Byte Me Article 150 – No delight with desktop invasion

No Delight with Desktop Invasion

I often harp on about the number of junk emails and pop ups we get via the Internet and how they can be a nuisance in the least but are often a disaster in the waiting.  What should belong to us as ‘our own desktop’ or ‘work area’ on our own screen is often bombarded with unwelcome advertising and even fraudulent offers that often only bring tears.

I am disappointed to see that even Microsoft themselves regards ‘our desktop space’ as fair game.  If you are using Windows 8 then lately you will be ‘delighted’ with a full width banner that appears across your desktop – when it feels like it!  This deep blue coloured banner suggests – “Get Windows 8.1 for free” – “Go to the Store” and has NO exit button.  You have to go to the store and then you can exit – although a lot of people will try to opt for this option.

If you decide to do the latter then be aware of the following.  You firstly have to have a Microsoft Account (yes – this is free – if you value your own time at nothing) and after signing up to the account (so why do they want more information about us anyway – marketing possibly?) you can then proceed to get the update.

2013-11-09 Byte Me Article 150- Forced Upgrades Win 8.1

Also best to realise before proceeding that the update is ‘ONLY’ around 3.5GB (equivalent to downloading around 1000 of your favourite songs) and it can easily take a couple of hours to install (yes your PC is pretty useless while this is happening).  Make sure that you don’t need to catch a plane or shut down a laptop during this lengthy installation process as the update then stands a good chance of corrupting – badly.

What does the update even offer?  Well if you were waiting for the return of the Windows Classic Start Menu (which only around 100 million worldwide users would love) – forget it, this update does not bring it back.  We have been installing third party software for our customers with Windows 8 that gets rid of the desktop tiles and makes the screen once again look like Windows 7 – with the normal start menu back again.

However, the 8.1 update will offer the following – enhancements to the tiles on the desktop, a new search which looks through your own PC and the web at the same time, the ability to more easily split your screen to see several things at once, the same screen look if you own multiple devices (with 8.1 on each), some cloud storage, Internet Explorer 11, easier access to your Skype software (if you use it) and access to the free and need to be paid for apps in the Windows store (surprise, surprise).

Some of these features will be handy to some – but none of them are essential or mandatory in any way.  Do I sound a little sour?  Absolutely – I am tired of the way things are thrust upon us as “essentials” and not explained to the average Joe.

All suggested or necessary updates and patches from Microsoft and third parties should be properly vetted and shown in the one screen – so that we can choose what we want to update and when.  If this “updates” screen looked the same from one version of Windows to the next then people would become familiar with it and there would be a lot less confusion and troubles in the world of IT. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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