2 Things Microsoft Windows 8.1 Didn't Fix

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) recently announced the release of Windows 8.1 in a test version -- Mr. Softy's attempt to answer the myriad complaints it received about Windows 8. While the new release fixed some of the biggest problems, there are at least two issues that remain problems with the release, and one issue that continues to plague the company. As Microsoft is competing with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) in the mobile and app worlds in ever-changing ways, the company's ability to be nimble is critical.

In the video below, Fool.com contributor Doug Ehrman discusses two big problems that remain broken in Windows 8.1, and how they leave Microsoft positioned moving forward.

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Read/Post Comments (17) | Recommend This Article (7)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 2:30 PM, VegasSmitty wrote:

    Doug better not give up his day job as a burger flipper, he knows squat about computer systems.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 2:44 PM, jimjim55 wrote:

    I'm done buying computers with windows

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 2:50 PM, mylove4life455 wrote:

    Is this guy on crack.... and WP8 has 160K apps now, I swear fanboys make up stuff as they go...

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 2:55 PM, edmckinney444 wrote:

    As a user I'm not impressed with any of windows products . Hard to find a single one that doesn't have some functionality problems .

    I work with industrial applications and robotics , so I manage to get by using windows based products on a PC , that is just a interface for other software applications .

    When you claim expertize in computers or software , one should know there is a lot of different area's of expertize out there .

    Those that lead you to believe they are experts , usually are referring to only one subject . Believe me , there are many . Doug hit the nail on the head about Win. 8.1 . A bunch of near Engineers from India must be working on it . That means it will never be completed

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 3:10 PM, dan0myte wrote:

    Doug,

    Analyze the stock, not the product. Your view of the product sounds like you are either a mac user or chromebook. In either case, the tiled menu comes up in regular win8 that lets you choose an application full screen, before you get to the desktop. Do you need a start menu, like you had before in order to open an application? I don't think you do. I agree that it is different, but I kind of like it for home, not sure if I could like it at work.

    As for the 100,000 applications you quote, what kind of apps are we talking about? desktop applications like adobe photoshop,office suites, or games/mini apps that are common on phones? I think you may be better off analyzing what they should do to up the stock price rather than critic the products that drive the sales. Consumer products make up about 10-15% of their gross revenue, so maybe show how a server product doesn't work compared to Apple.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 3:29 PM, arkadi91 wrote:

    This dude shouldn't be allowed to make Tech videos, i mean why complaining abt not having the start menu while its useless?????guys the start screen replaces the start menu and make it more convenient to see all apps loaded in a pc, i mean just shut your mouth and find something better to do instead of posting non sense videos

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 3:42 PM, floridadon wrote:

    Arkadi91 I agree that this tech video is ridiculous but you are completely wrong about the start screen. It does not make it more convenient to see all the apps loaded in a pc because only the most frequently used apps and certain other apps appear on the start screen, and the rest you have to search for. Try finding wordpad on the start screen. The start menu has always been the better choice for two reasons, first, because people have been using the start menu for 18 years since Windows95 and people are used to it. Good or bad, people are more productive when their tools are familiar to them. That alone shows the start menu is far from useless unless you don't know anything about computers. And second, the start menu enables a user to access all the programs installed on the pc while the start screen does not. And incidentally, the word nonsense is one word, not two.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 3:54 PM, cvxxx wrote:

    Get rid of the video. What was said is a waste of time. I could read faster. Next if you are going to do a video show us what he is talking about. It is clear that Microsoft is not interested in the desktop/laptop customer and is concentrating on phone,tablet users. People who use desktop /laptop are interested in not wasting time with annoying swipes. Considering that many in the business world are not equipped with swipe monitors/laptops. 20 years from now it would have merit. Who uses 1 million apps? No one!

    It is Microsoft's arrogance that will harm it's future as newer operating systems come into the market. Here is where Apple could have cornered the market by allowing it's operating system in PC's. Strange that this has been torpedoed by Apple.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 4:45 PM, mylove4life455 wrote:

    edmckinney444.. that is uneducated junk you just said... In fact I bet you are clueless in everything

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 4:46 PM, mylove4life455 wrote:

    cvxxx ... never happen, crapple is junk and it will never go higher than it is now.. Win 8 is clearly better and we will see lots for from that ecosystem

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 5:14 PM, joverclock wrote:

    windows 8 on a touch screen is awesome. Windows 8 with start button is just as good as windows 7.. actually its better. As far as industrial goes.. most of those machines use windows xp still. Its my job to know this. 3 years from now we'll see where the other main stream OS's are and look back at garbage videos like this with .... my guess is laughter.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 5:48 PM, Computerworgen wrote:

    Windows 8.1 is missing 2 essential things for power users.

    a Start Button that leads to the Start Menu,

    & a Boot to Desktop.

    and yes, I know how to use windows 8. I don't like that nasty tacky colored Metro Touch Interface in my face all the time. I think its dumb & it's made for fools who got lost in the old start menu. That's why they love it so much & defend it. & that's But since I'm still using Windows 7, Microsoft can mess up Windows 8 .1 all it wants. I'll save Windows 8 for when I get a Portable with a Touch Screen, since I ave no need for Windows 8 or any of it's lame new features.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 7:00 PM, brike2001 wrote:

    Doug is right. The Start Button came back but it'be better off away as it was, since it is good for nothing. MS should look at Stardock developments before thinking about any upgrades next time. Just buy what they have, and Windows would be competitive again.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 7:18 PM, 1qazxcvbdhuewde wrote:

    Win 8 is fine I boot directly to desk top and yeah i have a start button bought for $5 but free ones are out there.

    apple tarts always trying to run it in the ground

    learning curves for all OS's if you haven't figured that out yet well wake up because industry moves forward not backward and if you don't like it use crapple or use Linux since they are supposedly better

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 8:55 PM, engguy wrote:

    This guy has clearly never been productive within windows. Anyone worth their time would have learned how NOT to use the start menu, and in fact almost everyone just has a million desktop links anyway. The start menu was a relic of hardware limitations from the old DOS days, and even my calculator has something like the start screen!

    As for the apps, sure IOS has 500k, but of those 2k are flashlight apps and another 2k are fart apps, and about 400k have never been downloaded. Guess what? You end up having the same as Windows Store. Considering 99.9% of downloads are of the top 15% of apps, 100k is more than enough.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 10:37 PM, DeepVM wrote:

    Two comments:

    1. You ask us to be respectful with our comments. But then why is the article disrespectful? Why is it okay to call Microsoft - Mr. Softy? Is it respectful to indulge in name calling?

    2. Doug's analysis quite hollow. It is not clear in what way the problems discussed are big problems. Certainly in the larger picture of the problem that Microsoft is attempting to solve, these cannot by any means be considered as major problems. Its just that things are somewhat different than before. But different does not indicate that the user will have major problems.

    A mobile (WinRT) app by definition will always occupy the full screen. Thus, it is correct to not present the top bar. Given this, the gesture to slide from the top of the screen to the bottom is a reasonable way to close the app. Once I learnt this method, I did find it to be intuitive enough. OTOH, a desktop app has traditionally presented a top bar. There is very little reason to change this. In fact changing this method for desktop apps would have presented major problems. OK, when you put the two together, the interface is inconsistent. But is it sufficient cause for users to not buy or use the product?

    The start menu now presented is certainly different from the old start menu. It will take some time to get used to. But I fail to see how it can be characterized as a big problem. Personally, I wasn't a real fan of the old start menu - until Microsoft provided a generic search item to easily find what I was looking for. The hierarchical tree structure of the old start menu was actually fairly clunky. So, it is possible that the new way may in time be considered as superior to the old.

    Its not that I'm a die-hard fan of Microsoft. I use products from other companies almost in equal measure.

    My real point is - desist from presenting hollow analysis. And please be respectful in your articles.

  • Report this Comment On July 04, 2013, at 11:04 PM, dufusdowrong wrote:

    Horrible video. Was the audio person deaf? Is that the A/C blowing on your boom mic?

    I created an account just to post this.

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