Article 66: Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 Brings Needed Help            

Welcome back to the Modern Nerd ladies and gentlemen, and I have some cool news about Windows. It’s getting better. There are some really great things about Windows, and it remains the most versatile operating system that is mass-marketed for everyone, but Windows 8 has some problems. It stepped away from Windows 7 very quickly, and it alienated a fair number of people that were comfortable in their operating systems. So let’s take a look at the changes and you can decide for yourself if Windows 8.1 is going to help out your computing experience.

The Desktop is Back

Desktop computer users can rejoice. The major change that everyone noticed when Windows 8 dropped was the start screen. Tablet users and touchscreen lovers were totally fine with it, but there was some backlash when the start button and the desktop went away. You log into Windows and have to press another button to get back to your desktop, and the buttons are huge.

Now, there will be an option to go straight to the desktop. Your Windows 8 will feel more like 7 if that’s what you want, and that Microsoft is listening to the feedback that they received is awesome. And in the same vein of changes, the Start Button is back on the taskbar to take you right back to their splash screen, but it also has a great right click menu that allows shutdown and Control Panel options easily accessible. Mouse controls are still very important for desktops and I approve of this change.

Better Screen Customizations

The splash screen has more options as well. Finally you can customize the background picture to whatever you want, rather than the bland and boring options that are just given to you. Windows Splash Screen is not in any danger of going away, so it is nice to see that more customization for something that you have to look at is available.

The mouse functionality is back on this screen too with more options for the size of the buttons on your screen. Tablet users and desktop users alike will agree that we are big enough boys and girls that we don’t need buttons sized for someone that is pressing them with their toes. So now you can make them even smaller, and less intrusive. On the complete flip side from that, you can take better advantage of the livetiles for sports and news and weather by making them larger, which displays more and better information.

How To Support Gets an Upgrade

With all of the features of Windows, there is a problem with the point of integration of new users. I get that you don’t spend all day learning the intricacies of the systems, and it is process to get really good at it. Microsoft has added a bunch of new videos to 8.1, showcasing features and telling users how to get to where they need to go.

Release Date??

The upgrade is available for free right now. It is however still in Beta, so there may be bugs in it. Full release will be available for free soon enough, but no official date has been given. Rumors put it somewhere in October. Not all  computers will be able to install it until full release, which is why my laptop seems to have some trouble with it, which is a pain. However I am really pleased with the changes made and I endorse checking them out if you are a Windows 8 user.

Thanks for reading as always. If you want to subscribe to the Computer Fixer’s blog, then check out the RSS feed, the Facebook page, and our content on the site, updated every week.

 

Aaron Krick
Blog Contributor at the Computer Fixer
aaron@flyingparrotcomputers.com
www.thecomputerfixer.com

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