Microsoft Previews Windows 8.1 Update

June 8, 2013

Microsoft has released announced the upcoming release of Windows 8.1. In previous versions of Windows, we might have called this a service pack. Not only does it include fixes, there are new features and Microsoft claims the return of an old much-requested feature (the Start button). I’ll let you watch the video below to see the official video from Microsoft. For those reading via e-mail, you can click here to watch the video on YouTube. This update will be made available free of charge to owners of Windows 8 on June 26, 2013.

While Microsoft claims the Start button is returning, it is really more of a symbolic return and you’ll notice it was glossed over in the video. I keep hearing that the new interface will grow on you and I find just the opposite. It gets more annoying the more I see it. I don’t want all that “noise” on the main screen. For those of us that have installed a lot of software, the “All App” screen is horrible inadequate.

I hear from Microsoft and from users about all the features included to “help” me get things done. I also heard about helpful features in Windows 7. I gave them a chance and found them to be the exact opposite of helpful. Thankfully I had the option of turning them off. It is really disappointing that Microsoft is not truly listening to their business customers who simply want the option of booting to a desktop similar to previous versions of Windows.

Some readers have suggested I need to give it a chance. When I do put a new computer into service, I will install Windows 8. I do own a copy. Immediately after installing it on that new computer, I’ll install a utility like Start8 to give me what Microsoft refuses to do.

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2 Comments

  1. David

    Having used Windows 8 for a couple months now, I think all the hoopla is a bit much. Windows 8 is an excellent system. In my experience, all the objections really can be boiled down to one major push Microsoft seems to be making. They want you to search for programs on your computer, rather than navigating a menu, and finding them for yourself. This is as simple as moving your mouse to the upper right corner, and clicking Search. This takes you to the All Programs sprawl, and allows you to find what you want.

    As a content creator, rather than a content consumer, for the most part, I find this annoying. I would much rather have an alphabetized list, as in Windows 7, or better yet, for those oft-used programs, the Quick-Launch menu from Windows XP. Unfortunately, from what I understand, neither of those is forthcoming in Windows 8.1

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I agree with David (in comments) that Windows 8 is an excellent OS. However, I totally disagree with him that it is designed to find applications by way of search! That method of finding applications has been around since Vista and is simply an alternative to navigating to applications, manually.

    The new Start screen is a vastly superior method of getting to applications over the old the start menu. The start screen is the the new Start menu and is fully customisable. You can place all of your most used applications at the left and right hand ends of the Start screen. On a full HD screen this means seeing 84 applications at the left, then hitting the End key on your keyboard takes you to another 84 applications at the right. For any person with unusual needs who requires more than 168 application shortcuts you will just have to scroll the Start screen to get to the others.

    The Start screen allows you to have fast access to many applets within Control Panel.. so you can access Devices & Printers, Program Features, Windows Update, File History, Windows 7 File Recovery, etc. in a single click, or 2 clicks from the Desktop. Keep in mind you still have desktop shortcuts and task bar shortcuts, Alt+Tab, Windows Key+Tab and the top left corner of the screen as navigation aids. The Power Menu is a right-click on the pop-up Start button we have now.

    The bottom line is, if you know how to use Windows 8 “properly”
    you can get to ANYTHING as quickly as you could in Windows 7 and MANY things FASTER than you could in Windows 7.

    Reply

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