Is Windows 8.1 better now?

#1 Posted by wumbo3000 (1098 posts) -

So I'm thinking of buying a new laptop, but I've heard so many horror stories about Windows 8 that I'm hesitant to go through with the purchase. I know Windows 8.1 improved some things, but I was just curious to see the state of Windows 8 and the overall opinion of those who have it. I'm currently using Windows 7 right now and I think it's great.

#2 Posted by 71Ranchero (3139 posts) -

Its fine. You can mostly ignore the "Hipsters first Windows" start menu and use 8.1 like you would with 7.

#3 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

I've had a WIndows 8 laptop for a while now...and I'm going to be getting a 15 inch MacBook Pro by the end of the year. Windows 8 is fiiiine but I just don't like the way it looks and don't think it adds much to the experience that I enjoy.

#4 Posted by spraynardtatum (4038 posts) -

Windows 7 is great.

#5 Edited by MB (13932 posts) -

It's fine. Just get Classic Shell and it'll be so close to Windows 7 you will hardly be able to tell the difference.

Moderator
#6 Posted by Hone_McBone (225 posts) -

After using windows 8 (& 8.1) on both a desktop since it was released & a laptop for a few months I personally wouldn't go back to 7.

#7 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (4011 posts) -

Totally fine. I occasionally get annoyed with some of the "windows 8" apps that suck real hard but you can ignore those.

#8 Posted by mjk0104 (222 posts) -

I've never really had a problem with 8 and 8.1, once you get rid of the Metro thing (Classic Shell is the way to go), it's just like 7, but with a few improvements here and there, totally fine.

#9 Edited by Evilsbane (5018 posts) -

Install 8, activate it before putting it to 8.1 (Not joking even though 8.1 is free for all 8 users the key will be invalid if you fail to activate before the update) then install "Classic Shell" it changes the bullshit 8.1 start button into a Real start button and you then right click The Taskbar click properties and under the Navigation tab select "When I sign or close all apps go to the Desktop instead of start" BAM you never have to see the Touch Screen interface.

8.1 imo works amazing on the Surface Pro, its fast and light and makes sense there. Performance and boot up time on PC is amazing but you just have to tweak it to work like 7 and then it is a viable solution.

#10 Posted by Amafi (1014 posts) -

I've had a WIndows 8 laptop for a while now...and I'm going to be getting a 15 inch MacBook Pro by the end of the year. Windows 8 is fiiiine but I just don't like the way it looks and don't think it adds much to the experience that I enjoy.

I've been using windows 8 since the first public releases and it's always been fine.

That said, I did just get a 13.3" macbook pro just a few weeks ago. Really nice machine, and it runs ubuntu beautifully. You couldn't pay me to use OS X, that shit's painful.

#11 Posted by theveej (905 posts) -
@mjk0104 said:

I've never really had a problem with 8 and 8.1, once you get rid of the Metro thing (Classic Shell is the way to go), it's just like 7, but with a few improvements here and there, totally fine.

I agree, I don't even use classic shell anymore, just right clicking on the start button gives me all the options I need right away

#12 Posted by Maddman60620 (169 posts) -

Honestly Win8 is nice and I didn't really see why people were/are so cold or hot about it.... its built for the use of a touch screen but works with mouse just as good as 7... My main PC still runs Win7 I haven't upgraded because I use music creation software(FL studio, Sony Acid, and Maschine) and the service pack to fix the broken crash problems and ASIO drivers took awhile for them to fix, like with most OS upgrades..... I use Win8 on my new alt PC and its pretty good, runs steam and the metro style home works fine, I don't need to switch over to the desktop view to really do anything or need a taskbar because it is the taskbar for the most part..... Alot of stuff like disk cleanup and defrag is buried in 8 which I did not really like, which is fine for a smaller laptop or touchscreen PC, the biggest down thumb for me is the not always easy to file manage like I want or most so I can't be lazy like I've been on previous Win OS basically, which isn't really a complaint against 8....

#13 Posted by L1GHTN1N (737 posts) -

I picked up 8 at launch and didn't mind it except that it booted straight to the Metro/Modern/Whatever it's called menu. 8.1 fixed that so I'm happy, honestly I have a bit of trouble going back to Windows 7 now. With that said I never used the start menu for anything other than a search which 8.1 does just fine, so maybe I'm not the right person to ask.

#14 Posted by Amafi (1014 posts) -

@theveej said:
@mjk0104 said:

I've never really had a problem with 8 and 8.1, once you get rid of the Metro thing (Classic Shell is the way to go), it's just like 7, but with a few improvements here and there, totally fine.

I agree, I don't even use classic shell anymore, just right clicking on the start button gives me all the options I need right away

Yup, that winkey+x shortcut menu is the best thing. Along with winkey 1 to 0 to launch applications pinned to the task bar I never have to use the silly metro stuff at all.

#15 Posted by Corvak (1202 posts) -

Girlfriend has it and yeah, you can pretty well use it just like 7.

Of course, it also offers few reasons to upgrade from 7.

Online
#16 Posted by Amafi (1014 posts) -

Honestly Win8 is nice and I didn't really see why people were/are so cold or hot about it.... its built for the use of a touch screen but works with mouse just as good as 7... My main PC still runs Win7 I haven't upgraded because I use music creation software(FL studio, Sony Acid, and Maschine) and the service pack to fix the broken crash problems and ASIO drivers took awhile for them to fix, like with most OS upgrades..... I use Win8 on my new alt PC and its pretty good, runs steam and the metro style home works fine, I don't need to switch over to the desktop view to really do anything or need a taskbar because it is the taskbar for the most part..... Alot of stuff like disk cleanup and defrag is buried in 8 which I did not really like, which is fine for a smaller laptop or touchscreen PC, the biggest down thumb for me is the not always easy to file manage like I want or most so I can't be lazy like I've been on previous Win OS basically, which isn't really a complaint against 8....

Winkey + X, K takes you directly to the disk management snapin, from there you can right click on a disk and go to properties to defrag, unmount, change drive letter, shrink/grow volumes, etc. That menu is essential.

#17 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3600 posts) -

I have a touch screen so its fine. I think even without the touch screen on my gaming PC it fine, in fact its loads right to the desktop via some check box or other so it works just like Win 7 on that machine.

The whole "Win 8" sucks stuff is over blown. I mean how much of a crybaby to you have to be to click an icon or just click in another spot to shut down or chnage a setting? A grown-ass adult who cannot do that, is in fact not a grown-ass adult.

#18 Edited by agentboolen (1928 posts) -

I know the metro style is for touch screens but I found it more customisable and was never a big fan of the Windows start menu anyway. All you have to do is delete all the useless short cuts and put your favorites and it shouldn't feel so foreign.

To be honest I liked Apple os 9's Apple menu better then the Windows start menu... Let's just admit it Windows has never had a good start menu ever. It's always felt bloated to me with useless crap.

#19 Edited by EXTomar (5027 posts) -

It is erroneous to believe the issue with Win 8 is that it is impossible too hard to figure. Any computer nerd can figure it out given enough time and with a bunch of hand holding you can train someone else to too. The issue is why are they asking users of any level or class to abandon their knowledge while gaining nothing. And I literally mean you gain nothing from this fundamental change in interface. It seems like it is a change for a change instead of driven by usage or engineering. So the real issue is simply this: Win8 a PITA to learn and you do less with it.

IMHO, Win8 seems like a solid operating system with an idiotic, half-baked interface that does everything its power to show you something that is irrelevant. If Mac did this we all laugh about how they've lost their minds trying to change our minds with a wonky interface. If Linux did this we'd all shrug and say "What did you expect since they've never gotten desktop environments correct?" But on Windows, we are told to stop whining because it isn't that bad.

#20 Posted by Amafi (1014 posts) -

@extomar: Gnome 3's shell and Ubuntu unity are both far better than both windows 7,8 and mac os x. And even back in the gnome 2 days it was completely fine.

#21 Posted by ajamafalous (12392 posts) -

I have a touch screen so its fine. I think even without the touch screen on my gaming PC it fine, in fact its loads right to the desktop via some check box or other so it works just like Win 7 on that machine.

The whole "Win 8" sucks stuff is over blown. I mean how much of a crybaby to you have to be to click an icon or just click in another spot to shut down or chnage a setting? A grown-ass adult who cannot do that, is in fact not a grown-ass adult.

The problem wasn't "wahh it's too hard," the problem was it offered no improvements on Win7 (and in places where it did, it also made some things worse), so why would someone upgrade from 7 to 8 when 8 came out?

#22 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

@monkeyking1969 said:

I have a touch screen so its fine. I think even without the touch screen on my gaming PC it fine, in fact its loads right to the desktop via some check box or other so it works just like Win 7 on that machine.

The whole "Win 8" sucks stuff is over blown. I mean how much of a crybaby to you have to be to click an icon or just click in another spot to shut down or chnage a setting? A grown-ass adult who cannot do that, is in fact not a grown-ass adult.

The problem wasn't "wahh it's too hard," the problem was it offered no improvements on Win7 (and in places where it did, it also made some things worse), so why would someone upgrade from 7 to 8 when 8 came out?

Yeah, I haven't really understood people in a rush to embrace Windows 8. I played with it enough to realize that I neither want it as my gaming environment, my general use environment, nor my development environment. "Well, you can apply all this bullshit to make it mostly like windows 7" really says it all. So I'll just remain using Windows 7 like every other developer and business I know.

However, WIndows 8 on a laptop for school or something isn't so miserable as to make it worth holding off on buying a new laptop for the couple of years it will probably be before we see Windows 9 (and that's making the leap in assuming Windows 9 will make a reverse in the misguided direction they tried to take with applying this jumbled touch interface to every platform). If there's no viable solution for Windows 7 on your laptop (and you can just get Windows 7 on many laptops - especially business oriented laptops, still) and waiting a couple of years for the off chance that things will change isn't reasonable (it isn't), Windows 8/1 is certainly tolerable.

Of course, the ideal solution would be to wipe the system as soon as you get it and install linux, but that comes with its own headaches.

#23 Posted by conmulligan (1050 posts) -

I only use Windows 8 for games and in that sense it's perfectly fine. It's still Windows, though.

#24 Posted by Evilsbane (5018 posts) -

@monkeyking1969 said:

I have a touch screen so its fine. I think even without the touch screen on my gaming PC it fine, in fact its loads right to the desktop via some check box or other so it works just like Win 7 on that machine.

The whole "Win 8" sucks stuff is over blown. I mean how much of a crybaby to you have to be to click an icon or just click in another spot to shut down or chnage a setting? A grown-ass adult who cannot do that, is in fact not a grown-ass adult.

The problem wasn't "wahh it's too hard," the problem was it offered no improvements on Win7 (and in places where it did, it also made some things worse), so why would someone upgrade from 7 to 8 when 8 came out?

Yea I would say 8.1 is the only reason why 8 is usable now, 8 vanilla is a mess with Mouse+Keyboard.

#25 Posted by FesteringNeon (2225 posts) -

Thank god this thread exists. While I suppose I've been super lazy about it, I don't care for Windows 8 on my new laptop. I'll look into classic shell.

#26 Posted by Dave_Tacitus (490 posts) -

Stardock's Start8 is another option. It's not free like Classic Shell but it's not exactly expensive.

Been using it since I got W8 and I'd definitely not go back to 7 now.

#27 Edited by GiantLizardKing (666 posts) -

People who say 7 is better are either ill informed or are being intentionally obtuse. The Windowsy parts of Windows 8 are unequivocally better than windows 7. Yes metro sucks but you need to use it so minimally, bordering on never, that it really doesn't matter.

Side note: Search is dramatically improved in Windows 8 but still far from perfect. For the best search experience I have used across any OS, use a free app called Everything. Blindingly fast search for windows. If you need to search inside documents for a particular string of text, I highly recommend GrepWin. It's so damn good, you guys.

This has been your unsolicited POWER USER update.

#28 Edited by EXTomar (5027 posts) -

@giantlizardking said:

People who say 7 is better are either ill informed or are being intentionally obtuse. The Windowsy parts of Windows 8 are unequivocally better than windows 7. Yes metro sucks but you need to use it so minimally, bordering on never, that it really doesn't matter.

Side note: Search is dramatically improved in Windows 8 but still far from perfect. For the best search experience I have used across any OS, use a free app called Everything. Blindingly fast search for windows. If you need to search inside documents for a particular string of text, I highly recommend GrepWin. It's so damn good, you guys.

This has been your unsolicited POWER USER update.

People who say this are being intentionally obtuse as well because parts of Windows 8 are not unequivocally better than Windows 7. Hint: if they were this thread wouldn't exist. :)

As told to me by windows admin, you know something is a disaster when your admins who are managing windows servers ditch the interface the first thing they do. If these most powerful of power users hate hate HATE HATE the way this version works, then they've released a turd.

ps. How did Windows get this far and still have such poor searching? This is stuff solved in Unix decades ago.

#29 Edited by GiantLizardKing (666 posts) -

@extomar said:

@giantlizardking said:

People who say 7 is better are either ill informed or are being intentionally obtuse. The Windowsy parts of Windows 8 are unequivocally better than windows 7. Yes metro sucks but you need to use it so minimally, bordering on never, that it really doesn't matter.

Side note: Search is dramatically improved in Windows 8 but still far from perfect. For the best search experience I have used across any OS, use a free app called Everything. Blindingly fast search for windows. If you need to search inside documents for a particular string of text, I highly recommend GrepWin. It's so damn good, you guys.

This has been your unsolicited POWER USER update.

People who say this are being intentionally obtuse as well because parts of Windows 8 are not unequivocally better than Windows 7. Hint: if they were this thread wouldn't exist. :)

What parts of windows 7 are better than windows 8.1? As in more functional as an OS. Keeping in mind the question is about Windows 8.1.

#30 Posted by Amafi (1014 posts) -

@extomar said:

@giantlizardking said:

People who say 7 is better are either ill informed or are being intentionally obtuse. The Windowsy parts of Windows 8 are unequivocally better than windows 7. Yes metro sucks but you need to use it so minimally, bordering on never, that it really doesn't matter.

Side note: Search is dramatically improved in Windows 8 but still far from perfect. For the best search experience I have used across any OS, use a free app called Everything. Blindingly fast search for windows. If you need to search inside documents for a particular string of text, I highly recommend GrepWin. It's so damn good, you guys.

This has been your unsolicited POWER USER update.

People who say this are being intentionally obtuse as well because parts of Windows 8 are not unequivocally better than Windows 7. Hint: if they were this thread wouldn't exist. :)

As told to me by windows admin, you know something is a disaster when your admins who are managing windows servers ditch the interface the first thing they do. If these most powerful of power users hate hate HATE HATE the way this version works, then they've released a turd.

ps. How did Windows get this far and still have such poor searching? This is stuff solved in Unix decades ago.

The people at work managing our server 2012 servers are all balls deep in powershell managing servers from the command line, pretty much. Or using the server manager snapins if they're the kind of windows server admins that are afraid of the command line.

I'm consider myself a windows desktop power user, and I use windows 8 exactly like I used windows 7, except it's faster and more streamlined in a lot of tiny ways. I certainly can't think of any way 8 or 8.1 is worse than windows 7.

#31 Posted by GiantLizardKing (666 posts) -

@amafi:

@amafi said:

@extomar said:

@giantlizardking said:

People who say 7 is better are either ill informed or are being intentionally obtuse. The Windowsy parts of Windows 8 are unequivocally better than windows 7. Yes metro sucks but you need to use it so minimally, bordering on never, that it really doesn't matter.

Side note: Search is dramatically improved in Windows 8 but still far from perfect. For the best search experience I have used across any OS, use a free app called Everything. Blindingly fast search for windows. If you need to search inside documents for a particular string of text, I highly recommend GrepWin. It's so damn good, you guys.

This has been your unsolicited POWER USER update.

People who say this are being intentionally obtuse as well because parts of Windows 8 are not unequivocally better than Windows 7. Hint: if they were this thread wouldn't exist. :)

As told to me by windows admin, you know something is a disaster when your admins who are managing windows servers ditch the interface the first thing they do. If these most powerful of power users hate hate HATE HATE the way this version works, then they've released a turd.

ps. How did Windows get this far and still have such poor searching? This is stuff solved in Unix decades ago.

The people at work managing our server 2012 servers are all balls deep in powershell managing servers from the command line, pretty much. Or using the server manager snapins if they're the kind of windows server admins that are afraid of the command line.

I'm consider myself a windows desktop power user, and I use windows 8 exactly like I used windows 7, except it's faster and more streamlined in a lot of tiny ways. I certainly can't think of any way 8 or 8.1 is worse than windows 7.

I agree. I don't know what your Sysadmins are having problems with specifically but for one they should be more than comfortable in a command line environment anyway, and two what you have is an anecdote. I use windows server 2012 daily and I find it to be superior in virtually every way. Maybe your sysadmins suck? Or maybe they are just used to the old version and and don't know where shit is anymore. Either way, I'm not even a sysadmin and I have no problems getting the shit done that I need to do (web service and application configuration etc.) If anything they have streamlined managing everything.

#32 Edited by EXTomar (5027 posts) -

To be pedantic: The parts that aren't Windows 8. Have you tried RDP? How about multi-monitor support? In particular, multi-monitor support wasn't great but functioned in Windows 7 but is not "wonderful" how it works in Windows 8. :)

I'll give you a hint: What are the parts of Windows 8 that can not be supported in all previous versions of Windows? It is almost always kernel support for new hardware let alone the drivers. For example it would be difficult if not impossible to run Windows 2000 on a modern machine because no one has written key components and drivers for modern components.

What was the new hardware that came out since Windows 7? If you are lacking for answers then I'll give you another hint: It is the touch interface. Guess what part of the Windows 8 people complain about the most?

If you like Windows 8 then keep using it. But please don't try to tell others that it is better in all respects because that isn't true.

#33 Posted by Nictel (2658 posts) -

I am using Windows 8.1 (Pro) and it is working quite well. I spend very little time in the Metro UI and neither the sidebars nor the smart corners are used. There are also some weird bits like the default calculator is only usable full screen. Other than that, the actual Windows parts are great and in my opinion better than Windows 7. To give an example, it handles having your personal folders and programs on partitions other than C: rather well and like you would expect. (off-topic: I do wish games and programs would support multiple drives better so my saved games and config files wouldn't end up everywhere..).

In short: It will take getting used to for a day or two, most UI things can be changed with settings. After that you will find your experience on par if not better than with Windows 7.

#34 Posted by OldManLight (1076 posts) -

@mb said:

It's fine. Just get Classic Shell and it'll be so close to Windows 7 you will hardly be able to tell the difference.

i've had windows 8.1 on my desktop and laptop for almost a year now. i've had a only a handful of crashes on the desktop which was related to a crossfire setup/video driver issue. Started using classic shell after the first month, It's pretty much windows 7 with an app store that you don't even have to touch. It's kinda nice in a way for second screen apps like smartglass. I have a dual monitor setup where my primary is shared by my PC/360/XBOne/PS4 and my second screen will become the primary desktop when toggled so the second screen apps just go there if i want them. Kinda nice when i'm playing BF4 on my Xbox One to look at the big map at a glance just like the PC kids can.

#35 Posted by flameboy84 (464 posts) -

I had all sorts of problems with 8.1 originally, random blue screens, video drivers not being compatible and I ended up with a damaged motherboard not sure if it's associated but something wasn't running right for a long time. Other than that there is nothing wrong with it for my purposes.

#36 Posted by Nals (91 posts) -

It's honestly fine.

The interface stuff is confusing at first, but you get used to it in about a day, then it becomes second nature. Or you can install Classic Shell upfront and just use that. Neither are very taxing.

Many games that were bugged on Win7 ( NWN Gold from GoG, SR2, the Sacred's ) work fine out of the box on Win8, since they fixed up those bugs.

If you are straddling the line on hardware, games will run slightly better on Win8. I do a ton of emulation, and running tests on the same machine, just with a switched OS gives a 10-15% boost in FPS/quality on the Win8 machine. Not a huge deal if you surpass requirements but could help on a Laptop situation.

The biggest "issue" people have/had with Win8 is it does ask you to try new things upfront. For individual people this is alright, we can take a bit of time to relearn things, or can modify the files to better suit us. Businesses can't, which is where the "failure" bits came from.

#37 Posted by petercacic (5 posts) -

@wumbo3000:

it is hand down the best , I love 8.1 they have made it a million times better and the ease of everything is great . Also you can make it so it always goes to desktop and you will never see that start page again even when you re boot . I highly recommend it now and as I said I like it over all the other one's out there.

#38 Posted by xyzygy (10592 posts) -

I think it's a really great and stable OS. Super fast. I could never go back to Windows 7 now.

#39 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1149 posts) -

Glad to know you guys like Windows 8.1. I just bought an FX-8350 and I read that it's a bit wonky with Windows 7, so I guess I'm going to be moving on to 8.1.

#40 Posted by teaoverlord (382 posts) -

@amafi said:

@extomar: Gnome 3's shell and Ubuntu unity are both far better than both windows 7,8 and mac os x. And even back in the gnome 2 days it was completely fine.

Has Gnome 3 fixed the memory leaks so you don't have to restart it every few hours? Because other than that I really like it.

#41 Posted by thedarkmatter (9 posts) -

I were pretty negative towards 8 before release, but been using 8.1 now for a while and I like it. Dat boot speed.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.