back to article Make or break: Microsoft sets date for CRUCIAL Win 8.1 launch

Microsoft will begin the second act in its Windows 8 drama on Thursday, 17 October. The company said today that Windows 8.1 would be available through the Windows Store in a free worldwide update for consumers already on Win 8 from 4am Pacific Time on that date (7am Eastern, 12 noon BST). PCs and tablets featuring Windows 8.1 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Question

MS already polished the turd with Windows 8.

Is it actually possible to polish a polished turd?

19
16
IT Angle

@ AC 1519h GMT - Re: Question

Regardless whether it's a turd or not, or whether you like Microsoft or not: They have, at least to some extend, changed what users wanted changing. That alone is already laudable, I think.

Although it's so much more efficient to just produce something and make people want it, I have to admit. Microsoft seems to be inferior to companies like Google, Facebook or Apple in this respect. The question is now: Is that a good or a bad thing?

3
20
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Question

Since W8 is massively different to its predecessor, your statement doesn't even make sense let alone seem funny.

14
12
Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC 1519h GMT - Question

No they haven't.

They have disingenuously added a button.

Users wanted the start button back, so they didn't have to see the stupid metro interface.

It's still there.

Did Microsoft pay you for that post?

40
1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Question

You can put facets on a polished turd...

1
2
FAIL

I think they misunderstood

I wanted the start _menu_ back, not the start button per se (though the button provides a handy way of invoking the menu).

I think I'll keep Start8 for the few times I boot into Windows - pretty much exclusively using Linux Mint at home now.

27
2
Happy

@ AC 1603h GMT - Re: @ AC 1519h GMT - Question

Posting that as AC shows a lot of faith in the credibility of your opinion.

And no, they didn't. Who paid you? Oh, wait, they wouldn't know who you are . . .

Arf Arf Arf.

5
9
Anonymous Coward

Re: Question @JDX

Are you Loverock Davidson in disguise ?

3
0
Silver badge
Meh

Make or Break?

I can say with almost complete certainty.......

There will be a lot of discounts to be had in 2014...... I'd normally say yippee, but even at a fraction of the cost it will never be a bargain.

5
2
Silver badge

Re: Make or Break?

Just as long as you can go into its BIOS, disable secure boot and UEFI, and install Linux and/or Windows 7, I'll be happy with a discount.

We can already see what non-repurposeable Windows Surfaces are worth, can't we?

8
1
Happy

@ AC 1711h GMT - Re: Question @JDX

No, dear AnonIX, I'm actually who I am. And not ashamed of my opinion or my name.

And that opinion is *my opinion*, nothing more, nothing less. I don't pretend to state facts.

So, let's just agree to disagree, OK?

0
9
Silver badge

@Andreas Koch

"That alone is already laudable, I think.". Bollocks. What **might** have been laudable is actually listening to customers in the first place.

The brief history of what happened here is:

MS in their normal arrogant way says: "Here is our new product. Assume the position. You will take it regardless."

Customers: "But why all this change for change sake".

MS: "We've been doing this for 30 years. You ALWAYS listen to us. Now come along, you know how this game works, assume the position."

Customers: "FU. We have options now. We have tasted other foods and will no longer eat of your swill."

MS (thinks to itself): "Hmmm never had this problem before. Bugger. The customers are no longer compliant. We'll have to do something".

MS: "Look how well we listen to the customer"

Andreas: "Look how well MS listens to their customers!"

18
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Andreas Koch

Actually that isn't how its going down.

Microsoft saw they had a good thing going with Windows 7.

They started down the path of Windows 8.

In early alphas of Windows 8 there was a "classic mode".

Sometime in the early beginning of 2012 some idiot at Microsoft saw that sales of PC's were tanking and sales of Tablets were growing + Sales of Windows Phones were a joke.

At this time Microsoft removed "classic" mode and forced metro on users. The reason was simple. forcing the use of metro would force the development of metro apps and since metro apps are universally compatible with desktops, laptops, phones, tablets it would grow the app market, which in turn MS thinks will increase sales.

Windows 8 comes out. To no one's surprise its a turd.

Holiday PC sales tank. Everyone, including Microsoft claims its because of tablet sales canalizing PC sales.

No one bothers to point out that it could be because no one wants Windows freaking 8.

Many at Microsoft are convinced that all they need to do is tweak the UI and make it easier and people will buy into their one ecosystem while behind the scenes I'm certain that they are getting serious blowback from the enterprise market for Windows 8's UI changes. (Name me a enterprise business that likes retraining their userbase on how to use a freaking computer.) There is a certain percentage at Microsoft who is dang well aware that many users want the classic UI. But since MS is committed that the future is tablet and phone. They want to continue.

They develop 8.1.

My prediction is it will bomb like 8 and they will continue down the path that tablets and phones are the wave of the future. Sales of PC's will continue to tank because no one wants this crap and Microsoft will point to the iPad as the cause. And people will continue to use Windows 7 or *nix.

Its a self fulfilling prophecy that Microsoft is doing. The question is will they recognize this downward spiral before they smash into a wall? They have enough money to survive for awhile with multiple attempts. If MS can get over themselves and realize that you DO NOT abandon a 17 year old UI overnight (Even 3.11 to '95 still could launch the Program Manager.) they could save themselves.

24
5
Gold badge

Re: @ AC 1519h GMT - Question

No. They didn't change what people wanted changing. They made a series of half-asses pesudo-changes that don't actually meet the requirements people set forth whilst further reinforcing R&D into the options and configurations that people flat out don't want.

Saying Microsoft "did what people wanted" is like saying that a company selling whit shirts to a crowd demanding black is "Meeting demand" by selling blue.

15
1
Facepalm

@ LarsG - Re: Make or Break?

I'm actually starting to wonder why so many people are even bothering to write about a bad update to an OS that they didn't want in the first place. Why?

You don't like it: don't use it. Dead easy.

Every second posting here whines how rubbish Win8.1 is. Why even be concerned? it's not as if you are forced to buy it. There's always IOS or some flavour of Linux.

I'm not exactly a windows fanboi; this laptop here runs on Ubuntu, my media centre on Mint and at work we're using CentOs/RHEL. I haven't touched a Windows machine for months. But this is getting silly: why slag it off, if you have a choice?

It's like saying "Tripe soup is horrible, it's so awful, yuk yuk yuk, ewww. The stuff is so vile it surely tastes like poo and if you put salt and pepper in it it tastes like poo more. Bwaaa."

Just don't have it for dinner?

7
7
Silver badge

Re: @ AC 1519h GMT - Question

'Saying Microsoft "did what people wanted" is like saying that a company selling whit shirts to a crowd demanding black is "Meeting demand" by selling blue.'

Actually, in this case I would say it's more like them continuing to make white shirts, but adding a tiny black square to them.

1
1

Is it actually possible to polish a polished turd?

You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter.

7
0

Re: @ LarsG - Make or Break?

Because a lot of us WILL be forced to buy it, or some descendant of it, eventually. Businesses frequently depend on windows software that they simply are not prepared to (or in many cases just plain _can't_ due to the dependencies involved) have re-written so it can run on *nix.

In 5 years the thousand or so desktops around here are all going to need replacing, and what's the licencing deal going to be on the OS they're replaced with? Can I (or whoever sits in this chair at that point) convince anyone that moving to *nix is a viable choice? Not very likely. Windows is what we're stuck with, and the pain of supporting all those users through massive workflow changes is going to fall on whoever occupies this office - and other offices just like it all over the world.

I'm all for improvement, but 8 isn't a step forward, it's a step sideways at best, and that's just annoying for everyone.

4
1
Silver badge

Completely wrong UI paradigms

There is a vital step you missed.... MS's dabbling with the Kin Phone.

Kin tanked completely, but lives on in the form of the tiles UI. This is a UI first designed for teenagers - not for serious businesses used to beige. The teens didn't want it.

Rule #1 of business is to keep your bread & butter customers happy. MS pissed in the soup when they went to W8 showing no path for corporate users.

I tried watching part of a presentation on W8, but was forced to give up when some UI elements were called "charms". Seriously... CHARMS!!!!

I can understand having things called charms if you're making Pink Pony OS for pre-pubescent girls.

How is anynne supposed to take something with "charms" seriously as part of their corporate infrastructure?

Pity the poor IT help desker trying to keep a straight face while talking about charm bars.

9
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Question

nah I say this as a Windows user but...

Windows 7 was a (very) polished turd (it's WIndows afterall, and remember it was just the proper version of Vista)

Windows 8 was Microsoft deciding to take that turd, mashing it up a bit, adding a few secret ingredients and serving it as lunch.

Everyone moaned 'Waiter there is a fly in my soup' (his name was Metro, pesky little chap) so Microsoft took the bowl back to the kitchen, rearranged things a bit, put it in a new bowl, and brought it back out again, complete with said fly, it's mouche soup don't you know?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Make or Break?

I don't see this as make or break for them. They are too big for any single thing to be make or brake. They pulled the same crap with Vista and clawed their way back to relevancy with Win 7. I can see the same thing happening with Win 8.

The lawsuit on the other hand could hurt, regardless of the actual decision or out of court settlement. I'd think the OOC is the more likely outcome.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @ AC 1711h GMT - Question @JDX

An opinion without facts is like a fish without a bicycle.

0
2
Silver badge

Re: @Andreas Koch

While granting that I think we are now at the point were MS has ignored customers for longer than they listened to them, there was a time, way back in the dark ages of computing when they mostly did. By the time they were done eviscerating Netscape they lost the capability and now must be roundly beaten about the skull with a 4x4 to get their attention (the standard 2x4 being of insufficient sturdiness to get their attention).

0
0
Silver badge

Re: but adding a tiny black square to them.

Not quite. It's a pack of black dye so you can do it yourself at home. Somehow they consider this an improvement on the Henry Ford meme "You can have any color as long as it is black."

0
0
FAIL

Re: @ AC 1519h GMT - Question

"Regardless whether it's a turd or not, or whether you like Microsoft or not: They have, at least to some extend, changed what users wanted changing. That alone is already laudable, I think."

Er, did you mean to say "ridiculously laughable," and add sarcasm tags? Because if not, then I can only conclude that you're a hired Microsoft PR guy.

The last time Microsoft pleased their customers was with XP, which was friendlier to users than 2000 (although it began the onerous process of phoning home to work, and insult to customers in itself).

Since then, every single UI rework has been met with howls of derision and rage that former UI's were now removed permanently. This is a company that knows it has the business world by the balls, and couldn't give a rat's ass about actually pleasing individual customers.

1
0
Coat

Re: Is it actually possible to polish a polished turd?

Maybe they're hoping the waxy buildup will be mistaken for improvement...

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC 1519h GMT - Question

I think what Microsoft are really quite bad for comes from Ballmer, right at the top; arrogance.

When Windows 8 was in beta stages people cried out that the IFKAM was a fatal error, and still they ploughed on. It doesn't work, it never worked, it never will. If they ploughed the money that they wasted on trying to be a hardware manufacturer on user acceptance testing, this might now have happened.

The thing I don't understand is that Microsoft have an impenetrable market in business, no IT manager in their right mind would replace 500 Windows desktops or server applications with Apple, Android or Linux because they're not viable or well enough supported, but if they keep up stunts like Windows 8, they will alienate enough people to erode their last remaining unique market. Everything else has already eroded, as shown by all the IT admins walking around with Macbooks, iPhones and iPads, you would NEVER have seen that 10 years ago in the "Apple? *spit*" days.

0
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

@Andreas koch - Re: @ LarsG - Make or Break?

Andreas koch wrote :- "I ... wonder why so many people are even bothering to write about a bad update to an OS that they didn't want in the first place. Why?"

Because so many people use Windows, and will use Win8 regardless of how bad it is, that it continues to be an major influence on the IT world even if you do not use it yourself.

"You don't like it: don't use it. Dead easy."

I don't like it, but I am locked down to use Windows and nothing else at work. Not Win8 yet, but one day we will have to move on from XP, and the PHBs seem to think any non-MS software is somehow illegal.

"Every second posting here whines how rubbish Win8.1 is. Why even be concerned? it's not as if you are forced to buy it."

I am, any time I buy a PC, unless I go to a great deal of trouble like building my own.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC 1711h GMT - Question @JDX

"No, dear AnonIX, I'm actually who I am. And not ashamed of my opinion or my name."

So, andreas koch, nominative determinism is clearly a far from spent force..

0
0
Pint

Re: Completely wrong UI paradigms

"How is anynne supposed to take something with "charms" seriously as part of their corporate infrastructure?"

Physicists will take it very seriously, and ask where the strange bar is hiding - is up or down, spinning around...

0
0
Silver badge

It's a bit of a shame.

I got my wee Inspiron Duo, and put my work copy of Windows8 on it - and I found Windows 8, metro/modern interface and all, very usable.

However, with a machine that doesn't have a touch interface, it was an uphill struggle.

One thing I did sense though - if felt a lot smoother and slicker than Win7 on the same hardware.

10
7

Re: It's a bit of a shame.

Exactly the same here - W8 makes sense of having the touchscreen and vice-versa. Wouldn't contemplate W8 without a touchscreen though.

4
4
JDX
Gold badge

Re: It's a bit of a shame.

It works pretty OK without touch really. For me anyway... I very rarely click the Start button on W7. All the Metro stuff is wasted on me, but it doesn't really get in my way either. I wouldn't buy a new PC to get W8 but I wouldn't not buy a new PC because it had W8.

8
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a bit of a shame.

Windows 8 is OK if:

1/ You have a touchscreen

2/ You don't need to actually do work on it and just want to consume media.

For everyone else, its best to avoid.... Which seems to be what they have done, fake start button or no fake start button.

What Microsoft fail to understand, it seems, is that the problems with Windows 8 extend FAR beyond the lack of a start button....

22
10
Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a bit of a shame.

An iPad or Android Tablet will do the same thing, only better.

5
3
Unhappy

Re: It's a bit of a shame.

1 - but who would like to have big glossy touchscreen in front? And what for - to grow muscles?

2. not even fit to consume media - as opposed to 7 it does not come standard with Media Center, not even DVD will play without additional software. I guess MS predicted that users will be so lost that all they'll do will be starting at squares on the Start Screen.

That said I use customized W8 machines but just hate the way the system is bastardized.

It's not really start button that bugs people. It's the whole Metro getting in the way that only few (and MS hoping for some sales) have use for (while for majority it just wastes CPU cycles and confuses less computer savvy). Ugly themes (colors, clunky thick window frames, disabled customizations that one may enable through registry - if lucky to find the key), no previous versions functionality (I know, full backup is the correct way but in most cases this is better than nothing). Etc, etc ... All these choices that MS made on users behalf and would be better off to leave to them (users). If they follow this path I can see myself on Linux (if I have to change why not for better, cheaper and more productive (like no games)).

5
0

Re: It's a bit of a shame.

You clearly haven't used it. I never consume media on my PC - use it much the same as I did Windows 7. Web, Word, Excel, eMail, etc - all just the same. Theres some metro thing they added which I ignore. Thats all.

4
3

Re: It's a bit of a shame.

I like WMC and got it for free with early W8 license so technically I'm not affected (and I can call 8 my primary system). Now, if by media consumption you refer to stuff you get through web browser then why would I want to pay any $ for such a OS if free options existed? MS is playing the game where they stripped features users cared for (some more some less but it's pricy package after all) to force them into buying missing pieces from their store (if not today then tomorrow this may be the only option). There’s too much personal stuff on everyone’s pc to rely on connected apps (and reference it to real identity via credit card info) – even FB users figure this out after a while. Arguably ugly UI (and restricting common sense customizations to registry hacks) does not help.

Does it boot faster – maybe. Do I care – nope.

1
0
Silver badge

“It’s very exciting to be delivering Windows 8.1 to consumers just before Windows 8 celebrates its 1-year anniversary,” LeBlanc said.

Or as the rest of read it, "Bloody hell it took us nearly a whole year to fix the damn thing to make it usable but hopefully this give us 5 minutes breathing room now!"

17
3

Just to be annoying

Interestingly, all the new toggles in Windows 8.1 don't seem to include the ability to turn the start button OFF. I don't need it (my keyboard has one) and it's using up a valuable taskbar location that I've got quite used to having free for whatever I like.

You can please some of the people some of the time...

4
4
Bronze badge

Re: Just to be annoying

Guess I will wait for 8.2 where you can switch off the useless "Start" spacewaste and force maschines to "only start with Modern" from the server policy. Ja, definitly!

1
7
Bronze badge
Joke

@John P - Re: Just to be annoying

Wrote :- "the new toggles in Windows 8.1 don't seem to include the ability to turn the start button OFF. I don't need it "

Just hope that MS offer a 8.1 -> 8.0 downgrade option, like they did for Vista.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Touch on the desktop? A ways off, I'd say

It is strange that Microsoft did not learn their lesson from previous desktop touchscreen attempts. The home computers featuring touchscreens never really sold in quantity and yet MS tried to push WIn8 on to the market, and therefore, users.

Home and office computers have a different operating paradigm than tablets and phones - home & office do more content creation than tabs & phones and constantly reaching across your table/desk to a touchscreen interface is distinctly uncomfortable, to the level of being unergonomic and potentially injurious. Once computers are the desk - built-in, and near field - touchscreens will make sense but now, with our average 20 inch viewing distance, touchscreen simply does not make sense.

20
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Touch on the desktop? A ways off, I'd say

Given that they seem to have spent their entire existence trying to ape, copy or compete with Apple, you would think they would have learned the lesson that desktops and touch devices are different, which Apple seem well aware of.

Instead they appear to have learned "Apple have phone! Apple phone make money! We like money! Make everything like phone!" When it comes down to it, that's not an enormously profound lesson.

12
1
Silver badge

Re: Touch on the desktop? A ways off, I'd say

The idea is that PC is dying, so Microsoft wants to ease users, but especially developers, over to mobile devices. Win 8 was supposed to teach PC users how to use a touch interface, and give developers a natural migration route to Windows Phone and Windows RT, which *desperately* need apps.

What Win8 actually did, was annoy PC users, drive developers to Android, and show everyone that Microsoft are cynical bastards who'll happily throw their PC userbase under the bus because they know that there is no realistic alternative to Windows on PC.

18
0
Silver badge

Re: Once computers are the desk

...the lawsuits for neck pain will start rolling in. Staring at where you hands comfortably sit on a desk is not something anyone should do all day.

When will people finally accept that touch is a solution to specific problems (like tiny devices with nowhere to put any other input), not something worth chasing for it's own sake and definitely not something to force into all use cases regardless of common sense. Allowing it everywhere for occasional, optional use makes sense, enforcing it everywhere never will.

7
0

Re: Once computers are the desk

@Paul Shirley "Allowing it everywhere for occasional, optional use makes sense, enforcing it everywhere never will."

Where exactly does Windows 8 enforce touch usage? Specifically, what features of the OS are impossible to use without touch?

Or is it, in fact, entirely optional?

2
9

Re: Once computers are the desk

Change "enforcing touch usage" to "enforcing a touch interface". There we go, confusion cleared up.

7
0
Bronze badge

Re: Once computers are the desk

It's not even that. Modern is a different style of "start menu", that is all. Desktop applications still run as they did in Grandpa Xerox times.

1
6
Silver badge

Re: Touch on the desktop? A ways off, I'd say

Never I'd say.

I expect the touchscreen will be a dead-end in computer evolution. It makes sense now on tablets and phones. But what we are seeing with the Wii and the Kinnect (sp?) on Xbox seem to me the more likely path for in the future. You put the motion sensor on the desk, use the interferometry to turn the entire cube of space into your work area, and start doing things in the air and they are reflected on the screen. Avoid the whole problem with smudgy screens, probably has far more flexibility as well. Maybe touchscreens still make sense on phones because you don't have enough separation between the sensors, maybe they get sensitive enough phones adopt them too.

0
3

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums