Windows 8.1 First Impressions

I upgraded to Windows 8.1 and I thought I’d let you know the results. In short I’m not impressed. They added some customization options, and made it so that you can use metro apps side by side. IE11 is a bit strange. WebGL support is nice, but (be ready to be shocked) buggy. In a few applications the screen flashed in a way that could cause some users to have seizures.

Here’s a quote that I liked about their new start button functionality from an article on the upgrade, “It’s like a passive-aggressive genie granted you a wish by delivering the literal thing you asked for, not what you intended to get.” I think that may sum up the whole upgrade fairly well.

They also decided that Windows 8 didn’t have enough problems, and it would be a good idea to add a few more. During the post-install configuration they wanted me to enter a security code which they sent to my e-mail address (for some people it’s sent to their phone as a text message) in order to confirm my identity. The problem is they won’t let you check your e-mail (or do anything else) until you enter the code. Luckily they added a skip button, which bypasses the whole process and doesn’t let you go back to enter the code once you have it, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a point to the security code in the first place. The next terrible feature that they added is a watermark on your desktop that says,

Windows 8.1 Pro
SecureBoot Isn’t Configured Correctly
Build 9600

if you disable SecureBoot so that you can run unsigned drivers. Here’s a quote from another article that I found while looking into the issue, “In addition, the company explained that in case you turned off Secure Boot manually and added your own drivers, the only way to fix the problem is a PC reset and only then enable the feature once again.” So, I may hack it, but I’m not going to fix it. Overall, with the exception of webGL they improved the features that I don’t use, and made the rest worse.

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