Windows 8.1 RTM on Surface Pro

Today I installed Windows 8.1 RTM on my Surface Pro, and so far I’m pretty happy. I decided to list what I believe to be some pros and cons to consider when updating your Windows 8 system:

Pros:

  • Mail app has improved significantly. Ability to easily select more than one message by either long-pressing or right-clicking, or by checking the checkboxes next to each item. Also appearance is closer to Outlook.com’s look and feel.
    Windows Mail
  • Setup prompted me to either keep my files only, or nothing (Sounds like an OS upgrade to me). I chose to keep my files, and it stored them in the usual Windows.old folder. However, all of my configurations and customizations remained! Awesome!
  • RT applications all installed with one click!
  • My WiFi connections and credentials were all remembered, I didn’t have to re-enter any passwords or search for SSIDs. Another huge plus IMHO.
  • IE bookmarks, auto-fill, remembered passwords, favorites, etc. were all remembered and flowed right through once I signed on with my Microsoft account.
  • Total time from begin to end to completely update the Surface Pro was approximately 15 minutes, including reboots

Cons:

  • Had to reinstall all of my x64 applications. Unfortunately for me, since the Surface Pro is my dev machine that’s quite a few applications. To me this is more of an OS upgrade than a Service Pack style update.
  • Still having to right-click and choose “Run As Administrator” every time I launch certain applications. Would be nice to have an “Always Run As Administrator” option
    UPDATE: This isn’t a limitation in Windows 8, this was my own lack of knowledge. To set an application (in this case Visual Studio 2013) to always run as administrator do the following (click the images to enlarge):

    1. Right-click on the Start screen tile and choose Open File Location
      Screenshot (3)
    2. Right-click on the program you want to alter and choose Properties
      Screenshot (4)
    3. Click the Advanced button at the bottom
      Screenshot (5)
    4. Make sure the Run As Administrator box is checked and click OK
      Screenshot (6)

    The application will now run as administrator whenever clicked from the Start screen!

So far more pros than cons, I’m pretty satisfied. I’ll post more here as I use the Surface more. Feel free to comment and add your pros/cons.

Update (09/11/2013 06:25 MT): It appears that if you’re running 8.1 Preview on the machine, it treats it like an OS upgrade, but if you’re running Windows 8 it’s treated like a SP update. Mark Brown noted that his Surface Pro running Windows 8 kept all of his x64 applications and just applied 8.1. Nice! Thanks for the feedback!

Short URL: http://eoszak.me/19FGSuT

Eric

Eric Oszakiewski is a professional software developer based in Scottsdale, AZ with over 35 years of IT experience, and 19 years Native American Gaming experience. He is currently working as a Sr .Net/SharePoint Developer for General Motors, and also as a consultant.

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8 thoughts on “Windows 8.1 RTM on Surface Pro”

  1. “Run always as admin” should be settable on the exe itself, and then work for the tile. Have to rest this when I’m at home.
    I miss the messaging app. Skype fails to replace it, as it doesnt load any of my friends. Thats my only negative so dar.

    1. You are correct, I managed to set the shortcut to always run as administrator, and the Start screen tile followed suit. Will update the post accordingly, thank you!

  2. Thank you for the post. Did you have to input a brand new win8 pro key for upgrading your surface pro to 8.1? I heard 8.1 will ask for a new key and you have no where to find the original win8 key comes with the surface pro.

    1. Yes, a new key was required in both instances – where I had 8.1 Preview and when I just had Windows 8. Not sure if that will be the case when they release it to the public, though.

      1. Ok, thanks, that gave me motivation to try again. Tried once again with the N edition I had downloaded, still failed to init the HID, then gave up and went back to the non-N (the one with mediaplayer etc. included) and then it all worked.

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