Windows 8.1, one week in

One week in and nothing major seems to have popped up with everything ticking over quite nicely.  I haven’t taken advantage of any of the new (or updated) apps yet except for the calendar.  The scanning seems to be going well with no major issues with the SCSI card, scanner or the software, that is a relief.  One thing that took me by surprise was the screen splitting, this has been talked about a lot over the previous months with people loving it or thinking that it was dumb.  My view is that it is pretty cool and makes using Windows 8.1 with apps much easier.  The thing that was a surprise was splitting the screen so I could have an app on the left and my desktop on the right, not what I expected but a pleasant surprise.  This makes using apps in conjunction with your desktop apps much easier, however, for those of us with 2 (or more) monitors it is old hat really.  I suppose that having more than 2 apps running on a single monitor is cool, especially if you are on a tablet.

Search is wonderful, Windows 7 search was pretty cool, Windows 8 was better but no cigar because it didn’t search enough, Windows 8.1 is miles ahead of either of these.  Searching is done the same way as Windows 8, press the Windows button and start typing, the default is Everywhere but this can be changed.  The results are presented in a scrolling (left to right) list with your stuff first followed by stuff on the Internet.  You can drill into each section to get closer to what you want, this is sooooo much better than anything I have used before.

Performance feels better than Windows 8 but I haven’t done any benchmarks to confirm this, apps seem to load quicker than before and seem snappier, other (normal) operations (file copying, moving, general desktop functionality) seems to be about the same (as expected).

Now for the areas that irk me, first the calendar, I had a need to put down a lot of dates for my holiday (vacation) and I wanted to print out 2 months so I could talk to my wife about it, to my utter surprise there was no print option, the best the Internet could come up with was to take a screen shot and print that, bad form.  I know that a lot of people will just use the electronic version but sometimes you want to print it so you can stick it on the fridge.  Just as a test I tried to do the same thing with iCloud on the web, same issue, no way of printing, I had to resort to creating a Word document and printing that.

The next thing was found as a result of a failed upgrade of my iPhone, the thing locked up going up to 7.0.3 so I reset the thing and restored everything except my music as the music was on another machine in the house that was switched off, no worries I can do without that for a day or so.  Anyway, I get home, the other machine is on so I fire up iTunes and try to sync, it tells me that it cannot find any of the music, strange.  This looked familiar, maybe I turned off the Homegroup stuff (I don’t recall doing that), what seems to have happened is that the setting was turned off during the upgrade, it still had the password to connect, turning it on solved the problem but it may have driven someone else mad trying to find out what was going on.

Overall I am happy that I upgraded and I expect to see more improvements in the next version (be it a service pack or a new version).

 

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