I installed Windows 8.1 last week to see how bad it really is.
Well, it’s more stable than Windows Me, but Windows Me was a lot nicer to use. It’s awful. Because I listen to podcasts, I know that there’s magic in hovering your mouse over the upper right hand screen. And somehow I was able to get to a desktop pretty quickly. The first thing I did was launch Internet Explorer and install Classic Shell, which, as promised, makes it a dead ringer for Windows 7 or XP or even 2000 if you want. Much better.
What else?Trust me, I wanted to like Windows 8.1 because the security is so much better. But loading it took forever, it popped demeaning messages on the screen–there aren’t many computer novices left these days, but Microsoft didn’t get the memo–and once it did load, the driver support wasn’t there. I loaded it on a machine that’s around 3-4 years old. Windows 7 loads on it perfectly and supports all of the hardware 100% out of the box. But Windows 8.1 doesn’t. Why? There’s no good reason for that.
So the second thing I had to do after loading Classic Shell was hunt for drivers. Of course this is usually fairly typical, but it’s disconcerting to have to do it on mature hardware that predates the current version of Windows.
Once I did that, it’s not too bad. But, having spent a few minutes with Windows 8.1, I see why nobody is buying PCs right now.
On the plus side, antivirus software is built in, which is nice. There are lots of security changes under the hood too. But I sure wouldn’t want to run it unmodified and try to do anything with it.