Apart from issues that have been around even when running Windows 7, I can’t say that Windows 8.1 has given me much grief at all. The resident browser is Internet Explorer 11, and apart from adding eight websites to the compatibility list, it hasn’t given me much grief either.
One piece of hardware which used to work in Windows 8 but no longer works in 8.1 is my D-Link DWL G132 USB adapter. It installs automatically and looks like it is going to work until it reaches the point where it tries to authenticate with the ISP server. It will not get beyond that point regardless of what I do. It is no great loss as I could never get it to work with Windows 7 at any level and had written it off back in 2009.
There will always be critics of Windows 8 despite the 3rd party stuff which makes it as usable as any Windows desktop OS before it, and my advice is to ignore what they say. Also ignore those who say that Windows 8 is only good on touch devices because they are what I like to call ‘wrong’.
Note that I just use Windows 8 as it comes out of the box + Start8. That is the ONLY change that I make. There is no virtual machine, no dual boot, nothing fancy at all.
I wish that more would give it a fair chance instead of writing it off Vista style. It is way better and deserves better press than it gets. It is an operating system for all systems and will get support up to 2023.
I have recently set up two ex-XP users on Windows 8 + an alternative start menu. Both users are extremely pleased with what they have, the speed, stability and ease of use. In the coming months, I will set up more next year, and I know that they will be pleased too..