Neowin reviews Windows 8.1

Neowin

Posts: 160   +1

neowin windows review windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 is the start of something new for Microsoft. It’s a dynamic shift in strategy for its core OS and it is also a refinement to Windows 8, one that will likely shift the tide in terms of user perception.

Prior to this release, Windows 8 had been a toss-up between a dramatic separation from the traditional Windows platform, and a push in creating a new user experience that is touch-friendly. The result was that Windows 8 was a hybrid OS - and consumer reaction to this was mixed, to say the least - but there were some glimmers of real innovation tucked inside the OS.

Windows 8.1 builds upon Windows 8 and includes many new features that were requested by consumers. The most obvious change is the return of the Start button, but not the Start menu, and the ability to boot directly to the desktop.

Even with the new features, will Windows 8.1 be enough to convince the crowd that stuck with Windows 7 that 8.1 offers big enough improvements to make the jump? Read the full review below to see what’s new with Windows 8.1.

Read the rest of the review.

This article is brought to you in partnership with Neowin.

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TheBigFatClown

Posts: 1,019   +431
"Even with the new features, will Windows 8.1 be enough to convince the crowd that stuck with Windows 7 that 8.1 offers big enough improvements to make the jump?"

I'll answer that question. No, it isn't enough. The name Windows 8 has become synonymous with catastrophe, train wreck, and disaster. They got the version number right. A .1 in changes from the garbage that was initially released is not enough to convince me to care about Windows 8 at all. Get back to 32-bit color schemes, transparent/smooth/curved borders. This must happen before I can even stomach looking at the desktop. All I see in Windows 8 is purple boxes. And this silly scheme is permeating their websites as well. Kill the ******* color purple for God sakes. It's ridiculous. Stop pretending that my desktop computer is a Commodore Vic-20. It's insulting. Bring back user choice. All of it. Fire Julie Larson for her sins. And when you guys get around to releasing Windows 9 I might come back around and give you some more of my money. If I were to predict the future, I see myself sitting out of Windows 8 all together unless they start making some radical changes.

Windows 8.1 just doesn't do enough. So, no, I won't be moving for awhile. Maybe never. Guess we will see how bad Microsoft wants hardcore users and businesses to continue supporting them. If they consider trading us for the "tween" market who just wanna watch YouTube and update their twitter feeds a good trade than all hope is lost. It's still their game to lose.

If you don't wanna make hard choices I gotta a little tip for you. Don't buy a ******* operating system at all. Buy a console. And consume. Yes you they will be releasing Battlefield 4 for both XBox fifty-cent(aka XBox 180) and the Playstation 4. So you are covered. :)
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,141   +6,438
Get back to 32-bit color schemes, transparent/smooth/curved borders. This must happen before I can even stomach looking at the desktop. All I see in Windows 8 is purple boxes. And this silly scheme is permeating their websites as well. Kill the ******* color purple for God sakes. It's ridiculous. Stop pretending that my desktop computer is a Commodore Vic-20. It's insulting. Bring back user choice. All of it.
Thats the way I feel about it.
 
S

Scavengers

I have been using 8 since early summer. Now, 7 feels old and clunky.
No more diving into the start menu. Its all right there now on the "don't call it Metro" desktop.
The tiles I don't want? I remove them. And then they are gone for good.

Oh, and when a tile stops updating the information within it. Then yes maybe then we can call them icons too.

Dave
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 1,019   +431
I have been using 8 since early summer. Now, 7 feels old and clunky.
No more diving into the start menu. Its all right there now on the "don't call it Metro" desktop.
The tiles I don't want? I remove them. And then they are gone for good.

Oh, and when a tile stops updating the information within it. Then yes maybe then we can call them icons too.

Dave


Windows 7 probably feels old because it is old. So Windows 7 being 'old' is not a 'feeling' its a fact. I am not sure what your point there is. Maybe your point is anything that is newer is better? Is that your point? Clunky? What hardware are you running Windows 8 on? What theme were you running on Windows 7? What color depth was your desktop set at on Windows 7? How many years ago did you install Windows 7? How many applications are installed on your Windows 7 computer? How many are installed on your Windows 8 rig? You probably cant answer any of these questions. Of course Windows 8 feels faster because it's square purple boxes. It was made for a tablet. It amazes me how many people bash Windows 7 as being 'old and clunky' by comparing it to an operating system that was made, first and foremost, for tablets and cellphones.

I'll never understand why people wanna run a tablet operating system on a desktop.
 
S

Scavengers

Its not a "tablet operating system on a desktop". Its a fully touch screen capable OS. And one click after it boots and you can get it back to looking very much like 95-98-ME-XP-Vista-7 again.

Since I have run my own PC shop since 1993 I can easily answer your ridiculous questions. I just choose not to because you are nerd raging, so no honest answer\opinion will be good enough for you.

Dave
 
S

Scavengers

I have an idea! Why don't we all start asking why we would want a desktop OS on a tablet?

Dave
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 1,019   +431
Its not a "tablet operating system on a desktop". Its a fully touch screen capable OS. And one click after it boots and you can get it back to looking very much like 95-98-ME-XP-Vista-7 again.

Since I have run my own PC shop since 1993 I can easily answer your ridiculous questions. I just choose not to because you are nerd raging, so no honest answer\opinion will be good enough for you.

Dave


Nerd raging? LOL. Okay, let me finish wrapping the bandages around my bleeding fists and repair the window I broke when I threw my keyboard out the window then I'll calm down so that you can enlighten us about what makes Windows 8 so new and exciting to use on a desktop(key issue here) versus Windows 7. :) Go ahead my friend, convince us all how wonderful Windows 8 is. As Frasier Crane would say, "I'm listening". :)
 
S

Scavengers

Well for one thing my work\gaming machine has a touch screen monitor. So the "don't call it Metro" interface is damn cool IMO.

One more thing too TBFC. Don't forget disinfectant before the bandages :)

Dave
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 1,019   +431
Be honest. Microsoft's Windows 8 UI is touch-centric. You spin it by saying that Windows 8 is a fully capable touch operating system. Call it what it is. Touch was not an afterthought. It was the focus. Why was it the focus? Because desktop users are beating Microsoft's door down saying, "WE WANT TOUCH. WE WANT TOUCH". Is that why the touch-ui was 'the' focus of Windows 8? Hell no. It's because Microsoft seen how much money Apple is making with their iPhones and iPads. And they want a piece of that pie. They wanted to remain relevant in a world where the majority of people are simpletons who just wanna consume content.
Microsoft doesn't care about business or productivity customers anymore. Why can't people just admit the truth? Windows 8 was made 'for the MASSES'. It wasn't made for businesses/hardcore users. The funny thing is how many hardcore users are touting Windows 8 as being so wonderful when it is, in fact, first and foremost, an operating system designed for tablets/cellphones. That was Microsofts target audience. They thought businesses would just roll over and accept it. That's not happening.
You love Windows 8, that's obvious. But there's no way you can convince a business or a hardcore user that's it a better 'overall' operating system than Windows 7 without deceiving them or deceiving yourself. It isn't. It wasn't meant to be 'better' than Windows 7. It was made for a new generation of consumers. If you like Windows 8 that's just icing on the cake. Some people love change.

You use touch when playing games...When did they release angry birds for the PC? LOL.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,679   +2,462
Well for one thing my work\gaming machine has a touch screen monitor. So the "don't call it Metro" interface is damn cool IMO.

One more thing too TBFC. Don't forget disinfectant before the bandages :)

Dave

how do you deal with all the bloody fingers prints all over your screen.

That alone prevents me getting a touch screen monitor for my primary desktop which I do work on!

I don't even need to get into metro and all the other stuff that annoys me about windows 8.

There isn't anything on windows 8 that I can't do on 7 and I don't have to deal with fisher price tiles.

I don't have to be adding start menu addon so it works like windows 7.
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,598   +667
I have an idea! Why don't we all start asking why we would want a desktop OS on a tablet?

Dave

You've hit on half of the problem there... MS never bothered to ask why we would want a desktop OS on a tablet, and a tablet OS on a desktop. The answer is usually: why the hell would we want that?

The entire Windows8 acceptance debacle - virtually ALL of it - could have been completely avoided if MS had just given the consumer (or even the OEM/integrator) the option to set the "Modern" UI as default (for touch-enabled tablets, laptops, people who want it), or a TRUE desktop (classic Start menu, not this "here's your damn Start button you ungrateful brats but you still have to use the Start screen hahahahasuckit" fix provided in 8.1).
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,598   +667
Well for one thing my work\gaming machine has a touch screen monitor. So the "don't call it Metro" interface is damn cool IMO.

Haha I had somebody else use that argument with me when we were discussing Win8, and I was arguing that it's excellent on tablet/mobile platforms (I personally love the Surface products), but horrid on productive desktops. He got all defensive, and said his monitor at work and his gaming rig at home are both touch-enabled and the tiles are sooo cool. Then I pointed out that touch-enabled desktop monitors probably only account for a single-digit percentage when you look at the total number of monitors in use right now. And that, ergonomically, using a touch-enabled interface in a productive desktop environment is ridiculously inefficient, particularly for repetitive tasks. I asked him how often he actually uses the touch on his desk monitor, he paused, and reluctantly said "hardly ever, since the monitor is so far back on my desk to allow me to actually have some working room." Then I moved on and said it must be really cool on your gaming system with that big monitor, but how do you game with your face only 18 inches or less from it? Since that is the maximum optimal distance for a touch interface to even be remotely effective and all that. At this point, even more reluctantly, he pointed out that his monitor is much farther back than that, and he has to really reach to use the Start Screen. When I asked him how comfortable that was, he didn't appear to want to answer, so I added "and you paid HOW much more for those monitors to be touch-enabled?" and he just clammed up. Think I broke the poor guy, he got all sulky and doesn't want to talk to me much any more. Guess people don't appreciate having their personal reality distortion bubbles burst?
 
S

Scavengers

Be honest. Microsoft's Windows 8 UI is touch-centric. You spin it by saying that Windows 8 is a fully capable touch operating system. Call it what it is. Touch was not an afterthought. It was the focus. Why was it the focus? Because desktop users are beating Microsoft's door down saying, "WE WANT TOUCH. WE WANT TOUCH". Is that why the touch-ui was 'the' focus of Windows 8? Hell no. It's because Microsoft seen how much money Apple is making with their iPhones and iPads. And they want a piece of that pie. They wanted to remain relevant in a world where the majority of people are simpletons who just wanna consume content.
Microsoft doesn't care about business or productivity customers anymore. Why can't people just admit the truth? Windows 8 was made 'for the MASSES'. It wasn't made for businesses/hardcore users. The funny thing is how many hardcore users are touting Windows 8 as being so wonderful when it is, in fact, first and foremost, an operating system designed for tablets/cellphones. That was Microsofts target audience. They thought businesses would just roll over and accept it. That's not happening.
You love Windows 8, that's obvious. But there's no way you can convince a business or a hardcore user that's it a better 'overall' operating system than Windows 7 without deceiving them or deceiving yourself. It isn't. It wasn't meant to be 'better' than Windows 7. It was made for a new generation of consumers. If you like Windows 8 that's just icing on the cake. Some people love change.

You use touch when playing games...When did they release angry birds for the PC? LOL.

Its a shame I have to tell you I use m\kb or controllers in games.

And I don't love W8. I love my wife and kids and my Lab Ziggy.
Loving or hating a piece of software? Those folks have far more issues than the software they have such deep emotional ties to.

Last. I have to ask. You said that W8 "wasn't made for businesses/hardcore users".
Seeing that I am both, I'm curious how you mean that. From the standard desktop in W8 I will turn the tables on you a bit.

What can I do in W7 that I cant do in 8?

Dave
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,679   +2,462
Its a shame I have to tell you I use m\kb or controllers in games.

And I don't love W8. I love my wife and kids and my Lab Ziggy.
Loving or hating a piece of software? Those folks have far more issues than the software they have such deep emotional ties to.

Last. I have to ask. You said that W8 "wasn't made for businesses/hardcore users".
Seeing that I am both, I'm curious how you mean that. From the standard desktop in W8 I will turn the tables on you a bit.

What can I do in W7 that I cant do in 8?

Dave

how about a nice looking desktop with aero glass instead of a flat boring one that looks like they ripped it out of windows 2000!
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,141   +6,438
What can I do in W7 that I cant do in 8?
Actually look at the screen. I can't stand Windows 7 Home Basic and that to me is the way I see Windows 8. But if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose Windows 7 Home Basic. If Windows Aero wasn't such a big deal, why was it disabled in Win7 Home Basic and Win7 Starter? I don't expect you to understand my resentment, since you obviously don't dislike Windows 8.
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 1,019   +431
Its a shame I have to tell you I use m\kb or controllers in games.

And I don't love W8. I love my wife and kids and my Lab Ziggy.
Loving or hating a piece of software? Those folks have far more issues than the software they have such deep emotional ties to.

Last. I have to ask. You said that W8 "wasn't made for businesses/hardcore users".
Seeing that I am both, I'm curious how you mean that. From the standard desktop in W8 I will turn the tables on you a bit.

What can I do in W7 that I cant do in 8?

Dave


Okay, ummm, why does your gaming machine have a touch-screen monitor? Because you make lots of money and thought it would be neat to have it on every computer, right? :) Okay then.

It's not about what you can or cannot do on 7 versus 8. It's about the 'how'. I guess it comes down to preferences and since your happy on Windows 8 that's all that really matters in the end. Isnt it? :)
Enjoy.
 
G

Guest

8 had me thinking about switching to Apple or Linux, and I hate Apple. It was that bad.
8.1 gives me hope I won't have to but I'm waiting for 9 and if it's crap, bye bye MS.
I blame Ballmer. MS is not Apple and MS need to make multiple products for multiple users, not force us all to use something that only suits the fanboys.
 
S

Scavengers

Its a shame I have to tell you I use m\kb or controllers in games.

And I don't love W8. I love my wife and kids and my Lab Ziggy.
Loving or hating a piece of software? Those folks have far more issues than the software they have such deep emotional ties to.

Last. I have to ask. You said that W8 "wasn't made for businesses/hardcore users".
Seeing that I am both, I'm curious how you mean that. From the standard desktop in W8 I will turn the tables on you a bit.

What can I do in W7 that I cant do in 8?

Dave

how about a nice looking desktop with aero glass instead of a flat boring one that looks like they ripped it out of windows 2000!

That's understandable. If you don't like the look and feel no point in making the leap to 8.
Thank you for a voice of reason.

Dave
 
S

Scavengers

Its a shame I have to tell you I use m\kb or controllers in games.

And I don't love W8. I love my wife and kids and my Lab Ziggy.
Loving or hating a piece of software? Those folks have far more issues than the software they have such deep emotional ties to.

Last. I have to ask. You said that W8 "wasn't made for businesses/hardcore users".
Seeing that I am both, I'm curious how you mean that. From the standard desktop in W8 I will turn the tables on you a bit.

What can I do in W7 that I cant do in 8?

Dave


Okay, ummm, why does your gaming machine have a touch-screen monitor? Because you make lots of money and thought it would be neat to have it on every computer, right? :) Okay then.

It's not about what you can or cannot do on 7 versus 8. It's about the 'how'. I guess it comes down to preferences and since your happy on Windows 8 that's all that really matters in the end. Isnt it? :)
Enjoy.

Absolutely.
I went with a touch screen because I use Sony Vegas Pro editing software. There was a patch that added touch capability. It is incredible. Just the edit\scrub wheel that can be spun on the screen frame by frame made it worth it.

Dave
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,829   +4,273
8 had me thinking about switching to Apple or Linux, and I hate Apple. It was that bad.
8.1 gives me hope I won't have to but I'm waiting for 9 and if it's crap, bye bye MS.
Why don't you just move back to Windows 7? You don't have to have the latest operating system.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,289
Yeah I agree, why do we have to have the latest operating system. If you like 7, so be it. If you prefer 8.1 then use it. Contrary to popular belief, newer doesn't always mean better but one of these days we'll all have to let go of 7.