So is Windows 8.1 worth the upgrade? If you have Windows 8 its a no-brainer as its free, although it doesn’t install as an update, instead you have to go to the Windows Store which is slightly odd. If you have an older version and are buying a new pc, yes its an improvement to the original, but not massively. You don’t have the start menu bar back (as a lot of people hoped) but you do have a more limited version on the desktop if you right click where the start menu used to be. Ultimately Microsoft were never going to back down with their vision for the future. The other major changes are you can boot directly into Desktop mode instead of the tile-based app user interface, you can snap more apps side-by-side for better multitasking and there’s also better cross-system search, along with search that ties into cloud-based SkyDrive storage. There are some other tweeks and updates but nothing of major note, but my previous comments I think are still valid – if you have a touchscreen its great, if you don’t its not worth the price to upgrade. Its a shame the original offer price of £25 of Windows 8 isn’t still available as this makes it quite attractive particularly to people on the notoriously buggy Windows Vista.
As an operating systems its quick, responsive and once you are used to it easy to navigate, however I wouldn’t suggest anyone upgrade unless there upgrade to a touchscreen or they have a specific need to upgrade. Its a shame that the manufacturers haven’t caught up and brought the price of touchscreens down, at a look in PC World the other day there are far too many non touchscreen PCs with Windows 8/8.1 which as I’ve said really needs a touchscreen – but this is mainly down to price.