Windows 8.1 Hands-On Preview

Ur_Mom

Fully [H]
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
20,639
It would be helpful if people were actually critiquing the OS at hand which is 8.1 and there is a lot that's different in this release compared to 8.0.

8.1 broke a lot in our company tests. Broke our VPN client (Checkpoint), printer drivers are broken.... If they aren't fixed by final release, we're going to really look into an alternative for our mobile force. They require VPN. We already have the infrastructure working fine with Win8. Same with printers. We have everything working. 8.1 just isn't working with them. So, we're on a wait and see point now.

At home, I haven't had a single issue with 8.1 that I didn't have with 8. I'm still a fan.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
I've had a number of issues with 8 compatible drivers and utilities, the biggest one being the System Update tool for the Lenovo x200 Series, it won't install and updating this particular Lenovo devices can be tricky as there a lot of dependencies and Lenovo can be bad about describing what certain updates are about.

But this isn't anything new when it comes to new Windows releases.
 

KENNYB

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Messages
3,147
The beef people have with 8.1 is the same they had with 8.
1.Metro
2.Start Menu
3.Start Button

My only real complaint now is the theme. Leaving it at auto, which will change colors depending on your desktop pic, can make windows look like a baboon's ass.

Yes, I know I can select from an ugly pastel color swatch or use the color mixer. I'd prefer a checkbox that simply said "Aero, bitches".
 

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
Aero is cheesy as hell. I just set my color to black in Windows 8.
 

KENNYB

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Messages
3,147
Aero is cheesy as hell. I just set my color to black in Windows 8.

Ugh, yeah. Set your desktop picture to black. Change your window border to auto. Ugh, yeah that's nowhere near black.

I can select a totally black theme by changing the color and appearance brightness, but watch window titles become illegible.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
The beef people have with 8.1 is the same they had with 8.
1.Metro
2.Start Menu
3.Start Button

The beef would have to change somewhat if one had actually used 8.1. Starting from the bottom, the Start Button has been returned. When on the desktop the old "friend" would be there.

#1 and #2 are matters that are significantly different, more complex and more functional in 8.1, even to the point of being more functional than in Windows 7 I believe in some ways. The split view stuff is fantastic on larger displays. No Start Menu but a full screen equivalent is there with the ability to sort apps, desktop and Metro, be most used and date installed along of course by name.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,827
I've been entertaining the idea of going back to Win7. There's no real killer reason to stay on 8, and the charms bar has been grating on me. I'm neutral on the new start menu; its clunkiness has actually made me faster by encouraging me to search rather than manually navigate the menus.

I'm always surprised that anyone still points and clicks in Windows 7. The only time I click is for the rare time when I know there's an app I want, but I don't recall it's name.
I can't imagine using control panel without searching. Haven't used 8 yet, though i do have a license.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,827
Power users know where everything is, so no need to search.

I know where I put my keys, so no need to search for them every morning. I know where I put my wallet, so I know where it is in the morning. I know where I parked my car, so no need to search for it.

I know where my programs and files are, just give me a fricken way to get to them without searching.
:(

If you can type, it's still faster to search for anything that's not on the recently run list or pinned to the start menu. It's been that way since Vista came out. Apparently most people didn't get the memo.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,827
I think for most end consumer users there's a TON of advantages to this so call cloud bloat. All of my Metro apps were automatically reinstalled from the Windows Server 2012 R2 install I did the other day and on top of that the apps that save to the cloud, all the data was there. When you think of all of the pain and hassle people have gone through over the years backing up data and reinstalling apps one at a time manually, there's no way that most people would want to continue down that path and not take advantage of what the cloud can provide.

For most that's true, but if you simply move the various data folders to a separate drive (let's call it D), then you reinstall the OS and move the new/empty folders to the D again and boom you've got all your documents. And you don't have anyone mining them for data.

The apps part is nice, but technically, can't you just do an in place install, which is really a fresh install with the apps migrated to that install?

Truth is I like to reinstall most stuff anyway. It helps me get rid of all those apps that I never use.
 

ManofGod

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
12,717
Well, it has worked on my tablet and Laptop correctly so far. (I had to fix a couple of things but not a big deal.) However, on my desktop, at least for the moment, it is a no go. Basically, everything was enlarged so that what would normally look like "Restarting" instead look like that same word in Hugh lettering.
 

Wrench00

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,423
For most that's true, but if you simply move the various data folders to a separate drive (let's call it D), then you reinstall the OS and move the new/empty folders to the D again and boom you've got all your documents. And you don't have anyone mining them for data.

The apps part is nice, but technically, can't you just do an in place install, which is really a fresh install with the apps migrated to that install?

Truth is I like to reinstall most stuff anyway. It helps me get rid of all those apps that I never use.

You also should have your fucking head checked for stupid if you are installing Apps on a server. (At least one in production)
 

mope54

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
7,452
If you can type, it's still faster to search for anything that's not on the recently run list or pinned to the start menu. It's been that way since Vista came out. Apparently most people didn't get the memo.
I get the feeling that many of the people on this board so vocal against Windows 8 were the same people pissed off about Windows 7. They used XP for years after it was time to upgrade, especially if they were gamers and were late adopters of DX 10 and didn't want to deal with Vista's birthing pains. Many of the posts on this board regarded 7 as some kind of Vista re-launch...but not in the good sense. When they finally, begrudgingly migrated to 7 they made it look, act, and feel just like XP. So while many of us have moved beyond the XP UI years ago, and now regard it as cludgy, there are still some people who think it's the best way to interact with their computers, programs, and files.

Comparing now to then, search was universally broken. I didn't use it much in Vista or 7 because it wasn't necessary for most daily tasks. It wasn't until 8 that one *must* use search periodically, if not regularly. The benefit of it is that now it functions quite well. It doesn't hurt that within that time frame from 7 to 8 I became much more familiar with OS X where things are much faster to launch from spotlight.

In fact, I used to think I was going to hate 8. But I started using it, partly because of heatlesssun's constant points about it (not that he eventually convinced me but rather that he wrote a UI tip that resolved one of my main issues I was encountering), and partly because as I became more familiar with the way it works my interactions became increasingly faster.

That and shiny is *always* better...confused how that point is routinely lost on this crowd ;)
 

Wrench00

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,423
I get the feeling that many of the people on this board so vocal against Windows 8 were the same people pissed off about Windows 7. They used XP for years after it was time to upgrade, especially if they were gamers and were late adopters of DX 10 and didn't want to deal with Vista's birthing pains. Many of the posts on this board regarded 7 as some kind of Vista re-launch...but not in the good sense. When they finally, begrudgingly migrated to 7 they made it look, act, and feel just like XP. So while many of us have moved beyond the XP UI years ago, and now regard it as cludgy, there are still some people who think it's the best way to interact with their computers, programs, and files.

Comparing now to then, search was universally broken. I didn't use it much in Vista or 7 because it wasn't necessary for most daily tasks. It wasn't until 8 that one *must* use search periodically, if not regularly. The benefit of it is that now it functions quite well. It doesn't hurt that within that time frame from 7 to 8 I became much more familiar with OS X where things are much faster to launch from spotlight.

In fact, I used to think I was going to hate 8. But I started using it, partly because of heatlesssun's constant points about it (not that he eventually convinced me but rather that he wrote a UI tip that resolved one of my main issues I was encountering), and partly because as I became more familiar with the way it works my interactions became increasingly faster.

That and shiny is *always* better...confused how that point is routinely lost on this crowd ;)
You weren't using windows 7 search correctly, there is nothing wrong with it. Vista and XP sucked so I used Everything instead. 7 search just Works for me just fine and I don't have to click apps, settings or files I get one nice window with results.
 

Eradan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
1,186
You weren't using windows 7 search correctly, there is nothing wrong with it. Vista and XP sucked so I used Everything instead. 7 search just Works for me just fine and I don't have to click apps, settings or files I get one nice window with results.

I was sick of the Windows GUI well before Vista was available. Over the years I considered moving over the Apple for my home desktop but ultimately chose not to because I prefer Windows as a gaming platform. I think that's why I don't mind the Windows 8 GUI...I was ready for something new. Granted 8 isn't perfect and I haven't tried 8.1 yet, but at least it's not the same old shit we've had for decades.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
In fact, I used to think I was going to hate 8. But I started using it, partly because of heatlesssun's constant points about it (not that he eventually convinced me but rather that he wrote a UI tip that resolved one of my main issues I was encountering), and partly because as I became more familiar with the way it works my interactions became increasingly faster.

That and shiny is *always* better...confused how that point is routinely lost on this crowd ;)

Thanks, I do actually try to talk about Windows 8 in rational and specific terms without hype one way or the other. There's plenty hype out there, getting good information is a lot more rare.

I wouldn't expect anyone in a forum like this to like anything I do simply because I like it, I just try to point out the facts as best as I can. I have my biases like everyone, but I don't think I've "sold" Windows 8, again just trying to point out some rational reality about 8 and that's really, really, really tough.

In the last few days of working with the 8.1 Preview, overall it's a pretty solid update. With the exception of a Start Menu/Metro off switch, it's pretty obvious that Microsoft has been listening, quite well I think. There's not a major concern that I've seen mentioned that didn't receive some attention. Boot to desktop, desktop wallpaper on Start Screen, options to configure the hot corners, independent monitor scaling, option to default to All Apps from the Start Button instead of the Start Screen, shutdown options now in the Power Menu, much better multiple monitor and multitasking abilities in the Modern UI, non-full screen search results overlay and quite a bit more.

I understand that some just want just the plain old desktop back but there's certainly enough in 8.1 that will appeal to some folks, even desktop and keyboard and mouse only users, especially if they start using Metro apps which are much better now on traditional devices and have some pretty cool features that have nothing to do with touch directly like the very tight cloud integration. Like it or not, people are in the cloud on their phones and tablets, it pretty much has to be a part of the PC experience.
 

Eradan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
1,186
Thanks, I do actually try to talk about Windows 8 in rational and specific terms without hype one way or the other. There's plenty hype out there, getting good information is a lot more rare.

I wouldn't expect anyone in a forum like this to like anything I do simply because I like it, I just try to point out the facts as best as I can. I have my biases like everyone, but I don't think I've "sold" Windows 8, again just trying to point out some rational reality about 8 and that's really, really, really tough.

In the last few days of working with the 8.1 Preview, overall it's a pretty solid update. With the exception of a Start Menu/Metro off switch, it's pretty obvious that Microsoft has been listening, quite well I think. There's not a major concern that I've seen mentioned that didn't receive some attention. Boot to desktop, desktop wallpaper on Start Screen, options to configure the hot corners, independent monitor scaling, option to default to All Apps from the Start Button instead of the Start Screen, shutdown options now in the Power Menu, much better multiple monitor and multitasking abilities in the Modern UI, non-full screen search results overlay and quite a bit more.

I understand that some just want just the plain old desktop back but there's certainly enough in 8.1 that will appeal to some folks, even desktop and keyboard and mouse only users, especially if they start using Metro apps which are much better now on traditional devices and have some pretty cool features that have nothing to do with touch directly like the very tight cloud integration. Like it or not, people are in the cloud on their phones and tablets, it pretty much has to be a part of the PC experience.

What's the independent monitor scaling all about?
 

mope54

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
7,452
You weren't using windows 7 search correctly, there is nothing wrong with it. Vista and XP sucked so I used Everything instead. 7 search just Works for me just fine and I don't have to click apps, settings or files I get one nice window with results.
I think you misread what I wrote because you reiterated my points. I didn't say it sucked in 7 I said that it wasn't necessary for most daily tasks (because the Start menu was adaptive to the user).

So for people coming from XP where Search was basically non-functional and a Start menu was necessary, moving to 7 where Search is largely unnecessary because the Start menu adapts according to usage habits, they would view a Start menu as a necessary feature in Windows 8 when in fact it turns out to be slower than Win+Q.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
Search is very different in 8.1, it's the biggest change in Windows search ever with the addition of the Search Hero, which I think is fantastic. The integrated Bing search can be disabled but it's pretty neat to have local and web searches in one place. Of course it is a Metro app, and it's about the only thing in 8.1 that really forces the use of Metro, even if the searches are set just for local the Search Hero will be displayed if you go to the full results. However you can hit Win+S and get just a search overly on the left of the screen, so you don't have to go to full screen to get a small listing on results, Win+S essentially works like the search box in Windows 7 though if Bing integration is turned on you also get web results in the list.
 

Wrench00

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,423
Search is very different in 8.1, it's the biggest change in Windows search ever with the addition of the Search Hero, which I think is fantastic. The integrated Bing search can be disabled but it's pretty neat to have local and web searches in one place. Of course it is a Metro app, and it's about the only thing in 8.1 that really forces the use of Metro, even if the searches are set just for local the Search Hero will be displayed if you go to the full results. However you can hit Win+S and get just a search overly on the left of the screen, so you don't have to go to full screen to get a small listing on results, Win+S essentially works like the search box in Windows 7 though if Bing integration is turned on you also get web results in the list.

So essentially they stealthily stuck Bing into search?

So correct me if I am wrong. They went back to the same format of search that was in 7 and added stupid Bing to it?

Its another shameless plug, kind of when they stuck IE into the OS.

So they enabled a "feature" that no one asked for or cared for since 99% of people on this planet know what the difference is between Web and Local search is.

If I don't like or want to use metro then I am shit out of luck searching my computer through the desktop.. If this doesn't signal MS giving up on the desktop I don't know what does.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
If by stealthy you mean Microsoft has been talking about and demoing this feature for months and there's a section in PC settings all about controlling this function, even allowing it to be own but disabled while being connected to a metered connection, then sure. And I think plenty of people over the years have asked for an integrated search. As for searching on the desktop, that is built into the File Explorer.
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,710
You think that after they fucked up the file search in Windows 7 that requires me to put modifiers so it will search only file names instead of having me specify modifiers to enable content searching, they would unfuck it up. But nooooooo......

And I don't know what it is about the data I have which is a lot of large binary files in uncommon file extensions, but he indexing works for shit.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
888
I get the feeling that many of the people on this board so vocal against Windows 8 were the same people pissed off about Windows 7. They used XP for years after it was time to upgrade, especially if they were gamers and were late adopters of DX 10 and didn't want to deal with Vista's birthing pains. Many of the posts on this board regarded 7 as some kind of Vista re-launch...but not in the good sense. When they finally, begrudgingly migrated to 7 they made it look, act, and feel just like XP. So while many of us have moved beyond the XP UI years ago, and now regard it as cludgy, there are still some people who think it's the best way to interact with their computers, programs, and files.

Nope, XP couldn't have been kicked out the door soon enough. And I adopted both Vista and 7 day one. I also tried 8 for three months then shoved it out the door too. It was slower, has one of the most schizophrenic interfaces I've ever had the misfortune of using, had numerous problems with hardware on 8 that were non-existent on 7, and to top it off the most hideous interface design since AOL. The one thing that Windows 8 got me to do is to avoid anything with the interface formerly known as Metro like the plague, and so far that rule of thumb has worked marvelously.
 

Wrench00

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,423
If by stealthy you mean Microsoft has been talking about and demoing this feature for months and there's a section in PC settings all about controlling this function, even allowing it to be own but disabled while being connected to a metered connection, then sure. And I think plenty of people over the years have asked for an integrated search. As for searching on the desktop, that is built into the File Explorer.

Not a single person that I know off has ever said.. Oh I just wish I could search the web and the desktop. Seriously why do you think Live desktop failed miserably.
 

siliconnerd

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2002
Messages
1,768
Not a single person that I know off has ever said.. Oh I just wish I could search the web and the desktop. Seriously why do you think Live desktop failed miserably.
Because Microsoft didn't shove it down people's throats hard enough?
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
Not a single person that I know off has ever said.. Oh I just wish I could search the web and the desktop. Seriously why do you think Live desktop failed miserably.

I think you mean Active Desktop and that was a widget system, not integrated search. At any rate, I've been using this a lot since Wednesday and I honestly don't see why people wouldn't like this overall. Hit the Windows, start typing and do a search on any and everything with deep links into other apps.
 

Red Falcon

[H]F Junkie
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
11,805
^ heat, you never see why anyone doesn't like anything in Windows 8.
Try putting the shoe on the other foot for once, and see how other's are actually accepting this mess of an OS.
 

mope54

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
7,452
^ heat, you never see why anyone doesn't like anything in Windows 8.
Try putting the shoe on the other foot for once, and see how other's are actually accepting this mess of an OS.
it's not that he never sees anyone's position on it but more accurately that he doesn't get it when people say things that are simply put demonstrably false.

like the guy he quoted equating bing search results in windows search everywhere with Active Desktop (and he even misidentified the feature he was trying to use as an example) and the guy who quoted me who claimed that Windows 8 was slower, buggier, and had less hardware support than Vista and Windows 7 did on day 1.

All of those things are just nonsensical ramblings if you've spent more than a passing minute with any of the OS's mentioned.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
^ heat, you never see why anyone doesn't like anything in Windows 8.
Try putting the shoe on the other foot for once, and see how other's are actually accepting this mess of an OS.

I've mentioned and agreed with a number of criticisms of Windows 8 but I don't think it's reasonable to say that all criticisms are created equal. I think its safe to say that a lot of people will like the integrated search.
 

Eradan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
1,186
I've mentioned and agreed with a number of criticisms of Windows 8 but I don't think it's reasonable to say that all criticisms are created equal. I think its safe to say that a lot of people will like the integrated search.

It's VERY reasonable to say all criticisms are not created equal. Particularly those founded on complete bullshit, which is large percentage of them in these forums.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
All of those things are just nonsensical ramblings if you've spent more than a passing minute with any of the OS's mentioned.

At some point it does start to be weird. No one ever asked for integrated search? No one wants cloud synching that allows settings and apps to carry over to any device that a person uses?
 

Naed

n00b
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
33
At some point it does start to be weird. No one ever asked for integrated search? No one wants cloud synching that allows settings and apps to carry over to any device that a person uses?

The "detail" you are forgetting here is that its never a good idea to ask people what people want.

Heck, most people cant tell you the difference between their head and their arse.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
The "detail" you are forgetting here is that its never a good idea to ask people what people want.

Heck, most people cant tell you the difference between their head and their arse.

You don't build something as complex as Windows by simply taking orders. And while the desktop isn't going away does anyone in their right mind think that the desktop represents the future on computing?
 
Top