Windows 8.1 Update 1: Meh, it'll have to do I suppose

Windows 8.1 Update 1: Meh, it'll have to do I suppose

Summary: Or, more accurately, it'll have to do until Windows 9 makes an appearance next year. Then, who knows? All bets are off.

TOPICS: Windows 8

Microsoft is preparing the way to release its second update for the Windows 8 operating system next month, but thanks to both contacts within the industry and a foul-up by Microsoft which made the Windows 8.1 Update 1 packages available on Windows Update for anyone wanting to grab them, I've had the chance to take this latest update for a spin.

On installing the update it's clear that Update 1 is an evolutionary step for the Windows 8 species as opposed to a radical revamp. It seems the Redmond giant still believes that the overall user interface and user experience debuted in Windows 8 is the way forward, and that the whining will eventually die off and people will take their Modern/Metro medicine.

I'd like nothing more than for Microsoft to take what it has learnt with Window 8 and Windows 8.1 and combine that with Windows 7 to give us Windows 7.5 – in other words, a better version of Windows 7 – but that's just not going to happen.

I'm not going to cover specific changes rolled out in Windows 8.1 Update 1. For that you can check out the changes here, but little has changed since the leaked build I looked at back in the beginning of February. The bottom line is that if you liked Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, and you spent time getting to grips with the user interface and adapting your old workflows to suit the new system, Update 1 is going to mean tweaking that workflow a bit, but on the whole you're still going to like the platform.

If, on the other hand, you're like me and you found Windows 8/Windows 8.1 to be a productivity-sucking black hole that forces you to limp along using a touch-first user interface on a desktop or notebook system – which remain the primary platform for Windows, and that’s not going to change for a long time – then Update 1 does little or nothing to change that.

Which is why I give Windows 8.1 Update 1 a "meh, it'll have to do I suppose."

It's sort of strange that the people who have got the most of lose in terms of productivity and facing yet another learning curve are those who took the time to use Windows 8 in the way Microsoft wanted them to use it.

Microsoft is still letting the tail wag the rest of the dog by putting the touch interface ahead of the keyboard and mouse. While this is a gamble with could pay off in the future, the interface, when combined with a perception of the platform that is skewed towards the negative, doesn't bode well.

Throw on top of that lackluster PC sales and Windows 8.x could be facing a long uphill battle. But with Windows 9 allegedly about a year out, maybe it's a battle that Windows 8.x is destined to lose. 

Topic: Windows 8

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  • This does take care of the immediate jarring effect

    of starting up a new pc and landing in a completely alien environment. Great idea to start directly to desktop as a default setting.
  • Desktop integration

    I'm running 8.1.1 now, and I think it's well done. The Desktop vs Metro split was unnecessary and the 2 of them should have been integrated from the beginning - which they are now.
    • Votes and Flags

      I see someone's got a vote multiplier. You must be soo proud. I hope it's at least scripted and not some poor soul slaving away in front of a PC with multiple logins.
      • It's an ABMer.

        Unfortunately, it's a bit hard to figure out which one it is.

        Don't worry too much about it.

        It's a bit like a small dog.

        It wants it to seem bigger than it actually is.

        My guess is, it's probably someone in this thread.

        (Notice how I'm calling the voter an "it". You're not a person, you're a "spam-bot".)
    • Flagging

      What is the deal with all these flags? My assumption is that you vote for something you like and you flag something that is inappropriate, like the posts that tell you how they are earning $14,000 a month now with their computer. But it looks like a Flag just means you don't agree with the person posting. How ridiculous. Go find something better to do with your time.
      • Extend that thought a little further

        My guess has always been that some people here dislike any positive MS comments, so they flag the heck out of the posts in hopes that some automated process deletes the posts, calculating it spam.

        That, or to give the impression that the vast majority disagree with the comment.

        Yes, either way, it's childish.
        • Curiously enough...

          ...anti-MS posts are often frequently flagged.

          But I too believe that flags should be reserved for inappropriate posts.
          John L. Ries
  • AHK post ? Meh !

    Update 8.1.1 addresses most of the issues, looks quite good.
  • I'm With You Adrian

    Ed Bott can go and write a new book about it.
    Alan Smithie
    • Adrian is the guy that complained about a feature missing in Windows 8

      that WAS in Windows 8 : FILE HISTORY BACKUP.
      Just like all the bandwagon haters, he hasn't really used Windows 8.
  • Microsoft Should Forget About Windows 8

    It belongs to the ages of mediocrity, right along with:

    * The Edsel
    * The Yugo
    * The Jamaican Bobsled Team
    * New Coke
    * The Googlle Qube
    * The Motorola Xoom
    * MySpace
    * Ping
    * Milli Vanilli
    * Fannie Packs
    * Wham Day Glow Shirts

    And all those other forgettable thing that... well, that I forgot about.

    :0 )
    • How can anyone forget the sock puppy?

      That tear will live forever in Super Bowl lore.
      • just saying you are from kenosha?

        I am from Kenosha as well, are you Shaun from Marquette? Apologies to other readers....sorry
    • I am shocked

      You have a negative opinion about something from Microsoft?

      Actually, I'm more surprised you aren't using caps, to be honest.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Microsoft shuld do no harm and not be evil

        Its hard to see a giant stumble, but then again IBM reinvented themselves.....its ok to try to market themselves into increased sales but bulling users into compliance with forced and uninvited audits is going to far. I declined the free beta test windows 8 but bought if for $39 after hearing a few good comments. After a year of use they took a forced audit and reloaded my platform from a server destroying my files and loaded programs. Once they created windows old they saved to my poultry SSD using up 50 G Bytes, loosing the reload files when they ran out of space, thanks for forcing me to rebuild. It was the 8.1 upgrade that corrupted my 64bit system anyway. Enough, we all have to demand better from a former giant.
    • You forgot...

      Windows ME and Windows Vista. Apparently Microsoft has forgotten them too. Their aspirations for Windows 8 notwithstanding, history will remember Windows 8 as just another Microsoft dud.

      Oh, and the Microsoft Zune should be on your list as well along with the Zune MarketPlace.

      Steve Jobs was notorious for magical thinking, but I think MS has him beat hands down - though their thinking is more delusional than magical. They are unrivaled in their ability to turn a silk purse into a sows ear. For over a decade now they've followed every successful version of Windows with a nightmare.
      • I loved my zune

        and still use the Zune Marketplace-aka The Windows Store

        And actually MS used the Zune UI to help shape the Xbox and Windows 8 UI Hardly a dud! : )

        And after years of wanting a Zune Phone, finally got one with my 1st Gen Windows Phone. Now I have a Zune Phone with a 6" screen and a 20mp camera thanks to my 1520!!
        • I'm loving my 8" Zune tablet

          and my Android tablet is not getting as much love as it used to.
      • I disagree, thewhitedog

        Zune is hands a great MP3 player, and rugged as all heck - mine's been abused beyond belief, and it still works perfectly.

        I'm not sure what an iPod has over that.
      • No, not like Vista,

        for with Vista, after two update cycles, that is, Service Pack 2, Vista was a very solid OS, worthy of space on any computer with double the specs given by Microsoft [Microsoft's usual lies about minimum specs have been around since Windows 3.0, so by now, no one pays attention, and adjusts accordingly]. It IS an OS I still use nearly each day, and don't see so much difference between it and the Windows 7 that I also have on a few machines.

        Windows 8.1U1 is still a pig without enough lipstick to make a dent in the UGLY, and worse yet, the apologists are actually claiming it makes one more productive. The only scenario I can envision is one where test subjects are brought in, never having used a computer before, given some time with Windows 8.x, and then put in front of another revision of Windows. Naturally, they would, at first be more productive with what they had the most time on.