Microsoft Windows 8.1

Verge Review

A year ago, Microsoft "reimagined" the look and feel of Windows, and placed a risky bet on the future of computing. Touch is everything, it said, and nearly everything about Windows 8 was designed to be used in a world without laptops and desktop PCs. But most people still use laptops and desktops, so Microsoft hedged its bets and built a desktop mode as well. Millions of people installed Windows 8, but Microsoft’s two worlds, each with different applications, created a steep learning curve...

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Basic Specs

Software type Operating system
Distribution Retail, Online

Tech Specs

Release

Software type Operating system
Distribution Retail, Online
7.8

Average User Review

of 9 total reviews
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  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9
  • Ecosystem 7

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  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by benjamin.hon.0210 (Currently owns)

    Windows 8.1 have much nicer features than Windows 8, but the shutdown procedure is a bit more troublesome...although it act as a "fail-safe" for touch screen users so that they do not accidentally shut their pc down. Microsoft should try to program Microsoft Office 2013 in such a way that it supports the Metro-theme of Windows 8.1

    The Breakdown

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  • 3.0
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    Reviewed by Itzik Shmaayahoo (Currently owns)

    Nearly any task takes many more clicks than Windows 7 , iOS or Android.
    The inventory of the Windows Store is ridiculously small - even for Microsoft apps. One has to use Desktop apps for nearly anything.
    The Modern mode does not support floating Windows for multitasking.
    The desktop mode is a limited version of the Win XP/7 Desktop
    The amount of bugs is overwhelming

    The Breakdown

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    • Performance 4
    • Ecosystem 2
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by Succe Ssful (Currently owns)

    The main important things I love about Windows 8.1 are
    1- The new Windows store design.
    2- New customizations on the live tiles.
    3- The small arrow to reach all app menu.
    4- The improvement in multitasking.
    5- Start button back with its click right choices.
    6- The new smart (hero) search.
    and a lot of other stuff that are various and countless.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Features 9
    • Performance 9
    • Ecosystem 8
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  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by meshal 14 (Currently owns)

    I love everything on windows 8.1. fast, smart and easy to use.

    the main important things I love about Windows 8.1 are
    1- The new Windows store design.
    2- New customizations on the live tiles.
    3- The small arrow to reach all app menu.
    4- The improvement in multitasking.
    5- Start button back with its click right choices.
    6- The new smart (hero) search.
    and a lot of other stuff that are various and countless.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Features 10
    • Performance 10
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by alexhyman (Currently owns)

    Works really well, 8.1 is great over all. As feature rich as Windows has ever been. Performance is great. The ability to run whatever apps I want is great. Ecosystem is only lacking in the mobile game department (and lacking it is). I have 8.1 on my desktop (where I never miss any apps) and also on a tablet (where I wish that there were more free games). If I could give half points, I totally would. Ecosystem would be a 9.5. Don't think it's quite at a 10 yet (especially on the Metro side) but having a desktop browser largely takes care of all of that (though not always on a tablet). Gestures are awesome, so is snapping. And sharing. All of the built in apps have been majorly improved. I actually use Music every now and then, and Reading List is awesome (only wish that I could use it on the desktop....). All in all, great. Not 100% perfect, would rate at a 9.5/10, but that rounds up to a 10 I guess.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Features 10
    • Performance 10
    • Ecosystem 9
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by microsoftmissionary (Currently owns)

    Hmm... Well Windows 8.1 has been a wonderful upgrade experience. Within 1 and a half hours I went from 8.0 to 8.1 with all of my apps, files, and settings installed all in their proper places without doing anything. With a few clicks I made the Start screen worthwhile so I could see the weather, calendar, news, earthquakes, and stocks when I first logged on. The new experience is filled with subtle touches. These subtle touches for me merge the desktop with the modern UI providing a cohesive experience I really enjoy using.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Features 8
    • Performance 8
    • Ecosystem 9
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by lpwalsh (Currently owns)

    The Return of the Start Button and Oh So Much More:
    With Windows 8, Microsoft brought to desktop and laptop PCs everywhere an OS designed for tablets and far from the likes of Windows 7. With usage at less than 10% among PC users and falling farther and farther behind in the tablet market, Windows 8 was in dire need of a major update, and then comes along Windows 8.1. While Windows 8.1 retains the metro design language and only brings half of the start button back, Windows 8.1 is a major and welcome update to Windows 8. Windows 8.1 brings more than just the start button back to Windows but introduces Bing Smart Search, a beautiful universal search that works right inside the search charm, a greater variety of live tile sizes and greater SkyDrive integration, moving Microsoft one step closer to full integration. With Windows 8.1’s SkyDrive sync, you can back up your settings, start screen, documents and pictures automatically allowing you to log on to a Windows 8.1 PC anywhere and having your start screen, settings, documents and pictures right there. Microsoft has also brought tab sync to Internet Explorer 11, a long awaited feature that allows you to sync your tabs across multiple computers and soon Windows Phones (coming in an update in the near future). If you are working on a desktop or laptop, a nice feature Microsoft has added is the feature to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing the Start screen. This is only half the answer to those who dislike the metro start screen because once you click the start button you end up right back at the metro start screen, a feature that will annoy some but helps Microsoft get the point out that the Start screen is the new start menu, with all the same features and much more. Along with Windows 8.1 comes welcome updates to the baked-in Xbox Music, Xbox Videos, Mail, and Store apps. The Windows Store now has well over 100,000 apps and growing every day. While 100,000 may seem tiny compared to the 900,000 apps available on IOS, it is still greater than the amount available in the Mac marketplace and does not count the millions of desktop applications available for download just like every other previous version of Windows. Windows 8.1 is fast with even faster start-up times and will be even faster if running on Intel 4th-generation processors. While many may disagree, the Windows OS is better than ever. If you are upgrading from Windows 7 or XP, yes there will be a learning curve, but after playing around with it for a few minutes you will get the hang of it and be amazed by the OS Microsoft has put together.

    The Breakdown

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    • Features 9
    • Performance 8
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by jlnprssnr (Currently owns)

    Okay, so I wasn't expecting much with the free 8.1 update, I knew that there were new live tile sizes that are indeed very handy and the much talked about return of the start button (Which I hadn't missed). But there are so many great things about 8.1, like setting your desktop background as the start screen's background, the SkyDrive-integration that automatically syncs the files you need instead of your whole data and so many more details that all add to a nice workflow. I couldn't live without them now!

    Score breakdown:
    Design: All around very pleasing, only small annoyances like the old desktop icons for explorer etc.
    Features: Nice build-in features like ISO-mount & -burn, SkyDrive-sync, metro share-dialogue. 9 because there could always be more features.
    Performance: Really snappy, same as Windows 8. Only 9, because I want OS X Mavericks-like battery life improvements, c'mon MSFT!
    Ecosystem: There is pretty much everything for Windows, at least as a legacy app, but even the metro-apps gather speed. The only thing I miss on Windows are workflow tools like BetterTouchTool.

    The Breakdown

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    • Features 9
    • Performance 9
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  • 1.0
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    Reviewed by jay wacked (Currently owns)

    This is a review of Microsoft ideology and self destructive focus on backwards thinking and self importance. There's this new world of CSS3 and HTML5 that they supposedly helped develop and signed off on. Instead, they've taken the Republican Tea Party approach - delay, disrupt, and pretend like they're the most important. Everyone should refuse all Microsoft products until they can do as they agreed to. The amazing world of CSSand HTML5 are leaving this 'has been' behind...saying no to nth childs programming is just like their childish stand on blinking text. If people want to do amazing things with accepted javascript practices and these new tools - or make their freakin text blink - who the heck do you think you are to stop them? The internet Nazis? Get over yourself Microsoft and catch up or throw your half-working IE in the trash where bad thinking belongs...their just nth childs you idiots...

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 1
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    • Ecosystem 1
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