I decided to give Windows 8.1 (with the latest update – update 1) a test drive, with my free time. I had been sitting on Windows 7 for a while now, so I decided to give Windows 8.1 a try. I must say, I really am enjoying the new changes that have been made to the operating system (maybe this is because I am an IT Student, so I am supposed to like change anyway 🙂 ). I must commend Microsoft for adding these new changes, yes, it can be argued they are small changes but they are still quite the awesome changes. I do feel these new changes have made doing things a lot easier, or rather, interesting for some 🙂

GETTING HOLD OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM

This has to have been the most painful part of getting Windows 8.1 – I just had a product key and not the physical disc. I honestly thought if I just run the small Windows8.1 Upgrade exe file, it would be real quick and easy – bandwidth would not be a problem for me. Every time I kept running the installer, it would tell me I am not connected to the internet, but that doesn’t make sense as I am obviously connected to the internet.

I tried looking up possible solutions, and none of these worked for me – I have tried turning off my antivirus software, I made sure BITS service was running, I tried running the downloader on Ethernet and Wi-Fi (both didn’t work out), I even tried my 3G connection (that didn’t work), and I scanned my entire PC to make sure there are not any viruses or suspicious bugs doing the round…PC came out clean…still, nothing worked.

The quickest and simplest solution to this (for me) was to download an untouched ISO file, through a torrent, from KickAssTorrents…this is really sad…the moment people find it easier to pirate something and not get it straight from the source, then you know something is wrong. I hope Microsoft addresses this issue.

The annoying "We cant connect right now" error
The annoying “We cant connect right now” error

SOME MORE ON THE WAY

Microsoft plans to bring back the long-legend Start Menu most people have been longing for. The new start menu will work like your traditional start menu in earlier operating systems (such as Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc). In addition, they also plan apps can be opened within the desktop, but in your usual Window. Not sure when this will all be added onto Windows 8.1, but I hope they can bring them in.

Windows 8.1 With the longed Start Menu and apps opened in Windows
Windows 8.1 With the longed Start Menu and apps opened in Windows

What I do want Microsoft to do here is to offer some users, who do not need the start menu, to turn it off, or rather, disable the start menu. I must say, I am liking this new start menu 🙂

NEW CHANGES TO THE SYSTEM

Microsoft introduced some new, sweet changes to the system. What I really like is I feel these new changes do bring the Windows 8 Style User Interface and the traditional desktop user interface together – this we can see with the taskbar being present in the Metro UI (if you hover your mouse to the bottom of the screen), as well as being able to minimize and maximize your apps (minimizing will return to the desktop user interface, maximizing an app will open up the app) and pin your apps to the taskbar –  a brilliant move from Microsoft.

Some small changes that I really liked was that a pop up menu will appear if you right click a tile, giving you all options you can pick from…this has made things a lot easier for me at least :). The quick power button and search button also make things a lot easier – there isn’t a need of moving the mouse to the right side of your screen and selecting the desired action. You also have the ability to select multiple tiles by holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard and clicking the desired tiles…from there, a simple drag and drop and you all ready to go.

MY FINAL VERDICT

I must say that I am pleased with the new changes Microsoft has added to the operating system. The biggest change that I welcome is the combination of Metro and the taskbar, I find this new change quite handy. I do think these changes make things a lot easier, or rather, a lot more interesting. Overall, I can say Windows 8.1 is a big change from the first Windows 8, which wasn’t as user-friendly as the new Windows 8.1.

Some future changes I am keen on seeing is the new start menu, and perhaps the return of the classic Windows Aero GUI. I also hope to see some new big apps make their way to the system…I have been spending a bit of time on the app store and there are not many big time apps, sadly.

Overall, I am happy with Windows 8.1, I think it is worth giving a try, if you haven’t tried out Windows 8.1