If anything can go wrong, it will.

Dear Windows 8.1

I hate you.

To be honest with you, Windows, hate doesn’t even begin to accurately describe how I feel. Every time that I have to interact with you, I cringe just a little bit.

I’ve tried to give you time, thinking that perhaps once I got past the unfamiliarity with you, that I might learn to appreciate you, at least a little bit. The more I get to know you, though, the more I really do loathe you.

Just a massive pain in my ass is what you are, Windows.

Let’s talk about Tuesday.  Tuesday, I decided that it would be nice to watch a movie with Alex, and so I double-clicked on the file, your native Video application opened up, and you proceeded to inform me that I required an update to the app before I could proceed. Fair enough, I’m not opposed to updating software, particularly when it is meant to improve quality and performance, or allow for more file types, what have you.

You had a huge problem with updating the software, though, Windows. When I clicked the link in the Video app to update, you told me that I needed updates to three apps in total. Reader, Video, and Music. I clicked your friendly little install button, and waited for the apps to download. I did my part. Your job was to download and install these three updates, and you failed me, Windows.

You informed me that the apps could not be installed, and rather than giving me any useful information about why that was, you gave me an error code.  That’s fine, you uncommunicative little shit. I got skills, baby.  And by skills, I mean “Google”.

Unfortunately, the exact error code didn’t have results of its own in search, but I did find other people having the same app installation woes. So, I went through each and every one of the suggestions I found from “gurus”, and guess what, Windows? You still wouldn’t co-operate! However, in going through each and every one of those suggestions, I did discover that you had neglected to register a bunch of .dll files that were necessary for the apps in question.

After hours of searching, and repeating some of those steps multiple times, you finally informed me that an update was pending, and I needed to restart my computer. So, I rebooted your sorry little ass, Windows. Once the computer was restarted, I tried again to update Reader, Music, and Video. Still, you insisted there was a problem, and threw me the same useless error code. Still, determined to make things work, I went over all the steps as before, and finally you said that the apps were updated.

Only, they actually weren’t. I opened Video again, and you informed me that those three apps still needed updates.  I threw my hands up and walked away from it, and watched my movie using VLC instead. (Which I downloaded after giving up on you, Windows).

On Wednesday, while Alex was at work, I decided I would try again to convince you to update Reader, Music, and Video.  You decided this time that you would proceed with the updates, and actually install them. Hooray!

Only, after you updated Reader, Music, and Video, when I attempted to open any of those three apps, they would immediately minimise.  Not crash, mind you, but minimise. When I’d maximise the window, they would just minimise again. Over and over. So, sure,  you updated my apps you little monster, but you broke them in the process? These are built-in, and as far as I can tell there’s no way to remove them. So, I guess I just have a bunch of useless shit sitting there taking up space? Hello VLC, Calibre & Adobe Reader, and iTunes, which my iPod was going to demand I install anyway, I guess.

Today, I double clicked a video file without thinking about it at all, thought “Oh shit” as Video proceeded to open, and then…

Everything works perfectly.

What the hell is wrong with you, Windows 8.1? Honestly!

Oh, and by the way, I do see your little notification about Windows 10 down there in the system tray. It’s a trap, Windows, and I know it. I’m not falling for it.

3 Responses to Dear Windows 8.1

  • The updating anecdote is personal to you (though utterly believable) but with the rest I concur completely. My plan was never to use Windows 8.1 but in the end gave in and bought a new computer with it installed. What difference has it made to my life? In a nutshell, whereas with Win XP I just got on with my work, with Win 8.1 I am fighting the OS all the time and struggling to do my work. Not only is it a rubbish OS but its behaviour is not even consistent: the same clicks produce different results at different times; things happen that I didn’t ask for; software doesn’t work as it’s supposed to.

    Like you I am ignoring the nag to update to Win 10. Why overlay one piece of crap with another? MS is using users as beta testers, which is quite immoral even if this piece of crapware is currently free.

    • I still prefer WinXP, too. The interface looked like a Fisher Price baby’s toy of some sort, but it didn’t matter to me, because things worked. I never thought I’d be saying this, but even Windows Vista or 7 are preferable to 8. If this current machine of mine hadn’t come with Windows 8, I wouldn’t be using it, either.

  • I did think – and enquire – about moving to Win 7 rather than 8.1. In the end, though, I was persuaded that 8.1, even though no one has a good word to say for it, was the best way to go.

    If my XP machine had had a better configuration, I might still be using it despite the supposed security risks. Unfortunately, it was slow and had too little memory, so that running several applications together (e.g. when editing photos) was fraught with hang-ups and crashes.

    I look back on it with sad fondness.

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