About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

March 4, 2014

Let the Party Begin!

~ Or…Windows 8.1, Part 1 ~

Since the beginning of the now infamous Windows 8 in the last quarter of 2012, I have pooh-poohed the notion of ever installing it on any of my computers.  Well, I have fought the good fight and have now succumbed.

I did test W8 several times throughout its premiere period and never really found it to be user friendly.  Even more than that, since the interface significantly changed from Windows 7, you would have no idea how to do some of the more simple things in the operating system.

image I will now make it known to the world that I have installed Windows 8.1 on my Dell notebook.  I have been using it for about 90 days.  I will tell you that there are some things I really appreciate about the new OS, though they are small in number.  Furthermore, there are some things that are in the, “You have got to be kidding me category.”  Other than the few in each of those categories, once you make a few changes and adjustments it works like W7 but is much quicker.

It was recently reported that Microsoft may be offering a free version of W8 to current W7 users just to get people using this “not well received” OS to upgrade.  That is not official but it has been floating around the internet for a little while now.

I would advise most users that upgrading to Windows 8.1 is OK, W8…well not a great idea.  That is because I feel that the large majority of people would not like the original release due to difficulty in the learning curve.  Windows 8.1 is just simpler to use…if you make a few easy edits.

Keep in mind that this is my opinion and I am sure that there are many 8 lovers out there who would disagree.

Let me guide you through a few changes to make the 8.1 experience better than, the “out-of-the-box” version.  First, I suggest again, that you only use W8.1 and not 8.  Next, I suggest that you skip the screen which I call the W8 screen.  In actuality the screen that it boots to is the new W8 start menu.  To me it is a total waste of CPU and screen space since the old start button menu system worked well for all users.

image Go to Control Panel and choose, “Appearance and Personalization” or “Personalization” which depends on where you are and how it is set up.  At the bottom-left corner click “Taskbar and Navigation.”  Click the Navigation tab at the top and look about halfway down the window and put a check mark in “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start.”  Finally, click Apply (not required but a good habit to start) and OK.  You will no longer see the W8.1 start screen unless you accidentally get there or hover over the “Charms Bar” and click “Start.”

This is not nearly all you need to know but there will be more to follow.

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