Overclock.net › Components › Software & Video Games › Operating Systems › Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - Full Version

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - Full Version

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #4 in Operating Systems

Posted

Pros: Blazingly fast and user-friendy interface, optimised for touch and a wider range of hardware configurations

Cons: A little too much push for the modern interface formerly known as the 'Metro UI'

Change Is Hard
When it comes to giving an operating system that has stayed visually similar for more almost 2 decades a complete overhaul and remove the common and loved Start Menu, it was bound to cause an uprise of sorts. I even boycotted the Metro-style interface for a period, favouring programs such as Classic Start and the Stardock customisation software, Once I actually started making an effort to learn and use the new interfaces (I had to provide remote support via phone for clients so it was a necessity) I found them to be quite helpful, especially the ability to practically type anything in the Start screen and get related results and programs in a blink of the eye.

Loosening the Reins
While I kinda expected Microsoft to hold strong to their own opinions on how their OS should function, it was good to see them notice the amount of users using start menu programs and shell replacements and then bring back some of the more familiar buttons and simplified methods for performing things such as shutting down the PC. In fact, at the time of writing, Microsoft appears to be bringing back the real Start menu (in a modernised look) to keep its user base happy.

Never too old to try something new
While that title may be open to other meanings, I am refering to the ability to get low powered PCs that struggle to run their current OS''s across to running Windows 8 with plenty of resources to spare. After the amount of XP and Vista ( doh.gif ) machines I have updated to Windows 8 I am still quite surprised at how well they are able to run. When installing any operating system on a PC of my own, I tend to spend three times as long removing components as it took to install the OS to begin with - I hate bloatware and unneeded programs. Windows 8 has really kept it to a minimum and for that I commend MS.

It's all good, but...
Some areas of Windows 8 are still a little lacking but as it is still fairly young this is to be expected. I see good things for Windows 8's future and look forward to what's next.

In closing
Apologies if this review seems a little odd, it's the first one I've ever done smile.gif

Posted

Pros: Desktop interface is much more easier to use.

Cons: Start screen takes getting used to. iPhone issues.

It's not a bad OS. I rather like how when I change the background, the UI changes colors to match it. It's really neat. Start screen is a bit awkward but it handles itself fine once you get used to it. Really nice if you have a multi-gesture touchpad like my wireless keyboard does. Extremely stable so far. Fast boot times. Holy bonkers fast. Even on a mechanical drive.

Compared to the original Win8, this is miles better. Original Win8 had so many issues it was... difficult to do anything. This is a lot more productive.

Then why not 5 stars? It's not windows 7 ultimate, my favorite operating system. Which I have given that rating for a reason.

It has a start menu.

Start screen just takes getting used to. And I shouldn't have to get used to it.

Posted

Pros: It's really cool in my opinion

Cons: It's difficult to get the grip of at first

I love this Windows 8.1. First time using Windows 8.1 and I love the design of it. It's really hard to get the grip of it at first but then you will automatically get the feel after like a hour or two of using it.

Posted

Pros: Faster interface (Windows Aero is slow), fixes Start Menu button issue, support for 3d printers

Cons: Start Menu still needs Start8 to be fully useful, Charms bar is useless most of the time, privacy issues

(was received as OEM install on a laptop with 10 point multi-touch screen)

Where to begin?

Windows 8.1 is a seemingly minor update to Windows 8. The biggest change consists of returning the start button to the taskbar and boot to desktop.

Start screen

The all apps "Start screen" still is a mess with uninstallers and other garbage. The interface is still bifurcated (split in two) between the desktop and metro interface, with the only real indication of metro apps when you hover to the left hand side of the screen. It's bifurcated to the point there are two Internet Explorer applications. rolleyes.gif

Tiles now have more sizes: you can choose from small (only icon, basically useless since you might as well put the icon on desktop or the taskbar) , medium (icon+text), large (useless except for live tiles) , wide (also useless except for live tiles)

The start screen live tiles are still incredibly busy: it's almost as if you were at Times Square or a stock exchange.

It seems that the desktop background now shows through to the Start Screen as well.

Windows / Start Key brings up the Start Screen

Interface

I'm not sure if I placed this in my "Windows 8 preview" review, pressing Windows key + Tab no longer lets you scroll through like in Windows 7. Alt+Tab or hovering the top left corner is the best way to have an indication of what's actually running.

The PC Settings menu is also similarly mashed together.

Gestures for Metro apps are still gimmicky (especially if you use a mouse), dragging to the bottom of the screen to close them is necessary.

Shutdown has been added back into the right click of start menu button but right clicking anything on the Start screen basically leads to nothing but customize/resize/uninstall menu

Multi-monitor is not that fluid but it does support mixed resolutions.

I'm not sure if the on-screen keyboard that you click to popup is new, but that comes in handy on a touchscreen , but provides zero benefits over a real keyboard.

"Snap" is quite useful but I don't see it as revolutionary having used Linux for a while.

The "charms" bar can now be turned off. It isn't very intrusive unless you like to hover at the edge of the right hand side often.

Lock screen should ask for password/fingerprint right away.

Metro UI apps can run in windowed mode but they still exist on a separate "plane" / "surface" than the regular "classic" desktop. It feels as those they are in a Virutal Machine (actually worse than XP mode), which makes it less seamless.

Useful features
* The Alarms app
* Finance , News, and Weather app are useful as far as Live Tiles go.
* The new task manager
* The new graph when you copy files
* ability to check everything on the folder when copying just by checking the title bar section

Glaring oversights
* Expecting people to just get used to a childish looking start screen with pastel tiles
* Charging people in excess for $100 for the Pro version
* Asking for a Microsoft/Live account by default instead of a Local account
* no POP mail in "Mail" , wow.
* Smart Search and File explorer Search seem bifurcated , Smart Search is probably a privacy invasion (see http://blog.laptopmag.com/windows-81-search-index)
* Windows lock screen adds an extra step to be smartphone like
* Windows error reporting is still purportedly a backdoor for exploits since it profiles your system
* USB drives disconnect randomly if you don't change power settings (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usbcoreblog/archive/2013/11/01/help-after-installing-windows-8-1-my-usb-drive-disappears-or-file-transfers-stop-unexpectedly-r-a-post-title.aspx)

Features that should be part of this paid Operating System that people need to buy 3rd party utilities for
* Log off, lock and turn off buttons (on anything but a Windows RT tablet/convertible/etc this ought to be there)
* Right click explorer integration for additional options for metro tiles (i.e. Run as admin)

Other

3d printing support has been increased as well.

Windows 8 brings privacy concerns to the fore with the linking of user accounts and such: I advise using a "Local" account instead of a Microsoft LIVE or Bing account. For example, Skydrive is a big thing in 8.1 and Bing search is automatically used when you search (and it analyzes your habits). Skype is a built in app.

You'd think Windows 8 should be incredibly easy but it really isn't plug and play. I tested both a multifunction printer and a fax machine and both needed drivers.

Best recommendations
Install Start8 (runs as a service = more resources)/ "Start is Back" /Classic Shell/ RetroUI. Pokki is supposedly installed on all Lenovo PCs.

Install ModernMix if you're really not used to Metro apps.
Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - Full Version
Description:

Windows 8.1 Pro – Full Version Built for Business With the new Windows, you get the best of work and play. Windows 8.1 Pro includes everything in Windows 8.1, plus enhanced features that help you easily connect to company networks, manage your devices, access one PC from another, encrypt your data, and more. Get to it all from the new Start screen, even your familiar desktop Discover popular and unique apps in the Windows Store Personalize with more tile sizes, colors, & backgrounds Do more with side by side views of apps and sites Access photos & files virtually anywhere with SkyDrive built-in Search, browse, and share more securely and quickly Protect your data by encrypting it with BitLocker Access one PC from another with Remote Desktop Connect to your company network with domain join What’s new with Windows 8.1 Pro Outlook Email and Multitask view larger Store view larger Video Editing view larger Photo App view larger OneNote and Familiar Desktop view larger Search view larger It Plays as Hard as it Works Windows 8.1 gives you the power to quickly browse, watch movies, play games, polish your resume, and pull together a killer presentation — all on a single PC. Now you can organize up to three apps on your screen at once in a single view. The Start Screen Personalize your Start screen with your favorite news, friends, social networks, and apps. Customizable colors and backgrounds and four different sizes of tiles make your device as unique as you are. The Apps you Want In addition to great built-in apps for email, people, photos and video editing – you can also download thousands of popular apps from the Windows Store, including Netflix, ESPN, Skype and Halo: Spartan Assault. Security Stay up to date and more secure with Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, and Windows Update. Speed Windows 8.1 starts up faster, switches between apps faster, and uses power more efficiently than previous versions of Windows, including Windows 7. Your Familiar Desktop From the Start screen, you are just a click away from the familiar Windows desktop you know so you can do the stuff you’ve always done. Multitasking Made Easy It’s easy to do more at once. Snap multiple apps side by side in a single view for easy multitasking. Mouse, Keyboard—and now Touch Windows 8.1 works harmoniously with various types of devices, including touch, mouse-and-keyboard, or both. Whatever kind of device you have, you'll discover fast and fluid ways to switch between apps, move things around, and go smoothly from one place to another. Your files, Everywhere Stay connected to your photos and important files and access them on your phone, tablet or PC with SkyDrive. By signing in with your Microsoft account to any of your PCs running Windows 8.1 and you'll immediately see your own background, display preferences, and settings. You Keep all your Files If your PC is running Windows 7, your files, apps and settings will easily transfer to Windows 8.1 Pro. You Keep Familiar Programs Programs that run on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8.1 Pro. Your Office. Your Way. Experience Office at its best on Windows 8 devices. Discover new and better ways to create, edit, and browse—using a keyboard, pen, or touchscreen. Don't forget: Office is not part of Windows 8. Some features require Windows 8.1. Update available through Windows store for Windows 8 users. Internet access required; fees may apply. Don’t forget, Office isn’t included in Windows 8. The New Windows Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 Pro Pro Pack Your PC is currently running: Windows 7, Windows 8 Windows 7, Windows 8 Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Great Apps built in such as Mail, Calendar, Messaging, Photos, and SkyDrive with many more available at Windows Store. ✔ ✔ ✔ Includes Internet Explorer 11 for fast, intuitive, touch-friendly browsing. ✔ ✔ ✔ Keeps you up-to-date and more secure with Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, and Windows Update. ✔ ✔ ✔ Works with new and existing Windows desktop software including the full Microsoft Office experience (Outlook, SharePoint Designer and more).* ✔ ✔ ✔ Comes with Windows Media Player ✔ ✔ ✔ Provides enhanced data protection using BitLocker technology to help keep your information secure.** ✔ ✔ Enables you to connect to your PC when you’re on the go with Remote Desktop Connection. ✔ ✔ Connects to you corporate or school network with Domain Join. ✔ ✔ Watch and record live TV with Windows Media Center.*** ✔ System requirements 1 GHz processor or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 2 GB RAM 20 GB available hard disk space 1366 x 768 screen resolution DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver To use touch, you need a PC that supports multitouch Internet access (fees may apply) Microsoft account required for some features Watching DVDs requires separate playback software Windows Media Center license sold separately * Refers to programs built for mouse and keyboard that run in the classic Windows desktop environment. ** Data is protected on Windows 8 PCs and removable drives using BitLocker and BitLocker to Go. *** Requires a TV tuner.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingSoftware
BrandMicrosoft
EAN0885370633344
FeatureRecommended version for upgrading Windows 7 or a full install of Windows 8.1. Running Windows 8? Windows 8.1 is available as a free update from Microsoft Get to it all from the new Start screen, even your familiar desktop Personalize with more tile sizes, colors, & backgrounds. Do more with side by side views of apps and sites Access photos & files virtually anywhere with SkyDrive built-in Protect your data by encrypting it with BitLocker & Access one PC from another with Remote Desktop
FormatDVD-ROM
LabelMicrosoft Software
ManufacturerMicrosoft Software
ModelFQC-06913
MPNFQC-06913
PlatformWindows 8
PublisherMicrosoft Software
StudioMicrosoft Software
TitleMicrosoft Windows 8.1 Pro - Full Version
UPC885370633344
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElementFQC-06913
Item Height5.79 inches
Item Length0.79 inches
Item Width5.79 inches
NumberOfItems1
Package Height0.9 inches
Package Length5.8 inches
Package Weight0.3 pounds
Package Width5.8 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberFQC-06913
ProductGroupSoftware
ProductTypeNameSOFTWARE
UPCList - UPCListElement885370633344
Item Weight0.21 pounds
HardwarePlatformPc
OperatingSystemWindows 8
ReleaseDate2013-10-18
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Overclock.net › Components › Software & Video Games › Operating Systems › Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - Full Version