JodyT

I Need to Confess ... Regarding Windows 8.1

41 posts in this topic

I really like Windows 8 on a tablet PC. It's very easy to navigate with touch, and for desktop stylus is enough to be able to operate comfortably without using a mouse.

I don't own such a hardware myself but one of my friends does and when it comes to functionality it's way better than any Android tablet or iPad.

Edited by tomasz86
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@Aloha

@tomasz86

Sure, the previous posts were about "speed", and particularly about "assumed" or "felt" faster speed when compared to Windows 7, which is measurable, while it "being better", like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :)

jaclaz

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And I just need to reiterate one thing, since I'm coming across in this thread as kind of critical... Though we have a measurable (though small) incremental speed decrease, I quite like Windows 8.1.

At this point we've got it working very smoothly and it's completely stable (better than I expected this soon after release, actually). Windows Updates kept me from running it longer, but so far it's gone one stint of 17 days straight without a reboot on one workstation (under heavy daily software development use). You wouldn't believe the amount of work we crunch through on these workstations. I use mine for not only software development, testing, etc. but also business management.

-Noel

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And I just need to reiterate one thing, since I'm coming across in this thread as kind of critical... Though we have a measurable (though small) incremental speed decrease, I quite like Windows 8.1.

At this point we've got it working very smoothly and it's completely stable (better than I expected this soon after release, actually).

To be picky - as I am ;) - what you currently use/have (and "quite like") is NOT Windows 8.1 (as "delivered" by MS, i.e. the thing that everyone can have) but rather a heavily tweaked, tuned up, and refined Windows 8.1 utilizing a number of third party tools most of which aimed to have back the Windows 7 functionalities/look/usage paradigm.

jaclaz

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Well, yeah - you're absolutely right. It's pretty much a POS without those tweaks. But it IS tweakable, and the kernel underneath is actually quite solid (it's probably little different from Windows 7 under the covers). We used to tweak Windows 7 almost as much - so using Windows 8.1 this way is not fundamentally different.

But it's not like we've spent a lot of money to get the tweaks we use, and I've even published a book on how to set up systems like we do.

The ones I can think of quickly offhand, most of which we used with Windows 7 as well...

ClassicShell (desktop usability enhancement) - $0

Aero Glass for Win 8.1 (desktop usability enhancement) - a few dollars donation

FastPictureViewer Codec Pack (thumbnail generator) - $12 I think it was.

WizMouse (mouse scrolling coordinator) - a few dollars donation

ShellFolderFix (Explorer tweaker to pre-position windows) - $0

Avast! free edition (anti-malware) - $0

7-Zip (compressed archive access) - $0

Z-VSSCopy (shadow copy access) - $0 (though still looking for a less clunky solution)

Skype (audio online collaboration) - $0

Tortoise and Ankh Subversion (software configuration and data management) - $0

Frameworkx Shortcut Manager (cleans up shortcut icons) - $0

ShellExView (shell extension manager) - $0

Autoruns (SysInternals background program manager) - $0

FileTypesMan (associate applications with file extensions) - $0

FolderOptionsX (Explorer usability tweaker) - $0

Plus of course we use a number of commercial applications.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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Well, yeah - you're absolutely right. It's pretty much a POS without those tweaks. But it IS tweakable, and the kernel underneath is actually quite solid (it's probably little different from Windows 7 under the covers).

But it's not like I've spent a lot of money to get the tweaks we use, and I've even published a book on how to set up systems like we do.

-Noel

Sure, and noone AFAIK said anything against the actual "core" (which has some added features, but as seen is not particularly faster), only about the interface and the senselessly changed usage paradigms.

As a layman example I do love my FIAT Panda, it is a great little car :yes:.

Apart changing wheels, tires and suspensions to better handling, replacing spark plugs and exhaust system and tuning engine electronics to get some more juice from it, and replacing seats and interiors because they were uncomfortable and ugly, it is exactly like a stock Panda ;).

jaclaz

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But as I mentioned in an edit to my post above, there's nothing fundamentally different about tweaking Windows 8 to make it more usable. Anyone in their right mind did that with Windows 7 as well.

I'm not at all happy with the direction Microsoft is taking - turning away from serious computing - but they haven't removed quite enough of the "To Work" options yet to make Windows useless.

-Noel

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Quite a few people use utilities to tweak their Windows XP, Vista, and 7. I find it normal if we use tweakers on W8/8.1 too.

Now I have SIB+, UltraUXThemePatcher, Uncleaner, Unlocker, Vista Shortcut Manager. Except for SIB, I had to install all the others on W7 when I was still using it.

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@Aloha

@tomasz86

Sure, the previous posts were about "speed", and particularly about "assumed" or "felt" faster speed when compared to Windows 7, which is measurable, while it "being better", like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :)

jaclaz

My comment was related to the original subject of this thread, nothing related to speed :P

I'm just a big fan of those hybrid notebook-tablet devices. I can't see any OS other than Windows 8/8.1 that can be used on them and offer such a wide functionality (maybe except for full Linux distributions such as Ubuntu Touch but they're still not mainstream).

I've myself been using an old Windows XP laptop and an Android tablet, and would be very happy to merge the two into one Windows 8 tablet PC (just a wish since I've got no money for such things now). When I was buying the Android device two years ago, there was no Windows based alternative so can't really blame myself for doing that... but if I was to buy a tablet now then definitely a Windows 8 device would be on the top of my wish list.

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All I can say is that I was forced to go back to win7 in the end. Reasons included

  • boot times were only on par with win7 if hybrid boot enabled, meaning
    • slow shutdown times because of writing the RAM to SSD
    • 6GB writes to SSD each shutdown
  • rebooting didn't reset the ramdisk as it was supposed to (not really win8.1 fault)
  • several programs misbehaved
  • several additional pay/dontationware required to get exact functionality as win7
  • file association is still backwards, having to set it twice - once in the program, once in the explorer
That's just a small list though. About the only positive about win8.1 on my system was that I could finally move files on my server via network without the files being first copied over to my machine, then sent back to the server as win7 does it for whatever reason. In practice, I never felt win8.1 was faster on an equally setup system. Most people praising it being faster just set up a fresh installation and compare it to their old win7 one filled with random crap.
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I'm just a big fan of those hybrid notebook-tablet devices. I can't see any OS other than Windows 8/8.1 that can be used on them and offer such a wide functionality (maybe except for full Linux distributions such as Ubuntu Touch but they're still not mainstream).

I like those too. What I would like to know is were there any tablet/netbook hybrids that would run Windows 7? What about the ARM devices that run Chrome OS? Could they run a Windows OS?

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ARM devices can only run WindowsRT, but there the missing drivers are the issue.

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I personally can't really see any benefits of buying an ARM-based Windows RT tablet. As far as I know, there's no significant difference in battery life between the ARM CPUs and the new Intel Atom models. For me the ability to run x86 programs is one of the most important reasons for buying a Windows 8 tablet :P

Even if you jailbreak a Windows RT tablet and run x86 applications through the emulator, everything is going to be extremely slow.

Edited by tomasz86
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I tried Windows 8 during beta and wasn't impressed with the fact that Microsoft removed the Start Menu completely from the system. Seriously. There is a Start Menu in most every OS on the market and it's by far one of the most heavily used tools for an OS, and for a NON-TABLET / NON-TOUCHSCREEN device... it's tedious to navigate without it. But, then, I discovered Stardocks Start8 and coughed up the $6 for unlimited updates to a seemless replication of the Start Menu and still have doubts about Windows 8 though, I have noticed that vmware seems to run very sluggish and often hangs the host computer in Windows 8 compared to Windows 7. In Windows 7 I was capabale of running 4 vm's simutaniously, but in Windows 8 I can only run 1 vm, not to mention I had dwm.exe disabled on Windows 7, but you can't disable it in Windows 8 and I've seen dwm.exe spike to over 2gigs of mem in 8.

Personally, I think Windows 7 is faster in some areas, granted that UAC, dwm.exe and a few other services are disabled.

I tried 8.1 and wasn't impressed with the so-called "Start Menu" is back, useless Metro (ought to be a feature to turn on/off) a blatent ripoff of Apples menu, useless and annoying apps that are forced fullscreen and no option to resize them (ought to be a feature to turn on/off, and/or COMPLETELY remove them), So I'm still using Windows 8 with Start8 until Microsoft gets their heads out of their sundontshine.

In all I'd give Windows 8/8.1 a 6 out of 10. Despite the fact that they blatently ignored the dominant market, home / office desktop users. Absolutely see no way how anyone can be productive with business applications and me heavily using Revit for work , school and my other apps without the desktop and start menu. Seriously, what were they thinking when they wanted to do away with the "Desktop" and "Start Menu" ... I'd say Microsoft has the most unaware project manager ever.

Edited by epic
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I think VMware takes advantage of some shortcuts when your guest OS is the same as your parent OS. I noticed my Windows 8.x VMs sped up when I upgraded my host system to Windows 8.1.

-Noel

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