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back to article Microsoft: YES Windows 8.1 is finished, but NO you can't have it

Microsoft says it has already begun seeding the final code of Windows 8.1 to its manufacturing partners, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to get your hands on the update any sooner. In a blog post on Tuesday, Windows corporate VP Antoine Leblond said that while hardware makers are being given time to incorporate Windows 8.1 …

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Anonymous Coward

When we got Vista, we lived with the few copies we had. Win 8 is banned from our company. Outright, no one even thinks of bringing it through the door for fear of voodoo curses and fingernails yanked out. Incrementing it to 8.1 will not change that policy.

When we began assessing Linux again after the debacle of 8, we were amazed how far it had come. We are continuing to look at replacement of older XP machines with Linux workstations. Same box, different OS. Thanks for that motivation Microsoft.

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Linux

Same here. We have a few 5+ year old 32 Bit systems with 512Mb ram which ran XP. As a test I installed Fedora 19 32Bit running XFCE, then Chrome seeing as most of the work was done in the browser anyway. It was so fast it was shocking! What a difference those years of optimizing rather than building in obsolescence made. I strongly urge anyone in the same position to give this a try.

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FAIL

Office?

Heh, I used to have a real install of Office on a real install of Windows. It failed to flow paragraphs across a suspicious number (16 or 32, I forget which) of pages, and once I had figured out that it was a bug in Office rather than fault on my part, I fled to Linux and OpenOffice. Also, I have seen 'real work' done in real companies and it is almost all pointless, the few worthwhile documents would be just as useful as ASCII text files.

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Anonymous Coward

And conversely, our company, which aims not to get stuck in the past are only installing Windows 8 now and buying new Windows 8 machines.

And I actually prefer it. It is not the same as Vista (or ME) which were real turkeys, it's just that some people find it more difficult than others to adapt, even if takes about 10 to 20 minutes to go through the main UI changes and understand them.

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Ok I'll bite.

When my last machine died I bit the bullet and installed windows 8. I have tried really hard to like it, but as a desktop OS it just sucks in so many ways. Not in a Vista way, but just in the workflow.

Stupid things like installing shortcuts to your desktop, powering down the machine are more difficult than they should be. Then there is the tendency to move into full screen apps when you click on a PDF or a play some music. Full screen apps which have far less features than the desktop ones they replace and take effort to get out of.

Maybe I would feel different if I had a touch screen, but who generally updates there screen when they buy a new PC?

Maybe 8.1 will be better, but they would be better off producing 2 versions. Windows 8 for destop and windows 8 for tablets and let people who use their PC's to make a living get their productivity back.

Rant over....

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Microsoft really needs to get out of the "one Windows for all" mentality. You don't take a cargo truck to go shopping, nor do you use a convertible to move houses. There are different types of computing platforms, they need different levels of OS (and UI) functionality.

That means that Microsoft should not try to bundle everything together all the time. That's how they screwed up the tablet market the first time.

At install time on a PC, I really don't see what the problem is in detecting whether or not the user has a touchscreen-capable screen, and if yes, asking the user (yes, you should still ask) if he wants to install touchscreen functionality. If the answer is no, don't bother the user with it again. On the other hand, put it in the list of Windows options that can be installed at any time.

If the user installs the OS without a touchscreen, then buys one and hooks it up, by all means ask him if he's interested in using touchscreen functionality once the OS has detected it, but don't force it.

This is not rocket science. Microsoft already did with disability aids, why should this be so different ?

If the user is installing on a tablet, by all means include the touchscreen stuff - it's needed there and is obviously useful. But Microsoft could still make it an option to uncheck, for the hardcore keyboard-mouse aficionados who would still prefer managing their tablet like a PC. Might not be smart, but there is no reason Microsoft should not allow it. After all, I can imagine very well someone buying a tablet for a specific purpose (say home automation) and bolting it to a wall in the cellar or something.

Yes, it might not be all that smart, but computing today is about letting the user find a solution to fit his needs, not ignoring them and imposing something a big company thinks is better.

I'm convinced that at least 50% of the angst around Windows 8 is because of that restriction to our available choices. We, as a user base, have grown accustomed to expecting things to work the way we want. Right or wrong, it is obvious that companies go against that at their peril.

And Microsoft has long since forgotten how to listen to its users.

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@ hammarbtyp

Icon on desktop - why? It's "Win" key and there they are. Easier than digging out ye olde desktop from under the windows

Fullscreen apps - Change the "open with". Or have the admin do that company wide. Fixes the problem instantly

And gone are your complains. Win8 works very nicely on a productive (software development) system since Oktober here

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@ Pascal Monett

And what do you install on a convertible or 2in1? Win8 actually IS choice:

I can buy whatever hardware I need from a lil Atom to a huge core-i (non ULV)

I can use that hardware, even the same, how I want (tablet, notebook, desktop) without install/uninstall

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Just be carefull of the Adobe Flash SSE2 required problem ( and blue smurfs )

Hi Bob, good plan but.... I started to see blank video on BBC iplayer and youtube when using the latest flash on Debian and Ubuntu based distros (gnash was not good enough) when instaling on older PC's.

Currently Adobe have screwed older Linux PC's that don't have SSE2 in the CPU and don't seem to care.

See below

https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3161034

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Pint

Well...

Have sensors to detect what configuration its in and when in Tablet mode change the interface to tablet mode. Its only a shell at the end of the day.

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FAIL

"Stupid things like installing shortcuts to your desktop, powering down the machine are more difficult than they should be."

If you're powering down the PC using anything other than the power button, then you're already using the most inefficient methods going.

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Easy to fix...

Start8 from Stardock. I have a Win8 machine that works 99% like Win7. I tried 8 out of curiosity, and found that - after installing Start8 to circumvent all that Metro tabletty touch crap - I quite liked it and have stuck with it.

ModernMix from Stardock forces Metro apps to run in a window.

I agree 100% that MS' insistence on a single OS for touch and desktop is simply incomprehensible and, imho, an unbelievably stupid mistake.

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Re: power button

Not very efficient for a user with a small desk who has to have the computer on the floor underneath

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Re: Easy to fix...

I wil never understand the need for crutches like Start8 and company. Win8 is different sure. So was the switch from CP/M -> MS DOS -> Win 3.x -> WinNT4 ->.... Not to mention the various XWindow based UIs that more often than not was "take it or forget it" (Motif, OpenWindows, the various PenguBased UIs)

So this is just another switch. And once you get rid of "grandpa Xerox / auntie XP did it this way" actually a very easy one.

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This may beg the question...

What is there to hide?

I'll let the answers flow in the follow-on comments.

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Re: This may beg the question...

They just want a rest from the "Lipstick on a pig" comments for a while.

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Trollface

Re: This may beg the question...

...or they need to get some more turd polish in.

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Re: "Lipstick on a pig" comments for a while.

Yeah. I heard both the cosmetics manufacturers and the pigs were getting lawyers lined up to sue MS for damages because of the denigration involved in comparing Windows 8 to them.

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bex

but NO you can't have it

or want it

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Anonymous Coward

YES Windows 8.1 is finished

NO ! I don't need or want it.

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Anonymous Coward

As Steve's influence fades, so shall the focus on developers.

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Go

You're kidding right? The developer experience for Windows 8 is an absolute arse and it has very little of the purported interop with Windows Phone that was supposed to be the big selling point of Metro prior to release.

There are a great many voices within Microsoft who understand that the focus should be on developers, not internal politics or egos or empire-building by one division at the expense of another. I am personally hoping for someone like Scott Guthrie (probably not actually Scott as he's not high enough up the chain, but someone with his priorities), the developer and feature story for Azure has improved ten-fold since he took charge.

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"not internal politics or egos or empire-building by one division at the expense of another"

<cough>

Stack ranking.

Well, once more does it confirm this old adage - incompetent metrics are much worse than having no metrics at all.

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One question to rule them

There is only one question that most people want answered, I wont say it though because to many El Commentards get all upset.

Does it or does it not ...........................

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Linux

Re: One question to rule them

...have a Start-Menu? No, it has a Start-button, that when clicked, takes you to the Metro screen. Real fukcing funny Microsoft, so funny in fact, that I won't buy a PC with your crappy OS on it.

(yes, I know I can find and change a setting that will take me to that crappy fullscreen App window when I click on it, but it is not what we wanted and you know it).

...still frustrate users? Yes.

...get skipped by IT professionals for business upgrades? Yes.

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Ship then patch

It is definitely not done. But they dare not slip the launch to after Christmas. So they will ship now and issue a launch day patch for remaining issues. If they can. In the meantime they must not let developers leak the broken version.

This is going to be beautiful. Every needs to watch this train wreck as an example of what not to do..

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Re: Ship then patch

"This is going to be beautiful. Every needs to watch this train wreck"

f*#king brilliant.. best comment of the day.

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Re: Ship then patch

I presume you haven't got access (or perhaps the inclination!) to have tried the preview then. It's really just a service pack for 8.0 and so it is probably already better than what current Win8 users are working with. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion on 8.0 (and I probably share much of it) but there's no way that 8.1 is going to be a train wreck by comparison. It just isn't different enough.

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Paris Hilton

Hmm.

You might be correct, I wonder if they are going to attempt to capture X-mas sales from some of those low-information buyers along the lines of " Windows 8.1 is different than Window 8, I heard it has a Start-Button. Remember, that was the reason people didn't like it, so I guess now we can buy it now, right?"

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Re: Ship then patch

Ken, its all about Inclination, most people don't have it, unfortunately Microsoft's attitude of refusing to listen and trying to dictate to their user base has pissed a lot of people to the point, where they just cannot be bothered any more.

This has a direct impact on Windows 8.1 as many articles that review it say its a begrudgingly half-hearted attempt at appeasing the voices but without delivering much - So given this, its no wonder people don't have inclination!.

To put it another way - Windows 8 was a spectacular train wreck, and whilst 8.1 won't compare, its still going to be quite a sight, and I think Microsoft will be quite humbled by this..

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Re: Ship then patch

Yes... in fact it's "YES you can have it, but NO it isn't finished". Expect immediate updates that you have to load on a new Windows 8.1 device - not just security but fixing features that don't work right.

Having said that, that Isn't too bad, really. It just means that manufacturers get a buggy Technology Preview that has to be what they install on their product to sell, and that doesn't quite work.

I suppose that's pretty bad for you if you are a manufacturer.

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Re: I think Microsoft will be quite humbled by this..

If you are correct, they may still be able to save the company.

Unfortunately MS has gotten so big and disconnected from their market, I suspect nothing short of bankruptcy that will humble them.

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Poor Microsoft

I actually feel a little bit sorry for big old Redmond. It's like they're making a big deal over this and new updated version of Windows 8, but no-one is actually that bothered.

I'm certainly not, and this is the only version of Windows that I've not upgraded to straight away. I have no reason or need to move away from Win 7, and 8.1 hasn't changed my mind one bit.

Bye bye Ballmer, you've certainly stepped down at the right time. But it might just be too late for a proper Windows recovery. Linux has never had a better opportunity to stake a claim for itself.

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Pint

Re: Poor Microsoft

You feel sorry for them?

About the only good thing left for them to do now is complete the utter humiliation of overtaking Apple in smartphone market share. With iOS tumbling to 13% whilst WP8 worms its way past 5% that might just be the greatest comedy gift this Christmas decent folk everywhere can cheer about.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor Microsoft

I'm sorry to say that but Linux will never get a chance. Not because it's bad, but because of the way MS does business. Their main customers are fat and lazy government offices and fat and lazy businesses who enjoy shelling out tons of mazuma for fat and lazy OS, supported by fat, lazy and greedy decades long "support" contracts.

This is a stinky business with lots of cash, 0 innovation (as we see), almost feels like those bugs and imperfections are there for purpose of extracting more cash through support.

Just think, what innovation has the MS contributed in the past decade to the world of computing? Yet, they still hold 95% of corporate business when it comes to workstations and even servers. No amount of bad quality will exterminate it, they are like rats, they feed on bad quality, bad conditions. The worse they are, the more they thrive.

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Re: Poor Microsoft

Cute FUD but FUD.

Most of those "big companies" run a mixed environment and have done so since before most Pinguboys where born. OS/400, z-Series, Solaris, Windows - all in the mix. They make decisions based on "will I get support in x years" with x >> 3 and "will I get hardware that runs this in x years". And that is why they end up with "everything BUT Linux" in most situations. And IF they do Linux - RedHat with a support contract. Saves no money.

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Pint

Re: Poor Microsoft

> You feel sorry for them?

This made me actually check whether that old site still exists...

KEIN MITLEID FÜR MICROSOFT

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Anonymous Coward

How times change

10 yrs ago this would have bothered me. Today I say "meh".

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Been looking

I am in the market for a new laptop, not interested in a fondle slab for what I want so I started looking online to see what is on offer.

Particularly as the advent of fondlies has led to piles of unsold laptops,the first thing I notice was how many that come with 8 already on board come with a 'downgrade option' personally I regard it as a retrogressive upgrade!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Been looking

Look at the new Acer Aspire S7. Touch screen so makes using Win 8 a joy....

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Anonymous Coward

been looking

AC@20.42

The good news is that everything runs out of the box if you install e.g. Linux Mint as Acer haven't enabled 'Secure Boot'.

No, i was only joking, of course everything doesn't run 'out of the box', you'll have to mess about a bit to get SSD RAID working.

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Re: Been looking

I have an Acer with a touch screen, running Windows 8. Nothing makes running Win 8 a joy.

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Huh?

"However, it's clear that times have changed, with shifts to greater mobility and touch as well as the blurring of work and personal lives."

So that is supposed to have some influence on RTM and general availability timing how?

Do they really think manufacturers will shift more boxes because 8.1 is loaded?

Most likely it isn't fit for release and what's changed is the definition of RTM which now means a version where the first windows update session won't take more than an hour.

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"YES Windows 8.1 is finished YES Windows 8.1 is finished "

Agree !

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Least anticipated Windows release in history

By a country mile.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll update

I got three updates at home for $15 each after a bit of magic. Two were to update Vista boxes, and one was to legitimize a machine running a pirated Windows 7. They work fine with classic shell installed. I don't use any of the metro stuff though. Boot straight to desktop with a proper start button and start menu. It definitely uses less resources than Vista did, and boots much quicker. Much less crash prone as well. I really don't know what 8.1 has to offer, other than bastardized start button functionality.

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Re: I'll update

8.1 a bit more stabile especially browser. Tile interface is now tolerable with mouse, kb.

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aqk
Windows

Re: I'll update

I've upgraded a desktop and a laptop to Win-8. One of them has already been upgraded again to 8.1 - I realize I'll have to re-install when the "real" 8.1 comes out, but that's OK. Unlike you, I went the $39 route each.

I've a 3rd PC that may be upgraded if MS does a another bargain-basement offer like this when the final 8.1 comes out.

I wonder what all these tedious eight-bashers here are gonna do 2 or 3 years from now, when their old XP and Linux systems become unfashionable, or perhaps a boss starts asking questions as to why his IT dept. is so out-of-date....

I would amusing to keep some of these comments here and repost them publicly a few years from now.

Alas, most of these folks are anonymous cowards.

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FAIL

Re: I'll update

How can you be you outta date when Linux gets refreshed every 6-12 Months. If anything the Corporates will demand longer LTS runs which are already good for Five Years! Given that these are the same operations that have been running Windows XP since time immemorial. I kinda fail to see your point!

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