I found only one ridiculously tiny fix for the Windows 8 oddities in 8.1: There is now a start button visible again before I hover to the lower left corner. The rest of the start menu handling is as broken as before.
Other annoying problems have even aggravated, most notably that they mess up my icons of my most important folder: the desktop. From time to time all icons are jumbled. Now there is even one that I can’t drag out of the way. The Heimnetzwerkgruppe (Home network group?) won’t go away unless I chase it with another icon. Each time I drop another one on it, it moves downwards by one slot.
After the upgrade taking several hours, I could not login with my local account but only with the MS account. I knew this pattern from the patronizing competitors, and after choosing several “not recommended” options I was released again. But at the expense that my beloved SkyDrive desktop application won’t work any more. OK, off to Dropbox.
Other changes won’t affect everyone but are very annoying because they interfere with my personal habits. Internet Explorer 11 wouldn’t let me switch off tabs and hence I was faced with the narrow patronizing address bar that hides all those scaring URLs. Fortunately I was able to drag its right border such that tabs take only the room of 3 favicons and a scroll arrow. But I wonder how often I will miss my “open in new window” because of the “open in new tab” that is no longer greyed out.
(PS: After I typed this, the Heimnetzwerkgruppe has silently disappeared. Thanks.)