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. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Re: Why save the PC?

    MS Office - if you dont have PC's you dont have MS office continuity. If you dont have MS office continuity that's £500 lost to MS from most company desks every couple of years. Every company I've worked for buys MS to maintain their old 'content'.

    While its apparent to some that LibreOffice does a better job of continuity than MS bar activeX when the only argument the IT manager can come up with for upgrading is 'Well I get a few months away being trained how to do the same old shit on a new 'desktop' then you know someone's days are numbered and it wont be the IT manager.

  2. mmeier

    Re: Why save the PC?

    And what is the iOS / Android alternative to (MS)Office? None or none at all?

  3. Nigel 11

    Re: Why save the PC?

    I also think MS has too much negative sentiment associated with its brand to really excite large portions of the market.

    And when did IBM last excite large sections of the market? What percentage of people outside IT even know what IBM does? And ... so what?

    Microsoft's bread and butter is desktop PCs used by businesses or for business. For content creation not content consumption. If they carry on down the road they are on, someone is going to eat their core business the way Linux(*) is eating the iPhone.

    By the way, I don't care. I almost hope Microsoft does go the same way as Digital. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Telling your customers that they're wrong and should <go away> is a symptom of corporate madness. It's also what Digital did more and more, until their fall.

    (*) Android. It's Linux under the skin. Though the moral would be the same even if it weren't.

  4. katie scarlett


    Before I get my IT guys to change my laptop back to Windows 7, can anybody tell me how to print the pictures from W8? Or even how to copy and paste onto Word? Or attach to an email? Scenario being I have just looked at one of my hundreds of pictures and like this one and want to send it to my friend? This one, not the one before or after, because they are nearly the same but not quite? You know, just a Windows 8 version of the right click. At the moment I go into a picture gallery and all I can do is "select". My IT people don't know:-)

  5. MIc

    Re: Question

    Go to the desktop and use file explorer. The Photo app in win 8 is such a pile of crap....

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  7. katie scarlett

    Re: Question

    Thanks, but this is exactly what I don't want to do. I have perhaps 20 pictures of the same thing, the detail of which I can see on the big screen, but not in the file explorer, because they are with the same date, and same subject. In Windows 7 I could copy, attach, do whatever with the ones I wanted, now all I can do is select. There is no answer to this particular perfectionist's problem in Windows 8.

    But from the forum above I imagine W8 is great for software designers and gamers.

  8. MelniboneanAirways

    Re: Question

    Tap the photo you want, it'll expand to take up screen, then swipe charms menu in from the right hand side of the screen.

    If you want to email select 'share' then 'mail'; if you want to print select 'devices' and then the printer you wish to print to.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Question

    Of course, opening Charms to do that will start the email client that you don't use and doesn't have any of your email accounts or addresses configured...

    According to Microsoft, this is a Good Thing.

  10. katie scarlett

    Re: Question

    Thanks Melni, sounds like fun!

  11. Levente Szileszky

    Shockingly tone-def to any feeedback, utterly clueless, breathtakingly arrogant...

    ..., impossibly ass-backward, openly deceiving, hilariously overconfident (forget criticism) yet spectacularly failing - this must be Ballmer's MSFT, period.

    Obligatory reminder with the Vanity Fair link to read the greatest article about MSTF & Ballmer from last August:

    "How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo: Steve Ballmer And Corporate America's Most Spectacular Decline"

  12. Shane Kent


    8 was not paid for beta to 8.1, both are paid for betas to Tiles 1.0 ;)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just imagine all of the bad press and the beatings they took if they had actually listened to the reviews of the betas. Seems like Microsoft wants to fail again, well, here is to June 2014 then.

    Kin = Fail

    WP = Fail

    Windows 8 = Fail

    WinRT = Fail

    Windows 8.1 = Fail

    They got a streak going.

  14. Belardi

    MS-Office 2012 = Fail

    Xbox One = Fail (Coming soon)

  15. Richard Remmele


    They are just complaining about the Bolted on Modern Front End (Metro).

    Click on Desktop or boot directly to Desktop and you are on a slightly faster Windows 7 with a few new features.

    Change a couple of defaults (like to the included Windows Photo Viewer) and you won't be popped out of the Desktop unless you press a key to go to the Modern Front End.

    Remember a couple of things that fit on a Post-it note or install the free Classic Shell to get back your Start Button /Menu.

    I run both a Windows 7 and Windows 8 system side by side every day and never get popped out to the Front End. I run all my Windows 7 and Xp programs on both systems in the exact same way with the same icons, with the ability to pin them to the bottom task bar, just the same as Windows 7.

    No reason to upgrade from Windows 7 but no reason to hate Windows 8.

  16. Belardi

    Re: Mr

    Some of those new features can be added to Windows7 for free. Like TeraCopy and Better Explorer.

    Windows 8 desktop is still an ugly bastardized Windows-basic version of Windows7.... who pays for such crap?

  17. MigMig

    “PCs are still better at many things than tablets and smartphones, but I think that message has been lost and needs to be revived in order to get people focused on the benefits that PCs offer.”

    Hmm so if there is a product out there that is a "PC" and a tablet simultaneously, then this would be rephrased as “PCs are still better at many things than themselves and smartphones....." I don't know why but this doesn't sound right.

  18. W. Anderson

    Empty content article

    Did Phil Muncaster or any other gaga eyed tech media person at Computex ask Microsoft "specifically" what are the advances in security that Microsoft proclaimed in statement ..."With Windows 8.1 we bring new management capabilities and great advancements in security and mobility. "

    Why even bother to report this story if in fact it is only a repeat of Microsoft propaganda statements? Experienced, technologically knowledgeable and non Gee Whiz reporters cannot be that difficult for The register to find.

    Otherwise I can just read Microdsoft's Press Announcement.

  19. Two Posts


    Microsoft, they #### you in the Office then, when they're done ####ing you in the Office, they #### you in the OS. Where does it say you need a lopotomy to use a desktop computer?



    Microsoft, sh##ting on the power user.


    Windows TIFKAM designed by Star Trek TNG fans, bringing the 24th century interface to your desktop today, without the intervening 300 years of development.

    "There was I, digging this hole, hole in the ground, it was big and sort of round..."


    Yes, I am still holding a grudge and being a bad will ambassador for Microsoft when the mood takes me.

    I do actually run Windows 8 Professional at home (alongside an Ubuntu powered netbook and an Android smart phone), hey it was £50 and I can run my old computer XP disk images in a Hyper-V window which is cool (shame I can't promote this feature to family and friends, their XP/other Windows OS images are OEM). The desktop experience is better than fine, but like the Office ribbon interface, I can barely tolerate TIFKAM. Maybe I am too old, these days in the software world, new and improved means to me, more confusing and less productive.

    For various reasons I need to run Microsoft products in 'out of the box' mode, so things like Start8 and kludging menus back into Office are a non-starter.

    I'll use Windows 8.1 when it is released, if only to boot straight to desktop, as for all the other 'improvements', I'll wait and see.

  20. James Pickett


    Since when was "architected" a word?

  21. jmk89
    Thumb Down

    This is just a mean spirited prank

    Average User: "Oh thank heavens the start-menu is back, such a relief, I'll just open a progr...aww"

  22. Tom 13

    Re: Microsoft parades Windows 8.1, the version you may actually want


    Especially after the Start Button fiasco.

    Yes, if I want a system that will play most of the PC games out there, I may be forced to buy a copy or two. But it won't be because of an innate desire to buy it.

  23. carlos_c

    Re this is a mean spirited prank

    Funny that....... most users I deal with don't know how to launch a program from the start menu. You'll find your average pc user will have an icon on the desktop (put there by the IT chappie) or one on the quick launch.

  24. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Re: Re this is a mean spirited prank

    The conclusion being that they don't need "Windoffs" at all just a big red button with "LAUNCH MUH APPLICATION NAOW".

    Positively Simpsonian.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While they are rolling things back...

    Can we get rid of that crappy ribbon bar and the black and white VS icons too?

  26. enerider

    As a person who got the Win8 Pro upgrade when it was going cheap...

    ... I am glad I did.

    I'm not using any touch interface, I have a mouse, monitor, keyboard and a handy little mITX PC I've put together. Z77 chipset and i5 3470 to match - and things are notably snappier when I switched from Windows 7 to Windows 8 on the same hardware.

    I will admit initial frustration with finding where things got moved to from Windows 7 - but most anything I can find now by mashing the Windows key on the keyboard and typing a few characters.

    I will make this plain and simple: I like playing games with my friends. One of these is MechWarrior Online.

    I havn't yet tried running it in a WINE instance, but I suspect it probably wouldn't work all that well - CryEngine 3 being the beast that it is.

    In times past I have used (in no particular order): FreeBSD, Slackware, OpenSuSe, Debian, Ubuntu, Mandrake, Red Hat, Fedora, Linux Mint. When I was giving gaming under a Linux-kernelled OS a good thrash, there were inevitable roadblocks. At the time, Quake Wars: Enemy Territory was a reasonably newish game (with native linux installer).

    The fun parts were the games from iD: All the Quakes and Dooms had native installers or ports. UT2004 also had a native installer. These all worked flawlessly.

    Then you get to some of the other titles we usually like to thrash out on a gaming weekend, things like Call of Duty, Company of Heroes, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade among others. In these cases , WINE support was not quite up to snuff *at the time* (Single player often worked, but if you're trying to LAN game, single player is not enough). Starcraft worked fine. Red Alert 2 not so much.

    I can't remember what tricks I pulled, but I was playing BF1942 online reasonably well in WINE - even if PunkBuster didn't like it and would boot me off every so often. A patch was even added to WINE which corrected issues when trying to look around in a fullscreen game (the fix basically recentered the mouse cursor after every detected mouse movement - so you didn't have the issue where you would be able to turn so far and no further).

    I went to a LAN with my setup and my 9800XT finally had enough of the torture and decided to suicide - which was replaced with a spare nVidia card that was available at the time. With no Internet connectivity, I was sunk for trying to get the Linux nVidia drivers to make things go again (since the ATI was using FGLRX obviously). So ended up defaulting to Windows XP at the time out of necessity (thank goodness for dual boot) - since someone else had nVidia drivers available on the network.

    I havn't tried gaming under a *nix system for some time since then - seeing as Windows 7 did everything that was asked of it until I recently went with Win8 Pro. Windows 8 from my view has carried on nicely - with my graphics card and everything working off the bat.

    So it hasn't been for the want of trying - I've given gaming a solid go under Linux, but using Windows just saved so much frustration. But that isn't to say I won't try again sometime soon - first I need a new hard drive that isn't old and tired which I can then partition and dual boot from - and I'll either go Debian or Slackware.

  27. MIc
    Thumb Up

    Not jarring in 8.1

    reddit thread:

  28. Winkypop Silver badge


    Don't feed the Eadon.

  29. lazyedit

    Hit the windows key and then begin typing...

    On a desktop with Windows 8 go to either bottom left corner or hit the Windows key to bring you to the tiled interface and then start typing.

    If I want to play civilisation I type "CI"

    If I want the control panel I type "CO"

    If I want to bring up a document called bring back my start button I type "br"

    If I want any file/program I begin typing much like the seach bar I would use in the Windows 7. I have no input on using windows 8 on a touchscreen device and appreciate that there is prob not a physcial windows key to just "press" like on the desktop and if so this is a design flaw. But nothing wrong with desktop W8 why does everyone bang on about the start button. Using W8 at home and W7 at work. On windows 8 I can.... find any file much quicker than I could in Windows.

    "Try the Windows key on the keyboard you morons".... is an excellent answer for people that complain about the fact the start button is missing!

  30. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Re: Hit the windows key and then begin typing...

    I like it how the defense of Windows now seems to consist in arguing that it is basically much like a Unix shell.


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