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
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 12   >   >>
SarahM802
100%
0%
SarahM802,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2013 | 12:48:04 PM
Why Windows?
This is where Apple has succeeded. They have iOS for tablets/phones and OS X for desktops/notebooks. Smart. Windows 7 was my favorite. It looks professional, classy and overall just a good looking UI. Windows 8 on the other hand reminds me of a cartoon. It's not tasteful. Windows really should have just left that to the tablets and just enhanced the Windows 7 look and feel to Windows 8.

 

Bad bad bad windows.
AliR407
0%
100%
AliR407,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2013 | 1:29:50 PM
8.1
I like 8 but not 8.1 but to make it more annoying, Microsoft added some dodgy thing that keeps popping up saying Get Windows 8.1. I've tried it and it ruined my laptop and had to reset everything to get back to 8 :D
rkarolak
0%
100%
rkarolak,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2013 | 2:39:16 PM
Re: Mobile and Desktop Hybrids
I feel like these criticisms are pretty much the same as they were for Windows 8. Of course, like you said, 8.1 will not likely change anyone's mind.

I personally like 8 and 8.1, and I realize I'm in the minority. With that said, On the desktop I really only use the Start page for launching some apps and rarely use the Metro apps. On my Surface I mostly only stay in the Metro interface. I don't feel encumbered so much by having the two interfaces in either case, although I understand how it annoys some people. It's a weird fusion of two different design languages. Occasionally it provides some nice productivity functionality and flexibility for tablets (IMO), perhaps less so on the desktop.


It's also interesting that we're seeing Windows Phone 8 on 5+" screens, and Windows 8 on 7" tablets. At this point the lines between WP8, W8, and RT8 start to get blurred.
Thomas Claburn
100%
0%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 5:00:16 PM
Re: Mobile and Desktop Hybrids
>I don't feel the hybrid OS approach is practical.

I agree. Desktop/laptop computers are for typing, design and programming. Tablets and phones are for communication and casual information review.
infowinweek
0%
100%
infowinweek,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2013 | 8:11:14 PM
Re: Mobile and Desktop Hybrids
Thomas, i agree, you can do anything on a desktop, mainly windows pc. tablets do not work for everyone.. and not everyons skin.. windows 8 is still very useful. too bad its  expensive but if you missed out the promotion you can buy it for 39$ from http://www.windows8save.com .....   does anyone know if windows 8 will run on a apple?
423697ABcd
50%
50%
423697ABcd,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2013 | 11:09:02 PM
Re: Mobile and Desktop Hybrids
Be honest, I prefer to Windows 8.1 and upgrade it by following this post: http://www.lostwindowspassword.com/article/how-to-upgrade-to-windows-8-1.html

 
anon3125074093
67%
33%
anon3125074093,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2013 | 11:31:41 PM
Awful upgrade experience
I also had an absolutely awful upgrade experience to Windows 8.1. I was using Window 8.1 beta prior. I lost all my apps and even some documents. If interested I blogged about it
MythicalMe
67%
33%
MythicalMe,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/20/2013 | 1:26:31 AM
More reasons to hate Windows 8
I tried Windows 8 and enjoyed it until it developed a problem. The tools to track down problems are almost non-existant. You can boot into the DVD and fix it with the automatic fix-it tool or hopefully from a backup. As I repair PCs for a living 10 out of 10 people who walk through my door will have NEVER backed up their computers. Bypassing automatic booting is not optional, it's a requirement.

The ability to pull a hard drive and plug it into an external drive enclosure, and actually read the contents, is crucial. A client of mine brought in a UEFI enabled Windows 8 laptop that was all eff'd up. I tried to recover the data, but it was encrypted. the only solution was to reinstall.

Also, I'm not sure that I'm ready to trust the Internet with all of my data. Backing up files, or storing sensitive information just doesn't seem sensical given all that we know about the US government collection procedures. And if the US government (reda NSA) can figure out how to bypass AES encryption whose to say that China or even organized criminal syndicates can't figure it out. It seems to me that Windows 8 and 8.1 is all about getting people using cloud and cloud-based services and I am just not there yet.

Finally, moving from the Aero display in Windows 7 to Windows 8 flat interface just seems to be moving backwards. Compare the Windows 8 logo and the 3.1 logo. I'd much rather have my start orb than the Win 8.1 logo. I paid a fortune for my graphics card that can render 3D graphics in microseconds, why wouldn't I want 3D graphics in my desktop?
rjones2818
50%
50%
rjones2818,
User Rank: Strategist
11/20/2013 | 1:04:29 PM
One reason to love Windows 8/8.1
It continues the trend, started with Vista, of breaking up the hegemony of Windows on the desktop.  Mind you, Windows may keep it by default, but a few enterprising IT sorts may be able to convince their bosses that MS is not the ship to tie into so completely as has happened before.
remmeler
100%
0%
remmeler,
User Rank: Strategist
11/20/2013 | 10:17:37 PM
I don't understand the hate
The reason that people hate it is that it is not XP and it is not Windows 7, but it doesn't make sense.

I have a Windows 7 and 8 system side by side.  I boot to desktop and it looks identical to my Windows 7 and runs all my Win 7 and XP programs exactly the same on Win 8

When you change just a couple of defaults like changing to the included Windows Photo Viewer in Control Panel and using the Desktop I.E. and using the email from the Windows Essentials that used to be called Live Mail, then you will never see the Modern Front End (Metro or Start Screen) unless your press a key on your keyboard.

I run an older quad processor with half the memory on my upgrade to Windows 8 system and it boots and shuts down faster than my Win 7 and is pretty much just as responsive with a couple of nice features including some for people with dual monitors.

So you get an extra operating system which might be usefull someday and it doesn't cost you anything in speed or resources.

If you remember 3 things that fit on a post-it note, then you don't need the Start Menu but I did download the Classic Shell and found that I still love my Start Menu.

The Classic Shell was developed originally because everyone hated the Vista/Windows 7 Start Button/Menu, so you get to pick which one you want, the Windows 7 version or the XP version and it is free.
Page 1 / 12   >   >>
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 16, 2014.
Sponsored 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.