There are a lot of people out there that absolutely hate Windows 8.1. Most of the critics out there on the internet harp on about a handful of things that are pretty easy to overcome once you put some time into learning the operating system. I’ve been using Windows 8.1 since it was in beta, and I’ve been using the final version since it was released to manufacturing, so I’ve had a good amount of time to get used to the new features and learn all about them. There are a lot of things that I absolutely love about the new operating system, but there are also a number of things that I really hate. In the video below, I’m going to talk about 8 things that I hate about Windows 8.1. If you’re interesting in hearing about some positive aspects of Windows 8.1, I’ve also made a video about the 8 things I love about Windows 8.1.
1. Having to choose which window pane to launch apps into. With Windows 8, it was very predictable that when you tapped a new app on the start screen, it would open in the larger window pane area right away. Now with Windows 8.1, a thumbnail icon of your app appears on the border of a window pane edge and then tilts back and forth. That’s supposed to indicate to you that you have to choose where it should load and you touch the side that you want it to go to. Optionally, you can push the icon to the top to load it full screen.
2. The photos app. This has been completely changed from the Windows 8 version and mostly it’s worse. No longer does it show photo albums from Facebook or Flickr accounts nor does it allow you to browse photo libraries found on any of your other PCs associated with your Microsoft ID. Basically you can only look at local and SkyDrive photos now. What’s worse is that all the thumbnails crop the actual images so that you can’t even see the important parts. Everything is cropped to a horizontal rectangle around the center of the image. That means for portrait photos, all you can see is the person’s chest. You can’t see their facial expression because it’s cropped.
3. The messaging app is gone. Windows 8 came with an app called “Messaging” which was a great place to manage all of your instant messaging threads between Facebook and Live Messenger chats. It looked like it could even been expanded to support Skype and Google chat. Actually, if you go to Outlook.com, the web based messaging pane there does support Live Messenger, Google chat, Facebook chat, and Skype all at the same time. It’s really pretty nice.
4. The calendar app doesn’t work with Exchange 2003 anymore. Microsoft seems to have problems supporting its own products as well as its competitors sometimes. In Windows 8.1, the Calendar app will download data from an Exchange 2003 account, but it can’t edit it or add to it. Luckily I’ve worked with the developers and a fix for this should be coming any day now. UPDATE: The latest app update fixes this issue, but you’ll have to uninstall and reinstall the Mail, People, Calendar app in the Windows Store in order to fix it.
5. The People app no longer shows who’s online. Since the instant messaging integration was dropped, there’s no central location to see all of your friends that are online and available to chat. Instead you need separate apps and keep track of them separately. It’s a big step backwards.
6. If you’re in desktop mode and you want to send a file from the File Explorer via email, normally you could right click the file and choose Send to > Mail recipient. That should open a new email message with the selected files attached. It doesn’t work with Windows 8.1’s email program though. You get an error message instead.
7. The Calendar app doesn’t open iCal files and doesn’t integrate with Facebook events. I often use and am invited to events on Facebook. With Windows Phone, these invites show up right in my Calendar and I can respond to them there. It’s very nicely integrated. On Windows 8.1, there’s no such luck. In order to get them into my Exchange calendar, I have to export the events from the Facebook web page as iCal files but they do not open in the native Calendar app, so I need to have Outlook installed in order to handle such a seemingly basic function.
8. Tasks in Exchange accounts don’t sync. There’s actually no interface included with Windows 8.1 for managing tasks as part of your Exchange account. You’ll have to install the full version of Outlook to get that. Yes, that means the iPad includes better support for Exchange server accounts than Windows 8.1 does.
How long have you been using Windows 8.1? Are there many things that you still hate about it? Don’t forget to also check out 8 things I love about Windows 8.1.