Windows 8.1 Update coming April 8th

#1 Edited by madrocketeer (2644 posts) -

Confirmation from The Windows Blog. Third last paragraph, just before the italics.

Highlights:

  • Automatic boot to desktop for non-touch devices
  • File associations default to desktop apps on non-touch devices
  • Power and Search buttons on Start Screen
  • Context menu pop down from point of click in Start Screen instead of being dumped to the bottom of the screen
  • Modern apps can be pinned to the task bar
  • Modern apps get title bars with familiar minimize and and close buttons on the right-hand corner

Update is free through Windows Update.

Interestingly, there's also this screenshot circling around:

Return of the Start Menu (with a few Modern bits added) and Modern apps running in windows may be forthcoming, possibly in Update 2 or Windows 9.

Personally, automatic boot to desktop and file associations won't affect me, since I've already set them both up. I don't use search very often, and I'm comfortable with 8.1's Win + X -> U -> U to shut down. That being said, context menu that pops down from where you click is long overdue, and any move that might make the way Windows 8 handle Modern apps less idiotic and might contribute towards getting rid of that second running apps bar hidden on the left side of the screen is welcome. I might actually start using some Modern apps because of this update. Overall, small refinements rather than big changes.

What do you think?

#2 Edited by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

And queue comments in 3,2,1 like

"Windows 8 sux, I'm never moving from Windows 7"

and

"SteamOS will destroy Microsoft"

and

"Metro Menu sux, and is only for touchscreen"

#3 Posted by ferrari2001 (17199 posts) -

Looks nice. It also looks like the image is from a testing version of Windows 8.1, so it looks to be a distinct possibility that we will see this in the new update. Although I rather like the Metro menu, even though I rarely see it. Should be some nice changes coming to what I already consider a very stable and productive operating system.

#4 Posted by AlexKidd5000 (1845 posts) -

Windows 8 sux im never moving from windows 7, SteamOS will destroy microsoft! metro sux, and is only for touch screens!

#5 Posted by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@AlexKidd5000 said:

Windows 8 sux im never moving from windows 7, SteamOS will destroy microsoft! metro sux, and is only for touch screens!

#6 Posted by AlexKidd5000 (1845 posts) -

@FelipeInside said:

@AlexKidd5000 said:

Windows 8 sux im never moving from windows 7, SteamOS will destroy microsoft! metro sux, and is only for touch screens!

8D

#7 Posted by DarkGamer007 (6033 posts) -

Still not going to upgrade from Windows 7. Hopefully Windows 9 will be better.

#8 Posted by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@DarkGamer007 said:

Still not going to upgrade from Windows 7. Hopefully Windows 9 will be better.

There is no need to upgrade from Win7 unless you want to use the new features and the improved speeds.

And what are you hoping for in Win9 anyway?

#9 Edited by nicecall (490 posts) -

its funny how people can get excited about features coming in windows 8.1 that already existed in Windows 7. "Start menu being added!!" wow really? Actually Classic Shell created an exact functioning windows 7 type start menu already ages ago, yet it took microsoft years to put it back in.

I'm not gonna list all the features that are removed or lacking in Windows 8 that exist in Windows 7, cause everyone with basic intellect and have used windows 8 probably knows about it... unless they have basic computer skills. Most of these are actually cosmetic and some reason Windows 8 is an uglier experience then Win7. Simple example is the graphic desktop appearance in windows and all the lacking options to customize it. You can't change anything other then basic color in your desktop... wheres the advanced options for windows color and appearance??? microsoft took them out of windows 8, why why why??? If releasing a newer product, you include more, not take things out making the older product better. No start menu, no advanced customization etc.

Windows 8.1, enjoy your update peasants.

I use windows 8 copies as toilet paper where i come from.

#10 Edited by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@nicecall said:

its funny how people can get excited about features coming in windows 8.1 that already existed in Windows 7. "Start menu being added!!" wow really? Actually Classic Shell created an exact functioning windows 7 type start menu already ages ago, yet it took microsoft years to put it back in.

I'm not gonna list all the features that are removed or lacking in Windows 8 that exist in Windows 7, cause everyone with basic intellect and have used windows 8 probably knows about it... unless they have basic computer skills. Most of these are actually cosmetic and some reason Windows 8 is an uglier experience then Win7. Simple example is the graphic desktop appearance in windows and all the lacking options to customize it. You can't change anything other then basic color in your desktop... wheres the advanced options for windows color and appearance??? microsoft took them out of windows 8, why why why??? If releasing a newer product, you include more, not take things out making the older product better. No start menu, no advanced customization etc.

Windows 8.1, enjoy your update peasants.

I use windows 8 copies as toilet paper where i come from.

You might want to read up on why Aero was taken out. MS did a lengthy document on it, and I agree with most of it.

And you also might want to read up on how design and products work. A new product shouldn't always just have MORE MORE MORE. As Steve Jobs once said "What you take out is just as important as what you put in"

#11 Edited by KHAndAnime (14384 posts) -

I'll wait for the next iteration of Windows, we've been flying through the versions ever since XP. I see no point in buying something that will be immediately outdated, particularly if it offers minimal advantage over previous versions. Windows 9 is probably already being developed and will be out before you know it.

#12 Edited by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

I'll wait for the next iteration of Windows, we've been flying through the versions ever since XP. I see no point in buying something that will be immediately outdated, particularly if it offers minimal advantage over previous versions. Windows 9 is probably already being developed and will be out before you know it.

Microsoft has always released versions of Windows with only a few years apart, it's just that people only think of XP and the gap to Vista. To be honest, XP was TOO good for it's own good. It put MS in last place for evolving technology. Something like Win7 should have come around about 8 years ago.

#13 Edited by osan0 (12913 posts) -

@FelipeInside: i wouldn't say XP was too good for its own good. arguably its failings (it was a complete screw up security wise. also not in great shape at launch and was widely lauded as windows for tellytubbys), which led to delays for vista, caused a lot of toruble for MS.

its just when a piece of software in on the market for so long and is getting patched left right and center.....it tends to harden up. Well that and vista was sh*BEEP*.

but you are correct indeed. XP was the exception to the rule. usually a new version of windows every 2 years or so.

as for the update....looks grand. i like that start menu. look like a better integration of windows apps into the desktop environment.

I havent checked but is it possible to get those apps on the desktop itself also? that would be ideal. set out a part of my desktop for outlook, another part for the windows store and so on. they could be like widgets on android or KDE.

#14 Posted by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@osan0 said:

@FelipeInside: i wouldn't say XP was too good for its own good. arguably its failings (it was a complete screw up security wise. also not in great shape at launch and was widely lauded as windows for tellytubbys), which led to delays for vista, caused a lot of toruble for MS.

its just when a piece of software in on the market for so long and is getting patched left right and center.....it tends to harden up. Well that and vista was sh*BEEP*.

but you are correct indeed. XP was the exception to the rule. usually a new version of windows every 2 years or so.

as for the update....looks grand. i like that start menu. look like a better integration of windows apps into the desktop environment.

I havent checked but is it possible to get those apps on the desktop itself also? that would be ideal. set out a part of my desktop for outlook, another part for the windows store and so on. they could be like widgets on android or KDE.

Yes, I think they are doing Metro Apps for desktop, as in you can minimize, resize window etc.

#15 Edited by CWEBB04z (4622 posts) -

I have a copy of windows 8.1 not used. Are there any advantages to upgrading to windows 8.1 from 7?

I might use windows 8 on my HP laptop... so im just wondering.

#16 Posted by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@CWEBB04z said:

I have a copy of windows 8.1 not used. Are there any advantages to upgrading to windows 8.1 from 7?

I might use windows 8 on my HP laptop... so im just wondering.

Depends if you want to use the new features or not, apart from the speed increases all around.

#17 Edited by madrocketeer (2644 posts) -
@CWEBB04z said:

I have a copy of windows 8.1 not used. Are there any advantages to upgrading to windows 8.1 from 7?

I might use windows 8 on my HP laptop... so im just wondering.

I have both my Windows 8.1 notebook and Windows 7 gaming PC on at this very moment. Honestly, there's not much difference. Windows 8.1's Task Manager and File Explorer are nicer and have more tools and options. I have a USB 3.0 port on my notebook that was useless in Windows 7 which now works. It boots a little faster, but nothing to write home about. I don't use Modern apps because I find the way Windows 8 handles them to be vulgar and dim-witted. I also had to turn off the hot corners and change my habits when using box-select on the Desktop (below and up, not top and down) to avoid irritation, but other than that, it's very much like Windows 7.

The new UI and Start Screen is a very divisive subject. Personally, I hardly ever used the old Start Menu, preferring to use my ObjectDock sidebar to launch most programs in Windows 7. Therefore, I actually like the basic concept of the Start Screen, and I have in fact stopped using ObjectDock on my notebook. However, I still find Microsoft's current execution of the concept to be currently passable but generally poor, and it still has a number of annoyances, some of which will be fixed in the new update (e.g. the Start Screen's context menu being dumped to the bottom of the screen), and some which probably won't (e.g. the same context menu is still woefully incomplete). Small progress, I guess.

Overall, it's a solid, very Windows 7-like OS that at times feels somewhat lightweight and smooth, and at other times feels a little irritating and frustrating.

#18 Edited by Cyberdot (3872 posts) -

Meh, it's still the worst operating system in existence anyway.

#19 Posted by Ribstaylor1 (1285 posts) -

Still those tiles/boxes exist. I'm currently happy on windows 7 so no need to even think about 8 really. But it's leaving me thinking more and more about linux lately. It's a ways down the line but a version of linux very well could be my next operating system after 7.

#21 Edited by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -
@Cyberdot said:

Meh, it's still the worst operating system in existence anyway.

Played with it 10 minutes at the shop and can give out a complete review of it = WIN.

Tell us oh great one why Windows 8 is worse than Win3.1, worse than Win95 without updates, worse than WinME, worse than MacOS7?

@ribstaylor1 said:

Still those tiles/boxes exist.

Or you could just install Start8 if the tiles really bother you THAT much

#22 Edited by Toxic-Seahorse (4297 posts) -

It's about damn time. It took MS long enough to get their heads out of their asses and realize that desktop and laptop users want an actual desktop/laptop friendly OS. I use Windows 8 on my laptop and while it isn't a terrible OS, it is frustrating sometimes how it handles certain tasks and functions. Especially the handling of apps is ridiculous for a desktop OS. It's a joke. They're finally getting around to fixing a lot of the frustrating bits. It won't convince me to switch my desktop from Windows 7 (which is a superior desktop OS in terms of usability and functionality) but it's a step in the right direction.

#23 Edited by madrocketeer (2644 posts) -

It's here, I've got it, and I've been playing around with it for about a a day.

And my impressions is that this is more like it. The Start Screen's context menu is, as I suspected, still woefully incomplete, but at least Microsoft have got rid of those silly bars at the bottom of the screen. This new context menu does seem to have a side effect; the ability to select multiple tiles with right-clicks alone is gone - I now have to use Ctrl-clicks instead. This took me by surprise at first, but then I realised this is a much more consistent behaviour with that of the OS's desktop portion, and is actually an improvement. Now all they need to do is bring back Shift-clicks and box select.

The way it handles Modern apps has gone up by about 20 IQ points. Modern apps now show up on the taskbar (finally!) when run, which remains accessible in Modern apps and Start Screen. Modern apps also now have close and minimize buttons similar to desktop applications, ridding the necessity of those ridiculous mouse gestures and second running apps bar on the left side of the screen. I'm finally actually starting to use some Modern apps because of these changes. Now all they need to do is bring out window mode.

The taskbar's behaviour is a little inconsistent; when in Start Screen and Modern apps, it sometimes won't show up when I drag my mouse to the bottom of the screen. Win + T solves this problem, but it's still a little annoying. Also, I'm baffled by the taskbar's inclusion in the Start Screen, since it still doesn't support drag-and-drop from the Start Screen.

Overall, a small but significant step in the right direction. My biggest gripe with Windows 8 from day one has always been consistency; its desktop and tablet portions behave completely differently to one another, requiring two different worlds that clash and get in each other's way. With 8.1 and now the new update, however, I'm starting to feel like Microsoft is finally getting it. I feel like Microsoft are finally starting to realise that you don't need two different worlds to make an OS that works well on both PCs and tablets; you just need two different modes in the same world. Instead of trying to make a touch-based UI work alongside desktop, they're starting to realise that you just need everything to work one way in PC mode and another way in touch mode. With this update, for the first time, I don't feel an urge to growl in disgust when using my laptop. For the first time, I feel there is hope for Windows 8.

#24 Edited by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@madrocketeer said:

It's here, I've got it, and I've been playing around with it for about a a day.

And my impressions is that this is more like it. The Start Screen's context menu is, as I suspected, still woefully incomplete, but at least Microsoft have got rid of those silly bars at the bottom of the screen. This new context menu does seem to have a side effect; the ability to select multiple tiles with right-clicks alone is gone - I now have to use Ctrl-clicks instead. This took me by surprise at first, but then I realised this is a much more consistent behaviour with that of the OS's desktop portion, and is actually an improvement. Now all they need to do is bring back Shift-clicks and box select.

The way it handles Modern apps has gone up by about 20 IQ points. Modern apps now show up on the taskbar (finally!) when run, which remains accessible in Modern apps and Start Screen. Modern apps also now have close and minimize buttons similar to desktop applications, ridding the necessity of those ridiculous mouse gestures and second running apps bar on the left side of the screen. I'm finally actually starting to use some Modern apps because of these changes. Now all they need to do is bring out window mode.

The taskbar's behaviour is a little inconsistent; when in Start Screen and Modern apps, it sometimes won't show up when I drag my mouse to the bottom of the screen. Win + T solves this problem, but it's still a little annoying. Also, I'm baffled by the taskbar's inclusion in the Start Screen, since it still doesn't support drag-and-drop from the Start Screen.

Overall, a small but significant step in the right direction. My biggest gripe with Windows 8 from day one has always been consistency; its desktop and tablet portions behave completely differently to one another, requiring two different worlds that clash and get in each other's way. With 8.1 and now the new update, however, I'm starting to feel like Microsoft is finally getting it. I feel like Microsoft are finally starting to realise that you don't need two different worlds to make an OS that works well on both PCs and tablets; you just need two different modes in the same world. Instead of trying to make a touch-based UI work alongside desktop, they're starting to realise that you just need everything to work one way in PC mode and another way in touch mode. With this update, for the first time, I don't feel an urge to growl in disgust when using my laptop. For the first time, I feel there is hope for Windows 8.

I believe the Modern App Windowed Mode is coming in the next update, but if you want it now you can install ModernMix: https://www.stardock.com/products/modernmix/

#25 Posted by guynamedbilly (12967 posts) -

Cool. This would have eliminated the huge majority of the complaints about Win 8 if it'd launched this way.

#26 Edited by Ribstaylor1 (1285 posts) -

@FelipeInside: Or I could save myself the money and stick with 7. Performance gains in games is minimal, direct x12 won''t be in use for at least two years, and besides their up and coming windows 8 (pc exclusives) their isn't too much of a reason to want to upgrade from 7. Windows 7 does everything I'd need windows 8 too do and all without any hassle of messing with things outside my background and what I have laying around the desktop or taskbar.

#27 Posted by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@ribstaylor1 said:

@FelipeInside: Or I could save myself the money and stick with 7. Performance gains in games is minimal, direct x12 won''t be in use for at least two years, and besides their up and coming windows 8 (pc exclusives) their isn't too much of a reason to want to upgrade from 7. Windows 7 does everything I'd need windows 8 too do and all without any hassle of messing with things outside my background and what I have laying around the desktop or taskbar.

And I never said you were forced to upgrade did I ?

#28 Posted by Ribstaylor1 (1285 posts) -

@FelipeInside: No but you suggested start8 after I had stated I'd stick to 7, implying I should use windows 8 with start8 as the fix to me not liking those boxes. So you suggested it and I wrote back with the cheaper more logical solution, which would be stick with windows 7.

#29 Edited by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@ribstaylor1 said:

@FelipeInside: No but you suggested start8 after I had stated I'd stick to 7, implying I should use windows 8 with start8 as the fix to me not liking those boxes. So you suggested it and I wrote back with the cheaper more logical solution, which would be stick with windows 7.

I suggested (keyword: suggested) Start8 if the titles bother you too much to be able to use the menu. I never said you "should use Windows 8" did I?

#30 Edited by Ribstaylor1 (1285 posts) -

You seem to not fully understand or are misinterpreting what I wrote. No where did I say you suggested windows 8. I said, suggesting Start8 as my solution to me not liking the bubbles or boxes implies I should use windows 8 with start 8 as the solution to the problem. Even more so when you consider I had stated I was sticking with 7. I feel like I'm repeating myself the last message seemed pretty cut and dry.

#31 Posted by FelipeInside (26040 posts) -

@ribstaylor1 said:

You seem to not fully understand or are misinterpreting what I wrote. No where did I say you suggested windows 8. I said, suggesting Start8 as my solution to me not liking the bubbles or boxes implies I should use windows 8 with start 8 as the solution to the problem. Even more so when you consider I had stated I was sticking with 7. I feel like I'm repeating myself the last message seemed pretty cut and dry.

Then stay with Windows 7, no one really cares, it's a great OS.

My suggestion was just simply that if you ever move to Windows 8, and some colourful squares annoys you THAT much that you can't use a menu, then there are alternatives, like Start8. Simple.