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back to article Microsoft relents: 'Go ahead, install Windows 8.1 on clean PCs'

Microsoft says that in addition to offering Windows 8.1 as a free update for Windows 8 users in October, it will also be easier for customers to buy versions of Windows 8.1 that don't require an upgrade from a previous edition of the OS. Redmond launched Windows 8 in October 2012 as essentially an upgrade-only product. "System …

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Relent some more will ya????

Another thing that blocks us from wanting to build Windows 8 units in our shop is having to commit a license as soon as the disc is inserted. It was a LOT easier and better to have it like Windows Vista and 7 and you could skip supplying a key so that you could install it, get the system fully checked over and make sure it will run nicely before having to commit a license to it. I wish they'd loosen the grip on that one too.

This is just another thing that drives me away from MS towards Linux. Max OS X can still bite me....hate that company....

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Re: Relent some more will ya????

I found in my testing that if you deploy Windows 8.1 RTM via WDS, you can skip past the prompt for a product key. I though this was a bit strange, but it worked fine.

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How

How can something as simple as an upgrade or new installation be made as difficult or as complicated as this?

Ah, when Microsoft is involved.

Lets see now, how complicated or difficult will it be to upgrade to iOS 7 or Mavericks?

Wonder ow much it will cost me?

Will I lose folders or have to reinstall?

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Anonymous Coward

When Ballmer walks

This will all be sorted out.

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Re: Relent some more will ya????

Also have the top priced version at $50 if they are serious about World Domination or even making money. For new users the current prices are mad compared to Ubuntu. Not a valid comparison for those with an existing investment in Windows programs.

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MCG

Re: How

Well, why don't you spend five minutes getting some answers on Google, you drooling ignoramus?

Twat.

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@MCG Re: How

uhhhh... a little harsh?

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Go

No preservation of data during upgrade?

I know many times that's a good idea, an opportunity for a shakeup, but are they really that dismissive of many peoples expectations and usage patterns? Insane restriction for no good purpose.

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Paris Hilton

Re: No preservation of data during upgrade?

If you would JUST. USE. OUR. CLOUD. Really! C'mon, users! Trust your data on our servers. Don't worry, Danger never touches them! Put all your files up here, and upgrades to your computer become so much more painless. Use our Application Bazaar and you never have to re-install your programs again.

G'osh!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No preservation of data during upgrade?

@ Alan - problem is, I was having trouble deciding if you really were being sarcastic or not, you're just listing genuine positives!

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Re: JUST. USE. OUR. CLOUD.

Give me a connection to that cloud that runs about a thousand times faster than my ADSL connection's upstream link and I'll probably *still* turn you down on security grounds.

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Thumb Up

Re: No preservation of data during upgrade?

I see some people reading this thred have issues with irony and sarcasm.

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h3
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What I want to know is how I can get my system working right. (That language helper irritates the hell out of me). I have a key from the £25 offer but it has the en-GB locale when I want the en-US one.

I have never had the same problem with Windows Server (That are all en-US ?)

Never seems to work right using the dism method that is suggested.

I would rather just use use an already correct version but I suspect my key won't work.

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Use a leaked key during the install, once you are in, use slmgr.vbs /ipk your-enGb-product-key and it should be fine. I did the same with 8.0 en-us media

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Nope

"And even Windows 7 customers should expect to re-install all of their applications after upgrading using the Windows 8.1 retail media. Only their files will be preserved."

Well that's a couple of days wasted re-installing dozens of software packages, chasing up licence keys, sorting out potential problems with software vendors, and generally tearing my hair out.

Oh wait... I could just stick with Windows 7. Sorted!

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FAIL

Insane

I simply cannot fathom why they enforce this ridiculous restriction. A full upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 should be no more difficult than an upgrade from Window 7 to Windows 8. The system did not change all that much.

I guess I'll be able to get around it the same way I upgraded my XP machine to Win7 (by first upgrading to Vista as an intermediate step), but knowing this I'm even less eager to do so than before.

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Re: Insane

Reminds me of the chap who installed Microsoft Windows 2.1 then proceeded to upgrade it from there:

Windows 2.1 → Windows 3.0 → Windows 3.1 → Windows 95 → Windows 98 → Windows 2000 → Windows XP → Windows Vista → Windows 7

I don't think the desktop background colour he picked in 2.1 survived.

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Re: Insane

The reason for almost all otherwise unfathomable Microsoft restrictions is that Microsoft wants to force people into purchasing and using their products in certain ways.

I am not even slightly defending their decisions or saying they are reasonable - because I don't think they are - but that appears to be what is happening. It may well backfire and may well hurt sales but they're trying it anyway.

This spreads right through, from features to UI, to marketing and to licensing and pricing.

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Re: Insane

Where do you want to go today? WRONG ANSWER!

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Re: Nope

I had to do that, not because the software didn't work, but because the boot manager ignored my desires and formatted then installed the hard drive. Protecting files my arse. But in doing so it invalidated my upgrade licence.

MS fix was to buy a full licence. And then reinstall, I reinstalled 7 and haven't really gone back.

A colleague used 8.1 from MSDN or technet or something and it lasted three weeks, the start button isn't a start button it is just a button to metro and it was still pants. So he went back to 7.

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Re: Insane

The answer we were looking for; Was which Linux do you want to use today?

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Re: Insane

And what about ME ?

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Re: reason for almost all otherwise unfathomable Microsoft restrictions

and the few that are leftover after that stem from their defense in the IE anti-trust litigation.

Remove those two reasons and they might be able to build a decent user experience again.

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Windows

Re: Insane

"Reminds me of the chap who installed Microsoft Windows 2.1 then proceeded to upgrade it from there:"

Did that with Ubuntu through a cycle of versions from 10.04 to 11.10 once just to test the upgrade paths. Worked ok for OS but had to reinstall a lot of apps.

Some Debianistas do this all the time (Woody -> Wheezy). Awesome.

The tramp: I would be if I used proprietary software by the look of it

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Insane

Is he still using a 286 with a meg of ram and a 50 mb rll drive?

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Re: Insane

Oh, you youngsters, its all ME ME ME!

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Re: Insane

Windows Me was only ever sold to the plebs that couldn't get a hold of 98SE. Which at the time was the most XP like OS of its time. Given all the DOS Apps & Games I still had back then, that wouldn't work on the non-DOS NTFS XP. Besides Windows Me was quickly thrown under the Bus, as they say when XP finally did hit, about a Year latter. At least thats how I seem to remember it. That and my hat that Microsoft had deliberately were blocking all access to the DOS level on Me. With little in the way benefit over 98SE.

So I stuck to 98SE, till XP came out and gradually switched over to it.

Microsoft may have killed DOS off, but the difference here besides the "new blue and green" look it was still fundamentally very 9x-ish and I never Once felt astray. On any Microsoft OS to date, save Windows 8! How the Hell they thought the could sell this is beyond me. I guess after nearly Twenty Years of having a choke hold in the PC Market. They really must have thought they could jolly well get away with anything they liked. Hopefully Windows 8 will eventually teach Microsoft a hard lesson. In that it can't!

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Re: reason for almost all otherwise unfathomable Microsoft restrictions

and the few that are leftover after that stem from their defense in the IE anti-trust litigation.

Remove those two reasons and they might be able to build a decent user experience again.

Wait are you actually >implying that the Metro UI is the fault of both Washington D.C. and Brussels? lol dude lay off the hash for a bit eh!

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Do you hear that?

It's the sound of silence while Microsoft continues to wait for users to flock to Windows 8.

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Re: Do you hear that?

I think you mean Windows 8.1

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Re: Do you hear that?

No, I think Windows ≥8 was meant. People will probably shy away from Windows 9 too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do you hear that?

'Sound of silence'

Like the number of pre orders or the iPhone 5C?

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WTF?

Re: Do you hear that?

No that silence is so intense that nothing can hear it over the sound of people running away. With no back up option other than to skydrain who would want that pile stinking of problems?

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Windows

Re: Do you hear that?

I think most people on here, that use windows already know that this is typical MS.

Millenium (shit) XP (good) Vista (shit) Win7 (good) Win8/8.1(shit) Windows 9 (?)

Lets hope now that utter fuck-wad Steve Ballsup has gone that some sanity returns to redmond.

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Re: Do you hear that?

8.0 ~ 8,1.... As Duke used to say your Arse, your Face?? What's the difference?!

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Re: Lets hope now that utter fuck-wad Steve Ballsup has gone that some sanity returns to redmond.

He's not gone yet.

He's only announced that he will leave next year.

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Re: that this is typical MS

Windows 3.x shit, but they persevered until it became a stable system.

Windows 95 Good (providing you didn't upgrade a 3.x system or use early Pentium machines)

Windows 98 shit, but they persevered until it became a stable system.

Windows ME only saw it once but it looked pretty rank

Windows NT 3.x Good (eventually)

Windows NT 4.x Good (eventually)

Windows 2000 Good

Windows XP shit, but they persevered until it became a stable system.

Vista shit, but they persevered until it became a stable system, but they called it Windows 7

Windows 8, up until yesterday I would have said that it is the worst system I have ever seen. However yesterday I tried it on a dual screen system, and it is usable. All the crap that makes a single screen system unusable, stays on one screen and goes away when you click on the other screen, so is far less jarring.

You can do pretty much everything you used to be able to do either via the command prompt or by creating shortcuts., so all in all, ON A DUAL SCREEN SYSTEM, it is not really any harder to use than Windows 3.1 or a Linux of a similar vintage. (It is a bit odd being back in 1991 though.)

The login screen is pretty dumb, but typical microsoft, why do one action to get to the login screen when three will do just as well?

XP - control-alt-delete - then you can enter credentials

8 - click on city scape, click back, click other user - you can now enter your credentials.

I can live without the start menu, it's Metro that is the nasty. A bit like jumping back to DOS from windows 3.1.

Having looked at how it works, it is almost like the designer intended that metro be used on a tablet input device, instead of a keyboard, but forgot to tell this to anyone else. I could actually imagine it working quite well on a giant DS style laptop. The problem is, it is vile on a single screen.

I think the fix would be (apart from the option to turn it off) to have it pop up in a regular window on desktop and laptop machines.

And on tablets, have a mode where the bottom third of the screen is metro and the top 2/3 desktop, (obviously better in portrait.)

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Re: Do you hear that?

I for One re-welcome our Windows 9x overlords... I wonder if I'll be able to dig up my collection of old DOS Games again?

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Generating a lot of "EH"

Seems as if MS want or are just instigating a lot of Eight Hate....

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Happy

Re: Generating a lot of "EH"

8H8 !

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As long as Windows 8.x looks like crap, I don't want it. I would love the improved Kernel, and some of the other aspects, but Windows tablet/smartphone interface, the overdone start menu, and the flat and boring desktop mode theme will not be gracing my machines.

I still feel Microsoft took a giant step backwards in terms of style. I skipped Vista, and I'll skip Windows 8.x.

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I agree entirely. It's not just the start menu that does it for me, it's the overly flat, square and lifeless style of the UI. Heck Windows 3.1 had a fancier design than Windows 8.x. Windows 8 is just flat, one-colour squares. It looks bland and dated (and I'm talking about the desktop here).

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Unhappy

With some tinkering you can enable the Aero-lite theme on Windows 8 to make it less dull and flat.

Only trouble is by the second time WIndows 8 has thrown a wobbly and dumped you in a temporary profile, causing you to have to create a new profile and re-do all of your windows and application settings, you'll have forgotten how to do it.

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Re: As long as Windows 8.x looks like crap

Yeah, it looks like the sort of interface I'd design.

The difference being I know I'm not competent to even become an apprentice to a user interface designer.

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FAIL

It isn't the distribution model that's broken

It isn't the distribution model that's broken. It's the product itself. It's a dud that nobody wants.

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Why make everything so hard to move to a failing platform that needs some love right now? They must really hate their customers. The left hand giveth and the right hand takes some more away.

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JDX
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You realise for most users this is a non-issue... how many home users upgrade their OS? Only nerds and businesses are affected; nerds will easily manage and businesses work differently.

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No, this is an issue, even if mostly a psychological one for them. Microsoft still things it is the big dog and is behaving the only way it knows how, shipping umpteen different versions with peculiar restrictions on when they can be used and by whom, like they are deliberately making things awkward, more so than when Desktops and Laptops were actually in the ascendency as few years ago due to web apps.

Yes it will mostly affect businesses and self builders, but they are people too, surely! Make life too difficult for people that used to like you and you won't be liked for much longer. Some of the rabid Microsoft fans I know are strangely reticent on their prospects these days and consider that they have lost the plot when it comes to business, which should be their strongest domain. Windows 8 itself does not look like a business OS, it looks like an OS designed for children and immediately turns people off. The only area they still have massive strength in is their server platform offerings like Azure, Exchange, SharePoint, CRM, which don't really need MS clients to work any more.

Even their Office business will face considerable challenges in the near future what with Apple giving away its iWorks suite on iPads, in my opinion. On all our corporate iPads we give out here (to anyone that wants one) not having built-in Office editing has been a traditional bugbear since we started rolling them out, and people used Quick Office HD. Now people are already asking why the presentation they authored on their iPad in Keynote won't work properly in PowerPoint. Since we now have Apple TV's hooked up to all the meeting room screens due to demand, they can simply cut out the PowerPoint step and AirPlay mirror the iPad to the screen and thereby MS software is completely cut out of the loop. It's a whole new world out there and MS need to step it up for business as there are legions of people who have gotten used to the Apple way of working on their corporate iPads and iPhones and prefer it to the 'old way' of Blackberrys to Wintel. I find it staggering that all this consumer gubbins is allowed in the workplace, but it does show you how far things have gone that even not really trying to attract business to use the devices (bar the few concessions of VPN compatibility and ActiveSync), Apple have made inroads.

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Re: how many home users upgrade their OS?

Well Tesco seemed to be doing a roaring trade in £30(?) upgrades when it was first released.

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Gimp

Perhaps a change of diet is needed?

Microsoft seems to be the 300-lb roadhouse cook wearing a filthy T-shirt, arm-pit hair hanging through torn-off sleeves, with a cigarette stub hanging from her mouth, dribbling ashes into your scrambled eggs. Except you ordered an omelet with a side of ham. She slides a plate of runny egg whites puddled among yellow yolk clumps half smothering a side of burned bacon down the counter. You're barely in time to reach out and stop the plate from crashing to the floor.

"Eat up yer shite!" she snarls, turning away to dump a bowl of soggy potato shreds onto the smoking grill. "I'm rushed and ain't got time to please yer whining self; others are waiting and I don't hear them bitchin' like yer doin'."

Check, please!

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