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11/19/2013
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Jeff Bertolucci
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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.
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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.

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ChrisN432
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ChrisN432,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2014 | 8:38:23 PM
Re: Windows 8.1 Metro Apps
@DDURBIN1 I'm going to disagree. On a small level, there were several things I had to learn how to do just upgrading my iPad to iOS 7. Over the years, I'm sure there have been plenty of things that had to be learned when new iOS versions came out, the same as new versions of Windows. The big difference right now is that Microsoft chose to make a major, fundamental change to Windows with Windows 8. That's definitely going to mean learning some new things. However, that's life. We're always resistant to change. Microsoft has done something nobody else has done so far, and they took a risk doing it -- they've made everything work and look the same, from phones, to tablets, to laptops to desktops. I really like it, but that's because I could tell from the display models in stores that a non-touchscreen laptop with Windows 8 would be aweful, and I had an open mind. Not only does everything look alike, but it all knows everything I've done. I can sit down at my desktop, and start to type a URL address into IE. It can be a URL I've only ever been to on my laptop, but my desktop knows about it. It's magic!

 

As far as 8.1 is concerned, I don't know. I upgraded my laptop to it when it came out, but that was a disaster. It turned my favorite computer I've ever owned (and I've owned tham all the way back to the IBM PCjr) into the worst. That's because it reduced the sensitivity of the touchscreen to where it barely worked, and it disabled the bluetooth. There was no Windows 8.1 compatible driver for the bluetooth on that computer, and I suspect, a similar problem with the touchscreen.

 

Learning Android (I've had Android phones and an Android tablet) isn't that easy, beyond just the basics. I'm totally lost trying to do anything on my daughter's macbook. Learning Windows 8 wasn't too difficult, and I'm not a geek. All you have to do is read up on the tips and tricks stuff and watch a tutorial or two. I've been using it for over a year, and I'm still learning. however, I've been using earlier versions of Windows for decades, and Windows 7 at work, and I'm still learning things on those too. Nothing new there.

 

Were you around when they went from the old Windows 3.1 to Windows 95? That was a pretty major change, as I recall, and took a lot of getting used to.
ChrisN432
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ChrisN432,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2014 | 8:25:13 PM
Re: Windows 8.1 Metro Apps
Yeah. That's why I said Windows 8 sucks without a touchscreen. Don't do it!
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
2/3/2014 | 1:24:33 PM
Re: Windows 8.1 Metro Apps
@ChrisN432, try doing that from a non-touch screen laptop with no mouse, just the touch pad.  Not simple, really.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
2/3/2014 | 1:13:44 PM
Re: Windows 8.1 Metro Apps
@ChrisN432.   No Mac user has ever had to do any actions for an OS upgrade to understand how to keep using it.  To a lessor extent neither has an Android user.  Plainly put, from Win7 it's easier to switch and learn iOS or Android than to switch and learn Win8.
ChrisN432
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ChrisN432,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2014 | 11:01:46 PM
Re: Windows 8.1 Metro Apps
It seems the only way I can comment at all on this article is to reply to somebody else's comment, so.....

 

I got a windows 8 lapton just about 14 months ago. I freaking love it. Last month, I replaced my old and barely working desktop with a 23 inch all-in-one touchscreen from Gateway, and I love it too. I can tell you that if I had fallen for a windows 8 laptop without the touchscreen, I would have thown it out a window (pun intended) within a few days of getting it. In other words: With touchscreen -- windows 8 rocks. Without touchscreen -- windows 8 sucks.

 

Yes, there are things that you have to get used to being different, but what's new about that? I suggest going through some tutorials and downloading some tips and tricks apps or just looking up good tips and tricks on Google. Most things that have you frustrated will make you slap your forehead and say "Doh!" once you learn how to do them.

 

I have been using windows phone since windows phone 7 came out, and now I have a windows phone 8 device, and I love it too. My daughter, an iPhone user, said she would switch to Windows phone in a heartbeat except there are so many thinigs she does with her friends that require her to have an iPhone to do.

 

Bottom line: Only get Windows 8 or 8.1 if you've got a touchscreen, and give it a chance. If you have an open mind about the change, you'll most likely really like it. All those things you currently do using Windows 7 or earlier, you can still do the same way in desktop mode if you want.
ChrisN432
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ChrisN432,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2014 | 10:47:22 PM
Re: Windows 8.1 Metro Apps
Just swipe down from the top of the screen to close your app. It's pretty simple, really.
EdM846
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EdM846,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/28/2014 | 12:34:36 PM
I hate Apps
I am in the process of purchasing a new computer.  After reading about all the problems with Windows 8 & 8.1, I can not understand why they would put Apps on the OS for a computer.  If I want to use Apps, I would buy another IPad.  I don't want Apps on my computer!  Can you delete all those APPS?


It still urks me that I still have those anoying links to purchase programs on my Dell desktop even though I try to delete them, they seem to eventually pop back up.  The thought of having those annoying unwanted Apps is really making me hesitate in buying a computer today.  Those Smart TVs with APPS, no thanks too...I will settle for a stupid TV instead.
huberddp
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huberddp,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/22/2014 | 12:04:32 PM
Classic Shell
I just use the classic shell which is free. I turn off all the windows 8.1 features and it works great.
huberddp
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huberddp,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/22/2014 | 12:04:31 PM
Classic Shell
I just use the classic shell which is free. I turn off all the windows 8.1 features and it works great.
Nematoad
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100%
Nematoad,
User Rank: Guru
1/16/2014 | 8:16:59 PM
Re: More reasons to hate Windows 8
UEFI is something that you have to disable if you want to install Windows 7 or XP.
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