Software // Operating Systems
News
11/19/2013
08:06 AM
Jeff Bertolucci
Jeff Bertolucci
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
29%
71%

8 Reasons To Hate Windows 8.1

Sure, it's an improvement over Windows 8. But for many PC users, Windows 8.1 is a clumsy hybrid that's a pain to navigate.
Previous
1 of 9
Next

Just how unloved is Windows 8's new interface? Consider this: One of Windows 8.1's hot new features is the ability to bypass the Live Tile user interface and boot directly to the traditional Windows desktop. It's a tacit admission by Microsoft that its ambitious goal of creating a unified interface for mobile and desktop devices hasn't exactly gotten a warm embrace from longtime Windows users.

That can't be good. Much has been written about the jarring distinction between Windows 8 and its predecessors, all of which had the same look and feel (with a few tweaks) dating back to Windows 95. Of course, change isn't necessarily a bad thing; it's often for the best, in fact, even when people resist it, which they usually do.

Windows 8 featured a new UI optimized for multitouch tablets, which Microsoft slapped on top of a crippled Windows desktop sans the Start button/menu. This one-UI-fits-all-devices approach backfired, resulting in confused end users, as well as wary enterprise uses unwilling to upgrade from earlier versions.

PC shipments began to plummet at around the same time that Windows 8 arrived. It's not fair to pin moribund PC sales entirely on Windows 8 -- for many global consumers, a tablet or smartphone is the better, cheaper choice -- but the hybrid OS was certainly a contributing factor.

A year after Windows 8's debut, Windows 8.1 is here. Is it better than its predecessor? Yes, but in small ways. The overall presentation is essentially unchanged, albeit with some needed improvements. You'll find a visual tour here.

If you're a Windows 8 hater, Windows 8.1 probably won't change your opinion of the OS. (It's worth noting that in addition to the Live Tile UI, Windows 8.x offers other enhancements, most notably faster startup times.) New features such as the return of the Start button and boot-to-desktop are welcome additions, but they might make Windows 7 users wonder: Why upgrade at all?

This doesn't mean that Windows 8.1 will fail. If touchscreen laptops and hybrid devices like Microsoft's own Surface Pro 2 prove popular with businesses and consumers, the operating system's touch-oriented UI and mobile-style apps might prove a winner in the long run. But for legacy desktops and laptops, Windows 8.x remains a hard sell.    

Here are eight reasons to hate -- or at the very least, dislike -- Windows 8.1. If you think the latest version of Windows is getting a bum rap here, let us know in the comments below.

Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 9 / 11   >   >>
anon7960125952
0%
100%
anon7960125952,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/23/2013 | 2:37:27 AM
8 Reasons to hate Windows 8.1 if you already hate it.
(I have used windows since XP)

 

Scumbag older windows user:

-"Add a start button."(Since I am stupid and can't manage to easily move my mouse to the corner and click)

-<Start Button added>

-OMG I can't cry about it anymore, I will just say it is clumcy.
Joe Stanganelli
67%
33%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/22/2013 | 10:42:14 PM
Re: hate?
People hold grudges against Microsoft for EVERYTHING, just because it's Microsoft.

Among technology pundits, Microsoft is like the kid that everybody hates at school no matter what he does, how smart he is, how athletic he is, or what clothes he wears.
Joe Stanganelli
0%
100%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/22/2013 | 10:38:15 PM
Dek
Re: "Sure, it's an improvement over Windows 8. But for many PC users, Windows 8.1 is a clumsy hybrid that's a pain to navigate."

Looking at Microsoft's history, that's pretty much a Mad Lib dek, isn't it?  That statement could apply to every new version of Windows."

"Sure it's an improvement over [previous version of Windows].  But for many PC users, [new version of Windows] is a clumsy hybrid that's a pain to navigate."

My suspicion: Ultimately, people will get used to it -- and eventually kick and scream over having to leave 8.1.

Michael Endler
100%
0%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/22/2013 | 7:37:20 PM
Re: 8.1
What changes did you dislike? I can understand that someone who didn't like Windows 8 might not be persuaded by Windows 8.1, but I am surprised that a happy Windows 8 user doesn't find Windows 8.1 to be an improvement. What did you like better before?
Shane M. O'Neill
100%
0%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/22/2013 | 5:22:00 PM
The Start stops most people
Microsoft took a big risk by making Windows 8/8.1 a hybrid tablet/desktop OS and so far the public has shrugged. It's slowness to market was a factor; it gave Apple, Amazon and Google too much time to define what a tablet should be to consumers. Users still seem to want their laptop and tablet to be separate entities. Personally, I don't need or want them to be in one machine. I still need my laptop to be big and workman-like and my tablet to be small and fun. The Surface is an awkward merger of these two contrasting form factors. Windows 8.1 has improvements, but the tile-based UI is just not very user friendly, especially with a keyboard and mouse. Many people still can't get past the Start screen. 
Tom Murphy
100%
0%
Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Author
11/22/2013 | 4:45:14 PM
Re: 8.1 should burn in hell
I run XP on all four of my PCs, but I can see the darkness at the end of the tunnel.  Social networks tend to freeze along a bunch of SaaS tools.  XP wasn't built for them, and they weren't built for XP. 

While I'm discouraged by what I'm reading in comments here, I must say I walked into the Apple store to look at the Surface and immediately found it to be far more intuitive than any Windows interface I'd ever used.  The early reviews on it had me expecting something awful that I didn't find when I actually used it.
sbfeibish
50%
50%
sbfeibish,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2013 | 12:51:28 PM
Windows 8.1 was easy to pick up.
At least for a software developer.

I've been using Linux exclusively for the past two years.

And had to come back to make sure my stuff worked on Windows browsers.

I haven't read more than a page or two of Windows 8.1 documentation.

You can kind of guess what's needed to manuever around the system.

 

Note that I was never a Windows programmer (save for a month with SilverLight).

 
rhagan04101
100%
0%
rhagan04101,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2013 | 12:47:07 PM
I don't hate Windows 8.1 half as much ...
...as I hate slide shows that want me to to read 1 article on 9 different web pages, instead of putting it on a single page, to boost IW.com's click counts.

 

You lose. Ain't reading this click bait past the first page.
ANON1246113141536
100%
0%
ANON1246113141536,
User Rank: Strategist
11/22/2013 | 12:15:05 PM
How to cure all Windows 8 problems
I took the plunge and upgrqaded to Windows 8 some time ago.  I thought I should probably get with it and move up to the "Metro Interface".  I perservered and was starting to tolerate it then came the Widows 8.1 up grade which I aso installed.

Then thimgs went down hill rapidly.  Internet browsing problems, freezing, extreemly slow, major startup problems.  My research indicated there may be driver problems which I tried to address.  Finally my pc just ground to a hault totally unusable.

Yes I did check for virus'.

I then popped in a new hard drive and Installed Windows 7 pro. 

WOW all my problems went away!!  It looks like Windows 7 will be around as XP has been.

It seems there is no cure for Windows 8

 
DanmansonmanNZ
100%
0%
DanmansonmanNZ,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2013 | 5:40:51 AM
A bit of fluff there....
Clicking start -> all apps in 8 is not different to clicking start -> all programs in Windows Vista/7.  It is the same amount of clicks.  Secondly that method is sorely outdated and reserved for those who still choose to do things the old way, all of the apps are available by simply pressing start and start to type what you want, then press enter (A 1-2 second method which has been available since Vista, so I don't know why people still browse for their applications!). Not to mention the ability to pin apps to the taskbar and/or Start. Browsing through to apps is not something I do when there are so many easy ways to get to applications in 8, so this is definitely no fault to me.  When you click All Programs in previous start menu's, you still get all the folders, you still get the app shortcut, uninstaller, readme, and whatever other junk, it's no different, yet you're happy with the old start menu's for being almost identical apart from size?  Regarding the 'duelling IE's", plainly and simply you just wouldn't use the 'metro' IE, it is obviously for touch devices.  Why is it there on PC then?  Because Windows 8 is streamlined to function on tablets and desktops without having to differentiate the appropriate OS for the device.  One OS for all devices - I don't really care if it means there are apps that will be there that I don't need, they can just be hidden away and not be used.  ScanSnap in your example, it is obvious which shortcut runs the application, they are clearly labelled, and this is a developers responsibility to appropriately name their shortcuts.  You would have exactly the same shortcuts in the old start menu.  The problem is people thinking that Start is a whole new windows....it is the Start menu, larger, and more informative, with it's own apps, that's it.
<<   <   Page 9 / 11   >   >>
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.