back to article Microsoft parades Windows 8.1, the version you may actually want

Microsoft today demonstrated Windows 8.1 for the first time in public and showed off at least 60 compatible devices - including Haswell-powered gadgets. Windows vice-president Antoine Leblond took the Computex crowd through a whistlestop tour of all the major new functionality in the OS formerly known as Windows Blue. Key …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge
      FAIL

      Microsoft said that they had listened to their customers, oh really

      Don't tell me someone at Microsoft actually thought that when people referred to the, lack of the "Start Button", that they actually took that phrase literally.

      It would be interesting to know just how many downloads were made for StartMenuClassic et all.

      1. ShelLuser

        @Khaptain

        Well, don't forget that according to Microsoft those same "user input channels" convinced them that the start menu had to go. Of course the results that followed made many wonder to which audience Microsoft had actually been listening, but even so that was their original story.

        1. nichomach

          @ShelLuser

          The problem was that Microsoft didn't listen to an audience at all - they listened to "metrics" provided by crap like the customer feedback apps without putting it into any sort of context.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: @nichomach

            ...and some wet-behind-the-ears marketdroids whose certificate from Marketing U. still has wet ink on it, who thought they could be responsible for the Next Big Thing™ in Computing!

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      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

        And Windows 8 still has a market share of about 5 times that of Linux on the desktop.

        EADON MEGA FAIL

        As usual

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. mmeier

            Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

            If Android is Linux then I can surely

            Use an open source JDK / JRE to run my Tomcat or Jetty on it

            After all the think runs under Linux and does not need much power/memory. Or if not that, at least a complete X-Server runs there? After all X and Linux is like crap and toilet.

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

              mmeier from mmicrosoft asks:

              If Android is Linux then I can surely Use an open source JDK / JRE to run my Tomcat or Jetty on it.

              Sure. Just armor yourself with a few heavyweight laways, grab a copy of OpenJDK (GPL) or Harmony (Apache License) and code away for a good porting. Be my guest. Just be sure it passes the TCK and won't be like an "enhanced" Java version by Microsoft, mkay?

              I might even download it.

              Or you can adapt Tomcat to run on the Dalvik VM. I think that's the better option.

              1. mmeier

                Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

                So the short version is

                NO

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            3. blondie101
              Linux

              Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

              > If Android is Linux then I can surely

              >

              >Use an open source JDK / JRE to run my Tomcat or Jetty on it

              You can. Not directly out of the box, but I've seen OpenSuSe running on a Galaxy S2 right onto the stock kernel. You only need root access. And yes you could run Tomcat on top of it. Usefull? I doubt! Fun? Yes! (and that what Linux is, fun to use!! :-) )

              1. mmeier

                Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

                OpenSuse != Android

                So the Answer is: No / not without massiv modifications to Android

          2. ChrisM

            Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

            I may be wrong (and frequently am) but my understanding is that Android is a FORK of Linux that has little to no chance of being merged back into the main branch of the kernel.

            With that in mind isn't the main problem is, as is the case with the proliferation of desktop environments, the freedom of Linux is its own worst enemy....

            1. Salts

              Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

              That was also the argument given about unix - it's fragmentation, however with the GNU license all code derived from the source code, must be made available, therefore, regardless of the fork, the source should be available.

              Therefore we have a situation of evolution, with lots of dead ends, but a few winners in the end, if it does follow evolution, we get a product that "is most suitable for it's environment" which means you have a choice.

              you choose, what works for you, windows, OSX, UNIX, Linux or whatever.

              I like that idea, others may not

              Ian

            2. Jemma Silver badge

              Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

              Nah, Eadons its own worst enemy.. the Baldrick of Linux.. A 'frozen horse' working to bring down the system from within...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

            And when Linux was offered pre-installed what happened. On Laptops etc almost no uptake, that's why companies stopped offering it. On Netbooks the average punter just returned their purchase as the wanted Windows

            1. Antoinette Lacroix
              Coat

              Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

              I think it has got nothing to do with the OS. Users wouldn't recognize an OS if it bit them - they can't distinguish between an OS and a UI. What users want is "easy & shiny" and that's exactly what Gnome - the most used UI - isn't. Everything made with GTK still looks and feels like a sad Win 3.1 clone. Take KDE3 or E17, skin it like Win7, add some transparency and they won't notice the difference.

              1. Tom 13

                Re: they can't distinguish between an OS and a UI.

                Even more to the point, they don't care that they can't distinguish between an OS and a UI. They want an app that just works so they can do whatever their real job is (assuming work), or play their game (hardcore gamers) or video chat with their grandkids 300+ miles away.

                And you know what? As a tech supporting them who does know the difference, I think they have a valid point.

            2. Chika

              Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

              Very true. However, back in the early days of Microsoft, they had the same problem. The only way around it was to persist and to advertise like crazy, something that didn't really happen with the Linux in a box setup for whatever reason (probably because they need long term support from a company wishing to market the OS to the masses rather than companies that were only interested in buying up distros to market them as server OSs).

            3. hplasm Silver badge
              Windows

              Re: the average punter just returned their purchase as the wanted Windows

              Just like Win 8 then?

          4. kb
            WTF?

            Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

            Nice to know you claim Android and the 1 million infections that Android will hit by July, that's good to know. Oh and just FYI if everything thet runs a locked down GPL kernel now counts as "linux" why aren't you claiming routers and the cheap Chinese set top boxes as well?

            FYI Android is owned and controlled by corporate, no different than Windows and OSX. you just try getting some of your patches into android, or try to get them to take Torvalds latest kernel noodlings and see how quick it happens...hint, never.

            All Google is is trading one master for another, see how they take what was once bog standard X86 hardware and lock it down so bad the ONLY way you can put another OS on it is to completely wipe the drive, no dual boots allowed, for "freedumb" of course, a page and a half of CLI garbage and then and ONLY then can you run one of a few piddling distros that have bootloaders that can get around Google's hardware DRM. You just try running any bog standard distro or BSD or anything but the few hacked together distros and see how far you get (hint,no boot).

            Of course I'm sure google is laughing all the way to the bank, you can put "do no evil" right next to "think different" on the best BS marketing ever created.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Linux is everywhere

              Linux is the kernel, so yes, my set-top box runs Linux, Android phones run Linux.

              There's also a lot of stuff running on Linux that you'd never think of - the new Disney ships run on Linux, the Sheik Zayed Al Nayan mosque runs on VXWorks, the world's tallest building runs on Linux and Windows XP.

              A lot of BMS and industrial controllers run on the Linux kernel - it's either that or VXWorks for the most part, and most ARM/MIPs computer-on-module suppliers offer Linux as a standard BSP.

              1. TimeMaster T

                Re: Linux is everywhere

                "the Sheik Zayed Al Nayan mosque runs on VXWorks,"

                What the Hell does a mosque do that requires a Real Time OS (RTOS)?

                I used to work for WindRiver, vxWorks is a great OS for embedded systems like the Mars rovers but I would think it was overkill for anything not requiring a deterministic hard RTOS, like a building.

                I'm going to have to Google that place and find out whats up, thanks for calling to to my attention.

                1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
                  Trollface

                  Re: Linux is everywhere

                  What the Hell does a mosque do that requires a Real Time OS (RTOS)?

                  FATWA CONTROL!

                2. Richard 12 Silver badge

                  Re: Linux is everywhere

                  vxWorks is the RTOS used by over 300 control boxes in the Grand Mosque lighting control system, plus 11 WinXPE boxes as well. There's more vxWorks licences there than Windows ones in an average SME!

                  I suspect (but don't know for certain) that the lifts run on it as well.

                  If you want deterministic and short response times on low-power hardware, you're going to want an RTOS because the alternative is bare-metal.

                  However, more modern hardware is becoming so much more powerful and cheap, that in the last five years or so a lot of stuff that would previously have been RTOS or even bare-metal is now Linux.

      2. mmeier

        Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

        And again more FUD and lies from EADON:

        Where is the desktop crippled? All Win7 software still runs fine. No need for Modern if you do not want it

        And for Linux: It does not work on a tablet pc. Sure on a smearboard it is fine but use a pen - bang, does not work. So no Penguin here.

        1. Chika
          Linux

          Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

          No Linux on tablets, eh?

          Well, apart from the number of folk that have already pointed out that Android is a fork of Linux, a number of distros are either developing or have already developed versions for the tablet.

          As for anything else, we shall see. The problem with the start button and the menu that lay below it was that TIFKAM was not a good substitute. If what they present in Blue is a good substitute, then I suspect that the whining will die down. Of course, you can't please everyone...

          1. mmeier

            Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

            No Linux with build in WACOM or NTrig pen support and Handwriting recognition. Same for the journaling software

            Android has but that is not part of the OpenSource so no backport from Note or TPT1 to Linux. Same for the journaling software

            And buying a 1000+ € tablet pc and not be able to use the main component - useless

      3. Eadon Trifles
        WTF?

        Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

        Ah just when I thought you'd had a blow to the head and were being reasonable....

        You love Linux, we know, you got the T-shirt and the matching pants.

        People would find you less boring if you put your anti-MS rants aside and made good, valid points.

        As for App stores, take your pick, they all do the same thing and get a cut and a Linux app store will happen if it hasn't already (I've lapsed in my subscription to Linux and Flagellation Monthly).

        Are you about 12? Is hair starting to grown "down there" and you want to ask questions about your feelings for girls and how they work?

        Linux will NOT get anywhere in the "home PC" arena while it's a billion different versions and has nerd snobbery attached to it. FACT. In that respect, even Umbungo has failed. MS might not listen, but with Linux there is nobody to HEAR you. The home user wants things simple; they don't want to mess with distros and command prompts. 90% of home users are not technical at all - good luck turning them off MS - besides, where does your moral and intellectual superiority elevate you to? You sneer at the people at home using PCs as stupid because they choose to use something that is popular?

        We get it, you're too clever for us, and you're totally right, but I think about now it's time that YOU and LINUX, got a room......

        1. naw

          Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

          @Eadon, you missed the point completely, Linux will not win the desktop, but the battle isn't for the desktop - it is for the mobile market - pretty much every PC user (or MAC user, or even Linux Desktop - yes there's a few) also have a smart phone (maybe 2), maybe a tablet as well. While every Office worker uses a PC at work, there is probably only a shared PC or laptop at home.

          Once-upon-a-time, people would replace their PCs every 3/4/5 years because the rate of change was so quick - that was the case in business too - companies with well-run IT refreshed every 4-6 years. Not anymore. So that means that the HW vendors (intel/AMD/HP/IBM/Dell) are struggling - but they can and have diversified into other areas. MS are a one product-sector company, because not users (especially home users are only refreshing when their PC/laptop fails - then they're transferring software rather than re-buying).

          Along come smartphones and tablets - now users have disposable PCs all their photos are on Flickr or Facebook, their music collection on spotify or iTunes. They don't need a PC any more to browse eBay, watch pr0n, flame each on YouTube or lie to the friends they never met on facebook.

          So now *users* realise that 95% of their PC/tablet/smartphone use is content browsing and less than 5% content creation (I'm not including Facebook or Twitter here - they hardly count as content creation) and when they realise they don't need a PC - then they're lost to MS forever.

          So the future is to use a PC/laptop at work, use smartphone(s) and tablet at home. A few Power users will have a PC/Laptop at home but it's a tiny tiny proportion.

          And you know what? Thats just the beginning, because the next big thing will be the SmartTV, then SmartFridge, then SmartToasters... - and I reckon whoever wins the SmartPhone / Tablet battle will win the SmartTVFridgeToaster war too. The whole stack of cards is falling down for MS - their future major revenues will be in Applications like Office and Cloud Services with loose change in some pokey little OS called windows.

          MS know this - and thats why they threw Windows away for Metro/Surface - because it's the last desperate kick of the ball at the final whistle to keep them in the game - If Win8 catches on then they win, if Win8 fails then it doesn't matter because they'd already lost anyway.

          1. mmeier

            Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

            They did not throw away Windows - they changed the start menu and call it Modern. That's it.

            Win8 works beautiful on a tablet and with a small dock - that tablet becomes a fully capabel PC (either core-i or Atom based). One device for both or (since a 10'' Atom easily replaces a smartphone as well) all three devices.

            As for smart TV: Once you add all the stuff needed to make them useable - you are looking at a 42'' AIO PC.

      4. Salts

        Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

        Eadon,

        If you really have so much passion for open source(for which I commend you) please, please, please help. You don't have to be a programmer.

        Evangelism for foss is very 1990's

        GNU/Linux may never conquer the desktop in end user land, but it does not matter any more, it has reached critical mass.

        <18 months from launch RPi is 1.5+ million units

        MS contributes to the Linux kernel, because it needs to compete in the virtual arena

        If open source was to disappear tomorrow, the internet would stop working - fact

        Most people use GNU/Linux, they may not know or understand, but, they do, name a home router that runs anything else?

        The list can go on, but what I am asking, is you look to where you can help, you have the ability, so please help.

        Hope you take this as positive

        salts

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

        Nobody ever heard anyone publicly complain about 'Unity' or any other interface gaffes. That's because being open, Linux users could simply move on and install another GUI.

        If only Windows users had the same option. If only it was possible to easily install some free software that could magically restore the old familiar interface - start button, start menu, boot to desktop, etc.

      6. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        FAIL

        @Eadon; Re: The WHINING of the WINTARDS

        "So what's up Wintards? You stuck with MS, you made your beds, now sleep in them. If you want to be treated like humans, not sheep, then there is this other operating system out there called, er. lumix? Linnix?..."

        There are *many* alternate operating systems out there, not just the one you worship.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

      Except to the users, whose #1 problem is "where the f*** are my programs"

      1. Hooksie

        Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

        Try the Windows key on the keyboard you morons

        Would be my response

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

          What key? I ask, you tit- this is a tablet.

          1. Avalanche

            Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

            Then just hit the "charm" in the lower left corner (I believe, could be the upper left).

          2. D. Pechon
            Facepalm

            Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

            Every Windows tablet has a Windows key.

          3. David Barrett Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

            "What key? I ask, you tit- this is a tablet."

            Probably the one, bottom centre below your screen... you know, the one with the windows logo on it...

            http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-57360734-64/microsoft-lays-out-window-8-tablet-hardware-requirements/

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. mmeier

            Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

            Only Eadon could be clueless enough not to realise that on tablet devices there are other options like "stylus in the lower/right corner"

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem. @Eadon

            "Only MS could design a touch interface OS that needs a keyboard. Makes a change from needing a stylus I guess."

            -- They didn't, Eadon. Interesting comment considering you're always saying they're trying to foist an interface designed for touch onto desktop PCs ...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

            Or you could hover your mouse in the bottom left and the start screen will pop out...

            Or if you are using touch flick in from the bottom left and it pops up.. almost like a gesture (you know like touch interfaces use?)

            Dumbass

        3. Levente Szileszky
          FAIL

          Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

          "Try the Windows key on the keyboard you morons

          Would be my response"

          Which would clearly show what kind of an even bigger moron you are because it has little to do with the Start Menu people are missing, you tool.

        4. Belardi
          WTF?

          Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

          You need a mirror. Obviously you're as narrow minded as the people at microsoft. It wasn't about the button itself as the whole mess of mixing two UI at people. Its an ugly messy package.

          Hell, Windows8 has made me download and start using LinuxMint... which is usable, unlike metro.

        5. Ron Christian

          Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

          But that does not gives you a start menu. It gives you an ugly collection of square blotches of color, which appear to represent applications, with no hierarchical grouping visual clues, that takes up the entire 22 inch screen while showing only a fraction of the choices, having to be scraped back and forth to expose the rest of the blotches. It's a mess.

          I'm writing this on Windows 7. When I hit the Windows key, I get a real menu, and I can choose to bring up a new application while leaving my current open windows in place. I have a Windows 8 machine, but haven't touched it in weeks, because a real user workflow does not work on the device. It's probably fine for casual browsing (which I do on my phone anyway, but never mind) but is a definite step backwards for real work.

          1. Panimu

            Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

            "But that does not gives you a start menu. It gives you an ugly collection of square blotches of color, which appear to represent applications"

            Tbh, that's basically what the Start Menu does, and it does in a little fraction of the screen with small writing.

            For reference, I use Win7+8 and don't have any skin in the arguement.

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