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back to article Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

Windows 8.1 adds a layer of polish to the previous release, Windows 8, and fixes various annoyances. But has Microsoft done enough to rescue its OS against a background of plummeting PC sales and unimpressed customers who want Windows 7 back? Discussion of Windows 8.1 tends to focus on the Start screen and revived Start button. …

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Anonymous Coward

Right click admin options

It was definitely worthwhile adding those

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Re: Right click admin options

I'm still completely unable to find any kind of justification for the huge download - it still needs classic start etc to produce a half reasonable user experience. Advice to those who haven't tried the upgrade yet - don't bother.

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Re: it still needs classic start etc to produce a half reasonable user experience

I disagree. I have been using Win 8 for about 6 months now, I'm used to the start button and menu not being there, I've got all my usual apps pinned to the bar at the bottom like I had in Win 7 and my desktop is just the same.

Don't get me wrong, Win 8 still smacks of beta in a lot of areas and still has Windows ridiculous habit of hanging the whole OS if a bit of hardware misbehaves (dodgy SD card killed mine a treat!) but the user experience, when running old windows apps not stupid full screen metro apps, is pretty much the same as 7. Works ok as a tablet too...

Gonna do a system backup over the weekend and try installing 8.1, but for the bug fixes not the start button...

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Re: Right click admin options

Ahhhh Poo.

There i was hoping for a patch in shining armor riding a small download to come and swoop me off my feet away from my 8 purchase blues.

RATS

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Re: Right click admin options

I've been working with Windows 8 for a few months now. Windows 8.1 on my laptop for the last month or so.

Yesterday, I had to work on a Windows 7 PC - the whole start button thing seemed very primitive.

Strange what you get used to.

Worth having the Start button again, just for using remote access - getting the menu up was a pain over a windowed RDP session.

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JC_
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Re: Right click admin options

Oddly enough, after upgrading to 8.1 my laptop (XPS 12) lost right-click functionality. If I'd wanted a mac... :)

The missing start-button was one of the stupidest things in Win8. Watching any new user staring blankly at the desktop wondering what to do next would have taught Sinofsky that.

Good job with the popup introductory guides, too. How they ever thought that they'd got it perfectly right in the first place and these weren't necessary is beyond me, and I like Windows 8...

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Childcatcher

@JC "and I like Windows 8..."

Oh my God. You can't say that here, its like spitting in church. In heaven's name see icon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it still needs classic start etc to produce a half reasonable user experience

Windows 8.1 still sucks donkeyballs for anyone that wants to WORK with their PC. For people that TOY, it's OK, but then so is a £99 Argos/Tesco/ASDA Android tablet....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it still needs classic start etc to produce a half reasonable user experience

Runs VS2012 and IIS ok. I can get my work done. And suck donkey balls.

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Headmaster

@AC 1843 GMT. Well, well, well. Yet another example from an AC of the love........

.........that durst not speak its name.

"Windows 8.1 still sucks donkeyballs for anyone that wants to WORK with their PC. For people that TOY, it's OK, but then so is a £99 Argos/Tesco/ASDA Android tablet...."

Apple fanboi perhaps, hmm? If you aren't then your phrasing of that posting was extremely peculiar.

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Thumb Up

"And suck donkey balls."

Whilst I do not quite share your taste in partners (:P) I entirely agree with the sentiments expressed in your post. Up-vote duly delivered.

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Re: Right click admin options

Yes, it was. Which is why they were already in Windows 8 and WindowsRT. Win+x takes you to the same menu.

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Re: Right click admin options

Yes it was. Which is why it was already in Windows8 and WindowsRT. Yet another biased a badly written so called review from TheRegister. I'm stunned. Honest.

I mean, it's not even a review! Where is the mention of app snap, the multiple Store apps windows, opening links in a snap window rather than a full switch, better store and music apps, looks better with the more tiles options, ie11 and the pin to Start feature.

Seriously, just for once, try to write a review of Windows 8 without revealing your ineptitude. If you find Windows 8 bewildering then you're a retard. My Dad is mid 60's and loves his Surface. Write a review of the product, not your own biased views

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Re: Right click admin options

Advice from someone who is willing to try out new things:

Update and ignore the Win8 haters and trolls

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @JC "and I like Windows 8..."

"its like spitting in church"

Better than swallowing surely?

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Facepalm

Re: Right click admin options

Why do you people make so many concessions to Microsoft for their crap OS. Their "upgrade" is the size of a complete OS DVD, and to add insult to injury you will have to pull all 4GBs of it down on EACH of your computers. Why not just allow the user to download an ISO or even a USB flash disk builder?

You sympathizers do realize that if your OS goes south or you lose your OS drive, that you will have to install Windows 8 first, then install your 8 Pro "upgrade", then re-download the whole 4GB 8.1 "upgrade" again?

They need to give their customers what they ask for and then stop screwing over their paying customers with this crazy anti-piracy crap.

YOU sympathizers need to stop bending over and taking what they give you, or at least stop thanking them for it.

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Re: Right click admin options

>If you find Windows 8 bewildering then you're a retard

"Retard" is an abusive Americanism that I absolutely detest.

What sort of person uses such a crass, loathsome term?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Right click admin options

OK, so you are beating me up because you can right-click the bottom left corner in Win 8.0 too for the admin menu (or press Win-X).

True, but the reason I mention it is that I most often right-click the Start button in Win 8.1 for the "Shut down or sign out" option which was added - it is not in Win 8.0.

The right-click menu is also more discoverable in Win 8.1, which does not matter once you have discovered it, but that discoverability is improved is also important.

There is another thing you should know about this review. After discussion we agreed not to repeat everything that we had already said about Windows 8.1 Preview, which was reviewed here last month:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/12/windows_eight_one_review/

Hence the focus on some of the business features. We should have included a link to the earlier piece though, so apologies for that.

Tim

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Re: Right click admin options

He may be picking a nit, but there's still something off about the review. Quite honestly, I got about a third to halfway through it and skipped the rest. I'm not sure exactly why, but it reads like a rewritten MS PR piece so I assumed it was. Since you assure me it was an actual review, I might go back and have another go at it.

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Bewildering is right

Having dealt with loads of wildly different operating systems over the years, some with GUIs and some without, I don't think I have ever found one so bizarrely messed up as Windows 8 / 8.1

Configuration options are scattered around willy-nilly, there are usually at least two versions of any type of application, important menus are deliberately hidden - it's a completely unintuitive, illogical mess and only a retarded fool in severe denial could ever argue otherwise.

It's all the more astonishing as MS had finally, after decades of botched attempts just about managed to produce a version of Windows (7, obviously) which worked pretty reliably, supported a reasonable subset of hardware "out of the box" and had an interface with some kind of logic behind it.

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Re: Bewildering is right

Once search was declared the 'right way to launch anything' (a view spouted endlessly throughout the launch of Win8 by the faithful), it stopped mattering if they broke every other structure. Maybe even became worth breaking the organisation of settings launchers just to encourage adoption of search.

And as the faithful used to remind us every sodding day, search is what makes that pile of tiles on the start screen usable. Or in my opinion the only thing that makes it usable.

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Re: Bewildering is right

Indeed, and if they stuck the Win7 GUI on top of the vastly improved OS that lies underneath TIFKAM and called it Windows 7.1 it would sell like wildfare.

Bonk ... sorry, I was dreaming there.

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Linux

Re: Bewildering is right

I'm just so glad that my business objectives no longer include supporting MS's business objectives.........

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Re: Bewildering is right

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but 'unintuitive' and 'illogical' are not two accusations I would throw at Windows 8 or 8.1. Any app, you swipe in from the right and select Settings. What's so bloody confusing about that?

For me, it's only retarded fools that can't understand Windows 8 and invariably those who have spent no more than 5 minutes with it. You want a toy, use an iPad but the things I can do on my Dell XPS10 , yeah, that's right, I'm rocking WindowsRT 8.1 muthafukkas, that put the iPad to shame are countless. Check your Twitter account whilst working on a Word doc in an iPad, go on, I dare ya.

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Re: 'unintuitive' and 'illogical'

Swiping an invisible/imaginary control surface, with no visible cues is hardly 'intuitive'. It's a learned behaviour, with no discoverability because it's such an unusual gesture given the absence of cues, something people need to be told about rather than left to discover.

The only logic to it is in using the screen edges most developers deliberately avoid, because touch input typical breaks on those edges and has less precision when it works. (Touch problems that are irrelevant in desktop mode because touch is barely usable there anyway)

Rote learning != intuitive OR logical. Dragging a phones visible notification bar to reveal notifications is logical, intuitive and discoverable, dragging an arbitrarily chosen zero width edge is none of those.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bewildering is right

Never mind, the recession recovery will accelerate soon and you will maybe get a job in IT again....

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Headmaster

Re: Bewildering is right

Indeed, and if they stuck the Win7 GUI on top of the vastly improved OS that lies underneath TIFKAM and called it Windows 7.1 it would sell like wildfare.

And if they used the XP GUI and called it XP 2.0, it might even go like a wildfire

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bewildering is right

That was a typo, but no argument.

I more accurately should have said "any previous interface other than TIFKAM", ok?

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"Worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7" - Why?

Your final line seems to be there to save you from the wroth of MS as far as I can see.

Just *why* is it a viable or worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7? You spent the whole article priving why this isn't the case, then have this one sentence right at the end.

Very puzzled. As a programmer working on three screens, having had the dubious "pleasure" of Windows 8 and going back to Windows 7, I cannot see what the impetus would be to change. All it does is hide things and slow my work down considerably over a "desktop" OS like Win 7 or Ubuntu.

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Re: "Worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7" - Why?

For me and quite a few of our customers the answer is simple:

One OS to rule them all

My privat desktop (core-i7 / Dual Monitor), my company notebook (T-series convertible) and my privat tablet pc all run the same software, the same set of tools, the same UI. There may be "optimized" systems that work slightly better on each hardware also I have yet to see them. But with Win8 I do not have to ask "will document a show on system b" because it will. And it will do the same on Win7, Vista and XP if necessary. I won't have to remember "gesture x does z on system a but y on system b" and "option y is in menu/function etc w on system a but in k on system c".

As a company (like most) we are using Windows client and the fact that the document with all the hand made annotations and diagrams generated in Journal or OneNote during the client meeting can be viewed and edited on a desktop as well is convenient. Tablet/Convertible + Beamer has replaced whiteboards and "gather the paper / take a snapshot with the mobile phone cam". The documents can simply be send (or stored in sharepoint) and distributed / edited / transformed to computer readable text etc.

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Re: "Worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7" - Why?

Dropbox would probably have been about 1% of the cost of what you have paid, and infinitely more ubiquitous.

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Re: "Worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7" - Why?

Dropbox is a cloud solution with servers in the US of A. Maybe ok for privat data but not legal for some of the company stuff we do (person based data). Same problem with i.e Evernote or GoogleDocs. A company run Sharepoint and VPN access OTOH is as would be a company run Azure cloud.

And even IF Db where acceptabe it would not solve the document format problem between platforms. I.e there is no SNote outside Samsung and even the Win8 version does not fully understand the Android one. And PDF is nice for "watch" and somewhat useable for "comment" but lousy for "editing". Other formats play "two programs - three formats" and since the customer ("he who pays our bills") decrees "MS Office compatible" - we use MS Office.

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Re: "Worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7" - Why?

"Dropbox would probably have been about 1% of the cost of what you have paid, and infinitely more ubiquitous."

Or scp, which is free and included in real OSs (you know, the sort that don't need rebooted just because you installed a word-processor).

Windows is Windows is Windows is shit, same as it ever was.

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Vic
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Re: "Worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7" - Why?

> One OS to rule them all

Never a truer word...

Vic.

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FAIL

Re: "Worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7" - Why?

For me and quite a few of our customers the answer is simple:

And you're boasting about Win8 because it can finally, so many years after the rest of us have been taking this sort of thing for granted, actually do something like that?

Damn. Man, you need to get your tongue out of Balmy's backside and take a look at the real world. If your post is anything to go by, Microsoft are so far behind the times they make the Amish look futuristic!

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Anonymous Coward

Four words.

Lip stick on a pig.

That is all.

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Re: Four words.

I count 5, going by how you've (incorrectly) written it...

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Joke

Re: lipstick on a pig

.... only you wouldn't expect to apply the pig's own bodyweight in lipstick. You might even be able to use the same tube of lipstick to more than one porker.

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Anonymous Coward

Failed Desktop GUI

No matter how much Photoshopping you do, it's just impossible to make Ann Widdecombe look attractive.

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Re: Failed Desktop GUI

Pish. It most certainly _is_ possible to "make Ann Widdecombe look attractive". And it doesn't even take much Photoshoping. Just park her next to Steve Balmer.

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Re: Failed Desktop GUI

Pish. It most certainly _is_ possible to "make Ann Widdecombe look attractive". And it doesn't even take much Photoshoping. Just park her next to Steve Balmer.

My eyes ... my eyes

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puzzled

pointing at the bottom left corner of the desktop in windows 8 popped up a link to the start screen. right clicking it brought up quick access. to various admin options. 8.1 has just made the area bigger, which will help laptops using touchpads. the start screen gives you acustomisable start menu. you can arrange the programs/apps you use the most so they immediately available.

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Anonymous Coward

Ashamed to say

I had to install a bit of software for my niece on her laptop the other week and I'm ashamed to say I couldn't work out how to shut it down and neither it seems could she 'oh you just close the lid and the screen goes black' she said...

She was happy enough with shutting the lid and I couldn't be bothered to google it, but I dread to think what I missed in order to find shutdown.. Start > Shutdown was illogical enough, so I dread to think where they will have moved it to now. I think I'll stick to administering Windows 7 at work and using Linux at home then when companies start a Windows 8 roll out I think I'll apply to be a truck driver in Afghanistan...

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Re: Ashamed to say

Shutdown in in the "charms" menu by swiping right-to-left or with a mouse, IIRC, upper-right corner. It's a stupid spot and Start-Shutdown was miles more logical than Win8's mess. Yes, shutdown is in the same spot in 8.1

I'm not sure which UI I found more annoying: Ubuntu's Unity or Win8's Metro (or whatever they are calling it this week). At least Unity kept some thing in a local location, but Win8's "Metro" screen is an improvement over Unity's Dash.

Overall: 8.1 in an improvement to 8, but that's not saying too much. However, the Metro tiles UI is here to stay so better get to filling out those applications in Afghanistan.

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Re: Ashamed to say

On on the ones I use, control/alt/delete, sign out, hit CR, power button bottom right of screen. That's three-finger salute on keyboard, mouse click, keyboard, mouse again. BLEUGH.

Or you can cheat and just press the soft-power button on the system unit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ashamed to say

Right-click on the Start icon > Shut down or sign out

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Re: Ashamed to say

Select the desktop and hit ALT+F4.

Christ, these people who bitch about Win8 are computer illiterates.

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