Weekend Open Forum: Chime in on Windows 8.1 Preview

By Shawn Knight ยท 62 replies
Jun 28, 2013
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  1. It's running fine on my Media PC, though PowerDVD 13 is now having some issues that weren't present in Windows 8, such as showing resizing bars unless the font size is left at 100%, and problems returning to the Media Center main screen.

    I blame Cyberlink for these issues though, as they are notorious for having to release OOOOPS fixes.
  2. earthquake10

    earthquake10 TS Rookie

    If you would simply open your eyes to very inexpensive or free third-party programs such as Stardock's Start8 ($4.99), you would discover that the Windows 7 Start Menu is back, in full (customization and all), as well as the automatic ability to start Windows in the desktop mode. This program works on both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Preview. It's also fully compatible with the new multi-monitor feature in 8.1 Preview which places a taskbar on both monitors. You can also customize the start button to your liking, e.g., Windows 7 glossy orbs. Windows 8 & 8.1 are both faster and more secure than Windows 7, for your general information.
  3. NimbusTLD

    NimbusTLD TS Booster Posts: 62   +40

    I want the option to remove the Start button! I don't need it, I know that pressing there will open the Start Screen, now it's just taking up real estate. I understand why they put it back: new users would have no idea how to get to the Start Screen. I however, do know, so don't need it. I hope they bring the option to disable it in later builds.

    The smaller tiles are also a welcome addition, now I can fit more programs before needing to scroll the Start Screen.

    They seem to have acknowledged that the Windows+X menu is an essential resource for the power user by adding more useful options.

    I'm a big fan of Windows 8, and I find that 8.1 refines some small niggles that make the OS smoother to use than before.
  4. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TS Booster Posts: 304   +62

    I installed Windows 8.1; I can definitely tell its in early beta though. I originally got it for the unified search and greater start screen customization options, but they definitely weren't working correctly for me. The search was really slow and didn't search everything like it was supposed to. It looked like it was only correctly searching everything when I clicked into it's specially designed search screen (this made it even slower). Also, I couldn't find any start screen customization options at all through the start screen search. This isn't a huge deal since I have Launchy for searches anyways, but then I noticed it renamed all of my chrome app shortcuts to "chrome.exe" and it blocked avg from working. I tried to reinstall avg, but for some reason wouldn't let me download anything from Chrome anymore without "free download manager" installed. I tried to use a restore point to erase the Windows 8.1 update, but it wouldn't let me even when I disabled all antiviruses and used the advanced restore option. I ended up just doing a clean install of Windows 8.0.

    Normally, I would stick with it just to figure out why it was acting strange, but I have finals coming up, and I don't have time to mess with a beta operating system. I like Windows 8, and 8.1 will definitely add some great features, but I'd still suggest waiting a little bit for the bugs to be worked out before upgrading (unless you have the time and are interested in that stuff).
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    So true! I feel 81 is a step forward, but MS is still hesitant. The start buttons usability according to some review videos is pretty crappy. You have to right click to shut down? How is that easy for the average tech newbie to figure out?
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,336   +843

    I feel like MS took 2 steppes back with Windows 8 and now they took 1 step forward with 8.1. So they are still 1 step behind Windows 7 and the next step would be bringing us start menu back, or giving us to choose between 2 different UIs.
  7. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,336   +843

    Quick Q: When Windows completely releases Windows 8.1, not preview, will it be released as every other Windows on DVD or it would only be released as an update to Windows 8, so you would have to have Windows 8 to get 8.1?
  8. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,476   +126

    They should just get on with it and release Windows 9 for 64-bit systems.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,553

    Right, Windows 8 can be turned into Windows 7, by simply purchasing another program. Thanks for the heads up on that. Nobody here was aware of that. (not)

    While you're at it, you should buy "Windows Media Center" from M$ to complete the "retrograde".

    Before you say anything, WMC works just fine, excellent in fact. So, there's no need to labor on about WMC is crap, and we should be glad to be rid of it.

    So, we'll be seein' ya at the M$ app store then?
  10. All Windows 8 news laughing me.
    Windows 8 on PC like cheerleader skirt on Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,553

    Either that or Kanye West in a leather kilt.
  12. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    I often have conversations with IT professionals and so far I have not met one who thinks Windows 8 is good. I think that MS have shown very poor judgment and it shows that their current management are not fit for the job.
    avoidz likes this.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,553

    First we developed the A-bomb, then we developed the H-bomb. Now, a guest leaks the fact we have succeeded in a true breakthrough in bloodless warfare, "The P-Bomb"!

    Hit the deck, you unworthy "Metrotards", incoming pejoritive........!:eek:

    Dude, "unfit"? How can you call Steve Ballmer "unfit"? At least without a modifying adverb. More like, "wholly unfit", or maybe, "totally unfit", "tragically unfit"....et al...

    Or the ancient folk simile, which I just wrote this morning, "he's like a jack*** in the Hummel factory".
  14. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Another thought. Steve Ballmer and company are no better than the bankers who started the world wide recession. Overpaid and don't care what misery they inflict on people.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,553

    The scary part is they are better, better off! I would suspect that Bill Gates has a lot more money than the average banker, and many of the top guys as well.
  16. Saintnsinner

    Saintnsinner TS Rookie Posts: 56   +11

    Actually giving home loans to unworthy borrowers for over inflated houses is what started the recession. Which was pretty much fueled by our socialist government. It's amazing how capitalism has been successfully demonized and the blame has been squarely placed on the successful in this country. The founding Fathers, who by the way were a bunch of rich guys, are rolling over in their graves.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,553

    And the next part of this fairytale is when you explain that lawyers and predatory lenders aren't vulgar parasites.

    I will concede the point that that more money you print to give away to assist the poor in reproducing, the less it's value becomes.

    Although my neighborhood's flagship social program, "hard drugs for food stamps", seems to be a resounding, "success"....:mad:
    avoidz likes this.
  18. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Sorry Saintnsinner but your view is a load of bollocks. The recession in Europe was not as a result of the housing market. Had the banks been in a stronger position they would not have tumbled down like a stack of cards. Clearly the capitaiist model which you have such faith in has failed big time. If anything is to blame it is the short term bonus schemes and lack of forward planning.

    Personally I believe that a mixed econony is by far the best option. Take the best from each rather than a slavish ideological cul de sac which the Tea Party espouses.
  19. Saintnsinner

    Saintnsinner TS Rookie Posts: 56   +11

    Well I hate lawyers so you get no argument on them from me, but unless you can tell me your mortgage company is coming for your first born because you missed a payment then I'd have to say you've been drinking the Kool Aid too, Captain.
  20. gcarter

    gcarter TS Enthusiast Posts: 82   +23

    I have windows 8 dual booting with windows 7 (well triple booting as I have ubuntu in the mix as well)... and yes, for the majority of my computing time, Im within windows7. However now and again I will boot into windows 8 and use it for a day or so.

    As the world seems to be progressing to everything tablet nowadays, like it or not, if Microsoft hadn't released windows8 with a heavy emphasis on tablet features, they would have been criticized for not keeping up with trends in technology.

    Its unfortunate that MS found themselves in a dammed if you do and dammed if you don't situation.
    Personally, I see Windows 8 like I viewed vista... a test bed for radical changes. Im not going to install the beta of 8.1, rather bide my time until its officially rolled out.

    Again, it had to happen, Microsoft have plenty of cash in the bank to ride out the "I hate windows 8" storm until features and tweaks settle in.
  21. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    People don't hate Windows 8 because of its support of mobile devices, but due to the lack of support for traditional desktops. They should have given users more options not less.
  22. gcarter

    gcarter TS Enthusiast Posts: 82   +23

    Railman has hit the nail on the head with this comment... a lot of hate simply because there is a lot of features for tablet / touch screen users, which as a traditional keyboard and mouse user, dont mesh too well with a standard desktop or laptop.

    On the top of my list, is for MS to bring back the same amount of visual tweaks which were in windows 7, for example being able to have transparencies again, and slim out the borders etc
    avoidz and cliffordcooley like this.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,553

    I can tell you there's plenty of blame to go around. PBS did this topic and interviewed a couple who lost their $400.000 house that they put an astounding $3000 down to get. Talk about, "drinking the Koolaid", then they were going to sue Wells Fargo for giving them the mortgage! In this day and age, nobody in the US is responsible for their own actions. Just an entire generation of needy, pampered, overindulged sociopaths, who think the world owes them everything.

    And count Steve Ballmer among the elite of that class. Sort of like, "the King of Sociopaths".

    I'm still convinced Bill Gates left that douche in charge of his company, to make himself look indispensable.
  24. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    So Bill Gate has done a Emperor Tiberius by appointing Caligula to succeed him. Well both Caligula and Bulllmer both give public displays of madness.
  25. earthquake10

    earthquake10 TS Rookie

    I installed the Windows 8.1 Preview when Microsoft first released it and am generally quite satisfied, though since it's a preview it does have a few bugs to be worked out -- most annoying of which is that icons remain frozen in place on the desktop. I use Stardock's Start8 and ModernMix and have a much faster and more secure "version" of Windows 7 now. ModernMix, by the way, allows you to take your favorite Modern UI programs and use them fully on the desktop complete with pinning the programs' icons onto the taskbar. It adds minimize, maximize and close just like regular desktop programs. I also found a freeware program on Major Geeks' website (can't remember the name) which restores transparency. So, with 3 simple programs all the complaints about Windows 8.1 disappear! And for less than $10.

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