Originally Posted by HarjTT
Yep ..with 8.1 you just enable that tick box that john's mentioned and it will take you straight to the normal desktop.
I seriously don't see what the fuss about not having a start menu is .. Mac users have never had one and they manage just fine.
If anyone is thinking of updating to 8.1, do a clean install and not upgrade over the top of existing apps etc.
I'd just use the upgrade option from Microsoft's Store, as any apps and drivers that work with Win 8 are also compatible with Win 8.1.
It's also very difficult to find a download of 8.1 that you can install from scratch, unless you're willing to buy a new copy of it versus just using the free update to 8.1 from the Microsoft Store for updating an existing copy of Win 8.0
Plus, most machines with Win 8 preinstalled don't have a COA sticker on them with a license key. That's because Microsoft changed the OEM licensing process to use a key stored in a system's BIOS firmware instead. It's totally different compared to Win 7 in the licensing key area.
That's what I did (just got the free 8.1 update from the Microsoft Store) for upgrading from Win 8 to Win 8.1.
I just made sure all updates were installed in Win 8 first (Microsoft Windows updates, Driver Updates, Application Updates, etc.), then used the Windows 8.1 choice from the Microsoft Store to go from Win 8 to 8.1, and that worked fine.
As for the desktop, I'd suggest just installing the free Classic Shell. Get it here:
You can change it settings to go straight to the desktop if desired in either Win 8 or Win 8.1; and it gives you a traditional style start menu back again (the more important part).
IMO, the new style menu screens leave something to be desired for users of desktop applications, and third party menu launchers like the free Classic Shell (or the inexpensive Start8 that you can buy for only $4.99) give users a more traditional style menu launcher back again
Those menu launchers support a hierarchy for the app, subfolders with programs in them, etc.; versus the need to scroll through a bunch of tiles, as some apps may have dozens of executables associated with them for different purposes (language packs, setup utilities, etc.) that have no organization on the new style menu screens (even though you may have subfolders associated with those different utility types when using the Win 7 Start Menu, or when using third party menu launchers like Classic Shell or Start8 with Windows 8.x).
So, if you use something like Classic Shell or Start8, you can click on the folder for a given app under "All Programs", and then see any subfolders it uses for different utilities and programs associated with the application to make it easier to find what you need to run, without scrolling through a page full of similar sounding program names associated with the same application when trying to use the new style Win 8.x menu screens.
You'll see a lot of other Win 8.x users (as well as respected UI designers) commenting about the problems associated with the new style Win 8.x Menu screens in that area, because it's just not designed for applications that would normally use a menu hierarchy with subfolders to separate different utilities associated with the same application.
Personally, I have the free Classic Shell installed. Get it here:
But, many others prefer Start8 instead. Get it here (it's only $4.99, and you can download a trial and test it before you buy it):
Yes, Windows 8.1 is an improvement over Windows 8.0; as at least you can boot straight to the desktop and have a start menu again.
But, it still uses the new ("Metro") style start menu tiles for finding and using programs.
Perhaps Windows 9 will work better. We'll have to wait and see what changes Microsoft makes to it to find out.