Monday, July 1, 2013

Windows 8.1 Preview–Looks GOOD Plus One Suggestion

Saturday I installed the Windows 8.1 Preview on my desktop computer. I really liked it and although I likedwindows-8.1 -B Windows 8 (the original) I thought the update was quite good. I use my desktop for all initial experiments, if it works and holds up then I will install on my laptop.

First let me say that I liked the previous Start fly-out tile (if you will) on the desktop that would switch you back to the Start screen. The new Start button, again to me, is somewhat of a laughable concession to the whiners. Whatever it takes to please. It works, and like the previous fly-out tile, if you right click on the Start button you will find more options, one of which will allow you to shutdown. All prior keyboard shortcuts still appear to work and that is good.

I like the idea that I can resize the tiles, that is very nice. The new colors are fun however it would be neat if we could add our own photograph (different from the desktop) to the Start screen but I am not complaining. The bright colors on the tiles I like very much, nice enhancement.

The new down arrow to get to all the apps is another concession that works, the right mouse click was good also. It is a bit more obvious. I guess this was a big deal to ‘old’ users, new people figured it out right away. Oh wait a minute, I’m an old user.  Hmmm…..

I love the idea that I can put a really nice slide show on the Lock screen. I experimented with that and over the dual monitors on the desktop and it was a really nice show.

The only issue I had was a sound card driver I had previously installed. My Creative card would not run on Windows 8 so I purchased a less expensive one and installed it. After the installation of Windows 8 all I had to do was re-install the drivers and it worked. I’m in.

This Windows 8.1 Preview looked so good I installed it on my laptop yesterday with the same results, very good.

Now I have a suggestion that has been brought about by the new Windows 8.1 Preview and the ability to resize the tiles.

First a little background: I use my laptop as an instructional device. I teach as well as consult Microsoft Office application software, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other. I teach software beyond Office however these are the prime products. These software products are all part of Office 2013, Office 2010, and Office 2007. All are installed on my laptop. I use two profiles, one personal, and one as Instructor.

Orig tile layoutSince I can resize the tiles on the start screen it would be a great idea to be able to use a specific column for more than one titled layout. On the left is a picture of a partial layout of the Office 2013 and Office 2010 tiles side by side.

tufte-wallpaper modBecause I resized the tiles I would like to move the Office 2010 tiles below the Office 2013 and still be able to have the title line as in the example shown on the lower left. If this were to work I could actually add Office 2007 below the Office 2010 buttons and there be able to better utilize the screen.

I am sure there are others who could re-organized their Start screen in much the same fashion. I have columns for Utilities, Shopping apps, Design, and Development, as well as the Office products.

When working on the large 23” HD monitors connected to the desktop this is not much of a problem but would be nice to do. On my laptop this would be fantastic.

I really do like this update and I feel, since this is a Preview, perhaps there will be more to the final release.  I am looking forward to the final release this fall – sometime.

ENJOY your week…