I doubt I was alone in rolling my eyes when I first used Windows 8 a year ago. I found its touch controls and gestures awkward, and I was troubled by how little its primary, tile-based interface could do on its own.
For many basic tasks, I had to return to the system’s traditional desktop mode, the one that resembles older versions of Windows. It felt as though I was working on two different computers at once.
Since then, I’ve warmed up to many of those touch controls and gestures, such that I’ve even tried to use them absentmindedly out of habit on my touch-less MacBook laptop. And the free Windows 8.1 update released addresses many of my remaining gripes.
Windows is still far from perfect. It continues to come across as a work in progress. But Windows 8.1 shows Microsoft is listening. People who already have Windows 8 will find digital life more pleasant with the update.