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Poll: Windows 8.1 Experience (How do you like it?)

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Poll: Did Microsoft do gooder?

How was installation?

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How is compatibility?

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The features (is it better than Windows 8?)

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#1 Steven P.

Steven P.

    aka Neobond

  • Tech Issues Solved: 64
  • Joined: 09-July 01
  • Location: Neowin HQ

Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:03

windows-8-1-start1.jpg
Now with added Start button goodness.

 

Inspired by the Windows 8 experience thread, which is now unpinned, we have put together a Windows 8.1 satisfactory poll.

Vote!

Leave your comments below, do tell if you upgraded, or clean installed too..

Some facts:

Tip: How do I create install media (ISO/USB) for Windows 8.1? | Windows 8.1 Support thread




#2 dingl_

dingl_

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 29-June 08
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:21

Works decent enough for me. also I created this little image Gallery today, Keeping You In Your Desktop-- Windows 8.1

It seems many are still blissfully unaware how Windows 8.1 really caters to Desktop users.. and its never really

pointed out in detail in many articles I've read

 

as for my install, I upgraded from 8(created image backup beforehand of course) thankfully, it went smooth, no hiccups,

nothing to reinstall



#3 Janet010

Janet010

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 20-October 13
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 RT
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920, Sony Xperia Z

Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:11

Upgrading from Windows 8 Pro wasn't a pain. It took some time to download it, but that can also be due to the server and the time (around dinnertime). Installing was pretty easy and I did not have driver-problems at all. I didn't even have to reinstall my x86 programs, only my apps, downloaded from the store.

 

Upgrading from Windows RT 8.1 preview to Windows RT 8.1 was a bit more difficult. However, with some patience and several retries, I managed to get it working.

 

After the install, everything works like a charm. I am really happy with it (both versions).

 

There are a lot of small improvements, which enhance the total experience. The store is neat and clean, the integration with SkyDrive is superior to Windows 7 or 8 and the replacement of the messages app for the Skype app works neat. I like the added features to the settings charm and I also like the way to get to the address bar in IE11 MUI style: just move the pointer to the bottom of the screen and a small grey line will appear. When clicking on it, the address bar and all open screens will come up. No need to swipe from bottom to top.

The only downside I can see at this moment, is that not all apps are fit for Windows 8.1 (RT). App makers should be working on that. For others, some vendors should update drivers to improve the experience for their users.

 

All in all, I think Windows 8.1 (RT) is an update/upgrade worth downloading.



#4 tuckeratlarge

tuckeratlarge

    You can't polish a turd

  • Joined: 10-August 04
  • Location: the wasteland of mediocrity
  • OS: Win8.1Pro - iOS7 - WP8

Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:27

Was a bit peeved that I had to redo some of my Windows settings--firewall off, defender gone, windows index search off(ssd) for example.

 

Upgrading to 8.1 wiped my Catalyst Control Centre, so had to reinstall that to get the HDMI picture to fill the screen.

 

Upgrading to 8.1 wiped my Avast Antivirus off, why? Anyway, re-downloaded and re-installed.

 

Was a bit miffed that the Skydrive app was wiped in favour of integration with File Explorer. I only synced some folders and used Syncback to shove things from documents and elsewhere into my Skydrive backup. However, it still works as is because the Syncback still works as is and the files you see in File Explorer are on Skydrive not on me PC.

 

I love the reintroduction of the Start button.



#5 Dot Matrix

Dot Matrix

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 5
  • Joined: 14-November 11
  • Location: Upstate New York
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 20 October 2013 - 13:03

Installation: 4/5 - Was stuck on the infamous 403 error trying to get the update, but once it was cleared, installation was smooth sailing.

 

Compatibility: 5/5 - No issues here whatsoever.

 

Features: 5/5 - Again, Windows 8.1 has shown the future of Microsoft's operating system, and has also shown in earnest what kind of platform Metro can be. Microsoft is well on their way to maturing the Metro OS, and I can't wait to see this platform really take off on the desktop, tablet, and living room space.



#6 PeRTeX

PeRTeX

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 24-September 13
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Enterprise x86

Posted 20 October 2013 - 13:06

I don't know if other people have noticed this. I am running Windows XP and Windows 8.1 dual-boot. The volume of the audio coming from Youtube and other video-sharing websites and even local media files is way lower than it's supposed to be even though the volume setting on Youtube, media player, and volume on system tray is set to 100 or maximum level. I tried Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 24, Pale Moon 24, SRWare Iron 30, and they have the same audio level. This is on Windows 8.1

 

I tried doing the same thing, same website, same video, same media file, volume levels all set to 100 or maximum level, this time on Windows XP, but it plays louder than on Windows 8.1 Not sure if this also happened on Windows 7 and Windows 8. My thinking is it could be an issue with Windows 8.1 itself.



#7 PeRTeX

PeRTeX

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 24-September 13
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Enterprise x86

Posted 20 October 2013 - 13:08

I run a clean installation of Windows 8.1 using ISO file and not upgrading from any previous Windows OS.



#8 dingl_

dingl_

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 29-June 08
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Posted 20 October 2013 - 13:36

I don't know if other people have noticed this. I am running Windows XP and Windows 8.1 dual-boot. The volume of the audio coming from Youtube and other video-sharing websites and even local media files is way lower than it's supposed to be even though the volume setting on Youtube, media player, and volume on system tray is set to 100 or maximum level. I tried Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 24, Pale Moon 24, SRWare Iron 30, and they have the same audio level. This is on Windows 8.1

 

I tried doing the same thing, same website, same video, same media file, volume levels all set to 100 or maximum level, this time on Windows XP, but it plays louder than on Windows 8.1 Not sure if this also happened on Windows 7 and Windows 8. My thinking is it could be an issue with Windows 8.1 itself.

 

go to your Volume control icon in your Taskbar, Right click, Playback Devices.. Select your Speakers and click Properties. Go to the 'Enhancements' tab and enable Loudness Equalization



#9 MorganX

MorganX

    MegaZilla™

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 16-June 04
  • Location: Midwest USA
  • OS: Digita Storm Bolt, Windows 8.1 x64 Pro w/Media Center Pack, Server 2k12 - Core i7 3770K/16GB DDR3/OCZ Vector 256GB/Gigabyte GTX 760
  • Phone: HTC One 64GB

Posted 20 October 2013 - 13:38

I think MS got it right. Especially the improved snap (great with multiple monitors). There are signs the control panel will go away from W32 one day, many more settings available in the Modern PC Settings.

 

The Poll resembles my experience. Easy install, compatible, should have been a performance item, it performs great, with the only remaining issue features. I actually really don't have UI issues anymore. With the unified search, the Start Page is as good as the Start Menu for me now, with the only thing missing being hierarchical menus but I'm finding I'm not really missing that too much. That's more of an enterprise thing. I use libraries at home. Turning off the upper left activation of the app bar solves the miss issue with maximized W32 apps, MS was definitely listening.

 

Microsoft has set a great standard with the new Mail App's snap functionality along with the Official Facebook app. Both were designed with snap in mind and IMO much better 1/4 snapped. Of course I have dual monitors and can leave them up all the time. I find having the mail app snapped facilitates more productive multitasking (email is one of the top 3 multitasked apps) than the actual Explorer UI. Same goes for facebook. You don't really need more than 1/4-1/3 screen to consume these items and unless always maximized, you have that much screen unused when Windowing in the Explorer UI. If you are always maximized, then a well made Modern app full screen is much more pleasing to use IMO.

 

There's been some under the hood improvements as well. With default and some OEM drivers, I now get a solid 867Mbs connection with all my 802.11ac adapters. With one exception, Intel's 7260. Intel wrote the drivers, which have always been bad.

 

Missing features for me:

  • Music app still won't dynamically sync music and playlists. Since you can only move songs MS recognizes to the cloud for streaming, this is huge. MS must remember, Apple has streaming, but they still have full functionality in iTunes for the overwhelming majority of people with devices.

     
  • No way to autostart Modern apps.

     
  • No way to set a Modern app to default to a snap view. Would be particularly useful for IE. I'd let the desktop version go if I could do that.
     
  • Modern Mail app does not allow manipulation of search results. Still don't understand this.

     
  • Alarm app needs a regular clock view to go with Alarms, Stopwatch, Timer.

     
  • Alarm app should allow voice turn off or snooze when a microphone is attached. (actually a feature request)
     
  • Modern apps still need more in-place context menus. Take the music app, when a playlist is selected, you can right click and delete it, you have to travel quite a distance to delete it. Not the worst thing in the world, a result of touch device focus in the design, thus, it probably won't get fixed.

     
  • Love the more granular corner control. I turned off the app bar upper left, and ended up turning it back on. It's already becoming second nature and more efficient than going lower left and moving up. So this just needs to be tuned more I guess.
     
  • Bing Health & Fitness could be a very important app since there's such a dearth of good fitness apps for Windows & Windows Phone. Unfortunately v1.0 is not good. The Food and Exercise (equipment) databases are so small they're almost unusable. Entering custom foods and exercises do not capture enough information and for exercises you can't enter 1000 calories burned for a single exercise, you only get 3 digits. From an aesthetic standpoint, other than the useless opening screen you have to scroll past to get to anything usable, it's spot on. From functionality, they need to study other web-based and traditional apps and copy a lot. If it gets right, this will be my #1 app available across devices, data in the cloud, synced with Health Vault, YES! But for now it's more or less housewife faking it material.


#10 acemod13

acemod13

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 07-April 13
  • OS: Windows 8.1 x64
  • Phone: Xperia E (C1505)

Posted 20 October 2013 - 13:53

It's great! It's a bit slow, but it's worth it! :-)



#11 +LimeMaster

LimeMaster

    LippyZillaD Council ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  • Tech Issues Solved: 4
  • Joined: 28-August 10
  • Location: On a laptop
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro RTM with Media Center x64
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 20 October 2013 - 14:28

Installaton 3/5:

Wanted to do a upgrade, but due to it not recogining the lagugage pack, had to do a clean install. Clean install went smoothly and I was able to test my batch install method. :)

 

Compatiblilty 3/5:

Decent, although some programs needed tweaking to work properly on Windows 8.1. (e.g. Visual Studio 2012 Express, Virtual PC 2007 SP1 and some others)

 

Features 4/5:

Can't really complain too much as the update was completely free of charge, however they did sneakly remove features from 8.0, so that is why I give it four stars instead of five.



#12 dbam987

dbam987

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 24-January 09

Posted 20 October 2013 - 22:58

Installation: 4.5 for 5

Couldn't be easier. Its just like how Apple's App Store does updates now. Simply find the update in the Windows App Store, click install, and wait a bit. In my situation I was updating a Windows 8 virtual machine on my MacBook Pro. It took a while, roughly an hour, but completed without issue. The loss of the half point in this category was because I was not notified that McAfee Anti-Virus would be uninstalled during the installation process. I elected to stay with Windows Defender for the time being, seeing as McAfee Anti-Virus is not yet supported on Windows 8.1 it seems.

 

Compatibility: 5 for 5

Even though McAfee isn't yet supported on Windows 8.1, all my other applications were not affected. In fact, they appear to run much smoother even in the virtual machine world. I run Visual Studio 2010 and 2012, which are typically heavy applications and hit the hard drive hard. Glad to see that Windows 8.1 seems lighter on its feet.

 

Features: 5 for 5

Even before the update Windows 8 was pretty good for me. The modern start menu is more functional now, with more options for live tile sizing and improved search across the desktop. Snapping multiple applications is a huge thing for me, especially when I want to look up something with IE while still viewing what I'm working on in Visual Studio. I haven't dabbled with the SkyDrive improvements, but before this update it's been rock solid to begin with.



#13 Atomic Wanderer Chicken

Atomic Wanderer Chicken

    Assistant Special Agent Chicken in charge

  • Tech Issues Solved: 5
  • Joined: 20-August 12
  • Location: Black Mesa Research Facility, USA
  • OS: Windows 95 with Microsoft Plus
  • Phone: Motorola MicroTAC Elite

Posted 20 October 2013 - 23:20

How was installation?

 

It went smoothly, however I had issues with my AMD graphics control center. I wish Microsoft could have provided an ISO to an upgrade via a DVD. I am still scratching my head at Microsoft's  decisions with the 8.1 upgrade.

 

Compatibility

 

Everything works so far, with the exception of the AMD graphics control center but it is now fixed. I haven't tried any old games (90s).

 

The features (is it better than Windows 8?)

 

It is  better than Windows 8, especially with the things they put in for desktop users. You can customize the start screen a lot more and there are some new metro apps like the metro calculator. Upgrading from 8 to 8.1 is like Windows 98 compared to Windows 95 in terms of improvement, meaning that they aren't humungous.



#14 +ians18

ians18

    Neowin's Best

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 17-May 12
  • Location: On The Blue Marble
  • OS: Windows 8.1u1/8.1u1 RT, WP 8.1, OSX Mav.
  • Phone: Microsoft Lumia 521 on T-mo w/ WP 8.1 & Lumia "Black" firmware

Posted 20 October 2013 - 23:22

Install 4/5 It was slow (around 2 hours) on Windows RT

 

Compatibility (on my RT is 5/5) all programs work and on my desktop 5/5 as well

 

Features 4/5 because needs multiple desktop (like spaces) support, drag and drop, better modern ui file explorer, boot to a specific app, more theme options, A TON of customization options are missing like adjusting the number of tile rows. Windows's key is customization because one  windows doesn't fit all, but a unified OS with the ability to tweak everything (except turning off the modern UI) does



#15 Dot Matrix

Dot Matrix

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 5
  • Joined: 14-November 11
  • Location: Upstate New York
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 20 October 2013 - 23:38

This new Start Button is wierd. There's moments where I can have three start buttons on the screen - at the same time! :/