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Windows 8.1: What's changed? The Quick Review

File-It-Under: OS review By: D.F.Skin  


I write this entry to start by saying Windows 8.1 upgrade is probably the smoothest upgrade I'v experienced in a operating system,even more smoother than upgrading the Mac OS X which in a sense can take take forever. It seems Microsoft has taken a page out of Apple's playbook in regards to instituting major upgrades to your operating system. With that said,how is Windows 8.1,what major changes were made,did the upgrade give satisfaction to many who craved certain features be implemented.Let's dive deep into Windows 8.1


So What's Changed?

What's changed with the new Windows 8.1 update,not a whole lot in terms of UI design and features,but the features that have been instituted or changed are indeed beneficial and needed. This tells me that Microsoft at least listen to the outcry and tried their best to satisfy the masses. Lets face it, this whole touch screen/ desktop combination didn't bold well with many Windows users like myself,I myself is still trying to grasp the whole concept. There are some features and changes I do like with Windows 8.1 which actually may have breath life into the OS and they are.....



The Return Of The Start Button

If you haven't downloaded Windows 8.1 or just installed the update,when you launch the upgraded OS you'll notice the return of the Start Button,its returned in it's familiar place,the lower left hand corner.But here's the catch,the new Start Button and I say new in a sense because the Start Button doesn't behave like the traditional Start button that we are used seeing in past Windows operating systems. This Windows 8.1 Start button basically acts as a portal that switches between the desktop and the start screen or the Metro Tile UI,which for me its a good thing because it makes me actually wonder off into the Metro UI apps and actually make use if it. The great thing I love about the new Start Button in Windows 8.1 is it's very easy for users to gain access to system tools such as your Control Panel, Task Manager,File Explorer etc with just a right click of the mouse.But if you're looking for a Start Menu,you're out of luck. Like I just mention a few lines ago, the new Start button is just a portal.


Much Improved Search

This is a feature in Windows 8.1 that actually has its useful purpose. I no longer have to dive deep into the operating systems Metro UI to do a file search, or resort to downloading third party apps Start menu apps such ass Windows 7 shell. The Search in Windows 8.1 actually has a pretty slick integration with Bing search. Type in the search box a particular app,for an example Spotify,not only will you get the app that you're looking for,but the search also reaches out to Bing's search engine to locate its results. Search now gathers and stores data locally on your hard drive or Sky Drive.


I now use BingĀ 

I'll be the first to admit,since its inception I rarely use Bing,but up until a few days ago I find myself gravitating to Bing more and more,mainly because of the Windows 8.1 upgrade. When using Bings search engine it retrieves data in a rather stylish manner,for an example say I type in Lebron James Bing's "Smart" search will present you with a full-screen interface with all types of images,video, and even audio content about the basketball player himself.

There is a "But " factor

Yes indeed,there is most certainly a BUT to Windows 8.1 as the upgrade though it has some nice features,its not without flaws. For one,it seems every since I upgraded to 8.1 I have been experiencing sound issues when I do video editing,I practically lose sound,I have to log out of my application in order for me to get sound again,yeah . Also it seems that 8.1 maybe inducing some hardware bugs as my graphic card has been behaving very buggy since I installed the new update,which led me to update the drivers to my graphic card. Throw in the fact there are wide spread reports of bricked Windows RT tablets when the update is installed,even worst,there have been reported Blue Screen Of Death,ouch. Then there's Metro Tile UI,it seems Microsoft is still trying to force feed this whole idea of a hybrid operating system which is to bad because I may for the sake of curbing my sanity resort to using third party Windows 7 shell just I can easily access to my files and applications, accessing files is still a quagmire. Call it for what it is,the Windows 8.1 upgrade seemingly is geared towards the Metro Tile interface,what about the desktop portion of the operating system.

All in all,The new Windows 8.1 update is somewhat a step in the right direction,it kinda,sorta addressed features that many were clamoring for. I still would love to see Microsoft add more features to Windows 8 desktop,like for instance,do away with Windows Metro Tile UI. Stop infusing the two and leave Metro Tile UI to tablets because though Microsoft wants users to ditch the mouse and keyboard,that won't happen anytime soon.

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