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Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the don't-touch-me-there-or-there-or-there dept.

Windows 294

DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has released the highly anticipated Windows 8.1 Update, adding numerous improvements for non-touch consumers based on feedback. It is also a required update for Windows 8.1, otherwise consumers will no get any future security updates after May 2014. Most of the changes in the update are designed to appease non-touch users, with options to show apps on the desktop taskbar, the ability to see show the taskbar above apps, and a new title bar at the top of apps with options to minimize, close, or snap apps."

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It's a start (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#46695939)

Well, it's a start. I doubt I'm unique in that I won't be happy until I get a proper, Win 7 Start menu back, at least as an option. Live tiles on my desktop would be nice too.

Basically, give me back the Win 7 UI with the ability to put live tiles on the desktop, and run apps in a windows. Remember "windows"? Call be weird, but I'd like a version of Windows with, you know, windows.

Re:It's a start (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#46695955)

There used to be this thing called Windows Gadgets. But I guess that wasn't cool and trendy enough.

Re:It's a start (4, Informative)

BLToday (1777712) | about 4 months ago | (#46696141)

"There used to be this thing called Windows Gadgets. But I guess that wasn't cool and trendy enough."

Or useful enough. Remember there was Konfabulator (Yahoo bought them), Google Desktop (widgets, discontinued). Only one left and barely alive is Apple's Dashboard.

They work on phones though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696471)

I have a few widgets on my android based phone that I use regularly.

Re:It's a start (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#46696741)

"Most of the changes in the update are designed to appease non-touch users"

Do they exist? Really????

How out of touch can a company be?

Re:It's a start (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#46696775)

Do they exist? Really????

How out of touch can a company be?

LOL, you can have my 23" Acer flat panel (with no touch, thank you very much) when you pry it from my cold dead hands (or it suffers failure).

We don' need no steenkin' touch screens.

For my tablet and phone, I like touch. For a desktop? I can't even understand why you would.

Re:It's a start (3, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 4 months ago | (#46696317)

They killed those off because they were major security holes. Little bits of random HTML.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/gadgets

Re:It's a start (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#46696365)

Hm. I wonder how that compares with live tiles.

Re:It's a start (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696753)

Hm. I wonder how that compares with live tiles.

Stupid ideas never die, they just get renamed. Push technology, PointCast, Active Desktop (IE4.0 HTML as wallpaper on Win95), Windows Sidebar (Vista), Gadgets (Win7), and now Live Tiles.

It's all just a bunch of lame attempts to get demographic data on the userbase / turn the computer into a TV so that it can be monetized.

Re:It's a start (2)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 4 months ago | (#46696549)

I liked gadgets, too. Minor things like a desktop clock, calendar, weather, scrachpad, that kind of thing helps your workflow and save you the time and risk of looking for some random shareware solution. I was never too clear on any security problems with gadgets, thought they were sandboxed. I figured they got dropped because Microsoft just decided the desktop was history and all is Metro. Same reason I figured this or that UI bug in 7 would never get fixed.

There are unofficial ways to get them back [makeuseof.com] on Windows 8, and so far it's worked reliably for me.

Re:It's a start (4, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 4 months ago | (#46696967)

Windows gadgets were essentially borderless IE windows that ran in the local zone. This means they could CreateObject(...) ActiveX libraries via scripting that could do, well, anything to your system. The sandbox didn't matter at that point.

Re:It's a start (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#46696745)

There used to be this thing called Windows Gadgets. But I guess that wasn't cool and trendy enough.

Well, they were memory hogs, and completely insecure [microsoft.com] .

In other words, they might have been a good idea at the time, but I stopped using them after a few days because they used up so much damned memory. Seriously guys, a clock widget doesn't take 200+ MB of RAM. Or, at least, it shouldn't in any sane world.

And, from the sounds of it, Microsoft didn't make a framework which was secure or safe.

A little single-purpose widget should be a small, lightweight thing that does one thing. But even the ones Microsoft shipped were overly bloated things which shouldn't have existed.

I don't think "cool and trendy" were what defined the failure of those. Bloated and insecure, but not cool and trendy.

Re:It's a start (1)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about 4 months ago | (#46695979)

Doesn't this update have the Start Menu again? I wonder if alternatives like Classic Shell or Start8 would still work now, for those who insist their start menu look more like the one in Windows 7.

Disclaimer: I am going off things I have read, and have not had the chance to update the Windows 8.1 system I am typing from yet.

Re:It's a start (1)

Spad (470073) | about 4 months ago | (#46696001)

It has a Start *button* but still uses the Start Screen from vanilla Win 8.

Re:It's a start (2)

Spad (470073) | about 4 months ago | (#46696023)

Wow, really can't tell if this is sarcasm or not (from the linked MSDN Blog entry)

It does NOT include the Start menu that you may have seen/heard about at the recent Build conference. That is some exciting near-future stuff, which demonstrates our on-going commitment to deliver on customer feedback.

Re:It's a start (1)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about 4 months ago | (#46696073)

Oh, I see - that is unfortunate. The rumors I had heard were that the big update today was going to include all of that... rather disappointing that it doesn't. Sorry for the confusion!

Re:It's a start (3)

maugle (1369813) | about 4 months ago | (#46696219)

A menu that's actually usable, that doesn't throw you into the awful metro interface, is considered by Microsoft to be "exciting near-future stuff".

...That's just goddamn depressing.

Re:It's a start (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696237)

EXCITING NEAR-FUTURE STUFF!! Just like a flying car or something near-futurey like that! Such commitment! So demonstrative!! BRAVO!!!

Re:It's a start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696369)

FUck this bullshit. The late beta versions of Windows 8 before RTM had the god damn fucker start menu fully fucntional and could be enabled with a registry edit. The faggoty assholes removed the ability to enable it in RTM. Code is there. The tool that wrote what you quoted needs to chew on a terd.

Fuck the beta.

Re:It's a start (1)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about 4 months ago | (#46696055)

That is what the *current* (read: before today's update) version of 8.1 has. I believe this is the update that is adding back a Start Menu, and letting you run "apps" within windows on the desktop.

Re:It's a start (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#46696083)

No, this is just the first step towards it. The one with the actual start menu and apps in windows is still coming soon.

Re:It's a start (2, Insightful)

AudioEfex (637163) | about 4 months ago | (#46696265)

I agree. I lived with Win8 for a month or so but just got so annoyed having to slide my mouse around just to close a window and having to fight just to get to the desktop. I gave it a good try, but then I just booted the whole thing and went back to Win7.

It wasn't a lack of willingness to adapt, it was because the interface clearly was not aimed at traditional desktop use. And I have no desire whatsoever for a touch screen - one at the size I would need is not only prohibitively expensive for what I'd wish to pay, but I'm not going to reach up constantly when it's much more efficient to just use a mouse and keyboard in most cases. I can do everything more quickly (why pinch to resize when my mouse wheel does it perfectly, etc.) and I don't have to relearn how to do basic tasks.

I also gave the whole "tiles" thing a try - but again, just organizing it was a chore, I don't have the need for live widgets (and, as others point out, they could work just as easily from the desktop anyway), and because of how many apps I use regularly, the thing was unwieldy to scroll across. I also am apt to add an app to try it out, and delete it if it wasn't what I really needed (so hard to tell just from reviews these days, particularly with video manipulation software), and it always seemed to leave various junk files laying around which I then had to go in to manually remove (text readmes, etc). It was a major PITA.

If someone who has been using Windows for 20 years daily had as much issue as I did, someone who folks routinely ask me to "fix" their computers (get rid of errant toolbars, etc.) - there was no hope for the average user. Nothing was intuitive about it. Even if someone just wanted to click on simple apps or links to use them (say, my mom who goes to like 3 websites, uses like 3 or 4 apps, and that's about it) she would have never been able to set that up herself.

I still have my Win8 Upgrade copy, at some point I'm sure some afternoon in the next few months I'll be watching a TV marathon and decide to give it a whirl - but I'll be fully mirroring my current Win7 set-up so I can go back if they've just put lipstick on a pig. Hopefully they have addressed the usability issues - all that crap they added would be great options for someone who wants to use a touch-interface exclusively, but all it felt like to me was using Windows through a space suit underwater...

huh (1, Informative)

jimmyfrank (1106681) | about 4 months ago | (#46696493)

So you didn't slide your mouse around to close windows in Win7? Ever use Alt-F4? Win8 has better keyboard shortcuts than the previous OS's but you'd have to spend 2 mins learning something I guess.

Re:huh (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696621)

I love it when idiots try to define this turd of a GUI using keyboard shorts and the search bar.

Re:huh (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 4 months ago | (#46696653)

It's not a matter of learning something new. It's a matter of lost functionality. It's a matter of the additional time required to accomplish specific tasks. Management at Microsoft, as well as other companies (such as Dice), seem to gloss over functionality in favor of flash. The decision makers are no longer power users.

you think that's bad? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696547)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a Macbook Pro w/16 Gigs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:It's a start (0)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 4 months ago | (#46696335)

I won't bother reciting all the things that are wrong with Windows 8, many other people have already done that in great detail. When the new "Update 1" leaked onto the Internet a few weeks ago I decided to give it a try.

The Update does make quite a few improvements and results in a system that is closer to what Windows 8 should have been in the first place. Closer, but not there. After installing the Update and doing a bit of wrangling, what you have is a system that looks and works very similar to Windows 7 except for:

(a) Uglier, shittier color scheme
(b) A "Start Screen" that takes up your entire desktop instead of a proper Start Menu that only uses the lower left quadrant, and you still don't have one of the best features that were introduced in Windows XP 12 years ago -- keeping a list of most recently used programs.
(3) Windows Explorer (now apparently renamed to File Explorer) now has the godawful "ribbon" abomination that makes it 10 times harder to use.
(d) All the other things that are wrong with Windows 8, such as installing a dozen useless "apps" on your desktop.

In other words, what's the point? Windows 8.1 Update 1 is just a shittier version of Windows 7.

Re:It's a start (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#46696475)

Windows Explorer / file manager seems to have gotten worse every release since Windows 95. It's amazing.

Any good open source file manager replacements for Windows out there (Classic Shell does give you some good options). I know I wrote a working file manager back when I wanted to teach myself Winforms - wonder if I still have the source somewhere.

Re:It's a start (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 4 months ago | (#46696567)

that's is coming and its looks pretty dam nice almost like loghorn.

Re:It's a start (1)

SuseLover (996311) | about 4 months ago | (#46696735)

Live tiles? Really? WTF good are they? I have yet to find anything useful for them. I thought this concept was dead after the failure called active desktop because of all the security problems (not to mention all the cpu cycles it wastes even when your not watching).

On a phone's home screen I could see a use but not on a desktop where I keep my dozens of Firefox tabs open and all I gotta do is switch to it.

How do you see a live tile when the desktop is full of windows/apps anyhow? You still must minimize every app to see the desktop, it easier to just click the FF tab it's on.

Re:It's a start (1)

plj (673710) | about 4 months ago | (#46696793)

There is a screenshot (not photoshopped!) of a development build with live tiles in start menu (instead of the desktop) and a modern UI app (Mail) in a window, so maybe the future will bring something roughly like that you wish for. See here [theregister.co.uk] .

What Took Them So Long? (1)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 4 months ago | (#46696961)

Some of the changes are actually pretty good. The hover-over title bar on Metro Apps seems like a no-brainer. The hover-over, universal task bar for easy app switching is also a really good idea. Right-clicking works now on the Start Screen... where have you been?

I mean, it's real easy to see these things in hindsight, but you gotta wonder whether anyone in Microsoft was testing this out on desktops with large screens, and didn't reflexively hit the right-button and expect something to appear. I mean, the developers didn't create Metro on small-screen touchpads, did they? Someone over there must have noticed how awkward and strange it is to work modern apps on a workstation, right?

Don't know whether to give Microsoft credit or slap them. If these features had been in the original Windows 8, there would have been a lot less hate (read: a lot more adoption) of the operating system on the desktop, and maybe an easier path for people to jump off XP. It's the arrogance, the suck-it-up, get-used-to-it, and the desktop-is-history BS that turned me off so hard, with a blatant disregard for just plain stupid things, like switching out of the desktop to some lame Metro previewer each time a user opens a PDF file (with no visible way of getting back).

These changes, plus the promised Start menu in an upcoming release, might just make Windows 8 usable in the workplace like 7 is. In view of that, I hope Microsoft has turned a corner, 'cause like it or not most people (me included) depend on Windows to make a living. Hopefully, they understand that again, and will keep throwing bones out to us desktop users (maybe permit more desktop customization features? fix those ugly window decorations? drop shadows?). But they wasted almost 2 years in the doghouse alienating their biggest customer base, and encouraging people not to migrate off XP and older systems. Hope their learning their lesson.

Fascinating release date timing (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 4 months ago | (#46695973)

It's been in development for months, but some middle manager decided that the day that XP died was the day to push this out.

Offtopic: Does anyone know of a Day the Music Died song parody called something like "Day my XP Died"?

Re:Fascinating release date timing (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 4 months ago | (#46696105)

A long long time ago,
I can still remember how that NT kernel made me smile.
And I knew that if I had my chance,
I'd write a helluva lot cool VB 6 apps.
And maybe my manager would be happy for a while.

But April made me shiver,
With each Win 8 PC I'd deliver.
Bad news in the staffroom steps.
And I couldn't take one more step.

I can't remember if I cried,
When I read about some XP user heaved a sigh.
But something touched me deep inside.
The day Windows XP died.

So bye bye Windows XP has died.
Rode my Segway to the to the levy,
But the levy was dry.
And good ol' sysadmins were drinking coffee and Sprite,
Singing "This is the day Windows XP has died,
This is the day Windows XP has died."

Re:Fascinating release date timing (1)

Dragonshed (206590) | about 4 months ago | (#46696299)

Hitting those XP users with the carrot.

Re:Fascinating release date timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696473)

Today is Patch Tuesday.

many turds little polish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46695983)

can you see us {;^)-)-)- http://rt.com/news/snowden-nsa-us-facebook-717/

What version are they changing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696007)

Man, I'm really sorry for not following along. But is this update going from 8.0 to 8.1? Is it an update to 8.1? But not 8.2 of course. So they're going from X to Y.
What's X and what's Y?

I mean, they've been selling 8.1 a while ago. What the hell is this update then?

Re:What version are they changing? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 4 months ago | (#46696067)

Think of it as 8.1 service pack 1.

Re:What version are they changing? (4, Funny)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about 4 months ago | (#46696093)

Windows 8.1 Update 1 - then next they will do Windows 8.1 Update 1 Service Pack 1 ;)

Re:What version are they changing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696191)

This is how it was:
WinXP -> WinXP SP1 -> WinXP SP2 -> WinXP SP3

This is how it is now (MS said there will be no more SP-s released):
Windows 8 -> Windows 8.1 -> Windows 8.1 Update 1 -> Windows 8.1 Update 1 MinorUpdate 1

This will be the next update:
Windows 8.1 Update 1 MinorUpdate 1 Episode 1 (ala Valve)

Re:What version are they changing? (1)

jpvlsmv (583001) | about 4 months ago | (#46696937)

Windows Live 8.1 Update 1 Service Pack 1 R2.

Re:What version are they changing? (2)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 4 months ago | (#46696341)

This is Windows 8.11 for Workgroups.

Re:What version are they changing? (3, Funny)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#46696517)

I maintain my stance that Windows 9.5 will be the version that changes everything, with Windows 9.8 mostly getting it right.

Re:What version are they changing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46697019)

& Windows 9.ME [oh well...] will reverse the improvements, of course...

Attrocious Syntax and Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696017)

Is there an editor who is fluent in English available to edit submissions before publication? "consumers will no get any" -- "ability to see show the taskbar".

A patch closer to usability, few more to go (5, Funny)

sinij (911942) | about 4 months ago | (#46696057)

You can pry Start Button from my cold blue-screen hands.

Re:A patch closer to usability, few more to go (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 4 months ago | (#46696195)

Yep. I'll skip Win8 altogether, I think, and wait for 9.

Re:A patch closer to usability, few more to go (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#46696413)

The amazing thing (to me, anyway) is that I always hated the start menu. Never liked having such redundancy... rather than giving me some flexibility in how applications are organized you make this ghetto of delicate "shortcuts", requiring installers for even the most simple binaries.

And yet, what they replaced it with is so much worse that I find myself wishing for it back.

I would not have thought this was possible.

Re:A patch closer to usability, few more to go (2)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#46696581)

I like the start menu for what it is: a comprehensive tree of everything I have installed, including all the rarely used stuff. But it wasn't great for what I'd use often.

I really like where Win 7 ended up. The stuff I use every day is on my task bar, and once I launch it all, the order of the task bar is fixed, much to the delight of my muscle memory.

The stuff I use once a week or so, I can put in the short list in my start menu. The rest is still browseable (and easy to organize if I care to), and searchable, whichever makes it easier to find that one program I installed a year ago and suddenly I need.

Re:A patch closer to usability, few more to go (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#46696955)

I like the start menu for what it is: a comprehensive tree of everything I have installed

But that's not quite what it is - it's a tree of everything that decided to put stuff there. If you manually dragged an exe to Program Files, no show. If some uninstaller didn't remember the shortcut, you have a dead link. Worse, it's an idea decidedly rooted in a single-user machine, so exterminating an entry means looking in a few different places that they added to accommodate multiple users.

I really do like Windows 7 as well. Still not sold on the Start Menu :) At least in 7 it rarely bothers me. Frequent programs I have pinned to the task bar so that I can use the "pinned" feature in the right-click menu. Less-frequently accessed stuff can be accessed with a quick tap of the Windows button and a few letters from the name. I was quite shocked when I moved to Windows 8. I gave it a year and still hated it. When the hard drive died and I found out how horrid Windows 8 backup is, I moved back to 7.

Don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696061)

Wake me up when you get around to windows 9 and i'll take a look at your product again.

Best listen to your CUSTOMERS when they all tell you it's stupid and crap.

Re:Don't care. (1)

bazmail (764941) | about 4 months ago | (#46696183)

The Scene: A packed Moe's Tavern, with the tills ringing and overflowing due to sales of the 'Flaming Moe' beverage. Cue a disgruntled Homer Simpson...
Homer: Hey Moe, you just..... you just lost yourself a customer.
Moe: Yeah you can use it!

Re:Don't care. (1)

seepho (1959226) | about 4 months ago | (#46696439)

Weight of the world got you down and you wanna end your life
Bills to pay, a dead-end job, and problems with the wive
Well don't throw in the towel, 'cause there's a place right down the block
Where you can drink all your miseries away
At "Flaming Moe's"
Let's all go to "Flaming Moe's"
Happiness is just a Flaming Moe away
Happiness is just a Flaming Moe away

hoping that Windows 8 is like Vista,.... (2)

Selur (2745445) | about 4 months ago | (#46696099)

Windows 3.1 -> worked
Windows 98 -> crashed but worked sometimes
Windows ME -> just crashed
Windows XP -> worked, but has it's drawbacks (64bit version was better, but never really useful due to missing drivers)
Windows Vista -> too much trouble to use
Windows 7 -> useful, but not as customizable as XP
Windows 8.x -> not so useful if you don't have a touch screen, less and less accessible customizations possible
Windows 9 -> hoping that Windows 8 is like Vista and Windows 9 will be useful like Windows 7

Re:hoping that Windows 8 is like Vista,.... (2)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 4 months ago | (#46696461)

Windows 3.1: good
Windows 95: bad
Windows 98: good
Windows ME: bad
Windows XP: good
Windows Vista: bad
Windows 7:good
Windows 8.x: bad
Windows 9: ???

I always figured it was a marketing strategy on a good day. On a bad day I figure it's a cycle of Lazy -> Oh shit! -> motivated -> relief -> lazy

Re:hoping that Windows 8 is like Vista,.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696789)

Windows ME was great! It ran fast and beautifully for the entire time it was installed. Unfortunately it was better at hiding than waldo (As I found waldo repeatedly, but not my OS). After two weeks started getting OS not found errors. I promptly reinstalled Windows 2000 and used that until drivers forced me to upgrade to Windows 7.

Re:hoping that Windows 8 is like Vista,.... (4, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 4 months ago | (#46696791)

Windows 1.0;2.0;2.1: forgettable
Windows 3.0: not bad but definitely not good

Windows 3.1: good
Windows NT 3.1: really bad but has potential
Windows3.11 Windows For Workgroups (WFW): very good
Windows NT 3.5;3.51: really good

Windows 95: meh
Windows NT 4.0: bad
Windows 98;98SE: good
Windows 2000: good
Windows ME: evil
Windows XP: good
Windows Vista: bad
Windows 7:good
Windows 8.x: bad
Windows 9: ???

I always figured it was a marketing strategy on a good day. On a bad day I figure it's a cycle of Lazy -> Oh shit! -> motivated -> relief -> lazy

Re:hoping that Windows 8 is like Vista,.... (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 4 months ago | (#46696577)

You missed win95 and a few others but...

I liked win95c w/usb support it made win98 look like crash prone bloat-ware which is sad considering how much better win98 was compared to winME

Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (3, Insightful)

iampiti (1059688) | about 4 months ago | (#46696119)

It's probably the refusal of many corporations to upgrade to Windows 8 that got Microsoft to make these changes but it's still a win for everyone.
When designing Windows 8 the new Start screen looked a perfect plan to get the masses to buy apps through their store and thus getting more revenue from Windows. It'd also get them used to the UI shared by Windows Phone which would surely get the fledging smartphone platform many more users.
So when so many people refused to use Win 8 they must've thought "If we backtrack a bit we'll get many people to change to Windows 8, if we don't, we'll get fewer". It's also good to see that Microsoft no longer has near infinite power on the PC world. I'm currently starting to fear Google much more (they know so much about us...) but that's another topic

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 4 months ago | (#46696145)

Pretty much. I know our suppliers simply ask "And you will want Windows 7 on that laptop/workstation, right?" There is an automatic assumption that Windows 8 is not wanted in the enterprise.

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696253)

Of course it's not. Why would anyone in a corporate environment need live tiles, "charms" and "toasts". It's frivolous shit.

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 4 months ago | (#46696345)

Worse, it means retraining, it means loss of productivity, at least in the short term and it brings absolutely no advantage at all to the business workstation. Windows 7 was still part of an evolution from Windows 95. Much smoother and better done, but still, someone coming from XP could, after a few minutes, work in full swing.

Whether the Metro UI is better or not by some subjective, or heck, even objective standard is irrelevant. What is relevant is familiarity. QWERTY may not be the best keyboard layout, VHS may not have been better than Beta, and English spelling rules are a nightmare, but all three were familiar and dominant, and even some technical superiority of alternatives couldn't overcome the level of penetration that they enjoyed.

To my mind, it looks as if Metro will simply become another iteration of the old Active Desktop/Gadgets paradigm, and will likely be ignored by the bulk of PC users.

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (1)

mpe (36238) | about 4 months ago | (#46696385)

Why would anyone in a corporate environment need live tiles, "charms" and "toasts".

Or that matter an "app store".

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#46696717)

Why would anyone in a corporate environment need live tiles, "charms" and "toasts".

Or that matter an "app store".

...it's a mystery to Microsoft.

Apparently.

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (2)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 4 months ago | (#46696395)

There is one use case that is actually a little bit compelling - touchscreen kiosks.

But that's about it.

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696527)

Yeah but that isn't what people use as corporate computers.

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (2, Interesting)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 4 months ago | (#46696379)

We get our machines stickered with Win8 licenses, and then immediately blast that shit off the drive and lay down our Win7 image. Our enterprise agreement allows us N-1 versioning, so we buy the Win8 licenses just in case Windows 8 turns into something that is actually useable someday, or worst case, take advantage of cheap license upgrades for N+1.

Re:Happy that costumer pressure has an effect (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 4 months ago | (#46696739)

There is also the question of all the applications that just are not compatible or are just plain not supported on win8. This is why the place I work migrated to win7 instead of win8 we stall have critical applications that are not compatible or just plain not supported by the manufacture on win8.

The Post-PC era (5, Interesting)

Tom Clowers (3595643) | about 4 months ago | (#46696153)

So, we're just gonna start calling it "non-touch" hardware now?

Re:The Post-PC era (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 4 months ago | (#46696319)

Yes, didn't you get the memo?

Re:The Post-PC era (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696441)

Yup, just like churches.

Re:The Post-PC era (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 4 months ago | (#46696857)

Don't worry, post-post-post PC era, otherwise known as the fence computing will rock!

Re:The Post-PC era (1)

jpvlsmv (583001) | about 4 months ago | (#46696953)

Yep, "Feature PCs" (like the Smartphone/Featurephone distinction)

Microsoft the Old Dinosaur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696157)

Just stop giving them free press, they should die with their products filled with thousands of bugs. We are tired hearing about release and another and another. With M$ and their shitty OS things are never properly fixed.

Re:Microsoft the Old Dinosaur (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696295)

Lol, and we hear from the 1998 contingent. M$! You are priceless!

Re:Microsoft the Old Dinosaur (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696321)

BOOOO Micro$oft Windoze!!!!!!!!!!!

HOOOOORRRAAYYY open source and slashdot type stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BOOOO GUIs. HOOOORRRAAAYY command line interface.

BOOOOOOO blackslash path seperator. HOOOOOORRRRAAAAYYY forward slash path seperators!!!!!!!

Re:Microsoft the Old Dinosaur (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 4 months ago | (#46696479)

"BOOOO GUIs."

You are kidding right? Their is plenty of GUI wholesome goodness to go around in the Linux world. We want a powerful command line in addition to the GUI, not in place of it.

Win 8.1 is just fine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696169)

I like Win 8.1. It's fast and reliable. I don't think it has ever crashed.

I can do everything I want pretty easily: edit videos, produce music, play games, run Steam, run overclocked hardware. I'm 95% certain my core i7 win 8.1 machine is the best desktop I've ever owned (yes, there's some macs, linux boxes and an os/2 box in that collection).

I wouldn't normally have posted this, I just wanted to my experience to be heard as I know there's a litany of hyperbolic and/or esoteric complaints incoming on this article. I don't feel that, post win-7 sp2, that the majority of internet chaff written about microsoft/windows accurately represents my experience or the experiences of the people I do business with.

Re:Win 8.1 is just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696193)

correction. that should have read 'post win-7 sp1'.

Yes, pedantic obsessives: I'm glad I made your day brighter. ;)

Re:Win 8.1 is just fine (5, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | about 4 months ago | (#46696487)

I like Win 8.1. It's fast and reliable. I don't think it has ever crashed.

I can do everything I want pretty easily: edit videos, produce music, play games, run Steam, run overclocked hardware.

Yes, I'm sure you can do all that stuff that the cool kids are doing. I don't see anyone here questioning Windows 8's capabilities; people are complaining about the fact that it's a tablet interface that's been shoehorned into a desktop, and everything about it is designed to push you back to the tablet interface (which, conveniently for Microsoft, is a walled garden that they control).

At any rate, Windows 7 does all that cool kid stuff too, and the interface is sensible for desktop users.

Changelog? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696203)

So, is this just another update to shuffle a couple of buttons and checkboxes around or is there something else in this update?

Re:Changelog? (1)

bazmail (764941) | about 4 months ago | (#46696409)

> So, is this just another update to shuffle a couple of buttons

Is there any other kind of sub-point release update?

Re:Changelog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696483)

I don't know, it seems even "major" microsoft releases are mostly button shuffling.

Did they finally reintroduce the wireless manager from Windows Vista / Windows 7 or do we still have to train technicians to configure offline/out of range networks with netsh?

Re:Changelog? (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 4 months ago | (#46696607)

So, is this just another update to shuffle a couple of buttons and checkboxes around or is there something else in this update?

Good luck finding the change log from Microsoft.

I'm assuming they've updated all the "SkyDrive" stuff to "OneDrive", since they lost the trademark lawsuit on that one.

The new start screen is great (1)

jimmyfrank (1106681) | about 4 months ago | (#46696417)

But I never used it or the start menu. I always though the start menu was for people that liked to be inefficient. I pin stuff I use a lot to the task bar and for other stuff, Win key, type a few chars. And now I pin those to the start screen but its still faster to Win key, type a few chars. Win 8 is fine, better than Win 7, and miles better than XP. It's the "in thing" to complain about MS so it doesn't matter if the OS is good or not.

Re:The new start screen is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696643)

Well spoken just like the Microsoft shill that you are. I can smell your kind from miles away.

Win key + (type something) is 'more efficient' eh? I guess you know more than those usability experts who said otherwise.

Oh, and it is an 'in thing' to criticize idiocy, but it just so happens that Microsoft and idiocy are synonymous, insofar as the design of Win8 is concerned.

Re:The new start screen is great (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 4 months ago | (#46696975)

I guess you know more than those usability experts who said otherwise.

While I'm 100% with you that Windows 8's UI is a steaming pile of stupid, it must be pointed out that this particular appeal to authority is poorly used, especially here.

It was "Usability experts" who came up with the idiotic concept of "unified interfaces," use cases be damned, in the first place. And now everyone who makes an OS now wants us to use our desktop machines like they're friggin' cell phones.

Re:The new start screen is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696699)

No, it's the "in thing" to be a contrarian and a hipster doofus who thinks that because it's new, it's automatically better.

Re:The new start screen is great (1)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about 4 months ago | (#46696787)

That's just silly. The start menu allowed for a hierarchical view of the installed programs which was a very useful feature.

MS still doesn't get it (1)

bored (40072) | about 4 months ago | (#46696427)

I think its great they are fixing their OS...

The problem is that they are making user facing changes in a maintenance stream.

Just about three more... (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 4 months ago | (#46696459)

About three more updates and it may finally have as much functionality of Windows 7. The Microsoft line about Windows 8, "users will get used to it," doesn't exactly sounds like an upgrade.

Windows 8... no more (2, Interesting)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 4 months ago | (#46696505)

Last week after my disk totally crashed I had to decide to re-install Window 8 and re-install a long list of apps - several which are updates and require the original disk (ah where are they)....hmmmm I thought here goes the day.

I decided to install CentOS Desktop instead. I am familiar with CentOS in the server mode as I use it on my dedicated server. Within an hour I was back up and running and being productive in my consulting business. My QHD / Nvidia graphic card were recognized and drivers installed, HP printer setup was simple, digital camera is recognized, scanner, etc. I really prefer the Gnome 2 interface to Windows 8 (and even Gnome 3) it stays out of my way and lets me get my work done efficiently.

I really haven't missed Windows at this point... well maybe Notepad++ just a little and haven't figured out what to do about Quickbooks yet. Maybe I can install enough plugins to get Gedit to be a reasonable editor and I may have to setup a windows virtual machine to run Quickbooks or find an alternative.

This morning on the radio I overheard an advertisement offering a Windows "speed-up service" with the main pitch being that over time your Windows machine become slower and slower being encumbered with cruft, malware, "help functions", virus, etc .. I couldn't keep from smiling.

Re:Windows 8... no more (3, Interesting)

nashv (1479253) | about 4 months ago | (#46696769)

Pretty much agree with what you said. If you're looking for a Notepad++ replacement, you might be pleased by Sublime Text or any of the other alternatives [alternativeto.net] .

Re:Windows 8... no more (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 4 months ago | (#46696927)

Thanks for the recommendation. At the time I just needed to get up and running quick... now i have more time to investigate some alternative text editors.

I also thought I was going to miss WinSCP but the gnome "places" is actually a better solution for the work I do which is largely editing files on remote servers. Also tabbed terminal app cleans up the workspace as opposed to numerous putty windows and virtual workspaces... oh my.

No thanks Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696603)

Until you have removed every single line of Metro and Metro-related code from the operating system (including touch-centric gimmicks such as the Charms bar and the lock screen), I will keep avoiding Windows 8, and will evangelize this to people whom I know everywhere.

We don't want a Start menu with Metro tiles or a 'boot to desktop'... you're not solving the problem, but merely papering over cracks.

Touch-centric OS for mobile devices vs desktop OS should be separate and distinct.

Stop attempting to leverage your desktop monopoly in order to get more people to buy your phones and tablets... it ain't working. If we want a touch device we get something Apple or Android. Microsoft is the third wheel that is neither here nor there.

Enjoy your continued woeful market share for Windows 8.

Mandatory (2)

Guest316 (3014867) | about 4 months ago | (#46696629)

From the article summary:
>It is also a required update for Windows 8.1

From the article:
>Failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014 (get busy!)

Summary should have read that it's mandatory for all Win8 installs, not just 8.1. Bit misleading. Still, a UI update is mandatory for future security updates?

LOL, good ... (0)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#46696693)

I don't think I care about Win 8 either way, but I was in a store the other day which sold computers, and saw a 20"+ HP computer with a touch screen.

And all I can think of is an old fashioned type-writer.

Seriously, you think I'm going to sit and type and then reach up to the screen to do something? This is supposed to be a good thing?

The ergonomics of a desktop computer where I'm meant to reach up and touch the screen seems stupid to me.

Touch makes sense on smaller portable devices ... but for a desktop computer it's the most ridiculous thing I can imagine. My monitor is further than arms length from my chair, WTF benefit does a touch screen bring to me? What is the use case for this that I'm missing? Is leaning forward to touch the screen somehow supposed to be better?

I think Microsoft just went gaga over the notion of touchscreens and lost the plot a little about when they're useful. And the companies making the computers have followed suit and made silly machines.

Rock and a hard place (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 4 months ago | (#46696941)

It sucks currently, because most mom's, pop's, and joe plummer are all switching to touch devices for most of their needs because frankly looking at cat videos or updating my facebook status are about the pinnacle of computing purposes for most people.

For everyone who wants to 'do stuff' with their computers, there will still be a PC market, but don't expect to see the perfectly functional computer anymore, since we're now in the proverbial dog house. The same happened with consoles where around the PS2 era of gaming, a huge number og developers just stopped developing for PC's. Its improving now that the console market is getting a little frayed (and expensive), but for a long time PC gaming was the ugly stepchild that people just didn't talk about.

Oh, and Windows is now learning the hard fact their their market is generally not the new hotness touch crew, and probably never will be.

dont care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46696737)

its for TOUCHED users and seeing how i have no mental issues ...no sale

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