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Microsoft's Windows 8.1 update fails to deliver

Microsoft’s stab at pacifying users has back-fired, as it readies Windows 8.1, which will be available at its Build developer conference next month

Microsoft’s stab at pacifying users has back-fired, as it readies Windows 8.1, which will be available at its Build developer conference next month.

In a blog post, Microsoft senior vice-president, Antoine Leblond wrote: “We’ve improved the way you navigate to Start with the mouse by changing the Start 'tip' to be the familiar Windows logo.”

This is the closest Microsoft has come to offering the much-needed Start button in Windows 8. While the touch user interface (UI) works well on tablet devices, many people have said it is out of place on a laptop and corporate desktop environment..

Leblond said Windows 8.1 can be configured to boot into alternate screens: “For example, if you prefer to see the Apps view versus all the tiles, you can choose to have the Start screen go directly to Apps view.”

Some people commenting on the post were not impressed. 

As this update offers nothing for desktop users, many will be wary of installing it for fear you've mucked up the host of third-party solutions to this gaudy dog's breakfast of an OS too

Classic Shell user

One user who runs the Classic Shell, a third-party app that present a Windows Start menu, said: “Now you've admitted Windows 8 was a horrible mistake for the vast majority of computer users, can we trust you won't do anything to destroy the functionality of Classic Shell in this update?  

"As this update offers nothing for desktop users, many will be wary of installing it for fear you've mucked up the host of third-party solutions to this gaudy dog's breakfast of an OS too."

Another user commented: “The Start button's return will surely be appreciated by those of us who use remote desktop and virtual machines - hitting hot corners in a window is a chore. 

"However, having the Start button open the Start Screen and not bringing back the Start Menu at least as an option surely means that no-one who was dissatisfied with Windows 8's UI is going to be happy with 8.1. Please at least consider an option for a Start Screen that does not take over an entire monitor.”

IT admins should also be concerned by Microsoft’s decision in Windows 8.1 to embed SkyDrive as a way to deter users from adopting Google Drive or services like DropBox for cloud storage. 

One user on the blog requested that Microsoft make it possible to disable this feature using Group Policy in Active Directory, since it enables Windows users to transfer confidential files outside the corporate network.

Read more on Microsoft Windows software

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Microsoft thinks it knows what's best for us. That is why when the OS came out people were screaming at some of the changes. It would be nice to have a forum and get some user feedback. I still do 80-90 percent of my work and play on a desktop unit. I'm happy staying with Win 7 until it reaches it's end-of-life and I am forced to move on. It seems crazy to build an OS that resembles a mobile interface not know what device it may be run on.
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