In my last entry, I ended mentioning that I was backing up in case the Windows 8.1 installation totally screwed up my computer. The installation went fine, but it's always good to have backups. It didn't take that long for me to back things up anyway, since I back things up every couple weeks. With that out of the way, I guess I'll talk about my first impressions.
Yesterday, I got a banner that appeared across my screen inviting me to open the Store app and install Windows 8.1. It's weird that it doesn't come down through Windows Update, when it's basically Windows 8 SP1. It provided a scarily large download size, but based on how long it took to download it, they were either providing the worst-case scenario download size or the uncompressed size. Anyway, I took a nap while it downloaded and messed around on another computer. The download also randomly stopped for several minutes, then started again. I couldn't figure out any sort of pattern; all I wanted was it to finish so I could use my Internet connection again. Eventually, it finished and restarted...and restarted...and restarted. When I finally had a chance to interact with my computer again, it started asking very installing-an-OS kinds of questions. Then I hit the "Sign in to your Microsoft account" step. I purposely didn't want to do that when installing Windows 8, but with this upgrade, it did not [visibly] give me any kind of choice not to. The only choices were to sign in, create a new account, or view the privacy statement. I hopped on the other computer I had nearby to look up if there was a way past this. Basically, you just click the option to create a new account, then there's an option at the bottom to keep signing in the way you always have, i.e., locally. This works the same way for a fresh install; click to create a new account, and click the option to sign in without a Microsoft account. (This site was the first one that showed up when I did a search, so it's their advice I took. The site also has how to remove a Microsoft account if you didn't want one in the first place.)