So I've upgraded a VM (virtual machine) I have running Windows 8 for PC to Windows 8.1. My main problem with Windows 8.whatever at this point is that it isn't Windows anymore, it should be called Tiles. Please note that my comments here are purely to Win8 as a desktop OS, not as a tablet OS for which it is probably quite nice.
I am astonished at the reviews which seem to be going out of their way to find this resembling anything like a fix of Win8. Here's a minor exception with at least a headline I can get behind "Windows 8.1 and the Desktop: A modest improvement we still can’t recommend". Here's one with a headline indicating Win8.1 is usable for desktops with this high praise, "Hey... this actually isn’t bad". Isn't bad? The author of that particular article indicates that multi-tasking has improved because in the email app you can now see the email you're composing at the same time as your inbox! Wow! I hope that will fit on my screen and in my tiny little brain at the same time!
Win8 can't, wait, that isn't right... WON'T bother to identify that it is installed on a PC vs. a tablet! My apologies for the quality of the following video shot with my phone, but the rant urge was too strong to break out a proper video camera.
If you've acquiesced to Tileland, then 8.1 may well be of value to you as you've already undertaken the learning curve and kept from blowing your brains out using it so far. For those of us that haven't been able to stomach the move to Tileworld, I don't see anything in 8.1 prompting me to leave Win7.
Check out the pix below of 3 supposed windows in Tileland. Note that you can only have 3 visible at a time. Makes sense given they are no longer windows which you can overlap. Having 4 even thinner vertical slices would be even more completely frustrating than 3.
Don't get me wrong, tiles could be handy on the desktop. Give me a proper My World in Tiles desktop application I can see in a true window and I'm all in! Wait, we used to have things like this called Windows Gadgets (see clock in upper right hand corner of pic below). Gadgets got cashiered according to MS due to security concerns and I'm sure driving us to Tilevana had nothing to do with it <smirk>. Also if you want to do tiles right, take a page out of the Android widget world and make them more informative. The email and calendar tile shown below compared to the corresponding Android widgets is pitiful.
Guess why the smallest monitor I use is a 42" beastie with smaller, secondary monitors? Because I do actual work on it! Not one-at-at-time kind of work either. Lots of things are going on with my PC at any given time and I want, need and can have as many of them visible to me as I want in Windows 7... and earlier! Here's a picture of my current desktop spread across a 42" Sony Bravia (left half) and a 17" laptop (right half). Good luck tracking all this on Win8.
This just in from the Department of Hideously Obvious (D.H.O. pronounced "doh!"), PCs are NOT tablets!
- Tiles on PC should be a Window. Remember, it's called Windows... plural?!
- All full-screen all the time is for small screens and computing newbies!