Windows 8.1 begins its rollout tomorrow, the Start Button returns, the Start Menu does not

Windows 8.1 begins its rollout tomorrow, the Start Button returns, the Start Menu does not
Windows 8 has had a rough go of it over the past year. Windows 7 was a tough act to follow, especially since people were more than happy to run away from Vista. The interface was a love-hate affair, and despite a relatively stable roll-out, and steady, reliable updates over the course of the year, a lot of folks still pan the operating system.

Well the good news is that Windows 8.1 is here. Those currently using Windows 8 will get a complimentary upgrade to 8.1. Those that have resisted the move from Windows 7 or Vista (or even XP) can get Windows 8.1 for $120.

For all its warts, Microsoft has polished things up quite a bit. The Start Button has returned to Windows 8.1, but the Start Menu has not. That is not the end of the world because developers have created all sorts of work-arounds for those that must have their menu. The Start Button takes you to the “Start Screen” as it exists in Windows 8, but you can do more with the tiles and the applications are easier to access.

The interface is still touch centric, which may put some desktop users off a bit, but now at least you can bypass the Start Screen and boot straight to the desktop if you choose. The desktop background can be incorporated as the background for the Start Screen, so the transition between desktop and tiles will be less dramatic.

Two big changes you will notice start with the search feature, which integrates search across your computer along with online content. The other big change is better and tighter integration with SkyDrive (except in the UK where eventually it will be renamed), making it easier to store and access information in the cloud.

Below we included just a brief overview of the subtle and not so subtle changes on the way. Will these changes prompt you to update your PC or tablet?

via: WPCentral


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34 Comments

1. orca99

Posts: 87; Member since: Oct 05, 2013

I've been using 8.1 since the MSDN release (also updated to the GA rollup) but the user experience hasn't changed much. The most convient features are, however, a direct booting to the desktop and the ability to customize the start screen better. The modern (Metro) apps, however, are still crap.

14. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

I agree with you on that

2. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Too little too late I'm afraid. Google (even Apple) has begun to eat into your market share.

6. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Oh really❔PC's count for over 90% of desktop/laptop sales, and all new PC's are loaded with W8x.. What's going to be the outcome of that in a few years? And once people get used to W8, which it's inevitable that they will, they are going to think twice about buying a toy tablet when they find out they can take their entire computing experience with them... Tablets are still young, and the role of a tablet has yet to be defined... So quit fooling yourself, and being naive to the fact that that 90%+ market share isn't going anywhere.

11. ngikngok

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

you just making an idiot of yourself. posting immaturely. Stop fooling around your freakin troll.

16. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

How am I wrong❔

19. shreyas.s666

Posts: 83; Member since: Aug 24, 2012

Arm architecture isn't that power to replace desktop PCs.and android needs much specs. So at least for next 2 yrs nothing can be changed. Or just because Windows8 suck ppl wont stop using windows.

17. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Woah, calm down. Please note the use of the word "begun"

29. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Sorry, looking to leave windows because of Windows 8. It used to be that you could still get copies of the previous OS, but not here. So basically MS gave us an ultimatum, use Windows 8 or leave, and that's what I'm going to do. On a side note, why give us a start button but not the start menu. That's like giving someone keys to a car and they're the wrong keys. But don't worry, you can pay extra to some outside source to get a fix that MS should have done in the first place. Nope, time to sell my Win8 unit and look at their competition.

30. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Unless W9 is more like W7, I'm leaving as well. A start button without the start menu is as insulting as the W7 desktop mode without any way of really using it properly. It's almost like MS is playing with us in those regards. Some of the things shown in the video are really nice features but the entire UI isn't the way I want to use my computer. And yes, I'm in the group put off by it being touch screen based. I can accept that on a tablet but not on a PC. I just purchased a new computer a couple of months ago so I still have a handful of years before needing a new one. Hopefully by then MS has finally realized there's more of us old time users who prefer the old UI compared to the new users. Otherwise, I'll be checking out Ubuntu.

32. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1457; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

If you research you will find that the main entry of virus was through start. You don't need a start menu to control software. Holding the windows key and the C key takes you to the menu that used to be like start. Holding the windows kea alone take you to the programs and app screen Windows 8 is way better than windows 7 and if you have a touch screen it gets even easier to use. Windows will regain, and keep its market lead because right now it has way more to offer than any other platform at the moment. When it is unified with Windows Phone next year it will start to out shine the competition for sure! You can still buy Windows 7 online , but to me that would be foolish, but to each his own!

3. Navaid

Posts: 46; Member since: Sep 05, 2013

Hmm, getting better. MS didn't make the right decision going with the Metro UI, And they can't even get rid of it any time sooner than 7 to 8 years. It's the golden chance for Google to hit with Android for PC, Then nothing can prevent my all time favourite software giant from going down. Feeling really bad ! :'(

7. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Keep dreaming... Pipe dreams..

12. ngikngok

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

keep dreaming yourself grab-assing troll!

15. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Prove me wrong❕ Calling me a troll doesn't make you right!... And this a article about a MS product, so if there was a troll here wouldn't it be you❔

33. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1457; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Why are you so negative...if Microsoft continues they will dominate when the phone and desk top are united!

31. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

The amount of focus MS is placing on the Scroogled ads is indication enough they know Google is a threat.

4. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Looking better than 8.

5. shadow25

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

oh,I think microsoft is doing well in design... not in features... c`mon Microsoft we want something BIG!!!!!!!

8. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

They'll give you a BIG tile :)

9. twens

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

I will pick windows any day any time.i simple love w8,those who find it difficult are just people who don't like change. W8 or w8.1 is the future. ...get used to it. The smoothest OS on the planet. Rocking it on my Dell Xps touch screen pc.

10. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

since when programs are called apps? no start menu? what are they smoking? !

13. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

I have been using Linux constantly since 2011. Now i don't feel comfortable going back to Windows. I use Windows only for Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Xilisoft Video Converter and some apps that are Windows exclusives. However with time I notice Linux is getting some love from developers, it still has a long way to go but is improving. SteamOS is going to encourage that transition more and more. So many developers praise Valve for this move and now let's hope it is successful. Windows 8 to be honest does not have the same Windows Experience like you had with Windows XP or 7 although it is an improvement.

18. amozhi

Posts: 131; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Microsoft is always doing the wrong things. They are supplying tablet OS for PC in 2013 and in 2001 they supplied desktop software for tablets. Microsoft wake up and learn from your mistakes. WITHOUT START BUTTON windows is a fail. If google launches Chrome / Android like desktop OS it would be a huge hit and would replace windows forever

22. sks1969

Posts: 108; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

No need for Android on desktop, wake up guys... you already have linux mint, Ubuntu and the hundreds of distro's out there, with all the apps and utilities you will ever need and WITHOUT AD's and google counting how many times you go pee... All you guys' posting out here about Android coming on desktop should get a life not kiss Google's arse for everything.

23. amozhi

Posts: 131; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Indeed...I am using linux mint 14 as my daily use. But I can't buy a new PC (laptop) with good spec with linux on it. I am also afraid to buy a non branded PC due to driver issue. At present only option is to use dual boot windows pc. I am still using the 7 year old pc with good performance. If any manufacturer releases PC with linux on, would be a great hit. It may not be a huge hit immediately, but it will help people to migrate to linux. One disadvantage with linux is, most of the tools and utilities needs to be installed /accessed using comand prompt. This may be the issue for new comers or an average person. If linux removes this drawback, then it would be great choice of OS for all and that's what android did. So make Android as desktop PC, people will automatically migrate to linux.

25. rob5150

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

20. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

a Great deal of people feel that Microsoft should have separated the Desktop and the Modern UI AKA Metro start screen from Windows 8.1 and just have the Modern UI AKA Metro start screen on Tablets, All in one touch screen desktops, and Laptop/notebooks that have a touch screen. Well that did not happen but there is hope that it will happen in Windows 9 that I think may come out in 2015. Ii I became the new CEO of Microsoft the first thing I would do is call the Windows operating system development team in and tell them to create a Desktop mouse and keyboard version for Windows 9 as well as an advanced version of what is known as Windows 8.1 for touch screen devices like Tablets. All in one desktops that have touch screen. And any Laptop/notebooks that have a touch screen. this would give Microsoft OEM's and Customers a better selection of devices to choose from. Old-timers would buy the windows 9 desktop Mouse and keyboard version and brave souls like me would stick with the hybrid Windows 9 operating system that would resemble Windows 8.1 to use some of the good Apps that are in the Windows store and have the best of both worlds. If Ballmer had made sure there was a screw of Windows 8 that was only for the desktop/Laptop mouse and keyboard computers that had no Modern UI AKA Metro start screen touch interface at all Windows 8 would have been a success because it would had something for everybody.

21. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Start button cost Ballmer his job?

24. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

I can't find the update I dunno how....l gaahHHHH

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