Windows 8.1

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by doc eggfan, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

    by the hammer, not the sword Wiki Sysop
    9,239
    19
    18
    ACT
    GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
    I've finally started mucking about with it recently on my tablet. I've had it dual booting with ubuntu, but never bothered to explore it much. After browsing the apps on the start menu, I pretty much unpinned all of them except weather, maps and camera. I really like the weather app... and that's pretty much all I like about W8. I can see what they are trying to do, and I kind of don't mind the art style, but most of the stuff isn't aimed at me, and I don't like them pushing me to buy their shit (that I can get for free via ubuntu, cos I'm a dirty stinking pirate).

    Anybody found any good uses for it? Any reason to boot into it other than for the rare occasion I need to run something that won't work in wine?
     
  2. Miles Prower

    Miles Prower

    Renard Oldbie
    697
    0
    16
    Well, it displays interesting BSODs with smileys.
     
  3. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    It seems to delete all my default fonts, so everything on screen becomes an unreadable mess unless I copy and paste the text into Notepad.

    It also adds a Start button that just acts like the Windows button in your keyboard (no Start menu until it's done).
     
  4. Overlord

    Overlord

    ...did we just switch realities? Moderator
    17,637
    82
    28
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    Well the good news is now that Ballmer is gone, MS seems to have finally seen some sense and the useless-on-a-desktop Start Screen is now going to be able to be removed entirely on Windows 8.1 as of April 8th, with Metro apps being able to be opened in desktop windows too:

    [​IMG]

    This should have been an option from the launch of 8.0.
     
  5. The start menu update won't be released with Windows 8.1 Update 1 on the 8th - it'll be released later in the year perhaps as Update 2.
     
  6. Overlord

    Overlord

    ...did we just switch realities? Moderator
    17,637
    82
    28
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    Oh. I was under the impression that it was, that's lame. Well, wait until Service Pack Update 2 then.
     
  7. Covarr

    Covarr

    Sentient Cash Register Member
    4,233
    1
    18
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    Uh, those features are coming in a later update, and I highly doubt the start screen is being removed entirely (I suspect you will have a choice between it and start menu). The April 8 update will have the following:
    • Boots to desktop by default
    • Taskbar can be accessed from Modern UI apps (same as desktop, but with auto-hide always on)
    • Modern UI apps pinnable to taskbar (Windows Store pinned by default)
    • New auto-hiding "title bar" in MUI apps to easily close/minimize them.
    • Search and Power buttons added to start screen (no more hidden behind swipe)
    • PC Settings tile added to start screen
    • Right click on start screen tiles now brings up context menu (multi-select has been reassigned to Ctrl+Click)
    • Multi-selected tiles can be dragged/moved as a group
    • Windows Store apps can be found right from start screen search

    Still a solid update for Windows 8.1 owners, and a definite step in the right direction. A lot of it will be necessary when their "bring back the start menu" update is ready, so I can't help but think the goal here is to push out the bits that are already finished to tide us over until the new start menu is 100% ready to go.
     
  8. Billy

    Billy

    RIP Oderus Urungus Member
    1,886
    15
    18
    Colorado, USA
    Indie games
    I'm liking these Windows 8 updates. I got it when it first came out on the cheap, and it was a mess. Windows 8 as it stands right now requires you to re-learn how to use a computer, so I'm glad they're fixing it. I personally have no problems re-learning things (this is half the fun of trying out linux distros), but understandably regular users and offices don't want to have to do that. That's why XP was so popular.
     
  9. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

    by the hammer, not the sword Wiki Sysop
    9,239
    19
    18
    ACT
    GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
    Do the Music, Video and Games apps do anything other that hock stuff at you to buy. I took one look at them and unpinned them from the start menu.

    The News app also looks like it could be useful, but it kept showing me stuff I don't care about. I started to look at customising it, but gave up quickly. Is it worth perservering with?
     
  10. Covarr

    Covarr

    Sentient Cash Register Member
    4,233
    1
    18
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    The Music and Video apps also act as players for local media. Games app shows your xbox live stats, and I think acts as a launcher for Live-enabled Win8 games.
     
  11. Techokami

    Techokami

    For use only on NTSC Genesis systems Researcher
    1,314
    3
    18
    HoleNet!
    Sonic Edge
    The Games app basically brings the Xbox side of gaming to Windows. You log in with your XBL account, can configure your avatar, manage friend lists, see achievements, and launch games.
     
  12. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

    by the hammer, not the sword Wiki Sysop
    9,239
    19
    18
    ACT
    GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
    I'll tell you what it does do, it fucks up my dual boot everytime windows gets a major update, which conveniently co-incides with the 14.04 update to ubuntu :argh:

    And you wonder why we hate you M$

    Also not pleased with the obvious ugliness attributed to the chrome button on the start page and that only IE can be used in full screen and only if it is set to the default browser (which can be circumvented by a free google app from the windows store, but still it shitted me).
     
  13. winterhell

    winterhell

    Member
    1,162
    6
    18
    Again, why do you need/want Windows 8 over 7?
     
  14. Josh

    Josh

    TGC Warrior Oldbie
    1,454
    79
    28
    USA
    I got 8.1 back at the beginning of February, installed Start8, and basically made it so I never even have to see Metro unless I select it from the start menu. No swiping in, no corner charms, nothing. It's not that I don't like change. I agree - messing around with software and figuring it out is half the fun. And Metro would be a pretty awesome interface... if I was using it on a touchscreen. That was the intention behind its design, and making it THE unavoidable face on Windows 8 for everyone was very, very foolish.

    Regardless of the updates they do from here on, 8 is going to have the same stigma around it that Vista did.

    With all that said, I'm really enjoying Windows 8. Boot times are faster, I see increased performance in games and load times seem to be down overall. I like the deeper customization options, they've finally done away with that tinny soundscape introduced in Vista and SkyDrive is nice. The only things I don't like:

    • "Restore previous versions" can't be backed up to the local disk, and is off by default. Apparantly not many people used it, but it saved me a time or two.
    • It seems to make streaming music to my Xbox 360 weird. I use custom soundtracks, and the game will just HANG for like a minute every time it has to load one since I switched.
     
  15. Covarr

    Covarr

    Sentient Cash Register Member
    4,233
    1
    18
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    I've got a touchscreen netbook, and I can say from experience that the start screen is pretty nice for it. Hell, I even use it instead of Steam for launching what few games will actually run on this thing, even though the games themselves use Steam. But yeah, on desktops, it pretty much NEEDS Start8.

    That said, it's almost not worth buying Start8 at this point, not with MS's own Start Menu coming (Mary Jo Foley says they're aiming for August for the next big Win8.1 update; she usually knows what MS is up to).
     
  16. GeneHF

    GeneHF

    SEGA-ier than you'll potentially ever be. Site Staff
    8,387
    0
    16
    Scenic Studiopolis
    Complete Global Conquest
    I don't know about NEEDS. I basically turned the start screen into a massive start menu with links to my most used applications. That, and I like just hitting the window key to have a quick glance at the temperature outside (the midwest is absolutely bipolar right now and it can be 70 one day, then 35 the next.)
     
  17. Overlord

    Overlord

    ...did we just switch realities? Moderator
    17,637
    82
    28
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    But a normal desktop widget would do for that. I have one on 7.

    Also, there's no point in paying for Start8 even in the interim: http://www.classicshell.net/
     
  18. Covarr

    Covarr

    Sentient Cash Register Member
    4,233
    1
    18
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    Having used both Start8 and Classic Shell, I stand by my purchase. The latter gets the job done, but it often feels like a poorly tacked-on overlay, with much the same weirdness I sometimes see on custom popups from the system tray. Clicking outside the menu, for example, doesn't always behave quite the way I'd expect (though I'd imagine it's improved in the last year since I tried it before). That said, when I bought Start8 there was no indication MS would ever bring the menu back; at the time there wasn't even a start button. Knowing it'll only matter for another four months, it might not be as worth the purchase now.
     
  19. SF94

    SF94

    Tech Member
    775
    2
    18
    Utah
    SA1/2 hax
    StartIsBack master race :v:
    Demo, but you can use it as long as you want if you don't mind not having recently used programs after a month.
     
  20. I'm about a week late but welcome to the Midwest in general, Gene.