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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Recently I got an All-in-One Windows 8 Touchscreen.  Since it was a new environment for me, I thought I'd post a couple of things about its functionality over Windows 7, which is the market leader currently.

First, Windows 8 did away with the traditional desktop, which I dislike tremendously.  There are several post out there and several third-party vendors who sell products to make the Windows 8 look more like Windows 7, which should tell Microsoft something, which they are ignoring---people LIKE the desktop and Start Menu!

Still, since my PC is a touchscreen, I thought I'd try to live with the Windows 8 Tiles environment.  Microsoft is trying to make their desktop like Apple, where you have applications that you buy from them sitting on your desktop.  For instance, the PC came with a Skype App pre-installed on their tile screen.  When I tried to sign in with my Skype account, it tried to force me to sign in with my Microsoft Live account instead, and it actually succeeded in forcing me to merge the two accounts (there was no cancel option)!  Then, when I noticed that the Skype Application was less capable than the full blown Skype program, which is launched from the desktop, I deleted their app and just made a shortcut to the full-blows Skype program on the desktop.  

One other annoyance about Windows 8, aside from the Start Menu being gone, is the fact that they always want to bring you back to the "Start" (bad name) screen (the one with the tiles).  For instance, if I'm on my Desktop, and I launch the Chrome Browser, there is no minimize button, and when I hit the Windows button I am moved back into the Start Screen (with the tiles).   To get back to my desktop I have to click on the desktop icon, which is annoying.  It would be MUCH better if I could just stay within my desktop environment and go into the tiles environment when I wanted to do something with touch, instead of the other way around. 

Then comes Windows 8.1.   Since I am a big fan of MS Security Essentials, I thought I'd install it on my Windows 8 box.  They've renamed it MS Security Defender (why do people insist on renaming known products?), but to get MS Security Defender on Windows 8, you have to upgrade to Windows 8.1.  Again, since I had a touchscreen box, I thought upgrading would be OK.  

Thus began the saga of Microsoft stealing my local account, and trying to FORCE me to log in with my Windows Live account.   On my Windows 8 box I originally had ONE user account, a local account, which I used to sign in.  Upon upgrading to Windows 8.1 I was tricked into having Microsoft take over that account with my Windows Live account, which was superbly annoying!  

If you check out this post from Microsoft:

You'll notice that they really, really, really want you to use your Live account, not a local account.  They say that "it’s the glue that holds together so many useful features of the new Windows: the ability to download apps from the Store, automatic syncing of your settings and documents between your PCs, backing up your photos to the cloud so you can get to them from anywhere, and seeing all your contacts from multiple email and social networking accounts together in the People and Mail apps."  I don't care about any of that, so I wanted to use my local account.  

However, they hide the option of using your Local Account to log in under "Creating a New Account" menu, so be warned!   Most people, like me, will not be able to navigate their menu and will lose their Local Account name, which will be taken over by the Life Account Name, and all your settings (like wallpaper, icon placement, apps, documents, etc) will be gone (used up by the Live Account), and you'll be left with a blank New Local Account, which you'll have to set up all over again.  

Thus, be careful if you upgrade.  MS will steal your local account if you're not very, very, very careful! 


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