While I didn’t particularly care for the concept of combining the tablet user interface with the desktop user interface when Windows 8 came out, I have to admit that after using Windows 8.1 for the last couple of months, I think I’m starting to come around. I’m not sure if my resolve is simply giving way to the inevitable fact that Microsoft isn’t going to give up on the combined user interface or whether the changes that they made in this iteration of Windows 8 are really an improvement on the concept. I guess I have to say that it is a little of both.
Now don’t think that I’ve completely fallen under their spell. I still feel that the complete removal of the old Start menu from Windows 8 was a travesty and that return of the Start Button in Windows 8.1 is a halfhearted effort. But, since I am still a fervent user of Start Menu Reviver, which I enthusiastically endorsed last summer in my article The Windows 8 Start Menu reimagined and reinvigorated, I have been able to overlook this sleight of hand and really begin to appreciate some of the other enhancements in Windows 8.1 – namely the new Start Screen and the new Snap feature that allows you to have more than two modern apps open on the screen at one time.
In this article, I’ll take a closer look at these new Windows 8.1 features and discuss why I like them.