Windows 8 increasingly tolerable – 8.1 update 1 now available

Windows 8.1

Windows 8 doesn’t get much love in the press, but here’s a positive. There’s a new update available today, charmingly titled Windows 8.1 Update 1, that improves the operating system for desktop and mouse users. 

Here’s another positive: in my mind, thanks to some considerable improvements over the past year, I don’t think Windows 8 can be considered the OS boogeyman. 

The latest update is mostly centred upon adding mouse controls to Windows Store apps. Close buttons, minimise, and adding icons for apps that are running to your taskbar. There’s an option to boot directly to the desktop, and a button to turn off your PC can now be found within the start menu.

Note that the updated start menu teased by Microsoft at their Build conference is not included in this update.

I’ve been pretty harsh towards Windows 8 in the past, but quietly, I think Windows 8 has morphed into a decent operating system. For one, it’s blazingly fast: I’m still a little bit surprised just how quickly it will get to the desktop. For another, I’ve found that snapping some Windows Store apps on a multi-monitor desktop computer is quite useful – in my case I’ve permanently got Skype and some more messaging apps available on a second monitor. It’s blast proof: I think I’ve seen just handful of blue screens in the past six months of using it. And as Steve mentioned in our podcast, it also has some exceptional loading bars.

Here’s probably the best recommendation I can give it: I can’t really see myself returning to Windows 7.

The update is available via Windows Update.

How are you guys getting on with Windows 8? And those on a previous OS – are you tempted to upgrade?