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back to article Microsoft does a U-turn, releases Windows 8.1 to developers early after all

After facing a backlash from developers concerned that they wouldn't get early access to the latest versions of Windows, Microsoft has released builds of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 to its MSDN and TechNet subscription programs, more than a month ahead of the updates' official launch date. "We heard from you that our …

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Scary and unbelievable

Hmm, while you're at it, can you:

- Put the Aero and Windows Classic interfaces back into Windows as options

- Put the Start Menu back in as an option

- Put colors back into the UIs of your dev tools and server management applications

- Reverse your decision on the TechNet Subscription cancellation

Basically, if you could just undo everything you decided in the past 4 years or so, I'd appreciate it.

I guess Microsoft figured out it was a matter of time before someone started seeding a botnet-controlled or virus-infected version of the OS, and that they should just release it rather than have a bigger problem on their hands. Overall, I'm glad they made a few incremental changes with 8.1, but I'm hoping 8.2 is just Windows 7 with all the improved under-the-GUI stuff. Given the 180s Microsoft has been doing lately, I'm not going to be shocked if it is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary and unbelievable

You could always install a 4 year old OS if you want to live in the past...

The future is touch and gesture, and Microsoft are ahead of the curve!

(I already installed 8.1 from TPB - works fine with TechNet keys.....Lots of nice minor improvements have been made.)

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Silver badge

Re: Scary and unbelievable

>The future is touch and gesture, and Microsoft are ahead of the curve!

Are you talking about back in 2002 when they failed miserably or are you talking about now where they are about as me too an offering as there is?

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Silver badge

Re: Scary and unbelievable

> The future is touch and gesture, and Microsoft are ahead of the curve!

On touch devices, yes. However how many PCs out there are touch-enabled? Very few.

Honestly, are there really that many applications for desktop PCs that benefit from a touch interface?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary and unbelievable

"The future is touch and gesture"

Gesture is fine, but touch will get 10 to life!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scary and unbelievable

I'm guessing your occupation may be a barista...

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Re: Scary and unbelievable

> You could always install a 4 year old OS if you want to live in the past...

I've been around long enough to see that new is not always better. Unfortunately, I've seen some programs get worse and worse with each new release as the company seems to have lost the plot, or gone off on a new plan that they alone think is a great idea, or added unneed bloat, etc.

Windows 8 seems like such a bad idea to me (for the desktop) that it makes me value the 'old' version. I dread ever being forced into using Windows 8.

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Silver badge

Re: Scary and unbelievable

>The future is touch and gesture, and Microsoft are ahead of the curve!

Meanwhile in our reality, touch and gesture is the present and recent past back to at least 2007 and Microsoft are (as usual) late to the party.

Not surprising for the company that had the lead with pen based computing and still got nowhere.

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MIc

Re: Scary and unbelievable

Oh no!! positive comment regarding a company that is cool to hate!! DOWN VOTES FOR YOU!

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Bronze badge

Re: Scary and unbelievable

They weren't ahead of the curve in 2002, they were years behind. Newton, Palm Pilot, etc.

Wasn't there some sort of EU project in the 90s which resulted in various designs that never happened like the Acorn Newspad?

I always assumed that MS just took several years longer than everyone else and decided to try and sell it anyway.

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Unhappy

Re: Scary and unbelievable

"The future is touch and gesture"

Hmm I feel bad for using a usb mouse and keyboard on my android tablet now :'(

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Re: Scary and unbelievable

> Oh no!! positive comment regarding a company that is cool to hate!! DOWN VOTES FOR YOU!

Do you know why everyone (except masochists) hates going to the dentist? Because it's painful and unpleasant.

Do you know why everyone (except pad users and MS fanbois) hate Win 8? Because it's painful and unpleasant.

Sometimes people have reasons to dislike something. If you're a PC user with keyboard and mouse there is excellent reason to dislike Win 8.

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Re: Scary and unbelievable

I don't hate going to the dentist, but my teeth are good enough that I don't need any work and I'm out of there in a couple of minutes.

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Bronze badge

Re: Scary and unbelievable

The future is touch and gesture, and Microsoft are ahead of the curve!

So far, I think there have been 29 failed irony detectors. Have an upvote.

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Re: Scary and unbelievable

> The future is touch and gesture, and Microsoft are ahead of the curve!

That is the funniest thing I've read on here this week!

Apple are so far ahead of the curve they are coming round to lap Microshaft now.

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Silver badge

Re: Scary and unbelievable

I don't hate going to the dentist either and most would regard my childhood experiences as barbaric (teeth drilled without novocaine). What I do have trouble with is having their number on me at a time to make an appointment.

That being said, it was a bad example against Windows 8.x. Of course, so far I haven't seen a palatable comparison because nothing else deserves to be compared to it. Maybe politicians, but even that one is iffy.

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Silver badge

Re: Scary and unbelievable

>So far, I think there have been 29 failed irony detectors. Have an upvote.

Hush you. I need the cheap upvotes when I can get them to get my gold status.

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Devil

Re: teeth

"my teeth are good enough that I don't need any work"

Dentures, eh...

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Anonymous Coward

They also figured out that if the don't give it to developers, the developers wont develop for it :P

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Is anyone keeping track of how many U-turns Microsoft has done?

Seems to me we're more talking "triple somersaults" than "u-turning" by now.

And it *still* hasn't fixed the worst/fundamental problems with Win 8 GUI.

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Joke

Re: Is anyone keeping track of how many U-turns Microsoft has done?

If they do many more u-turns and about-faces people will begin to wonder if they're giving up on the IT business and are practicing to run for political office...

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Re: Is anyone keeping track of how many U-turns Microsoft has done?

It doesn't matter how many complete rotations and twists you make after your feet leave the board, the difficulty level still won't save you if you belly flop at the water surface.

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Utter BS

"We've listened, we value your partnership, and we are adjusting based on your feedback." = Bollocks

If they had listed to what was being asked / complained about / offered as advice then we would not have the product that we have today.

If they had listened we would be reading about how great W8 is, unfortunately this is not the case. W8 definately has some goods elements, it's just that they are overshadowed by the bad ones.

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Re: Utter BS

What the customer wants is not necessarily what they really want. Still, looks like MS messed up one or another.

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JDX
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Hang on

MSVS 2013 requires Win 8.1? I thought they were allowing us to carry on using Win7 for developing?

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Re: Hang on

Who knows what they are doing going forward what with all the U turns lately. Ballmer not packing his stuff immediately and there not being more certainty to the road map going forward (including who will lead the company and their vision) is going to hurt in the near term.

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Re: Hang on

It's not a final requirement.

The issue is with the Release Candidate version of .NET 4.5.1 that VS 2013 RC requires. It will not install on Windows 8 "Preview" which already includes some sort of "Preview" build of it that is not upgradable.

It's "can't use on 8.1 Preview", not "won't run on 7"

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@JDX

"MSVS 2013 requires Win 8.1?

Only if you're going to program for their app store, otherwise it will be perfectly usable on Windows 7 as well. It's basically the same issue with VS2012; it works just fine on Windows 7 (that's how I use it) but you can't program anything for TIFKAM unless you use a Windows 8 host.

Here you'll find the official system requirements for Visual Studio 2013.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: @JDX

Thanks guys. And to the dumbos who down-vote honest questions, get a life.

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Makes me sooooo glad....

....that I switched to running Linux Mint instead. Have had it up to HERE with Microsoft's ways lately and enough was finally enough. The Windows 8.1 "upgrade" doesn't feel like they listened at all except to put a certain button back. The rest seems all enterprise focused. Well....where I live.....the only Enterprises around here are stuck in the past on Windows XP and only just now realizing that Windows 7 may be an option.

I still rely on some MS products like Expression Design (alternatives anyone?) and Visual Studio. But I am looking closer at MonoDevelop these days and hoping I can transfer my skills over to that.

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Re: Makes me sooooo glad....

I am at the stage where I feel like selling my business and letting someone else carry on and deal with MS.

I've just had enough.

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Happy

Re: Makes me sooooo glad.... Alternative VG software

I did the same as you several years ago. I also run Mint these days.

My vector graphics software of choice is Corel Draw (Suite). This (Version x6) runs only in a Win environment, so I run it in VirtualBox with Mint as host and an old copy of Win 7 as guest. Corel is now the only win compliant software I use, and this setup works a treat. (everything else I use is native Linux anyway) You could also run Adobe Illustrator or ACD Canvas in this setup, or try Xara Xtreme which runs under Linux anyway. Inkscape - also runs under Linux - is worth a look, if you only have fairly lightweight graphics requirements.

Unless I am mistaken, MS have ditched Expression Design, as it never seriously competed with any of the packages named above. No matter what you go for, or what environment you run it under, you will have to get a newer VG package, and you will face a significant learning curve.

Corel Draw X6 because (a) I know it well and (b) it is still by far the cheapest and best value package for the capabilities it gives you, particularly if you start by buying the older version X5.

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Bronze badge

Just in time

For the next price hike

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Linux

There really are still people developing for microsoft?

Gosh, next you'll be saying they have their own search engine and not some mere script kiddie wrapper round a real one.

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How big !.

Downloading it now from TN.

At a massive 3.7GB !, how big !, just for an OS.

What happened to Windows just being 11mb and fitting on a few floppy discs.

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Re: How big !.

What happened to Windows just being 11mb and fitting on a few floppy discs.

Well, the world no longer uses floppy disks and stuff has got faster/bigger. And Windows has got Shinier.

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Silver badge

Re: How big !.

3.7Gb is bugger all, less than a 20min download. What pissed me off is how 4Gb of Win8.0 instantly bloats into a ~20Gb footprint and needs another 25Gb+ of working space just to unpack. How fscking incompetent do you have to be to need that much space for a clean install?

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Re: How big !.

"instantly bloats into a ~20Gb footprint and needs another 25Gb+ of working space just to unpack."

Just out of curiosity....how much of that is in your Windows\winsxs folder?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How big !.

It will allocate ~ twice your memory for the paging file and then the same as your memory size for a hibernation file - all of which can be disabled if you prefer....I suspect that accounts for a lot of the space you mention.

It installs amazingly quickly.....By far the fastest OS install I have even seen.

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Re: How big !.

Disk space and memory are practically free. Just ask Bill, he'll tell you that again.

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not on madn aa

Academic INSTITUTIONS can get it not DreamSpark Premium students. Also it appears to LACK an opton to upgrade with installed aps in place.

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Re: not on madn aa

> Also it appears to LACK an opton to upgrade with installed aps in place.

That's because this is a full operating system ISO for developers to test and develop on - the in-place upgrade is still being held back until 18th October.

As it says in the article and on every other bit of coverage on the Interweb.

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Problem is

People will find out a month earlier that 8.1 isn't the magic bullet that Microsoft are pretending it is.

The problems with Windows 8 remain deep into 8.1

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Re: Problem is

But but but there's a start button! (which opens Metro)

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