The Windows 8.1 Update

[sc:windows-category ]I’ve been using the Windows 8.1 Update now for a few days and have had a few thoughts…

First off it’s clearly targeted as an update for mouse and keyboard users.  When I updated my Dell Venue Pro 8, I didn’t even notice a difference.

After playing some more with it on the Dell, only two small items really came to the fore.

  1. The Windows Store is pinned to the taskbar.  It was quickly unpinned 😉
  2. The power options on the start screen.

I don’t really power down my tablet so that’s not an important update for me.

The only other general comment I’ll make is that the update was deselected by default on all my systems.  I had to go in and select it manually.

Now then on to the my laptop/desktop experience.

  • Boot to desktop:  Windows now boots to the desktop by default if a mouse is connected but I had already set this option so no difference for me.
  • Modern apps in the taskbar.  This is a huge leap forward for Modern apps, before on my notebook or desktop, a modern app was “out of sight, out of mind” when I was using desktop apps.  Now they’re front and center, just a click away.
  • Application bar at the top of Modern apps.  This I s a little less successful.  It’s kind of ugly and pops up more often than is necessary.
  • The TaskBar in Modern apps.  This completes the circle and makes your desktop apps visible in the Modern interface.  A welcome change.
  • Popup menu for left click in the start menu.  Possibly the single best change in the update.

There are a few things they could have done or changed that would have made it even better:

  • Apply the live tile number to the pinned icon in the taskbar.  Traditional Windows apps often show the number of updates or change the application icon in someway when something has changed in the app.
  • Application bar should have been like the taskbar, go to top and push.  You won’t need to use the application bar very often so keeping it hidden until required would have made sense.
  • Hitting the lower left start charm should have brought up the taskbar in the Modern interface.

Overall a good step forward for mouse and keyboard users, the next updates should be even more interesting.

 

Greg

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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Greg

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.