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back to article Microsoft blinks, extends Windows 8.1 Update deadline for consumers

In a move that should surprise no one, Microsoft has extended the deadline when consumers must install the Windows 8.1 Update to avoid being cut off from future security patches to June 10, giving them a 30-day reprieve. "While we believe the majority of people have received the update, we recognize that not all have," Microsoft …

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Fumbling/bumbling/stumbling Microsoft isn't going to strong arm anyone into Windows 8.1. It's just not going to happen.

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What a mess

So, we are at 8.1 update 1 with additional patches.

2 different methods are required to get there from 8.0. The updates take ages and often fail, or confuse the user with enforced Agree buttons AFTER installation and almost-compulsory Microsoft Accounts.

Enough to make a saint swear.

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Re: What a mess

It is possible to upgrade without a Microsoft account, though they do their utmost to bury that option behind the I can't be stuffed I give up where is the darn thing barrier.

If you haven't found it yet, you need to go into the create Microsoft account button After upgrade and in there you will find the option to keep your regular account.

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Windows 8.1 - the secret update

If I didn't read The Register, how should I even know that Windows 8.1 exists?

I've got a Windows 8 PC and never felt the need to use Windows Store. Windows Update tells me I'm up-to-date.

The only Windows 8.1 PCs I've seen are those that shipped with Windows 8.1.

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Re: Windows 8.1 - the secret update

This is the one thing I have never understood - why is the very importantly vital update from Win 8.0 to Win 8.1 only available in the App Store and not in Windows Update? Us IT Techs have spent years training people to use Windows Update to keep their computers up to date and safe. Yet this update was put into a SHOP instead?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8.1 - the secret update

It's just part of the ongoing disaster / microsoft arrogance.

You're not alone, the average joe unlucky enough to have Windows 8 has been conditioned to make sure all Windows updates via Windows Update are installed (but knows to uncheck things like the Bing bar)

The average joe does not know / care to look in a 'store' for 'updates'

The schizophrenic version numbering Microsoft has decided on is mad as the dual personality operating system they shipped, Windows 8.1 update 1? seriously?

I can't figure out if the whole thing is some kind of social experiment or pure incompetence, if it's the latter than I hold no hope for Windows 9 to be any better, they'll probably end up calling it 'Windows One' (or just 'Windows') and confuse the hell out of even more people.

The worst thing about all this is that the rest of the internet suffers, Windows 8 boxes will become zombies just as soon, if not sooner than unsupported XP boxes, it's completely irresponsible of Microsoft to even consider cutting support on something most people don't even know they have to update!

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Re: Windows 8.1 - the secret update

The 8.1 update in the app store* is designed to get you to use the app store. If you see the app store, you'll think "gee I can get all my programs here!" And then Microsoft will get their 30% cut. Provided, of course, you signed up for a Live ID. And if you haven't, well when you install 8.1 Microsoft will make it confusing not to have a Live ID. (P.S. Have fun clearing a bad password when your computer cannot connect to the internet for a number of reasons.) It is not about what is best for the paying customer, it is about finding a new way to make money as if the old way was suddenly unprofitable.

* I say on a desktop or laptop, it is a program and not an application. Stop try to make everything a nail simply because suddenly you only want to sell hammers! Tablets and laptops have a different purpose, they are not the same tool.

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Re: Windows 8.1 - the secret update

The 8.1 update in the app store* is designed to get you to use the app store.

That has class action lawsuit written all over it. Time for the popcorn.

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Re: Windows 8.1 - the secret update @Charlie Clark

Agree it does give MS a problem with it's decision to effectively terminate support for Windows 8.0 before it's advertised end of life. Because it can be argued that by only making the 8.1 Update available from the app store it isn't an update to Windows 8.0 under the Microsoft support agreement.

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Re: Windows 8.1 - the secret update

I say on a desktop or laptop, it is a program and not an application.

Applications have been around a lot longer than the iPhone. A lot longer than Java - why do you think the preferred term for miniature Java things embedded in a web page is an "applet"?

An application is one or more programs that work together to apply the computer toward a particular task (like for instance, writing a letter, creating a spreadsheet). A collection of applications tends to be called an application suite (for instance, Office suites).

I hope that argument about "but apps are what phones have" is now thoroughly killed.

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All I keep thinking is a hundred years from now, all this will be in history books, maybe even taught in schools to kids, and these people that run these companies, their names will be jokes. Hell, call someone a benidict Arnold in this country and they know exactly what you imply. A hundred years, what will Balmer mean?( Dell has already taken the place of "shit").

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FAIL

Which country are you referring to?

"Hell, call someone a benidict Arnold in this country and they know exactly what you imply."

Nope.

Give in.

WTF is a "benidict Arnold"?

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It's not the user's fault if you hide the updates.

Unlike Win7 updates, the 8.1 update is tucked away in the App Store, which many people never visit. I've seen a couple of laptops which have only been restarted for installing Win8 laptops once or twice in a year, because that's how the O/S is designed now - to make it hard to switch off (and thus install updates).

And it is a HUGE update - 2GB IIRC, and takes hours and hours.

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Re: It's not the user's fault if you hide the updates.

Not just that but it won't install unless your 8.0 install is completely updated. Er, that will be another 875 MB from my factory image as of May thank you very much.

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Re: It's not the user's fault if you hide the updates.

At which point it fails and takes all of 20 minutes to put back to Win8. I have tried to update at least 20 times from the app store and a DVD. Always the same, 4 to 5 hours wasted. One would think that if their upgrade doesn't work on a great many machines they would abandon the "upgrade or else" stupidity. But this is what Microsoft has devolved into. If they want me to upgrade they are going to have to send someone to my house that can get the upgrade to work.

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Anonymous Coward

Instead of updating to 8.1

I will probably downdate my portable to 7.0.

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I'm not Eadon

But holy crap... MS really screwed up royally. An app store visit for a "vital update"??? And then they can't get it right.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm not Eadon

It is what Apple does but at least they make it so you only have a single place to check for updates; OS or app related. So then it makes sense, but when you have two places to check for updates then it makes no sense, which is why Microsoft went that way.

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Re: I'm not Eadon

Apple's software update is accessed by Apple menu > Software Update, a window then opens which goes to the updates tab in the App Store, and you get told if there are any updates or not. Whilst this window is also shopified (if you go on to explore other tabs) and also guilty of the sin of putting OS and App updates under the same roof, the difference is the user decides to select something clearly designated as the software updater.

Unfortunately with Windows 8 there are now two non-related ways to get OS updates, one of which could never be touched for all the average user cares (the store) and yet it's this one which has the important update. So close, yet so far.

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Re: I'm not Eadon

At least Apple notifies you of the update whether you're logged in or not.

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Finally got around to fixing my wife's laptop

I finally got around to fixing my wife's laptop a couple of weeks ago. I'd updated it diligently for her to 8.1 etc and finally flipped when I couldn't find any way to get rid of the Sky Drive icon in the taskbar. It's home edition - no gpedit or any other way I could see to ditch it.

Now I update it with pacman. Runs a lot faster too.

She couldn't give a monkeys what it runs provided Facebook/Farmville/BBC etc work online and the basics like email and Office stuff. Touch works well especially after I adjusted the widgets so you have to try pretty hard to touch close instead of maximize.

Nowadays I patch it over ssh whilst she uses it. Learning Arch Linux had a bit of a steep curve, but then I'm a Gentoo aficionado. I couldn't see her putting up with a compilerthon every few weeks 8)

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Joke

Microsoft minutes?

So the time that will elapse until a Microsoft deadline is measured in a similar elastic fashion to the units used to measure the download times under IE, or file transfer times under explorer?

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Re: Microsoft minutes?

Obligatory

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Anonymous Coward

Madness

The Microsoft plan works wonderfully here in Old Europe, where most people have unlimited internet access. I can think of a few places, on this ball of dirt, where the 'download only' Windows 8.1 update is a download too far, both in terms of (capped) volume of data and the fact it will take an eternity. This Google centric assumption of great internet access is silly.

Apple were also guilty with the Mavericks upgrade. Fine for me, but not so good for someone with an expensive, capped, satellite connection.

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The amusing part?

What makes me laugh is how they absolutely require that you be 100% up to date before you can do the upgrade. Then, it goes and basically does a complete re-install anyway, including the previous version being left in windows.old

So, why exactly did I do the whole get up to date thing again?

And it's not a 2GB download. It's more like 30GB. That's actually more then enough to completly blow the cap on a lot of cheaper "high speed" connections around here. The kind used by grand-ma that doesn't have a lot of cash and no understanding of what a GB is anyway. I'll let you imagine how much fun that was to explain at the shop I used to work at ....

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Re: The amusing part?

I don't understand how a simple single user operating system upgrade got to be a 2GB download, let alone 30? It's as if nothing is re-used/common with no consideration to bandwidth at all.

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Re: The amusing part?

"how a simple single user operating system upgrade got to be a 2GB download"

Because it replaces pretty much every binary and driver on the system.

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Re: The amusing part?

Technology to do binary diff for remote patching has been around since forever. In simple terms, take xyz.DLL with hash ABC and do a binary XOR against this file (which is compressed) and the output is the new version. In reality you would do it below the file level on specific chunks but either way the total download of 8.1 should be substantially smaller than a fresh image.

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Re: The amusing part?

The rule of thumb is to multiply the size of the download by 2 to get a reasonable approximation of the number of bytes that have been transmitted up and down your Internet connection (something you have to consider if using 3g/4g).

Whilst I suspect 30GB is an exaggeration, I wouldn't be surprised that to fully update a typical 8.0 system to 8.1 update 1 (plus more recent updates) total (chargeable) network traffic comes close to 10GB...

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And what of unsold stock?

With all of the unloved stock sitting on shop shelves around the world, I can just see the poor rube that purchases one only to find that they can't apply any security patches.

Or will Microsoft send someone to each of these shops to perform the update so as not to leavh customers stranded? HA!

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Meanwhile, in mobile-world...

Windows Phone 8.1 still hasn't been released yet, let alone 'update 1'.

So much for unifying the platform, guys - wasn't that the whole point of alienating desktop users with the Modern interface in the first place?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meanwhile, in mobile-world...

"Windows Phone 8.1 still hasn't been released yet"

It has to anyone with a developer account.

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Thumb Up

Re: Meanwhile, in mobile-world...

He's right, I've had Phone 8.1 for weeks. It's great! Well, better.

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Re: Meanwhile, in mobile-world...

It has to anyone with a developer account.

So basically, nearly nobody.

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Happy

Re: Meanwhile, in mobile-world...

Anyone can do it, and it's free:

http://winsupersite.com/windows-phone/get-windows-phone-81-soon-possible

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WTF?

The best way of updating Windoze 8.0...........

......is to install Win 7.

Microsoft are getting exponentially worse, but hopefully Android for PCs will soon takeoff big time and we can all relax and laugh at MS for throwing away their future.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The best way of updating Windoze 8.0...........

"Android for PCs"

Great - so Linux and Java can bring us an even more clunky, inefficient and Malware filled world, and spyware will be preinstalled rather than a drive by download...

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Ok I may be going mad..or something changed

But I got my 8.1 from Windows update, so has something changed?

I know this because I nearly choked when I saw the size of the download.

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Re: Ok I may be going mad..or something changed

There are plenty of huge updates in Windows Update. What you downloaded there was probably Win 8.1 Update. Or Win 8.1 Update 1. Or whatever the confusing thing is called now.

Taking a bare Win 8.0 laptop through to fully updated means some huge multi-gigabyte downloads. Yeah, fine if you live in a city like me on 60Mbps. But what about that guy out in the countryside who is struggling with 1Mbps?

And I hope the user never has a hard disk fail... as he is then back to his "Recovery Media". If he made them that is. No licence key stickers now. Of course, that recovery media is back at v8.0 with not only no updates, but all the factory supply crudware back on the machine...

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Just gone to Win7

The charity I volunteer for upgraded its desktops to Win7 last week. Because even our relatively non-techie workers had "heard that Win8 was a lemon".

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Re: Just gone to Win7

'Because even our relatively non-techie workers had "heard that Win8 was a lemon"'

It's the same story down the pub and with a couple of pensioners* I help out every now and again.

* that generation knows that when you fix their computer, a good meal, a few beers and occasionally some hard cash is the way to show their appreciation for your time and effort.

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Moan moan moan

FFS. I did the first update from the Store - easy. Then when Update 1 was released it popped up and installed in a couple of minutes. How do you people cope when something really bad happens?

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Re: Moan moan moan

If 8.1 was just a free optional update you might have a point. But Microsoft have decided to cease support for 8.0 not us. As such, in order for us to avail of the support and maintenance promised to us at time or purchase, we need to install this update. If it is a prerequisite to any other critical update available on 8.1 but not 8.0 where the issue impacts 8.0, then the 8.1 upgrade itself must be labeled a critical update and available to us via the usual channels (windows update, WSUS, etc). If they want to deploy via app store as well then that is not a problem.

The fundamental inconsistency is that their windows update will give you a green tick saying all is well on an 8.0 system even though it would be missing patches. That is rightfully criticised.

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Linux

Relax

Relax - Linux Mint 17 is due at the end of the month.

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Re: Relax

The joke with Linux is the frequency of new releases...

However, I do note that Mint 17 is the LTS release and hence will be supported until 2019 and similarly last month we had Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (also supported until 2019), so yes there are Linux options out there which also have the advantage of being available as LiveCD's attached to the covers of various magazines from your local newsagent in the coming months, so can be trialled before committing to wiping Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Relax

This is part of the comical irony of people complaining about Microsoft abandoning support for the 14 year old XP. Most other OS's are barely supported for five years.

I was surprised when testing Mint (and Unbuntu) out on some old XP PCs at how much hardware just wasn't supported. I had a few old XP PCs with clients I wanted to make into a multi-boot setup for them to tide them over until they could afford new PCs. It was surprising as to how many of the 5-8 year old hardware was not supported. Either ending up with no graphics card support or some obscure crash to the terminal with gobble-de-gook all over the screen.

Usually the above problem was fixed by going back a version of two on the LTS releases. Which shows that driver support used to be there, but support for the old kit had been removed for some bizarre reason.

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FAIL

Re: Relax

"I was surprised when testing Mint (and Unbuntu) out on some old XP PCs at how much hardware just wasn't supported."

Indeed. Until I got newer hardware in 2012 I was unable to run either the Cinnamon or Mate desktops as provided by Mint on any of my existing 4 systems.

By the time that new hardware arrived, I had learned about the folly of running non-LTS versions of Ubuntu or Mint, so had moved on to other distros.

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Legerdemain

>Other bugs cropped up as well, including several that would cause the installer to fail with a variety of cryptic error codes.

Imagine that: "cryptic error codes".

What a time to be alive!

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