Update 1: This afternoon I noticed that a new update for Windows 8.1 is available. According to the Knowledge Base article that accompanies it this update are supposed to “Improve the reliability of Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2” That can mean anything. Hopefully they have discovered that there was a serious problem and fixed it. I will install it and test it as soon as I can.
Update 2: After having used my tablet for a couple of days after the latest Internet Explorer 11 stability update I am happy to note that the particular problem of IE force closing on me all the time seems to have disappeared.
I wrote in my previous post about my experiences with my Windows 8.1 update that it appeared that it was not as stable as the previous version. Unfortunately that seems to not only be true but almost an understatement. When I first got my Windows 8 tablet I was so happy that I could spend an evening in front of the TV browsing and flipping between apps without having things, especially the browser, just close on me a dozen times as it did on my Android tablet.
Unfortunately that is now exactly the experience that I have on my tablet since I upgraded it to Windows 8.1. Every so often it just closes on me and so does a lot of other apps. If I click on them again they usually go back to where they were when they closed but not always. I actually wrote this post and then saved it as a draft thinking that I would wait a while to get some more experience with my Windows 8.1 installation to see if it really was this bad. Now the browser have closed on me half a dozen times in an hours time when simply trying to use Wikipedia. This is the kind of beta quality that I got used to having to put up with when using my Android tablet.
The issue is aggravated by this automatic opening of the browser in a tiled window on the screen. Sometimes this is quite practical and sometimes it is not but the problem is that I cannot choose. This is unfortunately the direction Microsoft seems to be going. From having been a fully customizable OS it have now become a if-you-do-not-like-the-way-we-think-you-should-work-then-get-lost OS.
Well, sorry Microsoft but right now this feature is just confusing and buggy. Often, when you do not want it to, it opens in tiled mode. For example, if you get an email when doing something else and tap on the notification, then you get a tiled view. Well, I do not like to get a tiled view at that time. When you try to close the tiled view of the email app it sometimes closes everything. Sometimes the app that you where using originally just closes on you while reading your email.
And what about the way the screen is split? Sometimes it is 50/50 sometimes it is 25/75. On short it is just a mess.
Unfortunately this is not the only issue I have. It seems like the new fancy SkyDrive integration is buggy as well. As far as I am concerned SkyDrive was working pretty well on Windows 7 and on Windows 8 as well using the good old Windows Live Essentials SkyDrive app. Unfortunately there seems to have sneaked in some issues with the implementation of this new off-line/on-line feature.
Since Microsoft decided to scrap one of the really useful features of SkyDrive, when it was called Live Mesh before it was renamed to SkyDrive, I have turned to GoodSync for my peer-to-peer sync needs. One day GoodSync suddenly reported errors accessing some files claiming that there were problems with the “symlinks”. These were files that were synced over SkyDrive. Further more it was files that existed on my drive before the 8.1 upgrade. Actually, the PC in question was the original source of these files.
As it turned out, after some investigation, the SkyDrive integration in Windows 8.1 had decided to simply remove the files after uploading them to SkyDrive and replacing them with a link. Now that is really a WTF situation in the first place. I can understand that the files would be represented as links on some other computer but not that the original file in question would be deleted form the source computer.
What was worse though was that this link turned out to not work properly with all software. Not only was it not working with GoodSync but, as it turned out, I could no longer open it with the original software. Now that really got me mad. The software in question was DVD Profiler so I was stuck with not being able to open my entire DVD collection database. At this point I was really pissed off. Luckily I could resolve the problem by telling the SkyDrive app to make all files off-line. After having waited for SkyDrive to re-sync and put back all the files that it had removed and replaced with links everything worked normally again.
It is obvious that Microsoft needs the re-recruit some people who does not spend all their days “consuming media” and drooling over fancy features a’la iCrap but actually makes software for people who use their machines for real work.