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Windows 8.1 - Review from a Windows Veteran

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Install Process

 

Downloaded the ISO and used the Windows 7 Tool to install from Flash Drive.

 

    The Install was easy

    The Install was fast

    I miss the days where you could go to advance and tell Windows what not to install: P

 

Installed the OS, pretty straight foward.. Windows installs have come a long way..

 

Setting up

 

Oh, the most fun part right? Downloading your favorite apps and testing to see how well they work.. It was an experience much like you would expect from any OS install really... Just download your software, and install it... Found some apps in the Windows Store which makes it easier for updates and what not..

 

Drivers

 

Asus Rampage II

Intel Chipset drivers work 100%

Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium work 100%

2x Cruical M4 512GB Raid-0 work 100%

2x GeForce GTX 680 SLI work work 100%

Plextor DVDRW PX-891SAW work 100%

Logitech G15 Keyboard work work 100%

Logitech G700 Wireless Mouse work 100%

Logitech G930 Wireless Headset work 100%

 

Software

I am not going to go into every software that I tested on 8.1, but it is worth noting, that I have had a lot of issues with software..

Chrome - Crashing - Slow

Filezilla - Crashing Slow

Firefox - Slow

Putty - Slow

 

I am not sure what the deal here is, but hopefully it is just me and if not, hopefully the devs will fix these issues.

 

Games

Counter-Strike: GO works great

Battlefield 3 works great

Call of Duty Black OPs 2 works great

No issues with gaming or my SLI setup

 

The Windows Experience

 

I'm not going to lie, I really can't stand it and this is my third try to give Windows 8/8.1.. It isn't just the start menu, it's just about everything. I feel like I have no control over the system.. I know that isn't the case.. But it is just the way it feels.. I can't really explain it. I find the metro apps just plain annoying. When I open a picture or video, I don't want it to take up an entire monitor. I know you can fix this, but still.. I don't like the direction of this.

 

Task Manager - I really like the way the new task manager works

Boot Time - Not sure how, but it sure boots up A LOT faster than Windows 7

Store - I enjoy searching the store for apps I need

 

Conclusion:

I just can't get into the new swing of the direction of Microsoft. I have been using Microsoft's products for over 23 years and have beta tested since Windows 95. I really enjoyed seeing Microsoft grow and mature over the years. I have read some post on Neowin about members not being able to catch on to the new Windows, and they get called out for being "dinosaurs"  or unable to cope with change. It isn't that at all; think about how much Windows has changed from Windows 3.1 to Windows 7, no one really complained then. Again, I want to stress, it isn't just the start screen I don't like; it is the default metro apps, the entire feel of the OS. Am I jumping ship and never using Windows again? Of course not, I still like Windows 7 as it is a great platform.

 

This is a tough transition to the future of computing, I understand their direction. It is going to take time to get everything fine-tuned.  Until then, I will give Microsoft some time and hopefully they will continue with good improvements.

 

As a thank you for reading this entire post, I will leave you a present. It is a picture of two official Windows 98 Beta CDs.

post-61856-0-07333400-1382398183.jpg

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Posted

Amateur! :p

 

Good write up, it's how I feel - it's not just the start menu (but it is significant)... Microsoft still has some work to do, hopefully they'll come around! :)

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This is a tough transition to the future of computing, I understand their direction. It is going to take time to get everything fine-tuned. Until then, I will give Microsoft some time and hopefully they will continue with good improvements.

This sums it up quite well.

I think the transition is necessary given the change in where the PC is going but it involves some pain.

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Metro apps being the default to open common file types from the desktop makes no sense whatsoever. I've been saying this since Windows 8's release.

 

It's possible to stay in desktop land for the most part but it requires some configuration, and if you really want 0% Metro you need a third-party add-on (Start8/StartIsBack/etc). Start8 has been downloaded 10 million times for God's sake, why doesn't Microsoft listen?

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I feel the same. But I'll continue using it for its features and speed. Most of their ideas are really awesome but the problem is that it's now well put together imo.

 

That feeling of no control is something that I've never been able to get rid of. It's really a big problem for me.

 

 

 

Worth noting that this impression is at it's peak on a desktop. My girlfriend has a Surface and it's really more seamless. I think they'll have to come up with something else entirely to combine their power and mobile users.

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Metro apps being the default to open common file types from the desktop makes no sense whatsoever. I've been saying this since Windows 8's release.

 

It's possible to stay in desktop land for the most part but it requires some configuration, and if you really want 0% Metro you need a third-party add-on (Start8/StartIsBack/etc). Start8 has been downloaded 10 million times for God's sake, why doesn't Microsoft listen?

10 million... to the 100+ million users running the OS? They did listen, and they released Windows 8.1 with some changes, but they're also working feverishly to unify their platforms, and provide new services to their users. They need to do that to keep up, and what Microsoft is doing is nothing short of a wonder. They're moving forward for a new era in computing, one in which the desktop is part of (PC, Surface, Phone, Cloud, XBox) the puzzle, and not the whole thing anymore - and for that to happen, changes need to be made.

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I just can't get into the new swing of the direction of Microsoft. I have been using Microsoft's products for over 23 years and have beta tested since Windows 95. 

 

Same here. I love Windows 7 but for me Windows 8/8.1 just isn't there yet. Maybe in time......

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Oh those Windows 98 beta CDs, I remember them. I wonder if I still have mine.

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Windows 8's UI is honestly  inconsistent. For instance, clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar will bring up a metroized version of the wifi connections.  Some settings in Windows 8 are in the desktop and some are in the modern UI. Windows 7 is better in being consistent. As for the direction of Windows, I don't know where Microsoft is planning on going but I hope they never phase out the desktop in favor of the modern UI.

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Oh those Windows 98 beta CDs, I remember them. I wonder if I still have mine.

 

I still have mine. I was cleaning out the other day and found them. My wife wanted to throw them away but I wouldn't let her.

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This sums it up quite well.

I think the transition is necessary given the change in where the PC is going but it involves some pain.

 

 

Metro apps being the default to open common file types from the desktop makes no sense whatsoever. I've been saying this since Windows 8's release.

 

It's possible to stay in desktop land for the most part but it requires some configuration, and if you really want 0% Metro you need a third-party add-on (Start8/StartIsBack/etc). Start8 has been downloaded 10 million times for God's sake, why doesn't Microsoft listen?

 

 

I feel the same. But I'll continue using it for its features and speed. Most of their ideas are really awesome but the problem is that it's now well put together imo.

 

That feeling of no control is something that I've never been able to get rid of. It's really a big problem for me.

 

 

 

Worth noting that this impression is at it's peak on a desktop. My girlfriend has a Surface and it's really more seamless. I think they'll have to come up with something else entirely to combine their power and mobile users.

 

 

Same here. I love Windows 7 but for me Windows 8/8.1 just isn't there yet. Maybe in time......

I didn't know how to explain it well.. but it is nice to know that I'm not the only one that can't get used to it.

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I've been a constant user of Windows since the 3.1 days and while Windows 8 was very rough, I'm loving 8.1. It's far more polished and the integration with my Lumia and Surface is awesome. They still have ways to go but I'm liking the direction they're going in.

 

P.S. Haven't had any slowdowns or crashes with apps. Only issue I'm having is that my PC shuts down when it goes to sleep, but that's more likely a driver/BIOS issue.

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Conclusion:

I just can't get into the new swing of the direction of Microsoft. I have been using Microsoft's products for over 23 years and have beta tested since Windows 95. I really enjoyed seeing Microsoft grow and mature over the years. I have read some post on Neowin about members not being able to catch on to the new Windows, and they get called out for being "dinosaurs"  or unable to cope with change. It isn't that at all; think about how much Windows has changed from Windows 3.1 to Windows 7, no one really complained then. Again, I want to stress, it isn't just the start screen I don't like; it is the default metro apps, the entire feel of the OS. Am I jumping ship and never using Windows again? Of course not, I still like Windows 7 as it is a great platform.

 

This is a tough transition to the future of computing, I understand their direction. It is going to take time to get everything fine-tuned.  Until then, I will give Microsoft some time and hopefully they will continue with good improvements.

 

As a thank you for reading this entire post, I will leave you a present. It is a picture of two official Windows 98 Beta CDs.

attachicon.gifIMG_20131021_175930.jpg

 

No one complained from 3.1 to 7? I disagree. You only have to do a search here to see lots of complaining about XP, Vista and 7. Especially all the XP diehards refusing to give up their beloved OS. I personally would have been complaining bitterly about the move from Program Manager to the Start Menu in Windows 95 if Neowin had been around back then. That might have been one reason I've accepted the Start Screen so readily - I never liked the Menu, and the Start Screen feels kind of like a modern version of Program Manager. I love the fact that you can group programs visually rather than having a (potentially huge) list. And the Start Screen is vastly easier to organize than the Menu was.

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No one complained from 3.1 to 7? I disagree. You only have to do a search here to see lots of complaining about XP, Vista and 7. Especially all the XP diehards refusing to give up their beloved OS. I personally would have been complaining bitterly about the move from Program Manager to the Start Menu in Windows 95 if Neowin had been around back then. That might have been one reason I've accepted the Start Screen so readily - I never liked the Menu, and the Start Screen feels kind of like a modern version of Program Manager. I love the fact that you can group programs visually rather than having a (potentially huge) list. And the Start Screen is vastly easier to organize than the Menu was.

People did complain about the death of Program Manager, but back in those days, complainers were limited by not having Internet access as easily as people today do. ;)

 

But you are right, people complained about Windows XP at first. It was loathed by many for various reasons and concerns. People complained about the changes in Vista too (we all remember that), yet somehow people are now defending those very changes they complained about in Windows 7, strangely after having complained about how Windows 7 looks like Vista.

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10 million... to the 100+ million users running the OS? They did listen, and they released Windows 8.1 with some changes, but they're also working feverishly to unify their platforms, and provide new services to their users. They need to do that to keep up, and what Microsoft is doing is nothing short of a wonder. They're moving forward for a new era in computing, one in which the desktop is part of (PC, Surface, Phone, Cloud, XBox) the puzzle, and not the whole thing anymore - and for that to happen, changes need to be made.

 

WUT? You're moving towards the center. Kind of like Windows 8.1. Progress is being made. :)

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10 million... to the 100+ million users running the OS? They did listen, and they released Windows 8.1 with some changes, but they're also working feverishly to unify their platforms, and provide new services to their users. They need to do that to keep up, and what Microsoft is doing is nothing short of a wonder. They're moving forward for a new era in computing, one in which the desktop is part of (PC, Surface, Phone, Cloud, XBox) the puzzle, and not the whole thing anymore - and for that to happen, changes need to be made.

 

The complaints were mostly about the removal of the menu, not the button. Putting the button back isn't a sign of them listening, it was a half-assed approach that really suits very few people. As for their "wonder" strategy... well all I can do is point at sales of surfaces and laugh. It seems on the whole the public seem not to agree with your statement that it is anything "wonderful".

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I didn't know how to explain it well.. but it is nice to know that I'm not the only one that can't get used to it.

Windows 8.1 really shines with dual monitors. Big dual monitors. Any desktop user who multitasks can appreciate Mail being snapped on the far right at 1/4 screen. Very well designed. Same for the official facebook app. I actually want more, better apps, not less. If they're done right, the Modern UI app can be quite good.

 

Unfortunately, Windows Media Center doesn't like Metro. Crashes even more in 8.1 with Modern Apps running.

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The complaints were mostly about the removal of the menu, not the button. Putting the button back isn't a sign of them listening, it was a half-assed approach that really suits very few people. As for their "wonder" strategy... well all I can do is point at sales of surfaces and laugh. It seems on the whole the public seem not to agree with your statement that it is anything "wonderful".

The menu isn't coming back. It doesn't work with the UX Microsoft is creating with metro, and it also doesn't support the new APIs and search features baked into the OS. Microsoft met in the middle and gave people back the taskbar-based start button, which invokes the new start screen, which can be customized to meet the needs of users.

 

Also, why single out Surface? Like I said in my original comment, it's only a piece of a larger puzzle which you conveniently ignored. Microsoft has made massive changes both behind the scenes, and on stage. The Surface 2 was just released last night, and is a pretty decent package that will be bringing pressure to the other tablets around it. Nokia also announced a Windows RT tablet last night too, which with the Nokia name on it, will invoke consumer interest.

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I singled out the surface because it's a pretty good indication of how crap joe public thinks their "strategy" is. None of the initial surfaces sold well, and I don't think this one is going to either. You can make all the excuses you want, the reality is Windows tablets are bombing in the market, that's why manufacturer after manufacturer stopped making them. As I have said repeatedly I really couldn't give a toss about the "ecosystem", I'm interested in my needs as a consumer not lining their pockets. So how about actually listening to what people are saying instead of repeating the same annoying Microsoft marketing crap time after time?

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so true google crome don't work well slow big time.

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I singled out the surface because it's a pretty good indication of how crap joe public thinks their "strategy" is. None of the initial surfaces sold well, and I don't think this one is going to either. You can make all the excuses you want, the reality is Windows tablets are bombing in the market, that's why manufacturer after manufacturer stopped making them. As I have said repeatedly I really couldn't give a toss about the "ecosystem", I'm interested in my needs as a consumer not lining their pockets. So how about actually listening to what people are saying instead of repeating the same annoying Microsoft marketing crap time after time?

 

I agree, I don't think 8.1 is going to help Microsoft that much. People just haven't warmed to the interface, overall, though some have. It usually does take Microsoft several tries to get something right, so maybe 8.2 will be the Windows 8 we've been looking for?

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Software

I am not going to go into every software that I tested on 8.1, but it is worth noting, that I have had a lot of issues with software..

Chrome - Crashing - Slow

Filezilla - Crashing Slow

Firefox - Slow

Putty - Slow

 

 

I'm going to say this with 100% certainty, you have something wrong that is not the OS if Chrome and Filezilla are crashing in Windows 8.1 and you are on the latest versions of those apps.

 

Are you running an HDD, maybe you have bad sectors... but it isn't the OS.

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Same feeling exactly, I was hoping to try again with 8.1 (and I will) but this was how I felt when installed Windows 8. Being using Windows since 98, later 98SE, The Me (Loooove it), Windows 2000, Windows XP (hate it until SP2), VisWhat?, Windows 7 now.

 

Conclusion:

I just can't get into the new swing of the direction of Microsoft. I have been using Microsoft's products for over 23 years and have beta tested since Windows 95. I really enjoyed seeing Microsoft grow and mature over the years. I have read some post on Neowin about members not being able to catch on to the new Windows, and they get called out for being "dinosaurs"  or unable to cope with change. It isn't that at all; think about how much Windows has changed from Windows 3.1 to Windows 7, no one really complained then. Again, I want to stress, it isn't just the start screen I don't like; it is the default metro apps, the entire feel of the OS. Am I jumping ship and never using Windows again? Of course not, I still like Windows 7 as it is a great platform.

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I singled out the surface because it's a pretty good indication of how crap joe public thinks their "strategy" is. None of the initial surfaces sold well, and I don't think this one is going to either. You can make all the excuses you want, the reality is Windows tablets are bombing in the market, that's why manufacturer after manufacturer stopped making them. As I have said repeatedly I really couldn't give a toss about the "ecosystem", I'm interested in my needs as a consumer not lining their pockets. So how about actually listening to what people are saying instead of repeating the same annoying Microsoft marketing crap time after time?

Change takes time. Microsoft has a good thing going with their tablets, and I think the "blades" will be what wins over consumers, along with the ever growing ecosystem.

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Change takes time.

Stop trying, it is not happening, Metro Start Screen is inefficient for desktop users and desktop users know the difference between a Dekstop computer and a tablet that barely can keep up using a browser and some tabs opened.

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