In Pictures: The hidden fangs of Windows 8.1 - and how to avoid them

Before you install Windows 8.1, make sure you understand the gotchas and how not to get bit

Get a third-party Start menu replacement No mention of Windows 8.1’s shortcomings (or Windows 8’s, for that matter) would be complete without a resounding endorsement of the many good, solid third-party Start menu replacement programs currently available.

My personal bias: Start8, by Stardock. It puts a full-featured, better-than-Windows-7 Start menu on your Windows 8.1 old-fashioned desktop, and it adds easy hooks into those Metro apps that you’ll probably never use or want. Bring your sanity back for $5.

While you’re on the site, make sure you also look at ModernMix, which lets you run Metro apps on the old-fashioned desktop. Very cool stuff.

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