Windows 8.1: The Good

Prequel post.

* The Charms. Probably no better idea was ever devised for touchscreen computers. They will be missed in Windows 10. Seriously, the whole idea-search, print, share, go to Start or go to relevant Settings from anywhere was brilliant.
* The split-screen. This is not a built-in feature in either Android or iOS and is quite useful.
* Switching back and forth between apps by swiping right (and, for multiple apps, by swiping first right then left again).
* A full-screen Photos app.
* A full-screen (PDF and TIFF) Reader app that can rotate pages and save them..
* Printing works like in regular Windows, not via stupid specialty requirements like in iOS or stupid Cloud services like in Android. So I am told, printing works like in regular Windows even for RT.
* An option to view Windows store apps on the taskbar or have either large or small taskbar icons.
* The Weather app is a good place for rough guides to seasonal temperature and precipitation patterns in various places around the globe.
* A decent video-taking app (Movie Moments) is available in the Windows App Store.
* Help and Tips (installed by default) provides a partly offline list of what you can do with Windows 8, which is better than no help at all.
* The Metro Alarm, Sound Recorder, and HERE and Bing Maps apps work well on a tablet (certainly more so than their desktop equivalents, which require a mouse to use).
* Windows Speech Recognition (English only, foreigners!) isn’t half-bad, especially if you allow it to practice listening to your voice.
* The whole concept of an app store with pre-approved (thus, no viruses) full-screen apps that aren’t too dependent on what goes on in the desktop.
* Two (or three, depending on what computer you have) ways to turn off your computer (the Charms are much more useful for touchscreens).
* Various legacy desktop applications, such as Notepad and Paint (even though there are good Metro replacements for them) are still a nice gesture to show that Microsoft still cares.

This is for the 1 month that Windows 8.1 will continue to stay relevant.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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