Convince Me

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Installation' started by FormerLuddite, Nov 23, 2013.


Should I download 8.1 now or hold off?

Poll closed Nov 30, 2013.
  1. Download now because there is an issue that needs to be resolved.

    0 vote(s)
  2. Download now because the program is more up to date.

    0 vote(s)
  3. Download now because 8 won't be supported for long.

    0 vote(s)
  4. Hold off even though there's an issue, wait until you encounter it.

    0 vote(s)
  5. Hold off because you like it, and it works for you.

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. FormerLuddite

    FormerLuddite New Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I suppose I'm one of the rare souls who finds 8 very intuitive and easy to use. I don't have a smartphone, so I have no app habits to break. The common complaints I've encountered haven't been relevant to me, and after 9 months I find myself much more comfortable with 8 than any other operating system I've employed. However, I keep getting 8.1 notifications, and have recently read that Microsoft will only support 8 for two years. (I'm not overly knowledgeable about the way Microsoft continues support of older systems, but I bought this computer thinking they offered some form of support for 10 years.) It makes me anxious to refrain from installing 8.1 until I'm forced to do so since I'm imagining the number of additional updates they will make to 8.1 over the next two years. I'm so satisfied with what I have now that I'm willing to hold off until then if the changes are dramatic enough to the user experience. My concerns are: I have never liked the start menu, and I am thrilled that it's gone; I like being able to type in a program or app and have it come up without searching; I like having a desktop and a separate home screen; I like the ease of installing and uninstalling new software and apps; I like the organization that some of the pre-installed apps afford me; and I like the control that I have in customizing so many different areas that I can tailor my computer to its purpose. I am not too happy with the synchronization of office pro 2013, but I can't decide if that's an issue with 8 or with office.

    Getting around to my question, what am I missing? What am I overlooking? Is there any major flaw of which I'm ignorant? Is there a significant improvement in 8.1 that demands my adoption? Is their anyone that thinks they can convince me to change my mind?

    This might be an odd post, but the windows 8 reviews are everywhere, and they are, along with blog posts, comments, and opinions, overwhelmingly negative. Negative to the point of hyperbole and even vitriolic or aggressive. Naturally, as one lacking a wealth of computer knowledge, reading such things inspires doubt and confusion. I worry that I'm not seeing the whole picture and fear that I'm overlooking some design flaw which won't be obvious until I'm staring at it.
  2. davidhk129

    davidhk129 Senior Member

    May 19, 2012
    Likes Received:
    1. Win 8.1 is, in essence, an "update" to Win 8, with some minor changes. You will hardly know the differences, except the pseudo existence of "start" button which is NOT the Start button as Vista and Win 7 users know it.
    2. It is free to upgrade from Win 8. So, you have nothing to lose.
    3. If you are heavenly happy with Win 8, by all means stay with it. You really have very little to lose.

    I "upgraded" from Win 8 to Win 8.1, just for the heck of it.
    #2 davidhk129, Nov 23, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  3. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
    Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    May 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I think you will find, if you look more closely at Google results, that there are as many in favour, as against, but that is a personal observation. the adverse comments, though, imho, tend to be very much of a sameness and focussed on only a couple of new features which were not welcomed. There is also comment about "kernel changes". This can also be ignored. Any alteration to such a large program, however small, would require kernel changes.
    I have found that 8.1 is slightly more responsive, but this seems to be a much varied opinion on the web.

    Booting directly to the desktop is now an option. This boots you right to desktop, bypassing the Metro screen.

    A cosmetic change that appears to be welcom by many users, is the ability to make your Metro background match your desktop background

    Search has been improved. Instead of searching only your computer, it will now includes internet searches as well..

    The Metro screenis now more customisable. You can drag tiles around the screen and resize them through the option bar at the bottom. But, as a built in safeguard, you can't accidentally starte any apps from this screen, whilst customising. The tiles can now be shrunk into three altenative sizes. One drawback, (for me) is that, in the very convenient smallest size, there is no text, so you have to remembr what each pretty picture does.

    You can now see and change the display resolution and mouse settings from inside the Metro settings app, not a big deal for me, as I only have reason to perform such customisation in my initial setup. There are no options to turn off the hot corners. App updates can be put on automatic, instead of waiting for permission when you enter them, or the store.All popup notifications can be individually turned off-

    Windows 8.1's desktop start button, on a left click, launches you right to your Metro screen. This could previously be done, already, with the Charms bar and the Windows key, so not a gigantic leap. A right click, however, does offer some more options, including shutdown/reset, command prompt , Control Panel etc.

    One change that will appeal is that Metro apps are no longer restricted to a 30:70 split when you're using two at once. You can now make it a 50:50, or a 60:40. Unfortunately, the downside here is that some apps have not been fully amended and cannot make full use of the split options. Nevertheless, it is a big and welcome advancement for those who need to multitask.

    The most controversial, and overhyped, item was the start menu, almost universally referred to, by the complainers on the web, as the start "button". When the beta testing began, without prompting by others, I saw the "modern" screen as my new program start menu. Thus the windows key, one click, and now, the re-established start button, fits perfectly for me. A left click and I have my customised array of shortcuts. A right click of the button shows several items which I have previously, for convenience, had on my legacy desktop - Control Panel, shutdown and restart options, Command prompts etc.

    On the whole, 8.1 does move towards some improvements, but mainly to appease those who wished it to be more like earlier OSs.

    But, referring to your original post, there are minor improvements, possibly to your personal advantage and it is free. So the real question, I suppose, should be, why not upgrade?
  4. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2012
    Likes Received:
    If you are happy with what you have right now, stay with it as long as you can. Win 8.1 is not just an update but a total OS replacement where some of your installed drivers may be replaced with MS generic drivers which may cause you some headaches. When I say OS replacement, I meant it's like firing up your PC the first time again when 8.1 is installed. You have to go through all the start up settings again including accounts, customization, etc. just like after purchasing a new PC.
    Depending on the type and model of machine you have, Win 8.1 "update" is hit or miss. Although I didn't have a problem getting the 8.1 update to complete, I had some not so fun moments with it as some of my hardware did not function properly until I found the right solution. It took me over a week to resolve the issues 8.1 had brought to my system.
    You are not missing anything in my opinion.
    If you decided to get the 8.1 anytime soon, make sure to create a complete image backup of your Win 8 so you can pick up where you left off when problems arise.

    #4 badrobot, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

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