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  1. #1
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    What you should know about Windows 8.1 Update




    TOP STORY

    What you should know about Windows 8.1 Update


    By Woody Leonhard

    Netflix and Comcast now have an agreement allowing Netflix to link directly to Comcast's servers.

    Similar agreements are in the works, involving Verizon and many other ISPs.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/what-you-should-know-about-Windows-8-1-update/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2014-04-02 at 13:13.

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    Yes, I am in the process of going back to win7 after I gather all my data files etc and plan a strategy.
    Win 8 and 8.1 remind me of the way the early windows was overlaid over DOS. Yes I remember those days!
    If you want a new OS make it really new. I like android on all my other devices.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by plkoz View Post
    Yes, I am in the process of going back to win7 after I gather all my data files etc and plan a strategy.
    Win 8 and 8.1 remind me of the way the early windows was overlaid over DOS. Yes I remember those days!
    If you want a new OS make it really new. I like android on all my other devices.
    I agree with this poster's decision (unfortunately).

    IMHO Win 7 has been fine (even great!), Win 8.x not...

    Win 8.x may well be a fine operating system in time... but consensus of opinion within my family, friends and customers is that current versions of Win 8 (all flavours) are 'a bridge too far' ("We just want to do simple stuff").

    Luckily it's just my opinion (and those of my family and friends)... which we're all allowed to have.

  4. #4
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    Well at least under the Important and trivial change section, the update is finally going to allow Win 8 to sense the presence of a touch screen or not and boot directly to the desktop if not present. Add a start menu and they've got exactly what I was calling for from about day 2 of attempting to come to terms with 8.

    I think this may have been the biggest rift between knowledgeable supporters and the not so keen crowd (default programs being on the Metro side when on the desktop was another for me). I've always maintained that the trivial is not so trivial when it goes from a one on one basis to tens upon tens of millions. Woody has captured that frustration in writing quite perfectly.

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    In my never humble opinion, my Win 8.1 + free Classic Shell is at least as good as Win 7 and better in some respects in terms of speed and compatibility with some of my "archaic" Office 97 applications. Have had no driver problems on either Desktop (circa 2008 core 2 duo) machines. Looking back at every Microsoft OS including Win 3.0, I see the same universal loathing of it at first and then the tantrums taper off with use until the next release. Admittedly Vista probably earned that negativity but I do not think Win 8.1 does.

    Your mileage obviously varies
    Last edited by TOF; 2014-04-03 at 10:36.

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    Still no compelling reason to "upgrade" from Win 7 on my laptops and desktop. I'll be on 7 until support runs out in 2020. Otherwise for my tablets and mobile devices I use Android and all are connected without problems to my Office 365 / Exchange email accounts including calendars and contacts.

    Put another way, the direction of MS is now heading is to produce software for multi-platform devices and I guess that in due course my migration from Win 7 may be to a non-MS OS that needs my requirements better than Win 8+++ can.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    The changes in Win 8.1.1 are a step in the right direction. But the Start Menu is still not entirely back. Early word on Win 9 is that there's a much better facsimile of the Start Menu in this upcoming Windows version.

    I won't be getting a Surface Pro Win 9 version for cost reasons. But Dell will probably have something like their Venue 8 Pro and Venue 10 Pro tablets, and there are rumors that MS and Dell have plans for adding 64-bit Android (modified for Microsoft) as a third start screen option (alongside Metro and the Legacy Desktop). Price will still be a factor, but there are some interesting possibilities here.

    Still, as seen here , the devil's in the details. No paradise or panacea yet.

    I remain committed to my converted Toshiba Satellite laptop running Ubuntu 64-bits for the time being. Maybe add a 64-bits on Intel Android tablet for mobile use sometime this year or early next, but nothing more for me. More here .

    Windows 8 or 9 do not appeal to me for desktop use. For tablets, the added expense of these devices is not justified compared with Android on Intel.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-04-03 at 13:42.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Woody, old fruit,

    your article reads as though you don't quite approve of mouse users; they are perhaps a little antediluvian. Maybe so but I have been using Win 7 for 2 years now on a 23 inch touch-screen all-in-one desktop. I am 6ft 3in with very long arms but at no time do I feel compelled to reach forward and touch the screen. At a comfortable viewing distance, about a yard, I can reach the screen but why would I? I have a mouse just here.

    When it first arrived I did fiddle about playing Angry Birds but practically never since then.

    As the desktop is the only time I use Windows these days (my phone and tablet are Android and are unlikely to change), then I suggest that the desktop is the only place Windows and the mouse can prosper, until the Android/Linux people get their act in order that is.

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    Is updating from 8 to 8.1 required before updating to 8.1.1?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkellysr View Post
    Is updating from 8 to 8.1 required before updating to 8.1.1?
    Yes. Windows 8.1 update on applies to Windows 8.1 SKUs. See "Applies To" at Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update April, 2014.

    Joe

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    I was fed up with the crashes and other unlpleasant surprises I had in W8.1 and reinstalled Windows 7 on my desktop. I installed W 8.1 on one of my laptops (I have the license, and I will have to use W8 once in a while, I of course had to call Microsoft to get it activated because it believed it was already installed on a computer, which was not true anymore, that computer now had W7)...
    I am so glad I am back at 7. The only thing I miss now is the settings I could choose from with 2 screen mode. W7 has only two options while 8 had more. This desktop will only be upgraded when a new OS comes along that is not so unfriendly or whatever you may want to call it, as W 8.1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodysillyname View Post
    Woody, old fruit,

    your article reads as though you don't quite approve of mouse users; they are perhaps a little antediluvian. Maybe so but I have been using Win 7 for 2 years now on a 23 inch touch-screen all-in-one desktop. I am 6ft 3in with very long arms but at no time do I feel compelled to reach forward and touch the screen. At a comfortable viewing distance, about a yard, I can reach the screen but why would I? I have a mouse just here.
    No, Woody would probably wonder why you have a touchscreen and use Win 7. Also you might want to read his Infoworld article on the same subject. It's dripping with sardonic wit pent up from relative years' worth of W8 frustrations. At most he might be saying it's all a bit silly to be refining a touch interface to be more mouse-friendly.

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    W8 is the reason PC sales are down?

    C'mon now, you don't honestly think that W8 is the reason that PC sales are down, do you? Smartphones & tablets make the PC less used... maybe that's why PC sales are down. Also when Mr. & Mrs Average are buying a new PC, do you honestly believe that they will say: Oh my God I can't bring myself to buy this because it has Windows 8? It takes about 5 minutes to realize that W8 is 2 OS's in one and that the touch-metro side doesn't have to visited. This tune is really getting old.
    Last edited by DocteurO; 2014-04-04 at 10:48.

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    Nobody mentions the Start menu

    As a Windows 7 user without a touch screen, I just couldn't see the point of upgrading to Windows 8. What with losing the start menu, getting the "modern UI" and making the desktop harder to find, it just didn't seem like a good idea. I kept an open mind, though, and when 8.1 came out I checked it out again. It seemed to be better, giving me better access to the desktop at boot, and a few other things, but I still missed that old start menu. So no upgrade for me. Then, about a month ago, I bought my wife a new all in one computer to replace her failing laptop. It came with Windows 8, of course, which I promptly upgraded to 8.1. That's when my "aha" moment happened. I was on the modern UI or Start Screen, when I accidentally swiped up. I found the list of programs that were installed, many which were not present on the tile screen. It looked vaguely familiar, but I still didn't get it. A bit later, I was using the mouse and inadvertently moved the mouse toward the lower left of the Start Screen, and an arrow was displayed. Upon clicking the arrow, the screen with all the programs was displayed. Then I realized what was familiar about it. It was the replacement for the Start Menu. It is the "All Programs" menu portion, while the Start Screen with the tiles was the replacement for that portion of the menu which was displayed when clicking the Start button. So the Start menu was here all along, it was just disguised by that new modern UI. Now that the update for 8.1 is here, I'm no longer trying to decide IF I will upgrade to Windows 8.1 on my laptop, but rather WHEN I will upgrade. I don't see anyone talking about the "new" start menu. It needs to be made more obvious.

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    That start menu has been with us since W8 came out. As it's intuitive (haha) to right click for windows users (or should be) I found it very quickly on W8. Now in 8.1 you just need to move the mouse to get the all programs page.

    Personally, I've never liked the start menu ever since XP (was it in W95 or NT4?), so I think (for me) the start screen is much better. But I appreciate that not everybody likes it the start screen and prefers the menu. I think that MS should allow people to choose which method they use.

    I think it would be useful for people to say why they don't like W8 rather than a blanket condemnation. Some people have had crashes and/or problems with devices. Maybe I've been lucky but I haven't - with an old scanner and an oldish printer, as well as Office 2003. I would never go back to W7, but then (as I've said before) I favour the underdog!

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