Windows 8.1 Review and Critique

October 23, 2013 | By | 3 Comments Windows 8.1 Review and Critique

Windows 8.1 Review

Windows is not perfect just yet. It still appears to be a work in progress. However, Windows 8.1 does show that Microsoft is not sleeping on the job. People who currently have Windows 8 will find their PC life more pleasant with Windows 8.1. One feature Windows 8 users are happy to see in Windows 8.1 is the Start button, along with a throng of other features, modifications, and performance improvements driven towards revamping the platform. Supposedly under demand from Window 8 users, Window 8.1 was born.

In order to benefit from Windows 8.1, re installing desktop applications or Windows Store apps is not necessary, and no computer repair is required. Moreover, all files remain including libraries and icons pinned to the taskbar.

The Windows 8.1 update is free to Windows 8 users via the online Windows Store. However, PCs sold after October 17th will have the new Windows 8.1 pre-installed. Any PC purchased prior to October 17th is eligible for a free windows installation update.

So, What’s the Big Deal?

1. Previously, users were limited to ten web pages at one time in Internet Explorer and pages automatically closed once users reached the limit without any prior notice. Windows 8.1 has no limit.

2. In Windows 8, users were restricted to viewing one page at a time. With Windows 8.1, users can open a new-window rather than a new-tab by making a right click to make another page appear.

3. Limitations were placed on Window 8’s Mail app too. Windows 8.1 permits users to have two messages open at once. Attachments are opened on the side, not in a new window, while the Mail app’s layout modifies to suit the leftover space.

4. With Windows 8, it was possible to access some computer settings via the tile-based interface. Now, settings and more can be adjusted from the tile-based interface in Windows 8.1.

What Else is New?

Windows 8.1 offers these additional enhancements:

1. Universal search is possible with one search command. Files can be accessed stored on users computers together with web content online. Type in New York City and a map, optional attractions, and the current weather forecast will pop-up.

2. Fresh features include diagnosing medical conditions by clicking on a body-part on the screen where users can mark-off symptoms. Keeping track of exercise programs, shopping lists, and recipes are possible as well. An additional feature allows content from apps and web pages to be saved and read afterward offline.

3. Customization permits a more lucid rearrangement of tiles and renaming groups of apps is easier.

There is Still Work to Do

1. Using Windows 8.1 is like using two separate computers sometimes. Each mode claims its own Internet Explorer browser. Pages open in one will not automatically open in the other. Many programs, counting Microsoft Office, operate only in desktop.

2. Though Windows 8.1 permits users to adjust screen-space, the slider only goes from left to right. Therefore, when three or four apps are open, they all show-up vertical.

3. The Start button on Windows 8.1 has been reinstated, but the functionality is not there.

4. Touch controls are still perplexing. Windows 8.1 offers innovative gesture controls but the purpose gets confused with functionality and it all goes wrong somehow.

Microsoft’s tile and touch methods will take some getting used to, even with the new Windows 8.1. The technique works great on tablets and phones, but not so readily on laptops and desktops.


  • tom johnson says:

    I miss the WIN7gadgets, and the WIN7 version of SpiderSolitaire. In 8.1 I have not found an analog clock that will run on the tile page. Simple little things that made life fun have been sacrificed to the tech Gods. Who in the H___ makes these decisions. Those apps are mainly intrusive and do not work. I have uninstalled at least 50 of them because they do not contribute anything.

  • tom johnson says:

    thank you

  • Anonymous says:


    Here’s a helpful work around that we occasionally use for customers at the shop:

    Use at your own risk, but we’ve had some good success with getting our customers their gadgets that they know and love.

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