Since the day Microsoft released Windows 8, there has been outcry by many about the major changes introduced in the OS, especially about the features that were taken away. “Windows 8 is to Windows 7, what Windows Vista was to XP”, they say. Do the new features in Windows 8.1 help change that perception? That’s what we are going to discuss in our today’s Ask The Readers feature, so join us past the jump as we take a look at the things Windows 8.1 changes, and then tell us what you feel about them.
Microsoft officially demoed the next version of Windows – Windows 8.1 “Blue” – at BUILD last week. At the very beginning of the presentation, they announced the availability of a public beta of the operating system on Windows Store & TechNet/MSDN for everyone to try out. Some of us here at AddictiveTips installed the Preview on our machines, analyzed just about every single new feature – announced or otherwise – and discussed them in separate articles.
New features include:
- The all-new built-in Modern apps (Calculator, Alarms, Sound Recorder and others)
- Revamped Xbox Music app
- A more powerful PC Settings app
- Improved multitasking
- A better looking Windows Store with auto app updates
- Deeper SkyDrive integration
- ‘Boot to desktop’ & navigation customizations
- The restored Start button now leading to a more customizable Start screen
- A more useful Lock screen
- A new basic photo editor
These, and a whole lot more, including an updated Windows Defender and a new Windows Store video editing app for Windows 8.1 called Movie Moments.
These are all great additions to what is, in my opinion, the most solid desktop operating system available today. I have been on Windows 8 for a good many months now, and I am a satisfied* user. However, I spend the vast majority of my time using it in the Desktop mode, bringing up the Start screen only when I need to search for an app that isn’t pinned to my Taskbar, or a file I don’t know where I have saved. The new ‘boot to desktop’ feature in Windows 8.1 – which makes it so that Windows bypasses the Start screen on booting – will doubly ensure I don’t have to see the Start screen unless I absolutely need to.
The Start screen is just not of much use to me. The fact that it is optimized for touchscreen input when I am using an older laptop that refuses to respond when I pull off basic gestures doesn’t help either. Perhaps I will use it more when I buy myself one of those new laptops with capacitive touchscreens.
For yours truly, Windows 8.1 is a minor evolutionary update, and I will definitely be installing it. I cannot say the same for everyone though, especially people with touchscreen laptops, desktops, tablets. And that’s what why we’re running this poll.
*The only problems I’m facing so far can be sourced back to my laptop manufacturer for not providing the best quality drivers.