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4 reasons Windows 8.1 is better than Windows XP - fixedByVonnie

4 reasons Windows 8.1 is better than Windows XP

Are you still using Windows XP?  It’s dead!

Seriously.

Okay, I get it.  The stability of the operating system was unprecedented… but that was in the antediluvian days of Pentium processors, Jurassic Park 3 and Destiny’s Child.

Windows XP was a great thing.  But now it’s a “been there done that” thing.  Despite the fact that that December 2014 data from Netmarketshare shows XP ousting 8.1, you still need to side with the minority and get cozy with the new kid on the block.

Microsoft capitulated product support last year so anyone using Windows XP is exposing themselves to all kinds of nasty viruses.  It’s like walking into the Amazon jungle, butt naked with open wounds and a debilitated immune system and hoping that you can get to the other side.

Well let me tell you something in the words of Mitt Romney: “Hope is not a strategy” and using Windows XP certainly won’t get you anywhere safe.

So here’s the thing: today I’m giving you four reasons why you should dump XP and get on with Windows 8.1.  After reading I hope you can definitively say: “XP was nice but 8.1 is the way to go”

Let’s do this.

The number one reason to abandon XP for 8.1 is Search.

1. Satisfying Search

How do you search for stuff in XP?

First, I would click the electric green Start button, click the Search option that sprouted from the Start Menu and then hit a category from the left pane of the Search Results.

If you ask me – that’s a lot of freggin’ steps.  And I’m lazy.  And I know your time is valuable so wouldn’t it be easier if you could search for stuff a hundred times faster?

Searching for files in Windows XP

Windows 8.1 won’t give you the adorable puppy who fetches your stuff but it will give you your sanity back.

Why?

Because all you have to do is press the Windows logo key on your keyboard and start typing.

Let’s say I want to open Adobe InDesign to create another eBook for you. (you can get my current eBook for free by joining my team)

In the graphic below you can see I typed:

in

Windows 8.1 filtered search results

Windows filtered Internet Explorer and Adobe Indesign but the phrase was a little too broad for a match.

So watch what happens as I keep typing…

Windows 8.1 filtered search results 2

Microsoft intuitively filters the results with each keystroke and now chiseled it down to Adobe InDesign.  All I have to do is hit Enter and the program races to the screen faster than a rain soaked pedestrian running to catch a cab.

2. Better Backups

I’m going to show you how to back that thang up like a food truck.

hahah, okay so here’s the deal:

Backing up stuff in Windows XP sucked.  It sucked so bad that… well – it was occasionally safer to leave your stuff alone than to brave the tempestuous waters of the Backup or Restore utility.

The Backup and Restore Wizard in Windows XP

In Windows 8.1 – it’s all changed for the better.

With File History you can flip back in time.  It chronicles everything.  It’s like thumbing through a Rolodex of Polaroid pictures; but instead of pictures, it’s filled with snapshots of files at various versions waiting to be recovered.

File History in Windows 8.1 is great

You can backup to a USB drive, network location or even an external hard drive.  Getting starting with File History is litereally as easy as mashing the Windows Key and typing

file history

Boom! Winning.

3. Speedy Startup

The next time you boot up your XP computer I want you to whip out your watch and count how long it takes from power on to login.

How many times does that progress bar makes it’s odyssey from left to right on the screen huh?

Waiting for Windows XP to start up

You’ve probably gotten used to it but – it seriously doesn’t have to be this way.

In Windows 8.1 boot up is a snap, crackle and pop of fun.

You won’t grow gray while waiting for Windows 8.1 to boot.  And if you’re already gray… well you won’t grow bald waiting for Windows 8.1 to boot…

If you’re already bald then… what else can I say?  I’m sorry.

Windows 8.1 boot up screen

This thing flies like a Concord jet.  It’s starts up with spunk and drops you on the Desktop faster than getaway car escapes a crime scene.

It’s fast.

Really fast.  Especially if you have a Solid State Drive (SSD) you’ll find yourself sitting at the login screen in seconds.

For example, it takes a typical quad-core XP system 30 seconds to boot.  Windows 8.1?

Try 10 seconds or even faster with a SSD.  It uses a new technology known as Hybrid Boot.  You can read all about it on Oliver’s MSDN blog.  He’s an Microsoft employee who breaks down the beauty of Fast Boot without being too technical.

4. Titillating Task Manager

Yes, I said “titillating”.  I did.

The new task manager in Windows 8.1 is smokin’ hot.

Back in the prehistoric era when XP computers dominated the world, the Task Manager wasn’t really something to rhapsodize about.

In fact, the Task Manager was just a bounty hunter.  You used him to kill greedy software processes who were stealing all your memory.

In the screenshot below, you can see I’m playing Solitaire, just beat the snot out of Minesweeper and I’m surfing the information superhighway at Lycos.com.  (What!? I was feeling nostalgic)

Windows XP Task Manager

But what the heck is the Task Manager doing?

He’s on the stage but he’s impotent.  Frightened.  Doesn’t really know what he’s doing here.

Let me show you what happened to the Task Manager in Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 Task Manager

In Windows 8.1, the Task Manager grew a pair of balls and started getting shiz done.

By the way, if your Task Manager is looking like Star Wars, Attack of the Chromes, see my article for understanding what those chrome.exe spawns mean.

Now you can see your most avaricious processes by simply looking for the darkest shade of brown.

Note: there are only four shades (not fifty shades of brown, sounds like a bad book knock off doesn’t it?)

So here’s the thing: you could sort your programs by CPU, Memory and a million other metrics but Microsoft made it easy to find your hungriest processes by simply looking at colors.

Smart.

But that’s not all!

Looking at the Performance Tab is like sitting in the cockpit of a NASA X15 jet.

Image credit Wikipedia

Mesmerizing.  Awe-inspring.  Just down right bad ass.

Windows 8.1 Task Manager, Performance Tab

There’s so much you can do here but you can’t join the rest of us by staying on Windows XP.

The Bottom Line

Windows XP was a great operating system.  Heck, it’s still a great operating system.  Despite being replete with vulnerabilities, it still has a special place in my heart.  I mean, it was great back in day when teenie boppers watched Dawson’s Creek and listened to Dido but today it’s a relic.

Windows 8.1 is demonstrable better for at least four reasons:

  • Search
  • Backups
  • Startups
  • Managing Tasks

So you’ve listened to me blabber long enough and now I want to hear from you.  How do you feel about Windows XP?  Describe your experience with it in the comments below.  I’m curious to know what you’re thinking.

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Posted in Windows, Windows 8.1, Windows XP Tagged with: ,
  • The Windows 8.1 task manager is absolutely terrible due to its chronic tendency to become unresponsive. This is not the case for the much leaner XP task manager, which is why I moved the XP task manager from an XP netbook to my Windows 8.1 tablet.

  • Name

    Really?
    1) If you don’t like the dog, you could restore classic search with an easy registry edit; and only a windows noob clicks start to search. Press F3.
    What did you LOSE in 8? Advanced search features. Yes, the ones you had were pitiful and outdated; but now you’ve lost almost all of them! IMPROVEMENT! Meanwhile, Linux is boasting how they have regex like searches that can cover all kinds of different variables (if you know what you’re looking for).

    2) NO ONE should use Windows Backup… there are far better and more comprehensive programs availiable FREE online.

    3) Windows 8 doesn’t have a “faster start up” it just hibernates when you shut it down. This is known to potentially corrupt your ntfs partition if windows is improperly shutdown because it saves “dynamic details” as static. (Basically, this means if anything changes without windows “noticing it beforehand” you can seriously wreck your system)

    Windows XP started with 2 bar spins (3 with .NET Framework) for me because I know how to optimize a system and keep it clean.

    4) A task manager should be fast, blazing fast… and never crash… I said never crash… NEVER CRASH!!!! oops.

    What happened here is that Microsoft made it PRETTY. It doesn’t need to be pretty, it just needs to work.