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Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the improvements-abound dept.

Windows 398

The newest iteration of Windows has begun rolling out, and is winning positive reviews. (Here's an in-depth review from Ars, and a more concise one from Wired — both give 8.1 a thumbs-up). Kelerei wrote with the above-linked TechDirt article on the release, noting that it is a staged rollout rather than global. Starting this morning, though, 8.1 is available to some customers. Kelerei writes: "The upgrade is optional (and free) for existing Windows 8 users, though if one looks at the changes, it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade." Also at Slash BI.

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398 comments

You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151637)

I'll never upgrade, never!

Re:You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151929)

You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands!

Cool. I'll be right over.

Re:You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 6 months ago | (#45152007)

Hands Up, who thought of Windows 3.1 when they saw the article?
Who would really rather work from that interface and have a DOS shell again (provided it were powerful enough and everything was written to run on DOS)?
Yes, I realize there are much funner and faster out there, this is hypothetical, Gawd! Relax a little!

Re:You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 6 months ago | (#45152191)

Hands Up, who thought of Windows 3.1 when they saw the article?

I... did not. I don't see the resemblance (other than "8.1" looks a bit like "3.1").

Re:You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (5, Interesting)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#45152293)

When Windows 8 came out, I thought about all the effort they put in since Windows 95 to have as few items on the desktop as possible. So, yes, it's like they went back to Windows 3.x Program Manager, having icons scattered all over.

Re:You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152087)

I read the first line as " The newest irritation from windows". wow

Re:You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152247)

Come with me. Switch back to OS/2. We are having fun.

Re:You'll pry Windows 95 from my cold dead hands! (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about 6 months ago | (#45152279)

Switch back? I'm still running OS/2 on at least one box in production.

Meh (3, Interesting)

fermat1313 (927331) | about 6 months ago | (#45151659)

Windows 8 was a huge disaster, and windows 8.1 only applies a different color of frosting to the same stale cupcake. As both a personal user and IT decision maker, there's no way I'd put Windows 8.x on anything around here.

Re:Meh (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 6 months ago | (#45151707)

The millions of consumers buying cupcake pans this fall will need to fill them with something. Toast and bagels won't fit.

Re:Meh (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#45151817)

Cupcake pans are quickly going out of style. Thanks in part to all the shitty Microsoft cupcakes getting baked recently.

Re:Meh (1)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#45152315)

Excuse me, I am a disaster in the kitchen so I don't get all your baking analogies. Could we compare Windows 8.1 to automobiles, or sports, or something?

Re:Meh (5, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 months ago | (#45152403)

Imagine this. [redhook.com] That is Windows 8. Now, imagine this. [webstockpro.com] That is Windows 8.1.

Sure, it's a pretty ball and all, but it's broken and changing the paint job isn't going to fix it.

Re:Meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151913)

I heard there are delicious cupcakes being handed out for free by a bearded guy over there.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152265)

Just to stretch this stupid analogy a bit further, that's some whackjob giving away store brand cupcake mix.

Re:Meh (3, Insightful)

CreatureComfort (741652) | about 6 months ago | (#45152381)

That's what all the fan boys say, but when I checked it out, all he was handing out were poorly documented recipes and a lump of ingredients that I had to bake myself, and when I asked where to go to get the rest of the ingredients I needed, all the other cooks called me noob, and said that I didn't really need those raisins, or I should be using walnuts instead of the pecans I really wanted...

Re:Meh (4, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#45152019)

I've normally considered myself fairly pragmatic, and while I've run Linux happily for well over a decade, I totally get why it's not a practical solution for most. Interesting thing is, for the first time since.. forever, I actually feel like I can recommend Linux to my non-technical friends. The situation that's coming up a lot:

"I run windows XP, I tried windows 8 and hated it, what the heck am I supposed to do when they stop supporting XP".

Gaming is still the big sticking point (though even that's improving a lot), but for my "facebook and email" friends, throwing mint on there (or whatever the current user-friendly distro of choice is) is becoming a realistic thought. One in particular has a computer that's barely capable of running XP right now, so I might recommend it to her as a trial.

The other big unresolved sticking point has been attachment to specific software. In the case above, she has used some ancient version of "print master gold" for a while and would very much like to continue doing so. It's this kind of thing that we tend to shrug off that keeps people from switching, but at this point it probably won't work on windows 8 anyway, so nothing to lose, and might be able to make it work through wine..

Re:Meh (5, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#45152341)

"I run windows XP, I tried windows 8 and hated it, what the heck am I supposed to do when they stop supporting XP".

Run Windows 7 until that leaves support in 2020?

Re:Meh (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#45152399)

That's probably what I would do if I had to run windows, but people are (not too surprisingly) hesitant to spend an additional $200 or so to get an older version of windows. Upgrading from XP to 7 probably makes sense for those running XP on machines that can support it.

Re:Meh (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 6 months ago | (#45152421)

Games are the only thing stopping me from moving to Android (though pure 8 was an absolute showstopper as a next computer, too. I'm at an unheard of 4 years old and counting).

But then I wonder, I only play older games. All new games for PC are console ports. A handful of powers at a time because that's all a controller can handle, that kind of thing, and I can't stand them.

There's nothing but some 3+ year old games keeping me on a PC, and that's evaporatingly weak.

Re:Meh (4, Insightful)

SpoonStomper (1330973) | about 6 months ago | (#45151719)

That's quite silly. Considering this brings back the missing features that everyone was missing like a start button and boot to desktop. This puts it on par and better in many ways than Windows 7.

Re:Meh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151759)

The start button doesn't actually do anything. It just brings up the modern UI.

Re:Meh (3, Informative)

somersault (912633) | about 6 months ago | (#45151945)

Here [iobit.com] is the free (as in beer) software you are looking for.

Shame it doesn't completely eradicate Metro, but at least it means you can avoid it most of the time.

Re:Meh (5, Insightful)

dunezone (899268) | about 6 months ago | (#45152281)

Free or not its still ridiculous that I need to download third party software to have a feature that was standard to Windows for 17 years.

Re:Meh (3)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 months ago | (#45152449)

Do you really think that's OK? It is not acceptable that such a thing is required to get basic functionality from your OS.

Imagine the uproar if Canonical removed everything except Unity from their repositories. Would you think that was OK? Sure, you could easily add a third-party repository (eg, getdeb) and get your goodies back, but you should not have to do that and that is the problem.

Re:Meh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151783)

Except the start button does the same thing as the Windows button in Windows 8.0 - show up the Metro UI. In effect, it's only taking up additional space on the task bar for those who ignore the Metro stuff.

Re:Meh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151835)

Not really.

Boot to desktop is nice.

The missing Start button that they "gave back" however now takes you to a "Start Screen" that takes over your entire screen (what if I wanted to navigate based on a graphic that was previously on the screen or based on instructions that I wanted to keep up) and relies on hot-corners and swiping for navigation (which are a waste based on the simplicity of the previous interface.

The "returned" start button is equivalent to someone buying a car and stating that they wanted a manual transmission. Then when the car was delivered it turned out that it had an automatic transmission. Then when this draws a complaint, the seller installs a stick and clutch pedal, but leaves the automatic transmission.

What's scary is that 3rd party companies had no problem doing this almost on day one. This is more just MS not wanting to bend. Not surprisingly, nobody I've spoken to is happy with this.

Re:Meh (5, Interesting)

zixxt (1547061) | about 6 months ago | (#45152033)

That's quite silly. Considering this brings back the missing features that everyone was missing like a start button and boot to desktop. This puts it on par and better in many ways than Windows 7.

The start button does not doing anything useful. And its still missing the Start Menu, and I very much prefer Aero over the ugly flatness of Windows 8 metro interface.

Re:Meh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152205)

The start menu sucks ass. Always did. Unless you were exceptionally gifted, most retards never bothered to rearrange their start menu by creating custom folders and grouping program shortcuts by type. I like the new Start Screen. It's better looking, faster, and more intelligent. Stupid fuckers like you might not be able to adapt, but that's your problem.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152359)

Except that it doesn't really function the same way it did before. There is no classic mode, and until they give businesses that it will get no traction. No one wants to spend the time and money to retrain all of their employees. The start button takes you to the same lame big button start screen that I've grown to hate. I want that thing gone on my desktop. It serves no purpose there. It's not a tablet, it's not a mobile phone, it's a desktop.

Ubuntu 13.10 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151811)

Ubuntu 13.10 is being release today, a date planned long ago. Noise about the service pack for Vista 8 is only intended to distract from coverage of Ubuntu and keeping it out of the news.

Re:Ubuntu 13.10 (3, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 months ago | (#45151901)

Meh, given my feelings about the direction Ubuntu's desktop environment has taken over the past few years, I was already not paying attention.

I'll be somewhat more interested when the Linux Mint derivative of Ubuntu 13.10 comes out.

Re:Ubuntu 13.10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151983)

Unity = Metro for Linux.

Re:Meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151923)

Actually, Windows 8 UI was the disaster, the OS itself is great compared to anything else. Win8.1 will fix that.
 
But I guess if you're going to goose step you may as well goose step right and compare it to Ubuntu with Unity.

Re:Meh (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#45152429)

No.l Actually 8.1 WON'T fix that.

All it does is add a teasing layer of "fuck you" to the interface with the useless "Start button".

What the people asking for a start button back are REALLY asking for is a start MENU. Not a start SCREEN.

Re:Meh (2)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 6 months ago | (#45152013)

I've found it great. To launch VirtualBox and XP machines on. Apart from that, it's still... just terrible. I hear screams of frustration from the main office far too often still.

Re:Meh (3, Interesting)

slaker (53818) | about 6 months ago | (#45152053)

Honestly, it's fine. I rolled out 8 (plus Classic Shell) to about 150 systems and they've been trouble free. My power users like to whine about having to go look for that's now split between Control Panel and the Settings modern app, but power users always whine about things and I don't care. For every person who moans about something that moved, I have at least one compliment about how fast their computer seems now. My less-experienced users actually do pretty well with the start screen that puts the three or four applications they're supposed to be using in a nice, huge tile right in front of their face.

Re:Meh (3, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#45152183)

My power users like to whine about having to go look for that's now split between Control Panel and the Settings modern app, but power users always whine about things and I don't care.

It's still a rather unelegant split. If Microsoft wanted to go with the Modern UI, they could (and should) have implemented the classic Control Panel in its fullest, inside the Modern UI. Also some of the Windows Accessories are still missing a Modern UI counterpart, including Notepad! These things don't make sense. They didn't do the proper integration work and that's why the new UI still sometimes looks like a taped-on quick tech demo.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152395)

they could (and should) have implemented the classic Control Panel in its fullest,

This is fixed in 8.1. Pretty much any control panel item I can think of has a MUI equivalent.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152411)

7 was like this too for anyone that bother to look at it for more than 30 seconds. The utilities that came with the install look like a lesson in the last 20 years of windows UI changes. There are apps without buttons bars, apps with button bars, apps with ribbons, MDI apps and apps without MDI, the list goes on..

8 Is just adds another mess, one that most people really notice because its so godamn ugly.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152307)

Windows 8 was a huge disaster, and windows 8.1 only applies a different color of frosting to the same stale cupcake. As both a personal user and IT decision maker, there's no way I'd put Windows 8.x on anything around here.

You can polish a turd. But in the end, the turd is still a turd.

Re:Meh (1)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#45152445)

Actually, IIRC the Mythbusters proved you CAN polish a turd.

*I* still wouldn't want it either way...

Re:Meh (1)

Suki I (1546431) | about 6 months ago | (#45152309)

As long as it stays on the view I wanted without switching to something else whenever I touch the trackpad, I am in.

Unexpectedly.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151675)

...Timmy gets it wrong.

TechCrunch, not TechDirt.

Just when you thought it was safe.... (3, Interesting)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 6 months ago | (#45151681)

Windows 8.x is back, and this time, it's personal.

Or it feels that way. I've been working with the Windows 8.1 RTM. Many more things seem to break on the Windows 8.1 RTM that did on Windows 8. Mayhem ensued. Kiss your SQLE 2005 goodbye if you haven't already. Change your Setup.exe's to Vista compatibility if you don't want them to take an hour to install. Other than that, no worries.

Re:Just when you thought it was safe.... (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45151827)

If it's like most major software products, I'd expect it to take a month or two for them to patch the major headaches. I'm looking forward to 8.1 as an excuse to reinstall Windows 8. When I first got 8 about a year ago, it gave me a lot of stability issues and software incompatibility issues (especially with Chrome and Notepad++ for some reason) that were mostly patched within the first month. By the second month, it was running pretty smoothly. I only went back to 7 because of a few remaining driver issues, which I would be surprised if they haven't solved by now.

Re:Just when you thought it was safe.... (4, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#45151937)

I have also been running 8.1 RTM for a couple of weeks and my experience is similar. Little glitches here and there. Microsoft has released quite stable stuff lately so I didn't expect this level of bugginess.

Some examples:
- On various laptops, the screen brightness indicator displays wrong dynamic range after coming out from suspend or hibernation
- When a device is connected to the computer, a "Device Setup" dialog appears and it can hang there forever
- The automatic installer for .NET Framework 3.5 gets stuck and the manual DISM utility has to be used instead
- Windows Explorer displays Korean characters correctly, but Japanese characters are displayed as squares
- When I have two monitors connected (8.1 can show a taskbar on both screens) and set the taskbar setting to "Never combine" (a Vista-style look), the taskbar button labels are shown only on the primary display
- When I turn Bluetooth off, the settings application freezes for a long time
- The verification code to authorize my Windows Live account is often not successfully sent via e-mail

Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (4, Interesting)

xianzombie (123633) | about 6 months ago | (#45151711)

Before everyone starts bashing on Win8 (even though it does, to some extent, deserve it), I feel obligated to state:

The OS:
1. Performs better than Win7 (for me)
2. Has been perhaps the most stable iteration of windows (for me).

The UI:

Is horrible in terms of the default layout. Adding back in a 'normal' start menu (via Classic Shell, etc) and turning off the charm bars are key to making it a usable GUI, IMO.

With the above 'tweaks' the biggest thing I miss comparing 7 to 8 is the loss of being able to search files directly from the search bar. Perhaps that' some option/tweak I missed somewhere along the lines.

Will I try 8.1? If I can do it for free, yes. Will I give them money for it? NO!

Re:Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (4, Informative)

xianzombie (123633) | about 6 months ago | (#45151731)

Well, in true Slashdot fashion, I didn't read the article or full summary thereby missing:

"The upgrade is optional (and free) for existing Windows 8 users, though if one looks at the changes, it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade."

Re:Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151749)

Start 8 can search files I believe. And Metro Mix allows yo uto run metro applications on the desktop in manageable windows.

Re:Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#45151943)

Why treat "the UI" as seperate? The human-computer interface is as much a part of the OS as anything else. To be frank, if I can't talk to the computer efficiently, it doesn't matter how well the software and hardware can talk between each other.

Re:Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (1)

xianzombie (123633) | about 6 months ago | (#45152139)

Why? Android MIUI vs HTC Sense vs Others; XFCE vs KDE vs Gnome, etc.

The default UI for Win8 basically sucks, but some tweaks make it a functional system again

Re:Win8 as a UI vs. an OS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151959)

The UI isnt that bad. You just click the steam tile and select the game from the list. You then roboot in Linux to do real work.

I want to search just my pc (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151721)

What is the use case for me typing something in the windows search charm thing and me wanting to get results from my PC and web pages, music, and photos from the Internet? Searching for files or file content on my PC already got harder with vista. Now this? If I want to search the web I can use google or bing or whatever I want. When I search my PC it is because I need to find a file on my PC. Also I do not want my data on sky drive.

Re:I want to search just my pc (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151815)

"As with many other things in Windows 8.1, it's cloud integrated, so your actual reading list is stored on SkyDrive and...."

No, thank you; this is a deal-killer.

Re:I want to search just my pc (1)

xianzombie (123633) | about 6 months ago | (#45151819)

Cuz man...the Cloud....ain't ya heard! That's where all the important files are going.

*blech*

Re:I want to search just my pc (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#45152037)

I don't even need to search my PC. There's these things called directories. In those I put my stuff nicely where it belongs.

I'm not sure if it serves anyone to have this colorful jumble of icons mixed with local files (with no idea of their location), application shortcuts and web results. At least me it only makes nauseous and disorganized.

DO NOT WANT (1, Insightful)

nightsky30 (3348843) | about 6 months ago | (#45151745)

Just loaded Linux on my Father's PC yesterday :)

Re:DO NOT WANT (-1, Troll)

fermat1313 (927331) | about 6 months ago | (#45151801)

Just loaded Linux on my Father's PC yesterday :)

Are you angry at your father? Did you have an unhappy childhood? Did he beat you?

Surely this must be revenge for something.

Re:DO NOT WANT (5, Interesting)

xianzombie (123633) | about 6 months ago | (#45151807)

Somewhat sadly, after a HD failure, we loaded up Ubuntu on the wife's laptop. While it did everything she needed, she really just didn't like it, and things like Skype just didn't play nice. (Which was sad, as I was working out of town for about a month and wanted to see her and the kid).

That said, once it gave up the ghost, we picked her up a replacement laptop with Win8. She wouldn't let me tweak it, but somehow she can handle the default Win8 with Metro better than Linux with KDE, Gnome, or XFCE. *shrug*

Re:DO NOT WANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152231)

nightsky30 is just a troll trying to upgrade their karma by shilling for Linux advocates.

Re:DO NOT WANT (1)

znrt (2424692) | about 6 months ago | (#45152271)

and things like Skype just didn't play nice

skype doesn't play nice on any platform. it's was shaky software even before ms bought it.

she really just didn't like it

what can i say. time to upgrade to a new wife, maybe?

Re:DO NOT WANT (1)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 6 months ago | (#45152413)

Skype = NSA endorsed spy software.
Use SIP (e.g. Ekiga is free software, and offers free accounts) or something similar instead. Safety, you know.

Re:DO NOT WANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152209)

Just loaded Linux on my Father's PC yesterday :)

It is kind of interesting -- Slashdot have had a steady stream of these examples for at least a decade ("I installed Linux on wife/parents/friends computers and all are much more happy than with Windows"). For a long while we seemed to think of it as a growing trend. But it has been a decade+, and still end-user market share hover quite steady below 2%.

If these people really were so happy about it, you would assume that it spread, that they became ambassadors, it is how a lot of products without a marketing machine spreads, and if it really is popular the growth can become exponential. Yes, you mostly can't buy machines with Linux preinstalled today (though there have been numerous attempts, including from Dell, the largest PC vendor at the time, but it didn't sell). But I don't buy that as the sole explanation that there is zero growth adoption of a free product that "is easy to install and have happy users as ambassadors" (not the core nerd ambassadors). Also non-nerd people do make recommendations to each others on such things if they are truly happy with something.

Now with new exciting NSA backdoors! (2)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 6 months ago | (#45151805)

I don't trust MS at all. Why, I reckon that MS Windows 8.1 will come with new and exciting backdoors for the NSA (and any other security agency or criminal gang (but I repeat myself)). OK, I might be exaggerating slightly, it won't come with deliberate backdoors as such, simply holes that haven't been fixed yet, guaranteed to be around for at least a few months.

I'll stick with my Ubuntu thanks (until I try Debian again later this or next month, and see if it works). Now, you might say that Ubuntu has its flaws, and well, it does. But, if you don't use Unity or the Software Centre, you can get a perfectly good system with minimal issues, and no obvious privacy concerns. (I use 12.04 with Gnome 3.something. I have issues with this version of Gnome, but I still prefer it to KDE (which kept crashing on me) and Xfce (which doesn't have enough fancyness, I do have a fancy powerful laptop, I like a bit of eye candy).)

Remember: if you are worried about security or privacy, don't use a closed source OS connected to the Internet.

This is sort of what Windows 8 should have been (4, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | about 6 months ago | (#45151831)

This is sort of what Windows 8 should have been to begin with. What this doesn't do is fix the issue with the missing Start MENU. The result is that every time you need to load an application through the menu you are forced back into the abomination that is the Metro interface. This is a deal breaker for the enterprise and shows Microsoft's continued contempt for their customers and what their customers need.

A tablet interface has no business on a desktop and Microsoft should have made it completely optional. Fixing boot to desktop was a half hearted start to be able to say they were listening to feedback - sort of. However the stunt with the Start Button instead of the Start Menu was a slap in the face to the enterprise and large OEM's that have been begging Microsoft to restore the Start Menu.

Sales will continue their worst downturn in history since the advent of the personal computer. OEM's will continue to lose money hand over fist. Enterprise customers held with contempt are evaluating third party vendors they never would have considered before. If you force people to use a new interface regardless, than it's an opportunity for your customers to pick what that interface is going to be. Sales of Mac's to the Enterprise have hit record highs, Linux is breaking through where it never did before. People are even toying with Chromebooks.

Re:This is sort of what Windows 8 should have been (3, Insightful)

Theophany (2519296) | about 6 months ago | (#45151927)

Enterprise customers held with contempt are evaluating third party vendors they never would have considered before. If you force people to use a new interface regardless, than it's an opportunity for your customers to pick what that interface is going to be. Sales of Mac's to the Enterprise have hit record highs, Linux is breaking through where it never did before. People are even toying with Chromebooks.

This seems a tad hysterical. Enterprise users will continue to use W7 for a while yet. It still works, is still supported and is less of a headache to maintain for the tech guys than upgrading everything to work with W8. Businesses aren't clamouring to upgrade all their machinery just because MS has a newer OS.

Re:This is sort of what Windows 8 should have been (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 6 months ago | (#45152067)

The result is that every time you need to load an application through the menu you are forced back into the abomination that is the Metro interface.
.

I installed Classic Shell and that was the last I saw of start tiles. I installed apps from Classic's Run and partied like is was 2002.

"winning positive reviews" (0, Troll)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 6 months ago | (#45151857)

slashdotspeak for astroturfing....

How much did those reviews cost? Who is making those reviews? I'm guessing it's people who earn their living maintaining MS systems.

Yeah, I know, "hater's gonna hate"

Re:"winning positive reviews" (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#45151915)

Who is making those reviews?

Dude, it's in the summary -- Ars Technica and Wired.

You can choose for yourself if you trust them. You could even read them if you cared since they're linked in the summary.

Re:"winning positive reviews" (2)

justthinkit (954982) | about 6 months ago | (#45152117)

No, it's people who earn their living writing articles about MS systems. From their perspective, any new operating system is a great chance to sell page views. So of course MS can do no wrong.

Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (5, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about 6 months ago | (#45151875)

1. No improvement in user interface. Touch sucks on the desktop and Microsoft knows it. A Start button without a Start Menu is useless.

2. Metro style apps are very painful to deploy in the Enterprise; even for those with Subscription (Dis)Advantage.

3. Still not immune from viruses and worms - needs continuous stream of patches; customer remains at the mercy of Microsoft; like the forced ditching of XP which works perfectly fine.

4. Many existing licensed software such as SQLE are not supported in 8 series; so all that money is wasted expenditure.

5. Still no native support in the OS for cameras; SIM cards, etc. even Android is better in that respect despite being minuscule in size compared to 8.1.

The list of drawbacks continue; nothing to write home about; despite these paid shill reviews.

Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45152201)

3. Still not immune from viruses and worms - needs continuous stream of patches;

Yeah, that utopia really is proving hard to reach.

customer remains at the mercy of Microsoft; like the forced ditching of XP which works perfectly fine.

Yeah, fuck Microsoft with its 12 year support cycle. Versions of OS X and Linux from 2001 are still in mainstream support.

5. Still no native support in the OS for cameras; SIM cards, etc. even Android is better in that respect despite being minuscule in size compared to 8.1.

Eh, my webcam works fine in Windows 8 without extra support. I assume Android has SIM card drivers because of u no it's used for 'phones a lot.

Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (0)

jkrise (535370) | about 6 months ago | (#45152345)

Yeah, that utopia really is proving hard to reach

Not Utopia at all. In the Linux world where most servers, desktops, phones and appliances live; this is taken for granted.
The Windows8.1 brings nothing in addition to Windows 98 despite being 1000 times larger. Still not immune from viruses and worms. Shame.

Yeah, fuck Microsoft with its 12 year support cycle. Versions of OS X and Linux from 2001 are still in mainstream support.

OS X has a microscopic minority marketshare in computing devices. As for Linux (distributions, not just the kernel) there are many differences. Upgrading the kernel does not break applications - the distribution provider takes care of the hassles. The Linux distro is much more than the so called Windows OS - it has things like Office, Compilers, Productivity tools etc. packaged neatly. Besides it costs nothing or little to upgrade Linux distro versions; and new versions of the kernel do not stop supporting old peripherals and architectures just to increase a company's profits at the expense of customers. Try running Foxpro on Windows 8.

  Eh, my webcam works fine in Windows 8 without extra support. I assume Android has SIM card drivers because of u no it's used for 'phones a lot.

When MS decided to force the touch interface commonly used in phones onto desktop users; why not support SIM cards, GPS, GPRS etc. in the kernel / OS? If Microsoft is a software company; why are they dictating what hardware is supported and what hardware is optional on the PC? Why do they continue to impose restrictions on the configuration of the hardware built by the OEMs; despite being just a software company?

Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45152467)

What are you talking about? Linux isn't immune to viruses and worms.

And your vigorous handwaving didn't actually address the main point: nobody gives 13 year consumer support cycles except Microsoft. Trying to get stuff working on non-contemporaneous versions of Linux is way harder than on Windows - it may be possible in principle if you have the source, but that's an open vs closed source software argument which rarely applies in practice except among cadres of geeks.

MS isn't stopping you from supporting SIM cards or GPRS, and it's only imposing hardware restrictions if you want to re-sell discounted licences, which is sorta what Apple does except that Apple says, "You can't sell it at all because fuck you."

Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#45152245)

3. Still not immune from viruses and worms

You say that like it should be easy to fix.

Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (1)

Skiron (735617) | about 6 months ago | (#45152347)

3. Still not immune from viruses and worms

You say that like it should be easy to fix.

It is - install a GNU/Linux distro.

Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152297)

I hear that Windows 8.1 now compresses the stream of personal information that it gathers from your computer before sending it to the NSA (rather than sending it un-compressed), thereby improving network performance. That's a plus, isn't it? Isn't it??

Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152329)

1. Don't like touch? Don't use it. Actually the Start Screen is a huge improvement over the cramped, clustered, poorly organized and rarely customized Start Menu. Stupid fuckers won't be able to adapt, but they've always had the problem and always will.

2. Then don't use Metro apps. Not hard.

3. This is just ignorant trolling. Won't touch it.

4. You made a poor investment. Deal with it.

5. Wrong. I've plugged in 2 no-name Chinese webcams, a multi-card reading that includes a SIM slot, digital cameras (Canon and Nikon) and a TCL Camcorder. Everything recognized and working. You're either trolling or have the shitiest hardware on earth.

Re:Not much improvement; drawbacks continue (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 6 months ago | (#45152335)

A Start button without a Start Menu is useless.

I use Windows 7, and I haven't used the Start Menu in years. I find it much easier to simply type enough of what I want (after hitting the 'start' button) to bring it up, then arrow down to it. I am told, though cannot confirm from experience, that Win 8 works the same way, just type into Metro and there it is. For example, I can type {Windows button, "Add or r"} to get to Add/Remove Programs. {Windows, "Fire"} brings up Firefox, and so on. Honestly, I think the 'Start Menu' is hideous and clunky. So, opinions vary on this point.

Windows 8 was awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45151907)

....because it forced me to make the jump to Linux!

no no no! (2, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 6 months ago | (#45151911)

"and is winning positive reviews"
This is the biggest lie I have ever heard. Now you search your computer for vacation photos and get bombarded by bullshit Bing links. The start menu still doesn't exist. I'm pretty sure it still takes a computer engineer to find the shut down button. It's absolute garbage.

Re:no no no! (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#45152255)

Any review which doesn't declare 8.1 to be worse than 8.0 counts as a positive review. Don't you know anything about marketing?

laugh (1)

koan (80826) | about 6 months ago | (#45152055)

Windows is cyclic, Win 98 Ok, Win ME terrible, Win XP Ok, Win Vista terrible, Win 7 Ok, Win 8 terrible.

Re:laugh (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 6 months ago | (#45152189)

You forgot Windows 2000, which was pretty good.

Oh wait, that was immediately followed by XP. Which was immediately followed by MCE, which was also decent.

Oops.

Re:laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152369)

2000 was part of the NT server line, not the consumer line.

Windows 98b (1)

RawGutts (879317) | about 6 months ago | (#45152073)

For some reason when I see this, I keep thinking back to Windows 98 Second Edition or Win98b and how it came out only a year later also following the main Win98.

It's been getting advertising elsewhere as well (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 6 months ago | (#45152157)

I noticed that one of the office supply chains in my area was advertising windows 8.1 on the front page of their weekly ad this Sunday. Even windows 3.1 (or 3.11) didn't get this much hype as an incremental upgrade. Glad to see that slashdot is giving microsoft some free advertising on it, too.

Ars review link goes to the last page (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152259)

Link [arstechnica.com] to the first page.

Not available under Windows Update (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152353)

You must go to the Microsoft Store.

Fuck Microsoft.

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