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March 6, 2014 – 2:32 am | 5,205 views

So I built a new system that is designed to be my gaming rig but decided to go with Windows 8.1. Hey, got a copy for free from my TechNet Subscription (which, sadly, will be …

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Windows 8.1 Plus and Minus

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So I built a new system that is designed to be my gaming rig but decided to go with Windows 8.1. Hey, got a copy for free from my TechNet Subscription (which, sadly, will be expiring soon and TechNet is going away which is very very sad) so I figured why not. I already have it running in a virtual machine so why not actually install it on a real machine and try it out.

Since I’ve already played with it on a virtual machine I’m already familiar with how the navigation is and in all honestly I think it’s crap.

Windows 8/8.1 introduced Tile View or, should I say, Modern View (formally known as Metro View but was renamed due to “discussions with an important European partner”). This view is GREAT for tablets, phones and laptops that has touchscreen capabilities but is crap for normal desktop computing using only a keyboard and mouse. Don’t get me wrong, you can get used to the interface using a keyboard and mouse it just sucks and involved too many different windows and what not or you can just replace the shell with something like Classic Shell. Speaking of which you also have two (2) different settings. That’s right, T-W-O, two different settings. The settings you access through Tile View and the settings you access through Desktop view. Why do they feel the need to make the two different settings accessible through hoops and not just combined them under one is beyond me. But, in any case, this is just a bit of a background. Here’s my list of Pro and Cons for Windows 8/8.1.

Pros

  • Recovery Options
    There are a tons more recovery options in Windows 8 then in any of the previous released versions of Windows. Getting to the recovery can be a pain sometimes depending on the issue you’re dealing with but as long as you can get to the log in screen you can just simply hold down the Shift key on your keyboard while clicking on the Power symbol on that log in screen and choosing Restart to get into the Recovery options. From there you have a tons of different options such as doing a normal system restore (if you have restore points), to refreshing the system to doing a complete reset of the system (which will keep your apps that you installed from the Windows 8 app store but any applications you installed through desktop view will need to be completely re-installed). You still have your standard Safe Mode boot options as well but the new recovery option also lets you open a commend prompt without the system’s process running allow you to replace system files if need to (something you can’t do very easily even if you’re in Safe Mode with Command Prompt). — Note: most of the recovery options here applies only to desktops/laptops and not phones and tablets.
  • Better UEFI Support
    UEFI stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface and is the next generation of BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). That this means is that you will have faster boot times and a more secured way of making sure you’re booting your computer with the proper boot execution code and nothing malicious. You can learn more about UEFI by clicking here and you can learn more about BIOS by clicking here.
  • Multi-Monitor Support
    I haven’t had the chance to play too much with the multi-monitor support but the fact that you now have native support to set a different wallpaper to each monitor is good enough for me. Also if you’re using any of the Modern Apps you can actually set a Modern App to run on one monitor while you continue to do everything else on another without any issues. That’s pretty cool as well (I don’t use any Modern Apps so I won’t be using that feature that often).
  • Support to Mount ISO and IMG Files
    ISO and IMG files are image files. No, not like pictures but an image of a CD or DVD. Before you would need to either burn the image file to a CD/DVD then rerun it to install the software or to get access to the files that’s on that image or use a third party program that will mount it in an emulator. No more would you need to use a third party software or burn it to a blank CD/DVD as you can now just mount it and be on your marry way.

Cons

  • Modern (Tile) View
    Great if you have a phone, tablet or laptop with touchscreen but it has no place on desktops. You can easily get around this by using Classic Shell but in all honestly there’s no reason that I have to use a third party shell to get the same navigation I get on Windows 7.
  • Two Different Settings
    Honestly, if I’m going to edit my system I was ONE place to edit them, not go to TWO different places to try to make just ONE setting changed. All settings should be in the Control Panel, period.
  • Two Different Internet Explorer
    Also this doesn’t effect me personally since I don’t use Internet Explorer to begin with, it’s still a con since the Internet Explorer in Modern View is not the same as the Internet Explorer on Desktop View and it confuses the shit out of my customers.
  • Still offering 32-Bit OS
    Come on now, every single Intel and AMD processors out there supports 64-bit, so why the hell are you still offering 32-bit versions? There’s no reason to and should just be dropped. This will save you guys quite a bit of money for not having to print CDs/DVDs of the 32-bit versions.

So there you have it and I’m sure I will think up more the more I play with it but at the current moment this is the list. What I really hope is that Windows 9 will do away with the Modern View for when it comes to desktops and combined the two settings to one location so that I don’t have to go on a wild goose hunt while keeping everything in my Pros.

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