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Old April 3 2014, 10:54 AM   #1
J. Allen
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I Almost Want Windows 8.1

You heard me. I almost want Windows 8.1 due to this recent bit of news:
Wired wrote:
Windows is now free for smaller devices: phones and tablets with screen sizes less than 9-inches. The Start menu is back, baby, and better than ever with a mix of traditional view of applications, and those live tiles (that it’s just sure you’re going to love) from the Start Screen. The Windows 8.1 update will boot to the desktop automatically if you’re not on a touchscreen.

The Start Screen has a contextual menu that pops up with a right-click. A PC Settings tile is now up in the top hand side by default. Searching for apps shows you where they are on their machines, gets you to the All Apps list when you have a new one, and helps drive you to the Store when appropriate. In short: it’s new, but also more familiar.
I've said it before, but Windows 8 had some good power underneath the hood, but the UI was ridiculous for anyone without a touch screen, or a tablet.

Now they're rectifying that, and in the process, making the OS more accessible to change through a more organic process. Could I have acclimated to the tiles, and touch based interface? Certainly, but over a few versions, and not all at once. Microsoft lost me when they shoehorned it all in and expected me to eat it up like it was candy.

I'm also interested in Cortana, the powerful and friendly new personal user assistant Microsoft has developed. From first blush, it looks top notch, and I can't wait to try it out, should I eventually get a smart phone.

So, what do you think? Is Microsoft's improvements enough to get you to consider upgrading? I mean, I won't do it for a while yet, as Windows 7 still meets all of my current needs, but my next PC? Maybe.
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Old April 3 2014, 04:17 PM   #2
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

At this point I'll just keep to the pattern of updating on every other release. So, whenever "9" comes out..
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Old April 3 2014, 04:22 PM   #3
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

It's still a little 'too much at once', since Windows 9 will be this platform with a more refined UI and bugs ironed out, 9 or 9.1 might be better.
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Old April 3 2014, 04:23 PM   #4
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

The biggest thing for me was they said now you can run Metro apps in a window on the desktop. That was the biggest Win8 killer for me - those things taking over the entire screen, or even half of it, would kill my workflow.
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Old April 3 2014, 04:45 PM   #5
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

J. Allen wrote: View Post
You heard me. I almost want Windows 8.1 due to this recent bit of news
I built a new computer a couple months ago and was torn between installing Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro. I decided to give Windows 8.1 a chance. With a $4.99 utility called Start8 I got it looking and working almost just like my old Windows 7 PC, only it runs a lot faster. It sounds like this new update will even make that $4.99 utility unnecessary.

I was skeptical of Windows 8.1 three months ago but wouldn't hesitate to recommend it now as long as you don't have to replace any expensive applications because of it.

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Old April 3 2014, 05:07 PM   #6
Robert Maxwell
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

sojourner wrote: View Post
At this point I'll just keep to the pattern of updating on every other release. So, whenever "9" comes out..
This is the next release. 8 was the crappy one, 8.1 is the better one. Much like 7 was an incremental improvement over Vista in that it fixed everything people hated about Vista.
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Old April 3 2014, 06:51 PM   #7
sojourner
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

It's the next release in the same way that 3.1 was. I'll wait for the next full iteration.
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Old April 3 2014, 07:21 PM   #8
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

One thing that's been annoying me over the last couple of years is the shrinking percentage of application windows dedicated to the document (including web pages) itself. While toolbars can be useful, it's nice to have room to see the content you're working with instead of unnecessarily large toolbar icons, tool bars on multiple edges of the window and title bars that are mostly a blank background color.

The new style applications have tool bars that hide in a manner similar to the hide option for the desktop's task bar in earlier versions of Windows. That leaves significantly more room for the document itself. There's still the ability to tile two apps (or two instances of the same app) horizontally for when you want to compare two documents or copy content from one app/instance to the other.

The slide out menu on the left side of the screen is much like the application buttons on the Windows 7 desktop task bar. It even has the thumbnails that show the actual application content instead of an icon. Alt-tab works for switching between running applications as well as it always did.

The start screen is basically a full screen start menu. The user can pin apps to it, rearrange tiles so that the most frequently used are available without horizontal scrolling and shrink the tiles so more fit on screen without scrolling (at the sacrifice of any "live tile" functions that particular app has). Applications that need to run on the legacy desktop can also have tiles on the start page and even show their icon on the tile. The Windows 8 search function activates with the first key stroke at the start screen with no need to click a search function combo box. A button near the lower left corner displays the "all programs" list. Since I normally clicked the start/logo button right after Windows finished booting the presence of the start page at boot up actually saves me a few steps.

Programs written for the legacy desktop can be cascaded and tiled vertically the same way they can in Windows 7. Internet Explorer has desktop and new style versions that share the same list of web favorites. The new style version of IE has a button on one of its slide out menus to view the current page in the desktop version of IE.

Last edited by RobertVA; April 3 2014 at 07:37 PM.
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Old April 3 2014, 07:33 PM   #9
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

We've got Windows 8.1 at work and never use the live tiles. They're great for my tablet though. It's not something that is ever in the way or anything.
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Old April 3 2014, 07:33 PM   #10
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

sojourner wrote: View Post
It's the next release in the same way that 3.1 was. I'll wait for the next full iteration.
If that's true, then it will be a good thing. Win3.1 was head and shoulders an improvement over Win3.0.
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Old April 3 2014, 07:37 PM   #11
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

sojourner wrote: View Post
It's the next release in the same way that 3.1 was.
What's in a name?

Windows 7 Professional:


Windows 8.1 Professional:


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Old April 3 2014, 07:42 PM   #12
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

And this is why one should never take version numbers/names too literally or seriously.

If MS' usual pattern holds, 8.1 will be the "good" one. That said, they've changed strategies recently to have more frequent, smaller OS upgrades, so who knows. Maybe 8.2 will also be good, and then 8.3, but then 8.4 will screw up something important before 8.5 makes it right again. Or they'll go from 8.1 to 9 and 9 will be a piece of crap.
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Old April 3 2014, 08:24 PM   #13
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

8.1 works well, quite stable as well, haven't seen a crash in ages, I use Classic Shell so its look and feel are like Win 7.

Compared to 8.0, its takes a little less disk space, its a wee bit faster here and there as well, and yes, its faster than Win7.

Reasons to upgrade? DirectX 12 if you have a new(er) graphics card then yup.

As for the rest, 7 is still one of the best OS's they've released, it will be a good choice for whatever machine you're building now, 8 and 8.1 will be increasingly the best choice though since they will get features 7 won't get.
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Old April 4 2014, 01:54 AM   #14
J. Allen
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
It's still a little 'too much at once', since Windows 9 will be this platform with a more refined UI and bugs ironed out, 9 or 9.1 might be better.
It depends. If I don't build a new PC in the next year or so, I'll hold out for 9. If I build one this year, then I'll go ahead and snag 8.1.

B.J. wrote: View Post
The biggest thing for me was they said now you can run Metro apps in a window on the desktop. That was the biggest Win8 killer for me - those things taking over the entire screen, or even half of it, would kill my workflow.
Yeah, the half and full page app windows were way too much for me. I usually have 5 or 10 windows open when I'm working.

scotthm wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
You heard me. I almost want Windows 8.1 due to this recent bit of news
I built a new computer a couple months ago and was torn between installing Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro. I decided to give Windows 8.1 a chance. With a $4.99 utility called Start8 I got it looking and working almost just like my old Windows 7 PC, only it runs a lot faster. It sounds like this new update will even make that $4.99 utility unnecessary.

I was skeptical of Windows 8.1 three months ago but wouldn't hesitate to recommend it now as long as you don't have to replace any expensive applications because of it.

---------------
Agreed. I'll probably give 8 another try via 8.1, and if it seems to work much better than 8, I'll start recommending it to people.
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Old April 4 2014, 06:02 AM   #15
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Re: I Almost Want Windows 8.1

I considered upgrading the HP to 8.1 but the download is 3.5gig or more. We don't have broadband and this isn't a laptop. I can't believe everyone just assumes you have broadband.
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