more C) and are built on modern secure foundations and are sandboxed. The goal is to make it easy, fast and simple to make new apps that are rich and pretty. Well, they're not quite there yet. But that's the goal. Sure, Desktop apps are pretty, but they aren't touch friendly (wouldn't you like apps which can be used equally well on both desktops and tablets [with context-sensitive UI, obviously]?) and they aren't sandboxed. A lot of them carry security vulnerabilities because they're written in unsafe ways, yada, yada.

    Microsoft has grand plans for Metro. As a developer, I can agree with that vision. The problem right now is three-fold: the Metro UI is a tablet UI only and not a desktop UI. Secondly, it is ugly as hell. And lastly, the existing apps are pretty useless compared to their Desktop equivalent. Wouldn't you love for these worlds to merge? I certainly would and that's the real problem Microsoft has to address - not just keep the interfaces separated and bolt them together in some Frankenstein way.
  12. If Microsoft would have been an ordinary company, they would have bankrupted years ago.
  13. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Evangelist Posts: 742   +273

    Your ***way*** off base. Do you work for Microsoft? A new foundation for apps written in modern object oriented languages? LOL. I don't know if you realize this but object oriented programming has been around for like, about, 20 years now? I've been programming websites in C# for about the last 5 years now? Metro has *nothing* to do with moving from 'C' language to 'C++' or 'C#'. There are an ungodly amount of RAD APIs for developers that want to build websites and applications quickly and they didn't just arrive with 'Metro'.

    People always use the lamest bullshit excuses to justify every decision made. Better security? And you had to throw out the tried-and-true UI that has been refined over the past 20 years to implement....better security? How, by taking a keyboard and mouse away from the user, so that a programmer can't hack into the system? Would I love the tablet and desktop world to merge?? **** NO!!!!!!!

    They will always be "bolted" together because they are logically different from each other. What part of 'irreconcillable differences' do people not understand? The apps are useless because they are being written for a dumbed down, attention deficit generation of mindless chimps. Windows 8 is stripping power and control away from the computer user along with trying to get people entirely dependent upon cloud services. Ultimately, I am sure Microsoft would love to find a way to force people to have to connect to the internet to log onto their ****ing operating system. Or better yet, return to the good ole days where your computer at home is just a dumb terminal that acts as a window to 'their' server where the operating system code actual runs.

    I honestly have to wonder whether the NSA had a fundamental part in what Windows 8 has become. It's pretty pathetic.

    You have no idea what kind of crap you are spewing. God, please tell me you don't work for Microsoft!!!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  14. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    I love how MS is basically erasing the fails of Windows 8...
  15. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Evangelist Posts: 742   +273

    Microsoft tried marrying the keyboard and mouse to the chimpanzee swipe and it just didn't work. As Tommy Lee once said in Coal Miners Daughter. "I am tired of this bullshit. Lets get the lawyers...lets get the dee-vorce."

    It just wasn't meant to be!!! That's just my opinion, I could be wrong!
  16. TS-56336

    TS-56336 TS Addict Posts: 603   +109

    Having the Start Screen play nicely with the desktop, and the desktop play nicely with Metro apps is a really big plus. Windows 8.1 really eased my nerves about Windows 8, and it looks like this will do it even more.
  17. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,757   +1,148

    Well as I've said in previous comments all along techspots W8 threads, I love windows 8, I'm an early adopter since I had a serial from college. After testdriving it for a day or two on the laptop I inmediatly switched my desktop, that was some fancy performance I didnt see in W7.

    Things I do not like: That you have to go to regedit to remove folders from "my computer". No SkyDrive setup (It's a bandwidth hog!). Besides that... I don't hate metro, nor do I use it more than to click on shortcuts (I have the desktop set up on first icon so as soon as computer starts I just press ENTER and it goes straight to desktop).
  18. @TheBigFatClown:
    Do you know the crap YOU are spewing? Because you completely missed the point.
    Metro is a foundation. A groundwork for something to be layered upon. The UI that you so hate (I do too, btw) is just "part" of the package. What if we could throw away that ugly UI and bolt the desktop UI on the Metro foundation?

    There have been RAD APIs available for a while now, but none were truly integrated into the system and there were a lot of things you couldn't do. Metro is fundamentally integrated into the system. It's not bolted on. There is no translation layer. That means speed and that means flexibility.

    What you fail to understand is that I am NOT defending the UI. I hate the Metro "UI", but I like the idea of the groundwork. I like both Desktops and Tablets to use the same FRAMEWORK, but NOT the same UI. The UI are completely separate worlds, but even so, both worlds can still use the same kernel and other functionality, such as networking, USB, etc.

    I, for one, would love to be able to use Office on a Tablet AND on a Desktop. But I would HATE for it to be unusable on Desktop due to the Metro "UI". There needs to be a desktop UI and a tablet UI, but regardless of that, the functionality should stay the same, and that is the vision that I want.
  19. rculver9056

    rculver9056 TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +7

    You moaners still don't get it, do you?
    The Start Screen is the new Start Menu. You don't have to have a touch monitor to use it.
    I have a touch monitor, but rarely use it. I get on just fine with the mouse and keyboard.

    I still don't see what the difference is from clicking an item on the start menu, which disappears when the app[lication] opens, or clicking a tile on the start screen, which disappears when the app[lication] opens.

    Also, if you set the Start Screen to share the Desktop background, the Start Screen with it's tiles is just like an overlay on the desktop.

    As for the enhancements made (from what I've seen in the Update 1 leak so far), these are some big improvements to an already prey cool OS.

    I still don't believe how many people don't get this new cool new way of working in Windows!
  20. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,151   +588

    The problem with Windows 8 in general was really just a "Jumped the Gun" problem where they released to early into a demographic expecting people to just conform to the new ways before the innovations that made Windows 8 cool were really taking effect in the world.

    In truth, I like Windows 8.1 and I have been more then open sharing my opinion that its a good operating system that has more upsides than down. The Metro idea was just not what people wanted yet because when you have had things for 15+ years being the same looks with improvements here and there its hard to get people to move over. In truth, people just did not want to adjust yet to the new UI and more people had laptops and dekstops that did not have touch screens and were wanting more uses for mouse and keyboard over big tiles designed with the idea of a touch screen in mind.

    What in reality should have happened was how 8.1 and now 8.1.1 is where they made more options for setting it to a desktop mode (Or non-touchscreen mode, whatever you want to call it) and I figure everyone would have been more than happy to jump on the bandwagon and start slowly adjusting. In the market now that touch screen laptops and tablets with full windows are more available then it would have made more sense.

    Its like developing a car that runs on (Im making this up off the top of my head FYI) lets say sea water, sure you might revolutionize the world and this could be the best thing since sliced bread but if a person can't fill up the car with sea water easily then noone is going to buy the car. You have to try and bring stations within good distances and areas that will fill up your car with sea water before people would be willing to buy it because its to much of a risk to buy a car that you may not be able to fill up if you drive somewhere to far with no stations nearby. Same goes for a Metro UI on Windows, if its annoying on the system we all have come to know and love, then why would we want to use it because the old one works just fine.

    I will stand by Windows 8 being a good operating system, but its understandable why many people don't like the changes.
  21. rculver9056

    rculver9056 TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +7

    A car that runs on water - the big oil companies would LOVE that lol ;-)
  22. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Evangelist Posts: 742   +273

    Okay, *sigh*, for starters,
    People did not want to adjust "yet"? Guess what, most people didn't want to adjust "then" and they still don't want to adjust "now". It doesn't matter to me whether the market decides to manufacture *nothing but* monitors that have touch capabilities, even if that feature cost was implemented with no price premium above a similar monitor with all the same specifications. I still wouldn't have any interest in a touch-interface on a desktop operating system if it were "free". So let's be clear about what people don't want to adjust too. They don't want to "adjust" to a touch UI in an environment or situation where that makes absolutely no sense in 'adjusting' too. Windows 8 on tablets? I have no problem with. On laptops, sure, make it an option. There is no reason touch can't be another means of user input but the way you are wording your statements are misleading. It has nothing to do with adjustments. It has to do with choices, options, flexibility, ease of use. Having the freedom to "choose" the best method of input for your specific needs at a given moment in time. Windows 8 did not offer that out of the box.

    I don't think people's biggest gripe with Windows 8 has anything to do with Windows 8 not being a "good" operating system. It has to do with the way in which most people "prefer" to interact with their computer. Most people sitting at home, staring up at a monitor for hours on end probably don't wanna have to hold a heavy tablet in their hand for 6-8 hours a day. This gripe resolves itself with a docking station but then what's the point of the tablet? You still only have a couple of fingers for input unless you use an on-screen keyboard. But why do that if the tablet is docked? Which brings us to the ultimate question....why use a touch-screen at home at all? What is the gain? Why restrict yourself to that limited interactivity?

    Your throwing out red herrings to deflect the negativity being expressed against Windows 8. "Its a good operating system!" Okay, great. What's that got to do with the awkwardness of using a touch-screen interface at home? It's awkward, silly, stupid, illogical, and out of place on a big monitor in the privacy and comfort of ones own home and I would imagine, also at many other stationary locations where real work is done.

    The 'metro' UI should be an option for input on Windows 8. Maybe a programmer does real work on the computer most of the time but wants to use his computer on a projector during a company meeting. So he hooks up his computer to a projector. And now, *only now*, the touch UI makes sense. In very specific, limited situations. Not as the 24/7 primary UI.

    Microsoft simply went overboard trying to catch-up to Apple and Google. So, after having thrown their most dedicated users under the bus, they are now coming back to us, and throwing us a few bones. Will they throw us enough bones for Windows 9 to be a success? We will all find out soon enough.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    Microsoft didn't even try making me like Metro when they used a checker board as the background behind the links. My dislike has nothing to do with the interface. It has everything to do with how the interface looks. The interface could be dressed up by dropping those color coded squares, and I wouldn't be so arrogant toward Metro. There is only one place in my life where I allow that kind of clashing of colors. That is in a child's coloring book, movies/shows , toy box, and etc.. Hell I'm not even partial to a flower garden.
  24. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,151   +588

    First of all read my statements before throwing out claims of my wording being misleading:
    I said that it should have been like that to begin with because that would have been less of a drastic change to have the option to begin with. It was too soon for people to want to jump on a bandwagon with such a limited market at the time of release and the fact that nothing else on desktop/laptop/etc was like this.

    Making claims saying im "throwing out red-herrings" to make my argument valid about windows 8 being a decent OS is incorrect. Whether or not you like the UI interface the OS itself is just fine and an excellent OS. Its efficient, fast, and works just fine for all the needs of a user and it uses less resources than the previous 7. The Metro UI scared people off because it was such a drastic change and most users were then unable to find a reason to want something like that especially seeing the limited adoption at the time of a Touch screen on the Windows devices.

    Also, the real truth is the idea of searching for everything was a big deal in 8. You want to find that program like for say FarCry? Hit start button and start typing and you will have your result on screen in seconds with different columns showing other similar results in different areas that way you can look at which category the item your looking for is in. I have this on my Desktop and my Surface Pro and while I dislike the Metro UI, I ignore it completely on my desktop with ease by just typing once I hit start.

    I don't like the Metro either, it also should have had these features that 8.1.1 is adding/has at the beginning. However I will not count windows 8 as a horrible OS just based on a UI that was inconvenient for a desktop user.

    I agree, its not a good look and is hard to stare at compared to the old basic clean cut wordings from 7 and boxes. It could have been done a better way in reality and would have probably been a bit more easy to look at. I just choose to ignore the UI on my desktop and not use it because I have no reason to do so.
  25. pmcardle

    pmcardle TS Booster Posts: 117   +22

    Don't try to argue with this bunch. No matter what MS does with Windows 8, 9 or 10 they will always have something to cry about.

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