Windows 8.1 - worth upgrading from Win 7 x64?

I know Win 8 \ 8.1 is getting a bad rep, but from what I read it’s mostly becourse of metro interface. I also read that in win 8.1 they “partially fixed” it (meaning if you don’t want to use it you can…mostly), and there are 3rd party programs like classic shell that can bring you Win 7 start meny if you want.

Since I’ll be changing my hard drive soon (Intel SSD 120gb - for system \ programs, and WD black 7200rpm 1tb HDD for everything else), I was thinking should I upgrade to Win 8.1 or stick with Win 7?

So, excluding the metro, is there any benefit in perfomance \ stability \ etc?
Does CIS run well on Win 8.1 x64?
Are there any compatibility problems (compared to Win 7)?

Personally I like Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (after a little modifications) and I find it to be more stable than my Windows 7 installation could ever be (I think my Win 7 CD was broken or something, explorer.exe would always crash randomly even on new installs)

I think it’s a taste thing, if you can get past the metro interface or otherwise if you can accept having to install a third party start menu replacement, then Windows 8.1 is in my opinion better than Windows 7.

I personally have not experienced any big issues with CIS running on Win 8.1, although I’ve seen other people getting BSOD but I don’t know how many they are.

I haven’t experience any compatibility problems so far, but it depends on the software I guess.

Personally I would probably stick to Windows 7 for a little longer until Windows 9 is released, which should be sometime 2015 if I remember correctly, but again that’s just me.

I think I read that Win 9 (or sometimes referred to as Win 8.1 update 2) will be cloud-based OS (whatever that’s supposed to mean?

Windows 8.1 update 2 is not the same as Windows 9.
Windows 8.1 update 2 will be a “minor” update (i.e not as big as previously thought to be (i.e no new start menu)) to Windows 8.1 update 1, it will probably be released somewhere between now and fall.
Windows 9 is a new version of Windows that will be released sometime in 2015 (probably early 2015) that will have some new things, for example a reworked start menu (pretty much a hybrid between traditional start menu and ModernUI (metro) start menu, you will also be able to use ModernUI apps in windows… like normal applications. Admittedly not much new there that I’m aware of but there’s probably more changes that are so far unknown, at least to me.
Regarding Cloud OS, it has been rumored that Microsoft is working on a Cloud OS and while they probably are working on a Cloud OS, I do doubt that they are going to make Windows 9 a cloud based OS. Personally I don’t see such a product doing so well, perhaps it would, but I doubt Microsoft would risk finding out with Windows 9, if anything it would be a different version of Windows 9, like with Windows RT, or just a different windows fork in general.

The only reason I’m running Windows 8 is because I can’t get compatible drivers for the copy of Windows 7 I already own, and because Canonical ruined Ubuntu for me. Windows 8 isn’t a bad operating system or anything; it’s basically Windows 7 with some irritating changes. Since you already own a decent operating system I can’t really advise shelling out for Windows 8.1. I mean, unless there’s some feature it has that you really want, what does it have to offer you that you don’t already have? Windows 9 will be coming around at some point soon I expect; your new OS will be outdated in the blink of an eye.

In answer to your questions (keep in mind I’m running 8 not 8.1):

  1. So, excluding the metro, is there any benefit in perfomance \ stability \ etc?

I haven’t seen any performance differences, stability improvements, or anything I would say positive over Windows 7 except for the newer UEFI support.

  1. Does CIS run well on Win 8.1 x64?

I haven’t actually tried CIS on Windows 8 or 8.1 yet so I couldn’t say.

  1. Are there any compatibility problems (compared to Win 7)?

It’s a bit less compatible than Windows 7 was, but nothing major. The few programs I had problems with in the beginning were resolved when the devs released updated version compatible with Windows 8.

Reasons to upgrade to Win 8.1 from Win 7:-

Win 8.1 is faster especially for startup and shutdown.
Metro interface is said to be easier to use on touchscreen PCs.
Win 8.1 is very stable (for me).
No issues running latest CFW.
Win 8.x will be supported after Win 7 reaches end-of-life.

Reasons NOT to upgrade to Win 8.1 from Win 7:-

Metro interface is hated by many, but there are many good 3rd party start menu programs that allow you to avoid using it.
Win 8.1 may not be compatible with all your hardware. Check first before upgrading!!
Win 8.1 is incompatible with some older software especially games. May be able to work around this by running an older version of Windows in a virtual environment like VMWare or Virtual Box.

I used Windows 7 64Bit until last week then the PC went to the great scrapyard in the sky & now i have a new one it had to come with Windows 8.1 iv’e had it for a week & generally learned to hate every inch of it. Classic Shell has brought back a lot of the familiar settings & so on but i must say if i could go back to my Windows 7 64Bit i would do it in a heartbeat. Not just because of the start menu but there are so many other things too,like a Full Screen size calculator, so now i have 2 calculators on it one usable one & one that blocks of the whole Desk top, even if you make it smaller it still leaves the whole background hidden behind a blue screen. Like i say it is only a week so i still have plenty to discover but if i could replace this windows 8.1 to 7 again i would not hesitate.Also CSU does not run Program Manager does not run, Time Machine does not run & No doubt a gazillion other programs i used to use & trust will not be properly compatible. Windows 7 worked well it was familiar & i would like to think that by the time Microsoft abandon those who use it like they have those who loved XP, someone somewhere will have developed an OS that will run window programs without any problems & then i (along with millions of others i would think) can abandon Microsoft & look to another software developer who actually does want to help people and not just force people to conform because they don’t really have much choice. I am waiting for the day ReactOS Project is out of alpha stage a bit more compatible & reliable & then i am gone.