Windows 8.1... How many more chances can I give it?!
"Everything you'll love...and More!"..... Bullshit.
If you have just a small granule of tech knowledge you would know by now that Microsoft XP, possibly the greatest operating system is now finally dead. Microsoft has decided to put it out of its 13 year old misery and focus on the future...Windows 8.1.
Since appearing in late 2012 as Windows 8, it launched and quickly developed some widespread anger from many people and for many reasons.
A few quips about Windows 8 was its entire new design, a formally named Metro screen showing updates and apps on start-up, an interface designed for touch screens not desktops and a missing start button.
For me the interface didn't bother me. I like booting up into the metro interface. I like seeing the news and sport apps telling me updates that has happened in the world. I like the notifications when a new email has landed into my inbox, I like the interface showing me what apps (formally called programs) I have on my pc and I can arrange them how I like. I do quite like it.
I can even be brave and say that I did not miss the start button. Now that 8.1 has it back (in a way) I still don't really miss the one of old as it is just as easy and probably just as quick to find programs I want on 8.1.
That has addressed what I think of some of the main cliques of Windows 8.1
Other problems which are brought up by non-lovers of Windows 8 is it is too dumbed down. Simplicity has somehow ruled out things that you would use to change things around your pc.
Forget going into folders and menus, you can do it all under metro PC Settings page in Windows 8, taking all the stress away from the people who don't know what the hell to do. This has many drawbacks as I will describe a bit later.
So what is up with the title of this blog. By what you have read it doesn't seem like I have that much of a problem with it.....
But by fuck I do!!!!
My whole rant starts when I bought a laptop right here in Thailand. I previously had Windows 8 on a PC back in the UK and it didn't really pose much of a problem. I only had experience with it for a month or so I didn't get to know "it" yet.
I bought the laptop in Thailand where I could comfortably assume that Windows 8 came in the English language. I read on a Microsoft website that one of the "Greatest feature is the ability to buy a new laptop in a foreign country and change language to your liking"... or something to that degree. I soon find out that this is a half-truth.
I bought a laptop which contained Windows 8 Single Language edition. Instead being able to install Windows 8 with many languages you only could have 1. And I use the word "have" because you could not "choose" which language you want.
So, I was lumped with Windows 8 in Thai. Everything. Loading screens, windows interfaces, pre boot screens all absolutely useless to me.
After doing a bit of research I find out that I needed Windows 8 PRO to change my language. To get Pro I needed to shell out nearly £100. Yes, a 100 fucking quid just to change Windows to my language. After spending nearly £600 on a laptop I was overjoyed at paying even more out just to change a small seemingly insignificant problem.
Reluctantly but necessary I paid up. I have Windows 8 PRO now. "Whoooopie" - Add sarcastic tone.
Even changing the language still poses problems.
It appears that not EVERYTHING has converted to English. There are several apps on the metro screen that are still in Thai and when I try to enter Pre-boot menus, they are all still in Thai. I mean what the FUCK!?
To add to my frustration the Windows 8 that came pre-installed is an OEM version. So when I updated Windows 8 OEM to Windows 8 PRO I now have two licenses. One for the OEM and one for the PRO. So even though I have two legitimate license keys I am FORBIDDEN, yes FORBIDDEN to use these keys for an installation. If heaven forbids that something happens to my hard-drive then I am screwed. I am not allowed to use any of my keys to re-install Windows 8 on a new Hard-drive.
According to Windows policy I can only use the OEM and any sort of recovery discs from the manufacturer of my laptop, which could take many months to get, if it actually does or buy a Windows 8 installation medium. Which would cost the full price of Windows 8.
HOW THE FUCK IS THAT MORE EASY?!
With the inclusion of Windows 8.1 in the mix it gets even more complicated as I would not be able to install Windows directly into 8.1 but I would have to install 8, upgrade again to Pro and then install 8.1.
WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND THOUGHT OF THIS?!
I have been with Windows 8 for six months now and I can say that it is starting to "poke" me with its annoying pointy finger a little too often and in my more sensitive areas. (strange metaphor).
One aspect of Windows 8.1 which "grinds my gears" is that you can never tell what the problem is when something occurs. Little problems that are usually so quick to sort out in previous O.S's but not in this.
This is probably one of the reasons why I think it a really bad idea to try and over-simplify something as I stated earlier.
If something goes wrong or changes, it is difficult if not impossible to find the source of the problem. I will use an example of an occurrence I experienced this week.
Somehow the lock screen would not appear. I use the lock screen as a screen saver as I think it is quite pretty in its presentation. But somehow on this occasion it wouldn't come up. It would just blank my screen, i don't want that. So try and see where the problem is.
I remember when setting up Windows 8 that there was a setting allowing me to change duration of the lock screen, when I wanted it activated and for how long. But in 8.1 it vanished. WHY?! A simple button, gone. For what reason? A quest for a workaround drove me loopy for 4 days. I was going through PC Settings, no good. Power settings, no good. Trying to find a workaround, no good. I thought "fuck it, I can live without it". Suddenly 2 days after me saying this, it started working again. HOW?! WHY?! I changed nothing to get rid of it and I changed nothing (that was working) to fix it. But it just starting working as normal again. NO EXPLANATION!
So today I boot into 8.1 and notice that there are 9 updates in the App store. I open the App store app and my laptop hard crashes. Does not respond. I re-boot and enter the app store again. This time it crashes with a blue screen. Error message "Page fault in non paged area".
Rebooting doesn't work, I cannot boot and I cannot access features due to my version of Windows. WHAT?!
I was going to toss my laptop against the wall when I realised I needed to go to work.
Upon coming back I booted into Safemode and just restarted from there. It worked. Even though I am happy my question is WHY did it work?
All this started by opening a Windows app.... sigh.
Like usual Windows 8 would develop a fault and would be unfixable for a certain amount of time and then suddenly it works again.
BANG HEAD ON THE WALL.
I am going to leave it there for the mean-time, I am sorry if this post looks very rant filled and that it contains maybe a bit too much tech-speak, but I am going to give Windows 8.1 one last chance. The last chance before I climb aboard that massive ship of people who hate this Operating system. It destroys productivity on the users side and it destroys reputations of quality and reliability on Microsoft's side.
I am not a supreme power user who meddles with a system registry, I am careful what I use and have minimal amount of programs that clog my laptop up. So why does things screw up like they do? I want an operating system that just works and not allow me be filled with trepidation on EVERY windows update or driver update.
I just hope nothing more goes wrong with this and I pray that Microsoft will create the new Windows 9 that will make this a much better use of my time, patience and of course money.