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Print 114 comment(s) - last by lexluthermiest.. on Oct 23 at 1:20 AM

It's a free download if you already have Windows 8

Microsoft unleashed its new Windows 8.1 operating system today, which promises deeper customization, updated apps and more. 

Microsoft has made Windows 8.1 available for download starting at 7 a.m. EST today, and it will roll out around the globe over the next 24 hours. The boxed version will be available in retail stores starting tomorrow, as well as brand-new devices that already have the OS pre-installed. 

Those with Windows 8 will see various changes in the move to 8.1, such as greater customization. Windows 8.1 brings new background color options as well as different sizing of live tiles. 

If you've been missing the familiar and ever-beloved Start button in the lower lefthand corner of your taskbar, fear not: Windows 8.1 brought it back. But it doesn't function in the traditional sense -- it just sends you back to the tile-based Windows 8 Start environment. But if you want to avoid the live tiles altogether, Windows 8.1 will let you boot up in Desktop mode instead. 


Microsoft said multitasking is also easier in Windows 8.1, as users can now have up to four apps side by side and adjust the window size of each one to their specifications. 

Other changes include a better-integrated Sky Drive, where smart files can can be created, edited, saved and shared at anytime; the updated Bing Smart Search, which has two new apps called "Food & Drink" and "Health & Fitness"; built-in support for 3D printing; updates to built-in apps like Mail, News, Weather, Finance, Sports and Travel, and a Windows Store redesign (it now has a "New & Rising" section). 

Microsoft is celebrating its new OS with a Twitter contest, if any DT readers would care to join. Simply take a screenshot of your new Start screen in Windows 8.1 after updating, and tweet it with the hashtag "MyStart." Microsoft will choose 810 winners per day for the next eight days, and each winner will receive a $10 promotional Windows Store gift card.

Many say Windows 8.1 is a must if you've already bought Windows 8, as it offers improvements over the original. But if you're still running Windows 7 and previous, and still aren't comfortable with the new UI in the Windows 8 ecosystem, it's still a pretty big shift from the traditional UI. 

The Windows 8.1 download is free if you already have a licensed copy of Windows 8 installed. Otherwise, it'll cost you $120 for the standard version and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro. You can grab the free download here on your Windows 8 device. 

Source: Windows Blog



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Some nice new features
By tayb on 10/17/2013 12:09:43 PM , Rating: 4
New "start menu" but it goes to the same place or to the apps page.

Boot directly to the desktop.

Universal search is nice, the tabbed search was annoying.

That's pretty much it. If you weren't happy with Windows 8 you aren't going to be happy with Windows 8.1. I don't miss the start button but if you can't handle life without it this isn't going to change your mind.




RE: Some nice new features
By retrospooty on 10/17/2013 12:12:08 PM , Rating: 1
" If you weren't happy with Windows 8 you aren't going to be happy with Windows 8.1."

It's at least better. Not back to where it could be, but improved over 8 for sure.


RE: Some nice new features
By ChronoReverse on 10/17/2013 12:14:57 PM , Rating: 4
At least it's still easy to replace the start screen if you want to.

Windows 8 actually performs better than 7 though so I'm pretty happy with it.


RE: Some nice new features
By Myrandex on 10/17/13, Rating: 0
RE: Some nice new features
By InsGadget on 10/17/2013 4:32:56 PM , Rating: 5
That's weird, Windows 8 performs great for all my games. Might be a driver issue.


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 6:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
yup, Ive never seen an OS update thats had that big of an effect.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2013 10:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Win XP to Vista in Doom 3 saw a differences of about 30%. Same hardware, same video driver settings. 30% loss.

You were saying?


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/19/2013 5:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Completely unfair comparison. XP and Vista had completely different driver models, and upon release, the video drivers for nvidia and ati (which were written completely from scratch) did not have the necessary time to optimize and tune the drivers nearly as much as their XP counterparts, so lower performance would be completely expected.

The driver model for Vista->8.1 are the same with incremental upgrades for each release, meaning drivers were allowed to continue to reuse their code with optimizations. A fairer comparison would be XP compared to mature windows 7 drivers.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/20/2013 2:34:47 AM , Rating: 2
I beg to differ. It is a very fair comparison. The comment I responded to was;

quote:
yup, Ive never seen an OS update thats had that big of an effect.


Based on THAT statement, my comment was completely and perfectly valid. You failed to comprehend either the original statement, my response or both.

The problem between XP and Vista had to do more with the fact that the new driver architecture was poorly constructed, compiled and implemented by microsoft themselves. Those problems then filtered down to hardware vendors who[understandably] had difficulty adapting and stabilizing their drivers, which were not fully resolved until SP2. Windows 7 represented a milestone in quality for microsoft in this area. The problems between Windows 7 and 8/8.1 is the way DircetX implements 2D elements in a the 3D app. It is well known that DirectX has had some changes since 7 that have caused a few problems for certain games.

In future, please fully READ and make sure you comprehend what's being said before you respond. Also, do get your facts straight before making statements in a factual manner when they are, in fact, little more than opinions based on observation...


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/20/2013 7:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yes technically that is true, there was an upgrade, and there was a change.

But are you serious? Do you understand anything about graphics or software at all? The problem was not about the architecture being poorly designed, it is that it was completely new. They had to rewrite drivers from scratch which was very different from how they were used to doing it. And no, there are no "well known" issues with directx between 7 and 8/8.1. You are just trolling now.

quote:
The problems between Windows 7 and 8/8.1 is the way DircetX implements 2D elements in a the 3D app.

This doesn't even mean anything.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/22/2013 10:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This doesn't even mean anything.


Ok, so the word "the" threw you off then? Please forgive my grammatical mistake. But it's funny, I thought that statement was fairly straight forward. There's this wonderful utility called Google Search. Use it and learn!


RE: Some nice new features
By Paj on 10/21/2013 8:42:19 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 and Vista drivers had a lot more in common with each other than either of them did with XP. The architecture changed completely in the transition to Vista, and a lot of manufacturers were caught out by it (coupled with Microsofts poor management of the process, and rushing OEM products to market which clearly weren't capable).

It makes me laugh how Windows 7 was almost universally praised while Vista was panned, considering how much they have in common. Once all the driver issues were sorted out on a properly equipped machine, Vista was actually quite a good OS.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/22/2013 10:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It makes me laugh how Windows 7 was almost universally praised while Vista was panned, considering how much they have in common.


I'm glad you compared Vista to 7 this way. It's going to help illustrate an excellent example.

The difference between man and some primates is less than 3% genetic information. And yet with those very few differences we have our Hawking's, Armstrong's, Einstein's, Franklin's and Davinci's. Vista and 7 have a similar percentage[more or less] difference in coded information, but oh what a wonderful difference that small percentage makes. A similar[yet larger] difference exists between 7 and 8. And oh what a horrid difference it makes...

See the big the picture? Small changes can make as much a difference as big changes do.

quote:
Vista was actually quite a good OS.


I'll provisionally agree. AFTER SP2, Vista became a usable and stable OS. I'd sooner use it than 8/8.1 ANY day of the year.


RE: Some nice new features
By Just Tom on 10/21/2013 1:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
All true, however a 30% decrease in no way is comparable to going from 120-200FPS to a top of 45FPS. Even comparing the top speed of the OP's machine, 45FPS, to the bottom speed under Win7, 120 FPS, would be a difference of over 60%. So yeah, saying I've never seen an OS update thats had that big of an effect is hardly countered with your XP->Vista loss of 30%.


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/21/2013 3:43:48 PM , Rating: 2
Considering his track record on comments so far I wouldn't be surprised if that 30% hit wasn't also just a lie, or a one off driver related issue that was fixed shortly after. I have not seen a single game that took much of an impact moving from XP to Vista unless maybe you were very memory or VRAM constrained.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/22/2013 10:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, THAT was a good response. Call me a lair. Any other pithy remarks you want to use to embarrass yourself?


RE: Some nice new features
By tamalero on 10/21/2013 11:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
I actually wonder if the person complaining actually forgot to turn on the multicore rendering.

Also some processors, specially AMD, require a special driver to speed up things.. and this is NOT installed by default.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/22/2013 11:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
Those are both excellent points! You wouldn't think the move from 7 to 8 would require such tweaking/fiddling because they're so similar right?


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/22/2013 10:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, fair enough. I never experienced THAT dramatic of a difference. But the point being made was, OS update produced "X" problem. Mine was not as dramatic as 60%, but 30% is nothing to sneeze at, which makes my comparison valid in the context of this discussion.

The jump from XP to Vista caused MANY problems for gamers. I was most certainly not alone in this. And a 30% loss was not an unusual number to see for a solid year after Vista's release.


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/2013 4:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'd have to agree with InsGadget, the difference in performance should be negligible in its worst case difference. Might be a driver issue you're hitting because I don't have any issues with my games nor with sleep mode.


RE: Some nice new features
By Zaranthos on 10/18/2013 2:38:05 AM , Rating: 3
I keep reading posts by people claiming Windows 8 is faster. The truth is for what most people do on a desktop it is not faster. Gaming and internet browsing are virtually identical between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Windows 8 does have a lower footprint which makes it faster on weaker hardware and a lot of that is due to the butt ugly UI "improvements" that sacrifice quality for speed. But hey that's important on tablets and phones right.

On a good desktop computer you'll notice next to no difference in speed for most of what you do especially if that is gaming and web browsing. Hibernate and boot may be faster but what do I care? With my fast desktop both are exceedingly fast on Windows 7. So the speed claims for Windows 8 are mostly marketing and BS.


RE: Some nice new features
By arazok on 10/18/2013 8:56:52 AM , Rating: 4
Your absolutely right. If you ignore all the parts that are faster, there’s nothing about Win 8 that’s faster.


RE: Some nice new features
By IronFusion on 10/18/2013 6:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
And so you are happy with Windows 7?
What, did you complete the upgrade from XP within the last year?


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2013 11:04:27 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
and a lot of that is due to the butt ugly UI "improvements" that sacrifice quality for speed.


Quite right! The new UI is visually unpleasant and I'm not got to sacrifice the ease of use and pretty of Windows 7 for a few slight improvements in the core of the OS. If microsoft fails to bring back the aero desktop, start MENU and configurability of the UI[IE the modern UI needs to go bye bye] for Windows 9, I might just upgrade. If not Windows 7 will be my last piece of ms software...


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/20/2013 2:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
I said;

quote:
If microsoft fails to bring back the aero desktop, start MENU and configurability of the UI[IE the modern UI needs to go bye bye] for Windows 9, I might just upgrade.


U meant to say;

If microsoft brings back the aero desktop, start MENU and configurability of the UI[IE the modern UI needs to go bye bye] for Windows 9, I might just upgrade.


RE: Some nice new features
By tamalero on 10/21/2013 11:19:34 PM , Rating: 2
the booting up to the login screen is way faster in windows 8 with a SSD to windows 7.
around 5 to 10 seconds shaved id say.
I see no change on loading AFTER the login.

so I suppose they just tweaked what they seen in windows 7 and removed bloated stuff during boot time to speed things up.

as for games, I see no difference.
I only noticed that retail windows 8 is goddamn awful for business and professional environments. the GUI just slowdowns me a lot. I had to install a lot of third party stuff to make windows 8 useable.
like Classic Shell.


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/13, Rating: -1
RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/13, Rating: -1
RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2013 10:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think people are just locked into the old way of navigating through setting and control panel.


Yup! Exactly right! And why is it we don't want to use microsoft's new way of doing things? Ohhh THATS right, because it's cumbersome, time-consuming and annoying. The classic way is easy, intuitive and well refined. Hmmm... Ever heard the phrase; "If it's not broken, don't fix it!"? Don't break anything thinking too hard about that...


RE: Some nice new features
By Paj on 10/21/2013 8:50:15 AM , Rating: 2
New ways of doing things in OSs are not a new development. The Start button was a new way of doing things, which people traditionally had difficulty adapting to until it became second nature.

There's a phenomenon in UI design called 'baby duck syndrome' - basically it means that once users learn how to use an interface, they become resistant to changes. Consider the uproar that Facebook encountered early on whenever they updated their interface, only to be forgotten weeks later when users adapted.

quote:
If it's not broken, don't fix it!


The problem with this attitude is that it is completely incompatible with the idea of progress and innovation. Windows 3.1 was perfectly fine for everyone's tasks at the time - according to this doctrine it was therefore perfect and unimprovable, which clearly isn't the case.

Innovation is about taking risks, doing things that haven't been done before. Often, the first implementations of an idea aren't as successful as subsequent refinements to that original idea - hence the updates to Windows 8.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/22/2013 11:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's a phenomenon in UI design called 'baby duck syndrome' - basically it means that once users learn how to use an interface, they become resistant to changes.


Really? I think it has more to do with whether or not such changes enhance/IMPROVE or not[in the case of Windows 8/8.1] the usability and capabilities of a given piece of software/hardware. Prime example; Android. 2x was universally loved. 3x was not. Google learned why and improved. 4x is universally loved. Google tried a few changes with Android, people had problems and didn't like it. Windows is no different. Windows 3x was well liked. It had it's issues, but was good. People grumbled about the step up to 9x, but after learning a bit people likely it and clamored for more. 9x to XP, more grumbling but people liked it and adapted. XP to Vista? Train wreck. Vista to 7, microsoft somewhat listened, somewhat learned and people love 7. 7 to 8? Here is where microsoft screwed the literal pooch. 8 was a hurried, half-asred, pathetic ATTEMPT to play catch up with Android and iOS. It has failed colossally. If microsoft is wise they will keep Windows Phone for phones and tablets[they still need to improve GREATLY on the putrid looking UI] and go back to 7 for desktops/laptops and refine from there. Windows 8 is EASILY microsoft biggest failure. It's their own fault. They need to publicly own up to it and try again.

quote:
Windows 3.1 was perfectly fine for everyone's tasks at the time - according to this doctrine it was therefore perfect and unimprovable, which clearly isn't the case.


Wow, twice in one article! I'm glad you brought up Windows 3.1. Because that is EXACTLY what I was reminded of when I first saw the MetroUI. For it's day Windows 3x was good and relatively easy to use. In fact Windows 3x is in some ways EASIER to use than 8. The point most detractors are trying to make in opposition to Windows 8/8.1 UI is that it was NOT a step forward, nor a step in the right direction. It is less intuitive and arduous to use than ANY version of Windows before it, including the aforementioned Windows 3.1.

The point is, some things are great and well loved. Some changes are great and well loved. Some things/changes are not. Windows 8 is clearly not! Quit defending an undefendable position. Windows 8/8.1/Phone = FAIL. Full stop. Get the frak over it!


RE: Some nice new features
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/17/2013 4:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
My Stardock stuff (Windowblinds, start8 and modernmix) still work with 8.1. Yay! I don't use Microsoft's lame idea of a start button.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2013 10:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
Have you tried ClassicShell? It's free, very configurable and works great!


RE: Some nice new features
By tayb on 10/17/2013 7:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
I actually don't even notice most of the changes because I don't ever go to the start screen. I go straight to the apps folder or just start typing to search. I don't use Metro at all for any reason. I can't think of any reason to use it either.


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/13, Rating: -1
RE: Some nice new features
By Chaser on 10/17/2013 12:39:24 PM , Rating: 5
A couple nice touches for gamers or techies, but nothing compelling for the average person buying a new PC (which they'll probably get anyway) or to court corporations towards an enterprise license purchase.

When a new version of Windows is released -which everyone must buy in one form or another- it must present appealing features/reasons that the average consumer can appreciate. Appreciation fosters acclimation or a willingness to invest the extra time towards becoming comfortable with the changes.

Windows 8 on the other hand was mostly Microsoft's "take it or leave it" vision thinking they know best for everyone else. I recently received an email from Dell offering Windows 7 options on new builds.

8.1? Lipstick on a pig.



RE: Some nice new features
By chµck on 10/17/2013 12:55:14 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sure everyone appreciates better power management/battery life


RE: Some nice new features
By Chaser on 10/17/2013 1:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not "everyone" uses batteries. And if we're counting thats one improvement. Its not a feature and even if it was it doesn't justify a new license.


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/2013 1:09:56 PM , Rating: 3
This makes no sense. You cannot just discount a feature/improvement (whatever you want to call it) because it doesn't apply directly to you. Not everyone has a DX11.2 compatible video card, so should that not count in the list of new features? Not everyone has a miracast compatible display, should that not be counted in the list of features? Not everyone has an SSD or high speed hard drive to add to the storage spaces pool for tiering, should that not count in the list of features?

You're never going to find a new OS where every feature or improvement applies to every user. That's why there is investment in different areas of the OS. Some benefit more than others. Either way, regardless of whether or not YOU use a battery, improved battery life is a major selling point for the average user.


RE: Some nice new features
By Mitch101 on 10/17/2013 1:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
Your not exactly paying for it either.

Windows 8.1 will be officially released in a month on October 18, 2013 (that's actually 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand, so 4:00 a.m. PT 7:00 a.m. ET on October 17). Those who are already running Windows 8 will receive the upgrade to 8.1 for free , but those will on Windows 7 and below will need to pay for the pleasure to use the new Start Screen.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2013 10:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but those still on Windows 7 and below will need to pay for the unpleasantness of using the new Start Screen.


There you go, fixed that for ya.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2013 11:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You cannot just discount a feature/improvement (whatever you want to call it) because it doesn't apply directly to you.


Well it DOES apply to me. And I'm not going to sacrifice the niceties of Windows 7 and deal with the crap UI of 8 so I can get an improvement of 4% battery life on my laptop...

quote:
Either way, regardless of whether or not YOU use a battery, improved battery life is a major selling point for the average user.


Major selling point? Really? 4% is a major selling point? I think not...


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/19/2013 5:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well it DOES apply to me. And I'm not going to sacrifice the niceties of Windows 7 and deal with the crap UI of 8 so I can get an improvement of 4% battery life on my laptop...

We're not talking about Windows 7, we're talking about the features and improvements that are provided compared to Windows 8.

quote:
Major selling point? Really? 4% is a major selling point? I think not...

First, please provide a reference to where you got 4%.
Secondly yes, any improvement in battery life is always a major selling point of an OS. 4% or 40%, it's an improvements, and that is a selling point.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/20/2013 2:55:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We're not talking about Windows 7, we're talking about the features and improvements that are provided compared to Windows 8.


The original post we have been replying to directly implied the difference of battery life between Windows 7 and 8/8.1. So my response to YOU about battery life is valid. Learn how to read...

quote:
First, please provide a reference to where you got 4%.


Easy enough, I ran battery life tests on my personal laptop, using Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 RTM and most recently 8.1 preview. The largest difference was 4%[8.1 was 4% better than 7]. 8 RTM was 3%.

quote:
Secondly yes, any improvement in battery life is always a major selling point of an OS. 4% or 40%, it's an improvements, and that is a selling point.


Again, you need to learn proper contextual comprehension. The statement I made was that the trade-off of 4% better battery life is NOT worth giving up the well loved attributes of 7 that one looses when moving from 7 to 8/8.1. So no, a 4% improvement in battery life is not a selling point in THIS situation. Do you understand, or do I need to use more basic and simplified vocabulary?


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/20/2013 7:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The original post we have been replying to directly implied the difference of battery life between Windows 7 and 8/8.1.

Actually no, it wasn't, because it was MY post.

quote:
Again, you need to learn proper contextual comprehension. The statement I made was that the trade-off of 4% better battery life is NOT worth giving up the well loved attributes of 7 that one looses when moving from 7 to 8/8.1.

Yes, I saw that, but again this wasn't the point. It is a direct upgrade to Windows 8, which was the original argument. 8->8.1 is better battery life. Non debatable. You need to learn to read cause there is nothing about Windows 7 here.

But if you want to go that route then yes, it IS still a selling point, but it is a tradeoff. Learn to read bro, it'll help you make actual arguments.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/23/2013 12:00:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually no, it wasn't, because it was MY post.


True, but YOUR post was a response to "tayb"'s original post , which included;

quote:
If you weren't happy with Windows 8 you aren't going to be happy with Windows 8.1.


which implied that those who like 7 will not have any reason to switch over, which is what I was alluding to in response to YOU .

quote:
Learn to read bro, it'll help you make actual arguments.


What was that you were saying, BRO? And would you like help extracting that foot from your mouth?


RE: Some nice new features
By retrospooty on 10/17/2013 12:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
" I recently received an email from Dell offering Windows 7 options on new builds."

Yup. All OEMS have that option, at least for the business models. If they didn't, companies simply wouldn't buy it.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2013 11:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
at least for the business models. If they didn't, companies simply wouldn't buy it.


Not just companies. They're offering Windows 7 to everyone. Which is good because 8.1 is, as was stated elsewhere in these comments, lipstick on a pig. I would have said something else, but that was less vulgar...


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/2013 1:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
Of the features I listed, I would say that most greatly benefit the average customer, even if they are not necessarily front-facing UI changes that they can see.

Official support for hybrid devices (iGPU+dGPU) is HUGE. It greatly increases the performance, improves the battery life a lot, and reduces compatibility issues with drivers during upgrades, something that has often been a source of issues for people who buy them.

Improved battery life is something that everyone can appreciate.

Wireless displays are also gaining a lot of ground recently, and has quite a few uses for the average user, as well as in the business sector (wirelessly connecting to micracast compatible projectors would save a lot of time and hastle).

Even storage tiering could be useful for the average consumer. The whole idea behind storage spaces is to provide software raid in a very user-friendly fashion. You can just plug in external hard drives and merge them together and include things like redundancy. While the concept of tiering may be alien to the average user (i.e. they wouldn't understand what it meant) they can still take advantage of it without anything special.

DX11.2 and independent flip might be too of the more "specialized" features that are tech/gamer friendly, but nonetheless are important.

Outside of that, add in all the UX and usability improvements and it's far from a "lipstick on a pig" upgrade, and features tons of actual improvements to the OS that make it more usable than 8. Is it perfect? No, but it's far more than any service pack or OSX upgrade has ever brought to the table.


RE: Some nice new features
By Etsp on 10/17/2013 1:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
What is this independent flip feature you're referring to? I can't find references to it online. Can you describe that in a bit more detail?


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/2013 1:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
It is a successor to DirectFlip in Windows 8.

In windows 8, when the DWM detected that you were running a windowed mode application that was the same size as the display's resolution, it skipped desktop composition and directly flipped to the surface that the app rendered to, to avoid the unnecessary computation. In 8.1, that was expanded to a feature called Independent Flip which gos one step further and eliminates the DWM from the equation, and allows the application to directly submit the screen flip directly to the kernel, bypassing DWM altogether. The performance puts it on par with fullscreen exclusive, but having all of the benefits of windowed mode (alt+tab, charms, etc). It should also have some power savings by not requiring DWM to do any work every frame (Compared to windowed mode before, should be the same as fullscreen exclusive).

Note, however, that in order to take advantage of this in 8/8.1 the app has to allow the device's swapchain to be created using the new flip model, as opposed to blit. (Swapchain must be created using DXGI_SWAP_EFFECT_FLIP_SEQUENTIAL
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/de... ), so unfortunately it is not highly used in most non-metro games today.

I wouldn't be surprised, though, if down the road (windows 9, 8.2, whatever it's called) they eventually do away with blit altogether and force everything internally to the flip model.

It surprises me that Microsoft has done such a poor job advertising these enhancements, as they are pretty nice to have and to build your games on.


RE: Some nice new features
By Etsp on 10/17/2013 2:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, I see. It sounded like something I would appreciate, and it will be once the games support it. I prefer running games in "fullscreen windowed mode" whenever possible, because I like the fast alt+tab to look something up online.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/20/2013 3:22:14 AM , Rating: 1
You are trying, much like microsoft themselves, to justify a horrid GUI with core functions that MOST users will never need. Hybrid devices are supported by Windows 2000 & up and are nothing new to the windows world. Wireless displays are also supported by XP & above. And as alluded to elsewhere in these posts, battery life is not significantly improved even when compared to XP on identical hardware.

You're right about one thing, The improvements from 8 to 8.1 are not so much like lipstick on a pig. It's more like frosting on a hot steamy cow pat.

I gave 8 a one month go, and the same with 8.1. Both are garbage and NOT worth using. The microsoft coders bringing back the start button that takes a user to the modern UI start screen instead of an actual menu is very much like them say Eff-U to those of us who asked for the start button/menu back. And I say Eff-U to you as well microsoft. I'll stick with Windows 7 until microsoft pulls their head out of the sand/their back-sides. And I'm no fan of Apple, but to imply the improvements made to MacOS over the years are less than significant shows EVERYONE just how foolish and narrow minded you are. And yes, I'm very aware just how ironic that must seem you coming for me. Get over it, get educated and quit blowing sunshine up everyone's bum about Windows 8/8.1. Those of us with a brain are not buying your non-sense or microsoft's....


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/20/2013 6:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are trying, much like microsoft themselves, to justify a horrid GUI with core functions that MOST users will never need.

I didn't say anything about the UI at all. Fail to you

quote:
Hybrid devices are supported by Windows 2000 & up and are nothing new to the windows world.

No, it hasn't. 8.1 is the first OS with hybrid support. Prior to 8.1, it was driver hacks and workarounds which can cause instability and lower performance.

quote:
Wireless displays are also supported by XP & above.

Again, that's just a blatant lie. Miracast support was added in 8.1 Prior to that if it worked, it was third party workarounds

quote:
battery life is not significantly improved even when compared to XP on identical hardware.

Really? Where did you get that statistic? Battery life has been improving gradually over time for a while now. This is just pure trolling.

quote:
get educated and quit blowing sunshine up everyone's bum about Windows 8/8.1.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to upgrade, I'm trying to explain that 8.1 introduces more improvements to 8 than a few UI tweaks. It's more than just a service pack. Leanr to read what the point of my posts are.

It's clear to me you don't know sh*t about the OS, your first few sentences make that immensely clear. Just stop trolling, it makes you look stupid.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/23/2013 1:11:38 AM , Rating: 2
Your moronic response clearly demonstrates your lack of knowledge/experience with the industry in question. There have been plenty of well known, well supported, well loved professional technologies which qualify as hybrid devices which allow on-the-fly hot-switching of hardware since even the Windows NT days. Wireless displays have been around since the days of Windows 98. The first one I saw was an RF model in 1999. Granted it was barely a passable attempt, but did work and didn't crash the system[which for Windows 98 was indeed an accomplishment]. "Miracast" is NOT the only wireless display standard ever created or in use in the wild. And what kind of immature, cowardly little quim are you to call someone a lair like that? Do you have any idea how pathetic you look right now?

quote:
No, it hasn't. 8.1 is the first WINDOWS OS with NATIVE hybrid support. Prior to 8.1, it was driver hacks and workarounds which can cause instability and lower performance.


Fixed that for you. Just because microsoft doesn't natively support something in the os certainly does NOT mean it can't be done and stably so. In reality, MOST innovations spring forth before any OS developer has a chance to integrate such functions into their OS. Seriously, where have you been in the last four decades? Under a rock? FYI, Apple's MacOS and the Linux community have had native hybrid support for some time now. Microsoft is a bit late to the game on this one. But then again, that's nothing new either.

quote:
Really? Where did you get that statistic? Battery life has been improving gradually over time for a while now. This is just pure trolling.


Remember how I mentioned elsewhere in the comments of this article about the battery life tests I performed? I tested XP, Vista[SP2], 7[SP1], 8 and then 8.1 Preview all against each other on the same system. I'm not going to bother testing the 8.1 release as it would likely be just as underwhelming as the preview version...

Those numbers where as follows;

XP; Baseline reference to which all others are compared.
Vista; 8% loss
7; 3% gain
8; 6% gain
8.1; 7% gain

So, let's see here now... Hmmm... Windows Vista sucked the battery dry. 7 lasted a little longer. 8 lasted a little longer still. 8.1 lasted 1% longer than that.

SOOO, if I was still using XP and wanted to "upgrade", the 7% improvement to 8.1 IS, to be fair, a compelling number. But not when having to suffer through the horrid UI. And before you go there, said exercise compares oranges to oranges. If you compare the older laptop used in my test running Vista[which is what it came with] to newer hardware which comes with 8.1, then there is, of course, going to be much better battery life. But if you take that same newer hardware and put 7 on it, then the advantage falls back down to 3 or 4%. And thus loses the bragging point about battery life.


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/23/2013 1:20:18 AM , Rating: 2
BTW, what was that about trolling genius?


RE: Some nice new features
By CaedenV on 10/17/2013 1:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't realize that miracast (or some other WiDi varient) was supported. If this is supported in WP8.1 as well then it will make me a very happy camper. Especially if I can run PPT presentations from my phone.


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/2013 1:58:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, it's a pretty nifty looking feature if I do say so myself:
http://withinwindows.com/within-windows/2013/6/30/...

I'm not too sure whether or not this is going to extend all the way to the phone, though.


RE: Some nice new features
By Mitch101 on 10/17/2013 3:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
It will its already in the 8.1 tablets.


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/2013 4:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
Is there any certainty that this will be exposed by the phone though? Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone 8.1 may now share the same kernel core, but that doesn't mean all functionality is exposed equally.


RE: Some nice new features
By Mitch101 on 10/17/2013 4:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't heard about the phone yet but they would be silly not to have it when they update to 8.1.

Im mainly interested in it on the PC this way you solve any codec issue. Might make the HTPC a thing of the past for $35.00


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/23/2013 1:18:00 AM , Rating: 2
Most Windows Phones don't have the processing power yet to do HD wireless display, and they certainly don't have the battery life...


RE: Some nice new features
By Mitch101 on 10/17/2013 3:42:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yes Miracast is built into Windows 8.1


RE: Some nice new features
By dgingerich on 10/17/2013 1:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
The start button does have a closer to Win7 functionality than Windows 8, but you have to right click it to get it. It's not quite the old Start menu, but it is closer.


RE: Some nice new features
By dgingerich on 10/17/2013 1:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
There are also a lot of other things you can do with the start menu in Win8.1:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2013...


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 3:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
oh, no poop


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 4:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
Makes me wonder how many features I don't know in the new UI.


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 3:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
It does seems like win8 solves most of the complaints people had.


RE: Some nice new features
By Reclaimer77 on 10/17/2013 4:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It does seems like win8 solves most of the complaints people had.


It solves none.

People hate the "Modern UI", plain and simple. So in 8.1, they add a Start Button, hooray.....

...that takes you right back to the Modern UI. /facepalm

My biggest problem with Windows 8 is Microsoft got incredibly lazy. There is absolutely NO legitimate reason for a UI dichotomy in a desktop OS. The Modern UI could launch from the desktop, in a sizeable window, like EVERYTHING ELSE on Windows has behaved for decades now. That way if you wanted it to be full screen, you have that option. If you want to interact with the Modern UI and NOT loose your focus on your desktop activities, you have that option too.

This is what Windows 8 should have been from the beginning in my opinion

http://retroui.com/


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/2013 4:31:34 PM , Rating: 4
Let's be fair. It by no means solves "most" but it definitely does solves "some." They did do a horrible job responding to the criticism of the lack of a start menu, but they did at least add some functionality such as boot to desktop. The start button also, if nothing else, helps in some business/enterprise scenarios while running in remote desktop or a virtual machine where the hot corner is not easily clickable. The start screen has some usability improvements, but it's still not what people asked for.


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 6:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
You might be locked into the old way of doing. You have to look at the say 10-13 year olds and see which way they prefer. You also have to look primarily at users not system administrator types that get deeper into the OS. I like your idea of desktop mode and tablet mode though, but I'm still ok with the modern UI for launching desktop apps and changing settings and what not.


RE: Some nice new features
By Reclaimer77 on 10/18/2013 7:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have to look at what little kids prefer...what? Can you expand on that please.


RE: Some nice new features
By Mint on 10/18/2013 2:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It solves none.

One of your own biggest gripes with Win8 was splitting results between apps, setting, and files. It's unified again.

quote:
If you want to interact with the Modern UI and NOT loose your focus on your desktop activities, you have that option too.
The Win7 start menu took focus away from the foreground app as well.


RE: Some nice new features
By kleinma on 10/17/13, Rating: -1
RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/20/2013 3:37:22 AM , Rating: 1
Extensive? Yes. Significant and ultimately useful? No. One can polish a turd to a great shine[Thank You Mythbusters for proving that one!], yet in the end, a turd is still a turd. Windows 8 has been greatly and widely considered microsoft's greatest failure. Windows 8.1 still = turd, even if polished.


RE: Some nice new features
By freedom4556 on 10/17/2013 5:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
New "start button" but it goes to the same place or to the apps page.
Here's my thing about the button that a lot of people don't seem to mention or understand. Hot corners suck . If you're trying to use the hot corner for Start on shared monitor edge of a dual monitor setup, it's annoying. If you are RDPed into a VM of a server 2012 machine with mouse integration, hitting that hot corner is virtually impossible. And guess what happens with you press the windows key in a VM or remote desktop? THE HOST COMPUTER CATCHES IT! It can be very tedious to try to get to the start screen when it can only be invoked with a hot corner (guess how you bring up charms to get at the old software start button? A hot corner.) This is much better and very appreciated.


RE: Some nice new features
By Reclaimer77 on 10/17/2013 5:16:35 PM , Rating: 5
Hot Corners, Charms Bars, and other hidden UI elements are quite possibly the dumbest ideas to come to a desktop OS.


RE: Some nice new features
By coburn_c on 10/17/2013 7:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
hot corners work fine with multiple monitors under 8

and anyone RDPd into a windows server 2012 system should know to press alt-home


RE: Some nice new features
By freedom4556 on 10/18/2013 4:26:23 AM , Rating: 2
Home is on the right-hand side of the keyboard, so that shortcut means taking a hand off the mouse (for a right-handed person). And, no, I didn't know about alt-home (who says my host PC won't catch that shortcut too), but I shouldn't need a shortcut to replace a 20x20 pixel icon that they had no reason to remove.


RE: Some nice new features
By MrBungle123 on 10/18/2013 11:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
hot corners work fine with multiple monitors under 8

and anyone RDPd into a windows server 2012 system should know to press alt-home


You do realize that entire point of GUI is to NOT have to remember obscure keyboard commands and shortcuts for every possible operation you might want to do on a computer right?


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/18/2013 12:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and anyone RDPd into a windows server 2012 system should know to press alt-home

Why would someone know this? That's about as intuitive as ctrl+alt+del to someone who's never used a computer. This coming from some who uses remote desktop all the time to get into my computer at home (running windows 8).


RE: Some nice new features
By Flunk on 10/21/2013 10:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
The 3 tab search screen was my biggest issue so that being solved and the rest polished a bit is all I wanted.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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