Pros -Boot to desktop is finally possible
-Better multitasking of Metro apps
-Better start screen customization
-Use wallpaper on start screen without any extra programs
-Start button is back?
Cons -Microsoft is still too focused on the Metro interface. Desktop is relitively unchanged
-Still no start menu like in previous versions
-Still don't like start screen and live tiles
-Search seems slower than it is in Windows 8
-See below for more...
Summary -Apps that haven't been made optimized for 8.1 won't look right in the split viewI forgot to add this but I think this would be important to add. It still feels watered down from Windows 7. I think partially because right now, Microsoft is currently trying to transition more to the Metro and is slowly moving away from the desktop making it look a bit like a barren wasteland. More programs from the desktop has now been made into apps and more control panel settings have been moved to the Metro control panel, but the duality of the control panel is still a bit confusing and I still don't remember where which setting is where.
I have to agree that Windows 8.1 has improved from Windows 8, but it still failed to make me want to install over Windows 7 and make it my primary OS. I know it may only be in a public preview right now, but I don't really expect it to change much for the final release due here in a couple of months.
The one thing that really bugs me is the fact that they did a half baked implementation of the start button. I do agree that the reintroduction of the start button may help that couldn't adjust with the lack of it in Windows 8, but what everybody wanted was a start menu and Microsoft is too determined on the start screen which nobody wants to use
Until Microsoft realizes that the start screen was a dud and combining combining computers, tablets and phones into one unified OS wasn't a good idea, I see no hope for Microsoft.
Updated on Jul 11, 2013
Also the desktop is watered down because there is less customization that can be done from there. In Windows 7, you can change the font color, font type, boarder padding and many other different aspects of the system. In 8.1, it has not improved at all over that on Windows 8. In 8.1, you're still stuck using Segoe UI as the system font and the font color being only black.
Updated on Jul 11, 2013Also when it comes to productivity, 8.1 is still counterproductive compared to Windows 7 because of the start screen. I use my computer to actually work so I will have to say if you are serious about productivity, stick with Windows 7 or XP. Windows 8 an 8.1 feels more like a toy with there being very few useful apps and the start screen being in the way of actually what you want to do
Pros Fast Boot.
Cons No native POP3 support.
Redesigned to annoy and frustrate any tech trying to get it working.
State changes between desktop and Metro are beyond frustrating.
Charms? Who the hell needs Charms?
Summary While Microsoft in the past has been a trailblazer at times, this time they are on a trail few are willing to follow.
Most clients of mine are on FREE pop3 accounts and to use Windows 8, they either have to get a new imap email account and then forward their pop3 mail to it or just use the new account.
Technical support: this is the nightmare of operating systems. Some idiot at Microsoft thought that it would be good to have it look like a phone. However, changing the entire paradigm of access to your computer is outright stupid. It is difficult to support this operating system since the dimwits in Redmond decided to place access to the most needed things into a "Windows+X" shortcut.
Perhaps they should have just gone back to DOS. In fact, the only way to safe boot the system, if it has a problem and is still bootable, is to open a command line and enter DOS-like commands to get it to restart into safe-mode.
Once it starts into safe-mode, you have to re-enter a command line mode and enter nearly the same command to get to boot into regular mode.
Since the beginning of the Windows paradigm, back with Windows 95, there has been a start button/Windows Button at the lower left to access the various parts of the system.
Microsoft, in their infinite ability to annot technicians and computer users, tried to make the Metro tiles become the flattened out Start Menu.
It fails. Miserably.
Everyone of my clients asks me to take the Windows 8 system off and put Windows 7 back on.
Perhaps Microsoft will start paying attention to computer users and not focus groups that have the munchies.
Pros The ability to leave the desktop wallpaper as the "metro" background creates a smooth transition;
The "Windows button" shows that MSFT is listening to customers. I loved the fact that apps are roaming. Integrated SKYDRIVE is BIG.
Cons Search is a bit more complex;
The concept of libraries seems to be losing space; I love libraries/search context;
Summary fast and fluid :). Windows 8 looks more like 2 distinct/different environments. 8.1 reduces such impact. a lot of work ahead, though!
Pros slightly better than 8
Cons slows pc down massively
Summary another fiasco from the monopolistic microsoft. we need chrom, linux, etc to take over !
Improved features in the desktop like the task manager
Many metro apps offer a lot of great things for tablets
Better on resources
Cons The desktop feels like a relic and made to feel unimportant
The metro interface combined with the desktop is a pain
SummaryIf you have used Windows since the Windows 98 days of big CRT monitors and desktops, you will not like Windows 8. Windows 8 is like having to do serious work inside of a Chuck E Cheeses. The tiled & metro interface makes for a strange experience. For some things you have to go into the desktop and something's you have to go into the metro UI. If you are using Windows 7, I strongly advise to not upgrade to Windows 8.
Updated on Mar 6, 2014