First Impressions – Windows 8.1 RTM

I rebuilt the PC at work yesterday, replacing Windows 8 with Windows 8.1.  I prefer rebuilds instead of upgrades just because you get a cleaner build.  I took an indirect route because it allowed me to experience something I had never done before (that I can remember):

  1. Installed Windows 8.1 (aka “Home)
  2. Installed Office 2013 Pro Plus via the Office 365 Click-To-Run mechanism
  3. Entered the Windows 8.1 Pro product key (reboot)
  4. Joined the machine to the domain
  5. Finished installing and configuring
  6. Downloaded and installed the Windows Intune agent

Office Click-To-Run is a nice way to deploy office in a small business.  It’s quick and managed by Office 365, bringing me updates when they eventually are released – assuming that I don’t have LOB apps with specific compatibility issues.

Wave D Windows Intune (the current release) doesn’t strictly support Windows 8.1 yet.  My OS actually shows up as Windows 6.3, which looks funny when it’s side-by-side with Windows 8.

All the usual programs and apps were installed.  I decided to switch from Chrome to Firefox – I gave up on IE10 a while back and IE11 hasn’t improved enough for me.  Firefox with plugins for Lastpass and Google Translate runs nice and quickly.

I have dual monitors so it was nice to have Metro apps running on both screen.  In fact, I had 4 apps open, with flexible screen space sharing (resizing/snapping).  Skydrive automatically connected to my account.  My wallpaper and lock screen appeared.  I configured the PC to log into the desktop and to use my wallpaper as the Start Screen background.  These two things, in addition to the Start button are technically minor, but might prove psychologically significant enough to get those who are disaffected by Windows 8 to re-consider Windows 8.1.

Other than that – – it’s been all smooth.

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