8 Reasons To Hate Windows 8.1 - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems
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11/19/2013
08:06 AM
Jeff Bertolucci
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.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
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DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/4/2014 | 10:07:22 AM
Re: Windows 8.1 Metro Apps
ChrisN432,  Plainly put it is easier to switch and learn iOS or Android than to learn Win8.  I said nothing about Mac OS.  My comment about Mac OS is that all previous versions of Mac OS upgrades didn't require the learning curve needed with Windows 8 upgrade to continue to be as productive.  By the way there are no touch screen iMacs or Macbooks and there are good reasons which Microsoft is learning the hard way.
DDURBIN1
80%
20%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/4/2014 | 9:56:32 AM
Re: Windows 8.1 Metro Apps
@ChrisN432, the move from win3.1 to win95 was a HUGE improvement.  The move from Win7 to Win8 is NOT and in fact a huge step backwards for desktop point and click users.  There is no advantage to using Metro over Desktop and forcing the user to switch between them is rediculous. Dr. Frankenstien could not have created a more skitso enviroment.
DDURBIN1
50%
50%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
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
50%
50%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
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.
Joe Stanganelli
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50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
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
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100%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
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
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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
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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
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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.
Thomas Claburn
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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.
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