Windows 8.1 Review

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CaptainFabulous

This. After playing around with Windows 8.1 for about half an hour, and getting extremely frustrated with the damned Metro interface and my inability to get rid of it so I could actually accomplish something useful other than fighting it, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon anytime soon until I do my research and find a suitable hack to kill it.

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legionera

What we say in our business "if you can't figure it out, maybe computing is not for you"

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lordfirefox

We also say "If it ain't broke don't fucking try to fix it."

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legionera

@ lordfirefox

Good point. This is the reason the Metro UI should not be fixed

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RandomInt

DirectX has been bumped up to version 11.2:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/bg182880.aspx

One of the new Direct3D features is called Tiled Resources. Here's a short video with an explanation and a couple of demos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EswYdzsHKMc

In general, I'd like to see more desktop applications tap into the WinRT APIs.

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pastorbob

As has been stated in hundreds of comments to numerous articles, you either like it or you don't and it is mainly a matter of preference.
But in all of the comments, and my discussions with friends and family I have determined there are basically three groups where Windows 8 is concerned.

Group 1 - Those who liked it from the start.
Group 2 - Those who hated it in the beginning but took the time to learn to navigate it and now use it, albeit in some cases somewhat grudgingly.
Group 3 - Those who hate it, are set in their ways and will never like it because they refuse to change, and nobody is going to convince them otherwise.

My experience says that Group 2 is the silent majority, so I suspect we will see slow but steady acceptance of the OS in spite of Group 3.

Stay tuned.

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Jims45wow

A generational issue, perhap: Ownership (and thus, ultimate control) is further removed from the buyers. The interface clouds that with grotesque highlights.
--Be happy that some are bothered by things you don't notice. It keeps excess feces out of your food sources.

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maxeeemum

@pastorbob

You left out a couple of groups.

Group 4 - Those who went to Best Buy and bought a new PC thinking they were getting the latest greatest. Then after a few days said "enough" and returned the PC. Then went back to their old PC (like my brother).
Group 5 - Those who used the Previews and said "WTF". This group realized that M$ is up to no good and vote with their wallet. They will wait for Win9 or 10 if needed.

My experience says Group 2, 3, 4 & 5 will spread the word and Win8 in the end will be considered a failure. Once more the reputation of M$ will take another hit.

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siramic

I'm in group 2...yet I really only use it in Desktop mode.

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Blam

I can't help but notice how you paint Group 3 in a negative light. Win7 is better for me; I can't see anything in 8 that would make me want to change. I have my Win7 on an SSD drive and boot times aren't an issue for me, especially when you take into consideration that he only time my computer gets turned off is when the power goes out, or I go on vacation. I have 3 monitors, when I am not gaming I keep 2 in portrait mode and 1 in landscape. What icons I do keep on my desktop are there because I always use them, but I also use programs like magic formation and StrokeIt to keep other programs it my fingertips.

What really makes this Win8 so magical that I am a fool for not switching?

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davelray

Absolutely nothing. Stick with 7 for as long as you want. It's just an operating system after all.

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Blues22475

I would fit group 2 but there are a couple of annoyances about W8 that makes it more annoying to troubleshoot:

1. Safe Mode. No longer are you able to access it via spamming F8. You have to be able to boot into the OS to be able to set it to boot into Safe Mode. If you can't do this (which I have had the situation happen a couple of times), you have to "force it" to boot into Safe Mode via command line in the "Advanced Recovery" Options.

2. Accessing the "Advanced Recovery Options" can be a pain depending on your Manufacturer. Getting to it with Sony Vaio almost requires you to hit the "Assist" button rather than using the known shortcuts.

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davelray

Hold down the SHIFT key while pressing F8 during boot.

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maxeeemum

Bottom line; I'm using the Win8.1 Preview on a spare PC. If you didn't like 8 you won't like 8.1. It is just minor tweaks so M$ can claim they addressed the complaints. Just typical M$ marketing!

If you are just an average user looking for a new PC look for a company you can order a computer with Win7 installed. W8 is just a nightmare for the average user.

Windows 8 or 8.1 sole purpose is to sell Windows Phone 8 and tablets. Nothing more nothing less! Screw the majority core desktop users! M$ wants to get into the smart phone market so bad they have stooped to this.

BUT IT'S NOT WORKING!

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Jims45wow

Re: "Sole purpose": I disagree. I think that Mak-type licensing is the main thrust, with cloud services as the second. The b1tch is that we would all be chattin' away on MaxMak and renting hundreds of snoopy apps, if we were comfortable with that.

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davelray

Bottom line maxeeemum? The Bottom Line is you don't like it. We learned that over the dozens of articles like this one that you keep flaming your dislike. The only nightmare around here is you. I mean honestly, if you hate it that much, why are you even running it on a "spare" pc? Go back to 7 and STFU already. I think everyone knows your opinion at this point.

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maxeeemum

davelray still assaulting everyone who doesn't think 8 is great. We all know you love M$ and 8. You just can't stand that so many disagree. Six comments on this story already (more to come I'm sure). Do you have try to dominate the conversation all the time. You're just an argumentative jerk. Why don't you just STFU and let people post their opinions. Or does the Win8 failure take money out of your pocket?

By the way lray I'm over 8 now it's 8.1 that concerns me. LOL!

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legionera

@ Maxeeemum

You should listen to the guy. He is actually pointing to you that there is no problem for hating a product, there is a problem outlining the issues as of why you hate that product (which is your case). Yours is not an opinion. I actually can't categorize it. Maybe trolling????

Let me give you an example how your comments sound:

"I hate W8 because an UFO landed in my back yard and the little red riding hood farted in my bed"

You are talking too general with points that are either impossible to prove or they are simply 'cpt obvious style'.

Off course it is a marketing strategy to sell their products, otherwise, do you expect them to keep it for themselves?

Now take this as a criticism so you can improve, not something that will lower your reputation in the forums. No one gets born with those qualities, but resisting it is generally in the retardation sphere.

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maxeeemum

ROTFLMAO!

legionera really!!!!!!!!!! With the off the wall crap you spew!!!!!!!!

You talk about taking it up the ass and castration??? I can't take you seriously!

Plus you multi post every story like this one trying to be the center of attention. Like lray you think I have to address what you want. You don't make the rules either!

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legionera

@ maxeeemum

I just wanted to help you.

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davelray

I've yet to assault you. But you on the other hand have called people like me that happen to like Windows 8.x retards, fools, stupid, etc. ad nauseum. You are the only one that lowers yourself to name calling. Which is what makes your opinion nothing more than the garbage it really is. When you can come up with some real bullet points on problems with Windows 8 instead of your usual rhetoric, then we'll have something to discuss.

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maxeeemum

Same old davelaray "not me", "name calling" and "bullet points". LOL!

You don't make the rules lray! There is nothing to discuss! LOL!

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pastorbob

"There is nothing to discuss!" That's usually the case where you are concerned maxeeeum.

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maxeeemum

@pastorbob

Why don't you stay out it. Win8 will be another Vista/ME. There is nothing you or the rest of the M$ shill can do to change that.

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legionera

@ Max

We are not trying to convince you otherwise. This is not an youtube comments war, this is a debate man.

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maxeeemum

@legionera

LOL! Maybe in your mind!

It's a comment in the comment section! LOL!

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legionera

@ maxeeemum

Let me borrow your "logic" for a second - there is a reply button under that comment as well. What do you think is its purpose?

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maxeeemum

You can "choose" to reply!

Or choose not to take the M$ Shill argument bait. Get it yet! Enough said!

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legionera

@ Max

Yet, several comments above "You don't make the rules either!".

I guess you make them khaleesi ;D

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maxeeemum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ycxQyiONHI

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Jeffredo

Everyone squealing about how fast Win 8 boots (and that's about the only perceptible improvement). Win 7 boots fast enough. I think I can spare a few more seconds to have a less irritating OS that specifically designed for my desktop PCs. There is no noticeable difference in gaming performance between the two (and those that claim there is must be suffering from a placebo effect after spending money on the new OS). Why spend money on something that's not needed or even designed for a non-touch desktop and monitor?

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Jims45wow

Concurring. 7 boots near instantaneously for me.

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Bucket_Monster

In regard to booting, not only is Win 7 sufficient, simply installing a SSD will negate any benefit of Win 8's faster boot times. When you're already running a fast drive like SSD, you're going to have serious diminishing returns on whatever tweaks Win 8 has under the hood for boot times. I'm not overly concerned about a couple of seconds.

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Rebel_X

Windows search is a joke, whether it is in winXp, win7 or 8.
It's been years since I moved to "Everything" search engine and the power
of Regex for searching millions of files in split second.

What really amazes me, that people brag about boot time!
For all those people, just wait till your system gets cluttered
and the Registery file becomes >1-2GB in size, then come back and talk.

And freshly installed OSs don't count, even freshly installed WinXP can
boot in 4 seconds.

For me, I rarely boot my PC, because it is always on and never sleep.
It has been 46 and some days now according to the task manager :)

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Volleynova

I've been running Windows 8 for over a year now, and boot speed has remained consistent that entire time. Less than 10 seconds on my SSD and Intel 3930k processor. The story remains the same with Windows 8.1. It's fast, stable, and reliable.

But yes, I understand where you're coming from, boot speed will slow down on the majority of systems where the average PC user does not know how to maintain, tune, or tweak their startup so that it's as efficient as possible, but moreso on Windows Vista and XP than Windows 8 or 7, other than hardware failure or degrade.

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Analogkid

Windows 8.1's release will finally find me installing these $39 Win8Pro upgrades I bought. I put it on my wife's laptop- it's great and works seamlessly. The Smart Search is so long overdue (yes, you can make it search only your PC or folder) and is an all-in-one search.

When the next DirectX with SysRAM used for textures comes around most everyone will make the jump anyway...might as well do it now. PS. You are required to have 8.1 for it as of now.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/bg182880.aspx

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

The OS remains an abomination. Your review is either a joke (based on the text) or a pun (based on the final score); I can't quite figure that out.

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fung0

Agreed. The decimal-point update fixes none of the major problems with Windows 8. It's still a two-headed monster, which incorporates (and gives prominence to) a completely needless and ill-conceived touch environment. It still moves users towards Microsoft's exclusive Windows Store, negating 30 years of open Windows markets. Compared to Windows 7, it still offers only negligible improvements in either productivity or capability for desktop users, which don't come anywhere close to justifying a total OS update.

The best feature of Windows 8.1 is the ability to turn off the worst feature of Windows 8, the kick-in-the-pants compulsory boot-into-Metro. The worst feature is that it shows exactly how little rethinking Microsoft is willing to do on the big issues. In that sense, the update is an even bigger disappointment than the original release.

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machew100

I'm 90% sure all you do on this site (at least recently) is troll every Windows 8 article, as well as reply negatively to every commenter with anything positive to say about Windows 8. Don't you think there's a better way to express your opinion than try to make purely sarcastic/passive aggressive replies to everybody who has a different opinion than you? Seriously man, what's your deal?

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jesse_n_sf

I totally agree that he's trolling.

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HKUSPC40

I'd say their points are rather important. Microsoft feels like Apple now. I am switching to Linux for my next build...

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davelray

Neither of them have made any points, important or valid or otherwise, HKUSPC40.

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azzazin5577

Would it kill you guys to just get classic shell or classic start 8. Its so easy and it just gives you back your start menu. Other than the annoying missing start and metro windows 8 isn't that bad. In fact it is better than windows 7 in that it boots up faster.

Though yeah, I do agree it should be Microsoft who should be doing this but for some reason we have to rely on third party programmers.

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fung0

The missing Start Menu is not the most serious problem with Windows 8. It's actually one of the more trivial symptoms of Microsoft's total loss of focus on the core principles that made Windows a success in the first place.

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davelray

Then may I make a suggestion, fung0? Tell us the real problems. I haven't seen any yet.

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whiznot

While 8 & 8.1 might offer a couple of small advantages over 7 it also includes a number of features that I can't stand. Bing searches, Skydrive and the Windows Store are not in my future. I see no compelling reason to invest time and effort to leave Win7 and adapt to Windows 8.1.

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HKUSPC40

"Bing searches, Skydrive and the Windows Store are not in my future."

You totally nailed it. It feels like a loss of computing freedom.

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spokenwordd

I have been using Win8 for several months and don't use any of these apps. Not sure how this is a loss of computing freedom since you don't have to use these apps.

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HKUSPC40

Just like ads on the TV I don't want to be forced to look at it every time I use my PC. It's called advertising and it's invasive and annoying. Computing freedom means the ability to 100% control your own means and ends. The reason why I build my own PC's in the first place. I know the ins and outs of the entire system and it doesn't have anyone else's BS in it.

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Jims45wow

Well said.