Six Things Microsoft Got Right in Windows 8.1 and Others Still Missing

By Julio Franco ยท 55 replies
Oct 15, 2013
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  1. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 684   +254

    "A welcomed improvement would have been to detect if you are running a desktop, laptop or tablet and show contextually relevant menus. Seriously Microsoft, how hard can it be? For example: show advanced networking options on a PC including control panel integration, show brightness settings on a tablet/laptop, disable the "share" option when you are not in a Metro app, and so on."

    This is the entire problem with Windows 8. Treating all devices the same. When they figure out that this is a nice little theory on paper but doesn't work in the real world...that's when I'll think about purchasing a new version of Windows. So far, my abstinence from Windows 8 has not been in regret. Since there is no pressing reason for me to upgrade to anything later than Windows 7 Ultimate at the moment, I will continue letting those of you who continue to foam at the mouth over anything that claims it is 'new and improved' to be guinea pigs for testing Microsofts latest Frankenstein creation, while I patiently await a positive end result, however long it takes.
    way2aware, gbhall and avoidz like this.
  2. The real trouble with 8.1 (at least the preview) is that it does not address the problems created when MS took away the ability to change desktop font sizes in points and font colors, and made it impossible to tailor the desktop visual elements independently of each other - change the active title bar color and, like it or not, you also change the task bar color. I use perfectly standard color combinations in XP and 7 - no hacks required - but cannot duplicate them in 8 or 8.1 preview, and it is precisely these things that make a desktop layout good or bad for an individual user. This one-size-fits-all may work well in a tablet environment, but not for people trying to get real work done on Windows desktop. Painful, unnecessarily, and stupid.
    gbhall likes this.
  3. PC EliTiST

    PC EliTiST TS Enthusiast Posts: 51   +7

    This about the font rendering on Metro UI, Metro Apps, Metro & Desktop IE is the worst problem of all, but mysteriously no tech site ever mention it... PC monitors do not have High DPI/PPI monitors where this hideous font rendering works kinda better. And for those in denial, no you can' do anything by tweaking cleartype, disable Hardware Acceleration on IE for instance etc.

    Internet Explorer 11 is simply unusable. If there was any chance to use it due to it's best smooth scrolling, hardware acceleration and generally efficient rendering that is miles better than Chrome and Firefox combined, now gone.

    For this and other reasons you mentioned, Windows 7 it is for me, likewise. Don't forget that Win7 already got the most important updates of Win 8 already... Like, Platform Update, ability to delete redundant update files etc. In a while it will slowly get even more.
  4. TheBigFatClown said: "When they figure out that this is a nice little theory on paper but doesn't work in the real world...that's when I'll think about purchasing a new version of Windows. So far, my abstinence from Windows 8 has not been in regret."

    I agree completely that it was, and continues to be, a mistake to think that all devices - from a phone to a tablet to a desktop and and/or should operate similarly. Form factors each come with their own strengths and weaknesses, and a one-method-fits-all approach is, by necessity, fundamentally compromised. Like you say, great idea on paper, but in practice, it just doesn't work.

    That being said, I took advantage of the $40 intro pricing when 8 was released, and I've come to very much like Windows 8. Even disabling all things Metro, there's some nice features over 7 - amazingly fast boot times, far better task manager, various small enhancements, the clean visual look and file history (although I still use the previous file recovery service for scheduled backups, and I'm none too happy that it's apparently been forcibly removed from 8.1). I don't consider myself a guinnea pig, nor Windows 8 necessarily a Frankenstein. But I'll admit my satisfaction is, to a large degree, predicated on the $40 intro price. I upgraded two systems, and consider it money well spent, but the current price of ~$120 prevents me from upgrading any others. I'd spend that much for a new license (for a new system), but there's just not enough value in 8 (over 7) to spend that much on an upgrade.
  5. I thought I was going to get Windows 8 soon, as the update 8.1 may have fixed many things... now... I don't think so
  6. ypsylon

    ypsylon TS Booster Posts: 114   +21

    Wow, only 6 things they got right. Considering what kind of massive ****-up W8(.1) is, not much to shout about. In one word: pathetic.

    It really speaks volumes - what people think about W8 when you see that 40% Windows PCs still running XP which is by far the best OS MS ever released.
    avoidz likes this.
  7. It seems 7 still rules the desktop and 8.1 fixes 8 for tablets and smartphones. Maybe 9 will be for desktops and 10 will be for mobiles ?
  8. richalone442

    richalone442 TS Rookie Posts: 24   +10

    It's still ugly, and I won't have ugly on my desktop, the article states that the flowery default desktop screen is gone for the pretty metro UI, how wrong can you be. Windows 8 will never be in my house.
    way2aware and avoidz like this.
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    Windows 8/8.1 buzzing but everyone rather use Windows 7. Windows 7 with Allmyapps program can pretty much fetch apps and update them. Of course it doesn't have the fancy tiles or touch screen features. I see no reason to use Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 right now when Windows 7 updates and very thing work just find on it. I wrote a small program called JASPER to make Windows 7 have the same New TCP Protocols features found in Windows 8/8.1.

    Speed wise it fast over LAN (network) and WAN (internet). Still Microsoft limits the TCP.SYS to 10 MSC (max session connections) Again free online app that can backup that TCP.SYS and change the setting from 11 to 249 MSC. Although with each update for Windows 7 this has to be change again an again since Microsoft keeps changing TCP.SYS back to 10 MSC.

    Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 all suffer from corrupt data junk files, registry clutter, fragmented HDD, thus this needs to be tidy up a bit each day of usage. Free programs like: Wise 365, Slim Cleaner, Free Windows Tuner, UnCleaner an Ultradefrag can keep the system running smoothly.

    Added protection Spyware Blaster for Browsers, MSE along with Malwarebytes and Windows Firewall Control App (Free).
  10. You can't really blame Microsoft for the YouTube mess, we all know that's Google deliberately being a massive ****. As for the UI (which I'd definitely v1, and it takes then a few iterations to get right), I think Microsoft has completely bought into this whole "post-PC era" bit and so were seeing the consequences of that. The touch UI is not bad IMO and probably the best on offer from any mainstream desktop OS. Only thing is, considering how long it takes for users to upgrade (see how many will continue using XP even after April 2014!), does it make sense for them to rush headlong into killing the desktop and assuming everyone will have the requisite mobile/touch hardware to be happy about it? I think they'd be better off releasing at least a couple more versions of Windows (especially if it's going to be at the rate of one a year) with the Metro UI being completely optional. By Windows 10 (or 9.5 or whatever zany scheme they come up with) they can start demoting the desktop *provided* the Metro app ecosystem has somewhat caught up. Otherwise their effort to force people to give up what they're familiar with (I.e. the desktop) is most certainly premature and doomed to failure.
    way2aware likes this.
  11. Seventh Reign

    Seventh Reign TS Booster Posts: 131   +65

    Windows 8 is freaking AWESOME! I've never used an operating system this great before. I triple boot with 8, Vista and ME .. Sometimes I have a tough time deciding which is my favorite, because they're all sooo good.
    way2aware and killeriii like this.
  12. Stupid mobile autocorrect!

    "which *is* definitely v1, and it always takes *them* a few iterations to get right"
  13. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    lol. I initially thought you were triple booting windows 8, windows 8, and windows 8 since you like windows 8 so much. (I'm a fan of windows 8, too!)
  14. Mikymjr

    Mikymjr TS Booster Posts: 124   +9

    Win8 on manufacturer pc's and laptops, seems to block out some if not all ways to access certain settings to fix a laptop the easy way. Some laptops(win8) I have fixed, have the option with their own software to restore files or repair the operating system. But others just seem to be hard to get into the bios just like on their manufacturer pc counterparts. Some you can't even get into the bios to check if certain systems hardware are working properly. For some people who aren't really technicians but knew what to do in win7, it's hard to get into the bios in win8 as when for instance you restart these systems, the OS never really goes offline completely. That's why win8 starts up fast. You have to turn the system OFF first and then start it up again and try and get into the bios (differs with manufacturer systems running win8; with some you can, others you can't). This is why manufacturer pc's are being left aside and most people or system enthusiast or people who like to customize their settings, would rather buy pc parts and make there own pc's to learn from their experience and enjoy their settings and preference. With win 8 you are limited to what microsoft or the manufacturer wants you to be able to do with the system
    way2aware likes this.
  15. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64

    I know that sarcasm is hard to convey on the interwebs, but take another look at the versions of Windows that he listed.
    way2aware likes this.
  16. "The Start screen is still a pain to configure using a mouse"

    Guess what? I'm still using a mouse 99% of the time. I will be avoiding Windows 8 until they address this. It is really a non-starter for me. If I'm not touching my screen I do not want, can't use and shouldn't be forced to learn a touch focused UI.

    "'s not intuitive to bounce in and out of Metro when doing actual work."

    This is why it is a terrible OS. There should be no bouncing between two different OS. I might not mind Metro at all if it was the actual OS and not some layered thing to be bounced into and out of as I try to work. Why is there a Metro app and a desktop app? There should be no difference if it is a Windows app.

    "Bottom line, I still think Windows 8/8.1 improves on Windows 7"

    Why? I've been trying to figure out how some authors continue to say this when I've seen nothing that proves it. Every time I "touch" Windows 8, I run smack into the problems with it. When I use Windows 7 I never run smack into anything. It works without issue.
  17. I installed Start 8, removed all Metro Apps and hot corners and it acts as Windows 7.
  18. MrBungle

    MrBungle TS Booster Posts: 151   +67

    Windows 8 was like a new car with no doors... Windows 8.1 is like a new car with only the right rear passenger door... a little better but sorry still sticking with the newest OS actually designed for a computer, Windows 7.
    way2aware likes this.
  19. Jim$ter

    Jim$ter TS Booster Posts: 158   +32

    Just remember this little rhyme and you will be happy.

    Windows8 is GREAT if you install START 8 :)
  20. Nicely presented review, but isn't it all just smoke and mirrors -- especially for old school desktop users. Had MS just marketed Win8 for its speed enhancements, the OS would have been golden.

    As it is, Start Is Back does everything MS failed to do, so 8.1 is really no improvement at all.
  21. Windows 7 > Windows 8.1 > Windows 8
  22. When Windows 8 was $40 dollars and Windows 7 $200 it was a no brainer. For all those people stuck on Vista and earlier and listened to the complainers it does suck to be you.
  23. Windows 8 brought more speed. The rest they can keep.
  24. mctommy

    mctommy TS Addict Posts: 217   +38

    Win 8 brought stability to my lenovo laptop. I seemed to have BSOD with Win 7 on my lenovo U460 (2011) but after installing Win 8, the laptop runs fine. My desktop on the other hand will never see Win 8 installed.

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