Windows 8.1 Preview

Posted September 10, 2013 by Pauldro in Nerdy Bits

A lot of controversy has come at Microsoft for their new OS Windows 8. Aesthetically it’s a nice refresh and due to it’s minimalist values the OS is less graphics intensive as Windows 7 or even Vista. Looks aren’t everything, so under the hood Windows 8 isn’t a whole lot different except in a couple areas. Some users believe it to be a gutted Windows 7 with everything useful stripped out.  The biggest complaint comes from the missing start menu/button. Now when users press the windows key it will take them to the Start Screen, a place where your apps and your programs will be displayed in a tile formation. The Start screen can be useful to some, but too many it’s just a hassle, as they don’t want to use it, or find no use of it when they don’t have touch screens. This is where users will boot too, and for some it’s annoying.

Windows 8

The dreaded Start Screen

I’m in the minority, I like windows 8. I like the look and the minimalist design. It’s pleasing to my eyes, and I was never a big start menu guy, the only reason I used the Start button was to shut down the computer. Am I an apologist for windows 8? Maybe, but even so I know that it has its issues that people need.


But that’s why Microsoft has been working on Windows 8.1

I used Windows 8.1 preview for a while and I can definitely say this is the the version Microsoft should have shipped with. The new features are useful and intuitive. So, before I drool over in Windows 8.1, I should at least tell you what is new in Windows 8.1.


Start Screen

The new Windows 8.1 Start Screen

The new Windows 8.1 Start Screen

The first noticeable difference in Windows 8.1 is the new Start screen. Apps and tiles can now be 4 sizes: small, medium, wide, and Large. The small option allows more tiles in the same area, which is perfect for office icons as they don’t need to be any other size than small. Some tiles can be the large size for information such as news and weather.



Boot-To-Desktop and other features

For those who can’t be bothered with the Start screen can now choose to boot to their desktop when they log in to their computer.


Start Screen Personalization

The new Start Screen options

The new Start Screen options

Some people didn’t hate the Start Screen in windows 8, but they wish they could of had more customization. In 8.1, users can choose any background and choose almost any color, while also decided its accent color. Also, users can just use their own customized image for the background if they choose so.

Default Applications

A better way to set default apps

A better way to set default apps

I have to admit, in Windows 8, it was pretty annoying to open common items such as links, pictures, and mp3s only to have it open in a metro app. This time instead of setting the default programs in a harder way, 8.1 gives you a menu to set the default programs so you’ll never have to struggle with default programs again.


The Start Button

The Start Button is back

The Start Button is back

Breathe a sigh of relief. The Start button is back. Now it’s not the same start button from before, but it’s a good replacement in my eyes. My number one use of it is finally having an easier way to shut down or restart my computer.

The new start menu

The new start menu

Now that you’ve seen a little preview of what’s to come in Windows 8.1, you’ll realize maybe not all is lost with Windows. Microsoft is working hard to bring you something better with Windows, and with 8.1 this is a good start. Maybe you have Windows 8 or were thinking about getting a PC in the future, and had doubts about the windows OS, hopefully Windows 8.1 will win your heart.


About the Author


Paul Gomez loves comics, movies, video games, and technology. He's currently studying Software Development in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His one recommendation? Watch Regular Show.