I was tempted to tryout Windows 8.1 and installed it on my primary device, which is a Alienware M11xR3 laptop. So far I’ve experienced the following:

  • Lots of hanging explorer sessions with a mapping to a 2007 sharepoint site. (X:\ is mapped to something like https://sharepoint.domain.com).
  • a few crashes, characterized with a big unhappy smiley 🙁 How should we call this, the unhappy formerly known as blue screen of death? TUFKABSOD?
  • A weird issue where I couldn’t connect to a corporate WiFi network and it worked after turning flight mode off and back on again. The same WiFi driver as on Windows 8 though.
  • It seems there is a known issue with Cisco WiFi and Windows 8 devices, and we experienced this with 3 Windows 8 tablet devices from Asus, HP and Acer.
  • High CPU usage on explorer/IE for no apparent reason, I’ll throw process explorer in the mix next time as it happens.
  • Not all of my hardware was detected (and i don’t recognize the undetected hardware in my device manager). As the M11x is from a big manufacturer (Dell), the laptop is 1-1,5 years old so i would have expected the hardware to be detected.
  • I couldn’t get the Bluetooth connection to work with my Lumia 920, even though that has WP8.
  • I think it’s still a pain to find features in Windows 8.1, clicking around i couldn’t find the boot to desktop option. Its apparently here, seems logical enough but i couldn’t find it on my own. That reminded me to the experience of the Windows 8 developer preview, where i had to google duckduckgo  to find out how to shutdown/restart windows using the GUI (the first times i used cmd –> shutdown command). The fact i have to do this as a IT pro tells me that Windows 8 is not intuitive enough, can’t they hire some Apple guys to help them with that?
  • Good news: the Sophos UTM 9.006-5 ssl vpn client works on Windows 8.1 preview.

But i do have on the left bottom of my screen..

A Windows start button!

Pretty useless for me as MS forced me to work more than a year without it in Windows 8, but now i dare to give windows 8 to my mom as i didn’t fancy to explain her where her start button went..

I was a bit surprised it was a full reinstall, as i thought it would be an upgrade to my existing setup (as the RTM version of 8.1 shall be) , but it was a full reinstall loosing all my installed apps (although some settings were retained). It could have been i didn’t research this enough before installing, but i expected a upgrade instead of a reinstall. Later i heard this is due to me having used the iso file, a colleague of mine used the Windows store to install 8.1 and on his machine the experience looked much more like an upgrade.

You can find some other good background info about Windows 8.1 on 4sysops.com and zdnet.

Categories: Sophos UTM

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