Microsoft released Windows 8.1 Update 1 today. The update, which, for me, was like finding a needle in a haystack, will be a mandatory update-which is why it is going through Windows Update versus the store like 8.1 did. I did not want to wait, so I went to the normal Windows update method, but did not find it. I went to the charms bar, selected SETTINGS, then CHANGE PC SETTINGS, then UPDATE AND RECOVERY then windows update. I clicked the ‘check now’ option and did, in fact, find many updates. None of them were the ‘Update 1’. So, I remembered that, sometimes, you have to go to the ‘old’ desktop version of Windows update. Open up Control Panel, select System and Security then Windows Update. There it was. I let it update. It took about 20 minutes. Once that was done, it was like a new computer again.
There are a lot of little things that, collectively, add up to a mostly pleasant experience for the mouse/keyboard user. I have not yet tried it on my tablet, but I suspect I’ll not see much of a difference.
For most users, the changes are subtle and welcome. For example, on the Start Page, there is now a power button and a search icon. Right clicking tiles gets you a context menu and the app list now highlights new applications.
Modern apps (Windows store apps, metro, whatever you want to call them) now show up on the task bar when in the desktop AND the task bar shows up on the Start Page. At least, it does sometimes. I’m not sure if it is a bug or not, but I get the task bar on my Start Page when I move the mouse down to the bottom of the screen and hover. BUT…it doesn’t always work, so, I’m not sure if it is a feature or not.
So far, my only real complaint: it defaulted to booting to the desktop instead of the Start Page. Don’t want the desktop to be default.
There are other changes as well and more changes are coming (like a new, enhanced Start Menu.) This is the Windows that Microsoft should have released as version 8 and then, over time, deprecate the crap, like the task bar. For now, though, I wonder if this might be too little, too late. We’ll see.