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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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#16 Max Norris

Max Norris

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 36
  • Joined: 20-February 11
  • OS: Windows 7
    Windows 8.1 (Desktops)
    2012 R2/Debian
    BSD Unix (Servers)
  • Phone: HTC One (Work) Lumia 1020 (Home)

Posted 20 October 2013 - 23:46

No complaints overall, nice improvements over 8.0.  Still not a fan of the modern thing, growing on me but still not 100% sold on it, at least on my work desktop, differently story entirely on a mobile device.  But meh, it's Windows so it's flexible, as always just install whatever tweaks and move on. 

#17 Ambroos


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 7
  • Joined: 16-January 06
  • Location: Belgium
  • OS: OS X Yosemite / Windows 7
  • Phone: Sony Xperia Z2

Posted 20 October 2013 - 23:58

Installation: 4. Fast and easy but less options than 7 (especially when starting the installation from within Windows 7) so not a 5.


Compatibility: 2. GPU drivers were a mess and there was no solution where everything worked for my hardware. I had expected Windows 7 GPU drivers to work without issue, they didn't.


Features: 4. Better than 8, needs too much customization to work as comfortable as 7 for me.

#18 Richard C.

Richard C.

    The Cooky Monster

  • Joined: 15-April 05
  • Location: Around
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro & Mac OSX
  • Phone: iPhone 5

Posted 21 October 2013 - 17:15

3/5 Offline install was VERY slow considering the specs of my machine,


4 / 5 Compatibility was fine, a few games said i had to install something called DirectAccess, then everything as old as Half-life 1 worked fine, still some minor errors with some parts of Visual Studio.


3/ 5 Performance is less snappy, surprising considering the experiences of most users here.

#19 gawicks



  • Joined: 07-November 10
  • OS: Windows 8.1

Posted 21 October 2013 - 17:27

Since the update All Bing apps are crashing on me. Also the music app :/

#20 FrostAM



  • Joined: 01-February 07
  • Location: Georgia, USA
  • OS: OS X

Posted 21 October 2013 - 17:30

Installation 2/5 - I don't have the latest and greatest computer, but it still shouldn't have taken me 2 hours to install it. This is excluding the download time. 


Compatibility 3/5 - It removed my Catalyst control center and a few programs I use for work. I was particularly miffed that the VPN software I use to connect to clients was gone. 


Features 3/5 - Start button is rather useless, it's faster to use Win + X for the context menu or the windows button for the start screen. I can see how it'd be helpful for those who don't use keyboard shortcuts though. Right-clicking on a network from the sidebar no longer does anything. I have to dig to find the connection properties. The search is better though, that's a huge plus. 

#21 +_Alexander


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 21-January 13
  • Location: USA
  • OS: W8.1 u1
  • Phone: Nokia 521

Posted 24 October 2013 - 04:59



I think things work.


2/5 - IE11 is the slowest browser I have ever used. I feel like I got trolled by Microsoft who were promoting as being faster than IE10 - IE10 destroys IE11's performance. Unbelievably bad, laggy, get stuck, stops responding doing mundane tasks.

Also 8.1 seems more buggy. Unimpressed at all. I think Microsoft pulled out an EA with 8.1 - if I knew better, I would avoid upgrading.

#22 Thewindows8user



  • Joined: 04-July 12
  • Location: India
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: NOKIA Lumia 720, Samsung Omnia W

Posted 24 October 2013 - 07:30

There are a few programs not working, but those are very old and cannot blame Microsoft for it. Overall, it is a very good and much needed upgrade, but a few things are still left to be desired.

Contrary to other reports, my install on a mediocre PC took just 15 minutes.

#23 Ian W

Ian W

    Neowinian Werewolf

  • Tech Issues Solved: 5
  • Joined: 01-March 13
  • OS: Windows Vista, Windows 8.1 Update

Posted 24 October 2013 - 07:40

Although I am a fan of most of the changes, some of the noteworthy interface improvements are limited in their scope.

Some changes are welcome, such as the visible All Applications button on the Start screen, but I can't help wonder why it isn't slightly larger.  

Other changes, such as the smaller Aero Peek button, and the deprecation of the System Image Backup feature introduced in Windows Vista, are confounding.

Windows 7 Aero Peek button

Windows 8.1 Aero Peek button

#24 Som



  • Joined: 14-December 06
  • Location: Ireland

Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:09

It's definitely an improvement, with the exception if skydrive but I still have absolutely no use for the "metro" experience on my desktop...

#25 jesseinsf


    Windows 7/8.1 Support Guru

  • Joined: 04-October 05
  • Location: Reseda, CA
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center 64 bit

Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:17

The only reason why I gave the compatibility a "3" is because NVidia is having issues with the 460 and 560ti series of graphics cards.

#26 LambdaLambdaLambdaFn



  • Joined: 13-November 13

Posted 13 November 2013 - 16:59

Compatibility: 2. GPU drivers were a mess and there was no solution where everything worked for my hardware. I had expected Windows 7 GPU drivers to work without issue, they didn't.


I had similar issues.  The Intel Graphics driver on my Vivotab Smart keeps crashing, especially after returning from sleep.  I Googled around a bit and it looks like graphics support is a pretty common problem on 8.1.

#27 LambdaLambdaLambdaFn



  • Joined: 13-November 13

Posted 23 November 2013 - 22:26

I had similar issues. 


Update:  Got the new Intel drivers via Windows Update today and issue is fixed.

#28 snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

    Electrical & Computer Engineer

  • Tech Issues Solved: 29
  • Joined: 23-August 05
  • OS: Win/Lin/Bsd/Osx
  • Phone: dumb phone

Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:03

Pretty so-so. All of my installations had gotchas.

  • My Home desktop would black screen and cut off initially. It resolved itself after I did chkdsk or just on its own.
  • My laptop wouldn't upgrade because of Truecrypt, but the Installer wasn't smart enough to know that and would revert after the initial reboot.
  • My Work desktop had the same Truecrypt issues, failed to decrypt, and required a complete reinstall after that.

In general I also had issues even getting the upgrades to install or register:

  • For my Home PC and Laptop, my 8.0 keys wouldn't work with the released ISOs for 8.1 so I had to hunt for an illegally blocked key to do the upgrade THEN switch back to my legal keys for registering those machines (note: this was a bit before they had the in store upgrade, so that is why I didn't go that path for upgrades).
  • My work PC enterprise 8.0 key would also not work for registering enterprise 8.1 so I had to go get the updated key from IT.
  • Finally, when I got a new laptop a few weeks ago and tried to install 8.0 pro, I couldn't because the disc checks the SLP table and refuses to install on systems with a lower-end 8.0 key in the table. I didn't even bother to try an 8.1 ISO because I figured that would fail also. We won't even mention how I actually got Win8.1 on my new laptop after that debacle. 
  • The whole process is simply a huge pain in the ass for what was suppose to be basically a service pack type update. MS really did a a poor job of it for anyone who had to do anything other than click the in store update.


In terms of actual issues, there are a number I've had so far:

  • Windows 8.1 Start Search is very laggy by default because it doesn't index certain folders. This is a persistent issue on every install of 8.1 I have.
  • My work PC is randomly black-screened when I come into work (I can still remotely access it, so it isn't dead).
  • My work PC will randomly black-screen on boot -- again the same visual issue as stated above. Interestingly, the issue resolved itself temporarily when I switched the order of which device was hooked to which sata part (I find it rather hard to believe that it was anything but a fluke though). Unfortunately it came back when I installed a new PSU and I've been unable to resolve it (or care enough to resolve it ...) at this point or ever basically.

#29 alexisgoody



  • Joined: 28-November 13
  • Location: Canada

Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:02

It's not that bad when you get used to it.

#30 chrisj1968


    copyrighted!! ©

  • Tech Issues Solved: 3
  • Joined: 17-June 08
  • Location: United States

Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:35

I put 5/5 because I made 8.1 look and feel how I wanted it to for how I work... I guess it would be called my workflow...