Windows 8.1 - Pros & cons, hints & tips.

#1
I have been running Win 8.1 for a month now (yes, I bought a new machine), and as far as I am concerned Win 8.1 (as opposed to Win 8.0) is far better than its reputation: for one thing, it is very stable. I have not even seen it crash yet, and that is, when I am involved, quite unique :notme:.

After looking through every nook and cranny I could find, I also feel that it is not so hard to find things after all. It just took some getting used to. I actually installed a little thing called ClassicShell in order to get the ol' Startmenu back, but I chucked it out after a week, when I realised that I was not using it.

So, what do the rest of you think? Whether we like it or not, we will be stuck with it when we buy new computers, so let's share hints & tips.
 
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Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#2
I installed Windows 8 on a new PC when it was first released. There were several frustrating things about it at the time, including something as simple as there being no obvious way to close the window for one of the "Modern" apps. There were other things too, such as the presence of an administrator menu accessed by moving the mouse cursor to the lower-left corner of the screen and right-clicking:



There's no way to know that handy menu is there; I found it accidentally. The absence of the Start menu on the desktop was also a stupid omission, but I cured it by spending $5 on start8

In the year and a half since the initial release there have been significant updates beginning with 8.1 and most recently the 8.1 Update, which used to be referred to as a service pack. The latter is the most significant as it makes the "modern" interface much more friendly to mouse-and-keyboard users by adding a bar to the top of the screen (you have to move the mouse up there to see it) that allows for closing or minimizing Modern apps:



With the 8.1 update, open Modern apps are visible on the desktop task bar, and the task bar is accessible from the Modern app window.

There are other things in general about Windows 8 that are improved over previous versions. The task manager is vastly improved, the search function is fast and really works and things are faster overall. Now that Windows 8 includes features that should have been there from the start, it's a much better OS, and in my opinion superior to all of its ancestors.
 

Frankie11

Involved In Discussions
#3
I bought a new laptop a month ago and was dreading moving on to windows 8. The woman at the store gave me a quick tutorial on 8.1 which was invaluable. I thoroughly recommend asking for one when upgrading.

I've adapted pretty quickly. I have a touch screen which makes things a lot easier. I still mostly use the mouse but some things are much easier to do on the touch screen.

My only real complaint so far is not being able to resize and arrange open programs however I want.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#4
I bought a new laptop a month ago and was dreading moving on to windows 8. The woman at the store gave me a quick tutorial on 8.1 which was invaluable. I thoroughly recommend asking for one when upgrading.

I've adapted pretty quickly. I have a touch screen which makes things a lot easier. I still mostly use the mouse but some things are much easier to do on the touch screen.

My only real complaint so far is not being able to resize and arrange open programs however I want.
I assume you're referring to "modern" regarding resizing. You can resize and arrange standard desktop apps as before. The same place that sells the Start8 program I referred to earlier also sells one called Modern Mix that provides the ability to resize and display multiple "modern" apps.
 
P

PaulJSmith

#5
I bought a new laptop a few months ago, and the OS is 8.1. I didn't like it at first, as I'd migrated from an XP desktop. There was definitely a learning curve. Having used it for awhile now, it's not so bad after all. I still have some older programs that don't run well (some not at all) with 8.1, but that will fix itself over time, either with upgrades or just buying newer programs. Overall, though, it seems like a decent system.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#6
I bought a new laptop a few months ago, and the OS is 8.1. I didn't like it at first, as I'd migrated from an XP desktop. There was definitely a learning curve. Having used it for awhile now, it's not so bad after all. I still have some older programs that don't run well (some not at all) with 8.1, but that will fix itself over time, either with upgrades or just buying newer programs. Overall, though, it seems like a decent system.
If you haven't tried it already, older programs might work in compatibility mode.

I have an old version of Adobe Acrobat Pro (7) that worked fine under 8.0, and then 8.1, but when the 8.1 Update was installed, it would no longer work, and nothing I've been able to do will make it work. I think it's the only program I've lost after the intial install of Windows 8.
 
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