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Deprecated - Microsoft Windows 8 Operating System Forum

Windows 8.1 now available!

 2:03 pm on Oct 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/10/17/windows-8-1-now-available.aspx [blogs.windows.com]

Windows 8.1 now available!

If you are a consumer with a Windows 8 device, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store*. Please visit Windows.com for everything you need to know including how to get the update for your Windows 8 device. If you are a consumer [windows.com] on a device running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or the Windows 8.1 Preview this page on Windows.com [windows.com] will detect your OS and provide you with all the information you need in order to get Windows 8.1 on your device. I also highly recommend reading our FAQ [windows.microsoft.com] which answers many of the most common questions about getting Windows 8.1.

Starting tomorrow October 18th, Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as packaged DVD product at retail locations around the world. You can also click here to learn about the wide variety of new Windows devices available now and coming throughout the holiday season to find the one that best fits their needs, and their budget.



 5:32 pm on Oct 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Downloading it now.

If you hear a loud scream you'll know something went wrong.


 7:13 pm on Oct 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I installed it few hours back. And I find many issues with it especially with drivers (I used fully preinstalled windows 8 compatible laptop just 3 month old)

Deltron Zero

 8:38 pm on Oct 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been using the preview for a while with no issues at all.


 7:48 am on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just put it on my workstation and have been running it for a few hours. No glitches for me so far.

It took a bit longer to install than I thought it would, but all my software and settings from Windows 8 were still there. Apparently some of the Metro Apps get lost, but I never used them, so I haven't missed anything there.

Deltron Zero

 3:55 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Actually, the 8.1 update isn't available for me in the store since I have the preview. I'm guessing people with the preview version will just get it through Windows Update.


 4:55 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

It updated, it went off without a hitch.

Nothing to report so far.


 2:09 am on Oct 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Actually, the 8.1 update isn't available for me in the store since I have the preview.

Here are Microsoft's instructions for updating from the Preview version [windows.microsoft.com].


 3:16 am on Oct 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Heh. I was just reading a post from someone on an unrelated forum. They were so worried about what would happen if they ever had to buy a new computer with Windows 8 pre-installed that they went out, paid for and registered the retail version of 7. That way they really own it and can legitimately install it on any future machine.

If I understand the description right, 8 has gone so fearfully retro that you can't have side-by-side windows open in different applications unless you do some third-party jiggery-pokery. Can this possibly be true?


 11:59 pm on Oct 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Im waiting at least a month before even thinking about this, a few customers have already asked but putting them off until the first test is done


 1:49 am on Oct 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

If I understand the description right, 8 has gone so fearfully retro that you can't have side-by-side windows open in different applications unless you do some third-party jiggery-pokery. Can this possibly be true?

The desktop in Windows 8/8.1 works just the same as previous versions. You can have multiple desktop apps running in multiple windows in any configuration you want.

In the Metro interface, which is touch-centric, and probably best suited for tablets, there are some changes in 8.1. You can now run two or more of the Metro apps alongside each other, so long as your screen resolution supports it. And you can more precisely control their sizes.

The somewhat confusing part to explain is that you can run these Metro apps along with your desktop. You can split your screen and have a persistent app, like weather, news or stock-ticker, and the rest of your window could be your normal desktop.

In Windows 8 you were limited to 2 Metro apps that could run like this, and you couldn't control how much screen real estate they took up. Windows 8.1 lets you run multiple Metro apps like this, and you can control the amount of space they take up.

Clear as mud, right? ;)


 6:51 am on Oct 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Updated without issue. Nothing new for me, but then I really don't utilize any of the apps.


 9:50 am on Oct 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I found many issues with this and have since rolled back to 8.0.

Fake Start
First thing - There is no start button. It is a myth. Yes there is a window icon in the bottom right but that either returns you to the tiles page, or allows you to right click and choose things like control panel. For that reason it is not a start button.

Lost Programs
The 8.1 process seemed to uninstall / reinstall apps. I lost avast on the upgrade - it had totally gone. Had to reinstall it manually.

Dodgy Network
Intermittent network problems happened after that. Browser pages would load and then not load, ftp scripts would work and then time out ... I did not know if this was Avast network shield or not but it was very intermittent.

Some suggested that the 8.1 upgrade installed basic drivers for the mobo / NIC, GFX and that you have to go and seek out the latest drivers. I do not know if that was the case.

DOS Slower
I use the DOS box the most on that device. When I first clicked on the icon 8.1 said something like "oh, you use that do you. I need to install NTVDM". Ok, it installed it and all looked fine.

But it is much slower!

Processes that took 5 minutes now take 7 minutes.

It was then that I had enough and rolled it back to 8.0. It was just too much hassle. And there isn't even a start button.


 6:33 pm on Oct 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Frank_Rizzo I think there's something wrong with your installtion big time because I've never heard of Win 8 asking to install NTVDM, it's part of the common install if I'm not mistaken because the "CMD" prompt is always installed. I would download 8.1 from scratch and start over because either you didn't get the whole install or it didn't install right but what you describe is off the deep end compared to my experience.

Also, when you say you had lost programs, Win 8.1 went through a long process updating all the apps once it's installed and everything I had installed, which was all the default apps mostly, came back as-is. Did you lost some default apps?

I think you have some issue like maybe MS Defender interfering somehow as I'm using Norton A/V and Deferender is off, which solves many other problems as it's a pain, and I noted you're using Avast which I've used in the past but no clue what it would do in Win 8.


 5:13 am on Oct 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fake Start

The Start button certainly is there. It does bring you to the Start screen. You were mistaken if you thought Microsoft was bringing back the Start Menu. That's not coming back, nor was it promised.

You can change the behavior of the Start button in the Taskbar and Navigation properties dialog. Instead of the Start screen you can have it go to the Apps view, which is just a list of all your programs.


 8:00 am on Oct 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

IncrediBILL I downloaded whatever Microsoft said I needed. I went to the Windows 8 page, a message said I could upgrade my existing Windows 8.0 Pro (32 bit ..... ) to Windows 8.1.

That went smoothly but I can assure you it gave a message that NTVDM needed to be installed the first time I clicked on the DOS icon. And the DOS apps I ran in that box were indeed slower now compared 8.0

Start Button
Google for 'windows 8.1 start button' and you will see a lot of people and technical resources stating that 8.1 would 'return the start button'.

The button that is there now is not a start button. It is a quick link to the apps / tiles, and now it is also a right click options button, which allows you to access control panel, run command and shutdown / restart.

Classic Start Button
This is the feature that I believe is most complained about with 8. People want that small button in the bottom left to open up their list of programs, documents, printers etc. This is a list of words or icons. What they get now is a screen full of tiles.

I don't use many programs. My desktop screen has 6 icons of the things I use the most each day. I use the icon bar to acces a couple more regular apps. Then every few days I need to access a graphics package, or a backup program.

So how do I find these non regular apps? I have to 'click the switch me to apps icon' then I am presented with hundreds of stuff I will never click on.

The backup program icon is there somewhere but also is the uninstall icon, the readme file, a few assoiated exe's for the app, which should not be clicked, tiles for updating the app. I just want to run the freakin' backup program!

OK, I can find the app, pin it to the icon bar or the desktop. I can also spend a couple of hours going through the tiles and removing them from the list.

But then what if someone else wants to find a game, or a camera app?

There are two camps here. People who think progress is inevitable and us app / layout luddites should deal with it. Then there are others who saw no problem with the old classic start button. It did what WE want it to do. Now we have to do what THEY want us to do.


Other niggles with 8.1 compared to 8.0

I right click and save notepad a lot. With 8.0 the save location was remembered. So if I save to D:\MyData\sometexfiles, shut the device down, start again the next day it would remember I save to D;\MyData so I don't have to re type that.

But now with 8.1 it reverts back to what I believe is a cache directory. Now everytime I want to save I have to type D:\MyData ...

Yes I could probably spend 20 minutes searching google for the solution. But why should I? Why can't it just do what it has always done? Why is an upgrade such an inconvenience?


 8:07 am on Oct 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have problem with intel centrino 6300 wireless card. They just not working in N mode in windows 8.1


 5:49 am on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Start Button != Start Menu
The Start Button on Windows 8.1 does bring you to essentially the same content you would have in the old Start Menu, but it's just in a different format.

If that doesn't work for you then there are a bunch of 3rd party add-ons that will restore the old Start Menu. I've heard good things about Classic Shell, which lets you choose between Windows XP or Windows 7 style menus. There are many more apps out there that give you a Start Menu, and a lot of them are free.

However, you're really missing the boat if you're still relying on your mouse and that Start button to get to your programs. The fastest way to get to your programs is to hit the Windows key and start typing the name of the program you're looking for. Normally a letter or 2 is all you need before Windows comes up with the correct program. You never need to take your hands off the keyboard.


 9:07 am on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Bill I think you are missing the point!

Windows 8 dropped the start menu. Windows 8.1 promised to restore the classic start menu. Tech sites reported this.

But it didn't happen. That's the point.

Yes I can use third party tools. Yes I can adapt. But it was a pointless change to make desktop more like mobile phones.


One other thing I remember. I could not install the 8.1 update without having to put in an email address. There was no official way to proceded unless you connect to a microsoft account.

I was trying to install this on a PC that does not require any email or cloud facilities. In the end I had to use a false / nonsense account to break out of that.

This is another example of the technology controlling the way users have to do things rather than users controlling the technology.


 5:25 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Windows 8 dropped the start menu.

Old news.

They haven't changed their mind apparently despite user backlash which means MS obviously doesn't care what the consumer thinks.

Vote with your wallet.

This is another example of the technology controlling the way users have to do things rather than users controlling the technology.

Sorry, Microsoft owns the technology, not the consumer and the vast majority of consumers just need an internet access box they turn on the send email and browse the web. I've been programming Windows since Win 286 and Windows was always more developer/tinkerer oriented than the Mac up through XP but Vista/Win 7 changed all that and Win 8 started closing the doors on being tinker friendly.

Both Windows and Mac are an appliance OS, not a developers OS. Not quite as much of an appliance OS as Android, but that's the direction they're quickly heading.

If you want a real computer built for tinkerers, then you need Linux.

Much to my surprise my new job doesn't come with a Windows desktop machine, it's Linux, everybody uses Linux.

Windows used to be the dominant OS and not so anymore as I've got more Linux computers, as I do qualify my phone and tablet as computers, as they're both programmable and I've programmed them both. While you might argue the average person doesn't program their phone and tablet, I'll quickly counter they don't program their PCs either.

We're not the average user.

Before long I'll hazard a guess that the off-the-shelf PC from HP, Dell, etc. won't even allow the owner to be admin. You'll still be able to install software just like you can install apps on a phone but the average joe won't be able to do things that will allow them to screw up the computer, and based on what my mom and inlaws do to their computers, that will be a welcome change. You'll have to call the manufacturer to get the admin/root password or, just like our phones, you'll have to root the computer.

That's where it's headed so the lack of the start button will be the least of your problems unless you jump ship to Linux.


 7:40 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's where it's headed so the lack of the start button will be the least of your problems unless you jump ship to Linux.

With cheap and easy virtualization, I expect that rather soon most power users will be running multiple OSes. This is actually one of the best arguments for having a Mac - it's the only OS that you can't legally acquire without buying the whole machine. So if you buy a Mac, you can virtualize multiple versions of Win and *nix.


 12:07 pm on Oct 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Before long I'll hazard a guess that the off-the-shelf PC from HP, Dell, etc. won't even allow the owner to be admin.

Aren't they already there with Chrome OS? That's 100% controlled by Google. No hacking allowed.

Bill I think you are missing the point!
Maybe I followed the tech press too well on this issue. If you thought the old Start Menu was coming back in 8.1 then you read something into the reports that was never "promised" by Microsoft, nor did it exist in any of the betas leading up to the RTM...which has been out for some time now.

I'm not surprised that many thought, "we're getting the old Windows 7 Start Menu back!" when Microsoft said the Start Button was returning. It took me a while to grock the difference as well.


 4:06 am on Oct 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are add-ons to get the start menu back, but I can't believe people want it. I started using Launchy back on XP and I have pretty much not used the Start Menu since. If you have a lot of programs, the Start Menu pretty much sucks IMO.


 8:00 pm on Oct 31, 2013 (gmt 0)


Any problem when upgrading from 8.1 beto to definitive 8.1 ?


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