This Might Take A Few Minutes (A Windows 8.1 Preview Review)
"Technology offers us a unique opportunity, though rarely welcome, to practice patience."
~Allen Lokos, Patience: The Art Of Peaceful Living
Patience you say? Patience. Well, if you are like me, and you had NO real choice but to suffer through that laughable, embarrassing, magnificently stupid operating system that was known as Microsoft Vista, than you know a little something extra about patience. How Vista was ever released as a legitimate OS by Microsoft is beyond me. While visually it was stunning, and was for the most part user friendly, when it was irritating... it was really irritating. It didn't matter that it was attractive, it was still crappy. Choppy performance, in a brand new computer is unacceptable even if the computer is the equivalent of the Playboy Playmate Of The Year. Vista was slow, and it's security unstable despite constantly running the defragment tool.
Shall we talk about the drivers constantly going out? Seriously, a display driver going out after a year? And when you see through different user forums that it's not just you, it's not a huge help. I payed a lot for my H.P. computer that was running Vista. I didn't have the money to have the computer fixed, but unfortunately I had no choice as most of our life is now run from our home computer. Paying bills. Blogging. Storing digital photos, you name it, it exists through our computer. So, in that there was no way to fix the Vista, we gave it a proper burial, and purchased our next computer, a Gateway, that ran the lovely, brand new at the time, Windows 7. Lovely, uncomplicated, still visually attractive, Windows 7.
I like Windows 7. It was everything Windows Vista should have been... and more. It is easy to work. It has all the buzz and whistles I want in a PC, although I was disappointed that Microsoft stopped including the full version Microsoft Office free of charge. That's a let down. But after having run Windows Vista, it was nice to be able to turn off my computer at night, with full confidence that when I fired up my computer the next morning, it would not only actually boot, but perform as expected. Sigh. I like Windows 7, so when I was offered a discounted upgrade last autumn to Windows 8, on my newest computer purchased last summer, I passed because literally, if nothing is broke... why fix it?
My thinking changed somewhat last February, when I purchased my darling new little Toshiba laptop. It's a great little laptop, which is probably best described as a "mom laptop." For a budget computer, it is pretty darn nifty, and does everything I need it to.A great computer, at a great price, with a new OS. Okay, so why not? Let's try something new, while I still have Windows 7 to lean back on? I am happy... except for the fact it came loaded with Windows 8. It wasn't that I didn't want to learn the new OS, I embrace learning new things, but from the get go Windows 8 was absolutely perplexing. If you read my blog regularly, you already know my thoughts, but just briefly here I can sum the whole situation up with... WHERE IN THE HELL IS THE START BUTTON?
Okay, perplexing but I didn't give up and I learned my way around the radically new Windows 8, and here I am to tell the tale. But even after I finally worked out all my bugaboos, it was still bugging me that Windows did away with the one thing seemed to hold it all together... the Start Button. But again I made my peace with it. Still, when I heard that my mourning over the beloved button wasn't just me being impatient, a lot of others missed it as well, I felt a little bit better. And I felt better still with the rumor that perhaps Microsoft would be doing a fix which included bringing back that beloved of all buttons everywhere.
The official 8.1 Preview download came out on Wednesday, and I downloaded it Thursday. After 24 hours I am a happy girl. Microsoft did indeed put back a new version of the Start Button and booting straight to the desktop is back once again. One less hoop to jump through will always be a good thing... right? Plus there has been some adjustments to the app tiles that makes customization easier, so again, it's a good thing. I am still playing with the customization of the Lock Screen a bit, and I HATE that it's mandatory that I have a Microsoft account, but those are really little things that I am used to now, but seriously Microsoft... it's irritating to be given no choice. You know? That's a lame approach. Please consider doing away with that. Please.
Over all... so far so good. Time will tell, and so will sales. I think I am already looking forward to Windows 9. If I don't miss my guess here... Windows 9 will be everything Windows 8 wasn't. But all I can do is cross my fingers and hope. If you haven't made the big step to Windows 8 yet... don't... wait a year or so and get the slimmed down, smarter, less neurotic version. Wait for it. Trust me. But if you do make the big leap, don't let the new system throw you, if I can figure it out, anyone can! Of this, I am 100% sure!