So, Windows 8.1 is out. And people are saying it's lot better than Windows 8. There was overall positive feedback on the net about this. So I thought what the heck! Lets install this new thing and see how it works out. Now my eMachines laptop is ancient by current hardware standards. It's a strictly entry level laptop that I bought for INR 24k. That was like $500 back in Nov 2010. It's three years and it has seen all windows from XP to Win 8 (barring Vista of course!) and a shitload of Linux installs.
So first getting the OS. Thanks to so many Pirate friends it was not so difficult. Next task was getting it onto a bootable media. Or try upgrading existing installation. So I started with upgrade path considering the non-availability of drivers etc for my ancient hardware. That promptly failed as the Setup told me that my version of Win 7 was 64 bit and setup itself is 32 bit. I was feeling adventurous, so I popped in my year old Win 7 disk, and let it install Win 7 32 bit while I listened to some Evanescence.
After the setup was done, I again started the Win 8.1 setup. It progressed some and then failed with 'some error'. OK. So now time to get it into either USB or DVD. It was fairly late in the night to get a DVD. So I downloaded rufus tool and created a bootable USB. Somehow it failed at first try (Story of my lifetime! ) but worked on the second try. So I booted from the USB and let the setup load. The setup itself was straightforward and nothing seems to be amiss anywhere.
I noticed the problem after I was done installing. The graphics was configured at 1024x768. Sucks! But after searching some on the net I found out that the update takes care of it. Sadly I am not fond of MS Updates so I let it sit like that. I installed my favorite programs and stuff and soon I was enjoying fifth season of The Mentalist. The resolution did make Patrick Jane appear a bit fat and Lisbon a bit filled!
The system performance is snippy. It took about 150MB less RAM for same setup as my old Win 7. The zipping around of stuff and the animations etc make it feel lively.
Overall I would say MS is on a really good track and at least on the surface Win 8.1 looks like a worthy upgrade to Win 8.