back to article Microsoft: YES! You can have your desktop back again for FREE!

Microsoft has confirmed that it will issue its Blue update to Windows 8 without charge, with first code scheduled at the company’s Build conference starting on June 26. This is in line with Redmond's previous policy in which users have been charged only for an entirely new iteration of the Windows OS, not for service packs and …

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  1. Russ Tarbox
    Joke

    Can't wait!

    Once it's released, I might bother to torrent a copy!

    1. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Can't wait!

      "Once it's released, I might bother to torrent a copy!"

      You know it still hasnt been hacked? You cant fully activate a priate copy without a valid license key or valid KMS server.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Can't wait!

        ^Pirate

      2. Paul Shirley

        Re: Can't wait!

        ...but is that because it's better protected or just not worth pirating?

        why pirate win8 if you can have 7 ;)

    2. Lusty

      Re: Can't wait!

      Why bother with an illegal torrent when the ISO is freely available from MS?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: Can't wait!

        "Why bother with an illegal torrent when the ISO is freely available from MS?"

        Yes, that's probably why there was a "Joke Alert" icon on the OP.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can't wait!

          "Yes, that's probably why there was a "Joke Alert" icon on the OP"

          Americanisation is steadily engulfing el Reg.

          This post may have been near hot water, and may or may not contain or have been near something containing peanuts. Or something.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: Can't wait!

      Posting this two hours after restoring a system image twice within a week due to CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED on boot, with no working offline System Restore from recovery options and no working Safe Mode....

      Fuck Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 will suck just as much.

      By the way, binding RPC and associated vulnerable crapware to 127.0.0.1 breaks TIFKAM apps :p

  2. N2 Silver badge

    “advance the bold vision”

    Dont you mean 'give users choice' with stuff like Metro & that crappy ribbon thing, as opposed to ramming it down their throats?

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: “advance the bold vision”

      There's no interpretation of “advance the bold vision” in English that means restoring excised code and the associated features. I conclude 8.1 is mostly about forcing the new stuff on us more effectively. Since I don't believe MS are past the denial stage yet I don't believe they're ready to actually fix the problems and 8.1 will just try to make them look less like mistakes.

      The cynic in me suspects any restoration of dropped desktop features has more to do with blocking 3rd party work rounds than restoring the excised features. I wont be surprised if the rumoured return of the Start Button overrides replacements, dragging users kicking and screaming to the unwieldy Start Screen we're trying to avoid.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: I don't believe MS are past the denial stage yet

        Even marketing types are subject to the discipline of the market. Given that Reller has access to the real numbers from Win8 and not just the fluffed up press release numbers the rest of us read, I can believe they have been sufficiently chastised to rescind their bad choice.

        Of course, that also means those numbers are really, really frighteningly bad if you are an MS exec.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: “advance the bold vision”

      You don't make progress without taking risks. You don't take risks without knowing some will not pay off. Ribbon has (by and large) won users over, but it took a long while - many staunch haters now actually like it. Clearly, Metro desktop is one step too far, or too big a step in one go.

      But I believe MS (and other companies) should be taking these kind of risks, if we go by what people want then what they want is nearly always what they know, which is what they have already. Many said touchscreen phones were dumb, and that the iPad was a dumb idea... they were both big risks that paid off.

      1. Daniel B.

        Re: “advance the bold vision” I call bull

        "Ribbon has (by and large) won users over, but it took a long while - many staunch haters now actually like it."

        Many staunch haters still cling on Office 2003. You might be talking about Office 2010, which partially "restored" menus in the form of the File menu. That one has got a less flamey reception, but the thing is that the Ribbon still sucks as a full menu substitution. Fortunately, I don't have to fight the Ribbon in the Mac. Using both menus and the Ribbon here, it does work; but notice that it is when combined with the menus that it ends up working.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: “advance the bold vision” I call bull

          Professional applications such as InDesign and QuarkXPress have easier and simpler interfaces than Word. By trying to hand hold its customers it's now nothing but bloatware.

      2. John Savard Silver badge

        Re: “advance the bold vision”

        Actually, what should be the case is that about ten different companies are making operating systems for three or four different processor architectures. So you might buy an Intel box, and get Windows or OS/2 for it; or you might buy a 68k box, and get the Atari OS or the Amiga OS or the Macintosh OS for it; or you might buy a PowerPC box and get the Macintosh OS or OS/2 for that.

        With none of these choices being a clear market leader. So that if you don't like Windows, you have somewhere else to go that is just as good.

        But having more software available is something that happens due to things like name recognition, not necessarily to an OS being intrinsically better itself, and it snowballs. So maybe the OS is a natural monopoly, and thus the U.S. government should own Windows or at least regulate it like the telephone company.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. alisonken1
          WTF?

          @John Savard Re: natural monopoly

          Natural monopolies only occur when there is a _physical_ reason for the monopoly - not market reasaons. An example of a natural monopoly would be power distribution, or even better would be a mining facility. Extremely high capital costs or there's only one (or only several) place(s) to get the material.

          However, being a perceived monopoly (a la Microsoft) could be a determining factor for government intervention to to monopolistic practices. In MS case, it's really a shame that politics got involved and they didn't get more intervention because of their proven monopolistic practices (as proven by the courts in MS v. Word Perfect)

          As far as name recognition, you have a point. In the case of Linux, it's taken off despite the lack of name recognition for Linux itself, but Red Hat seems to have taken off in several sectors (like server space) despite not having the name recognition.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: “advance the bold vision”

        @JDX

        "You don't make progress without taking risks" - true enough, but the risk we would like them to take is to offer the new UI as an option and make the existing UI paradigm available as a parallel option.

        They don't even need to compromise one UI with the other, they could offer 2 editions of Windows 8 ("touch" and "desktop") between which customers can choose.

        1. boltar Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: “advance the bold vision”

          "They don't even need to compromise one UI with the other, they could offer 2 editions of Windows 8 ("touch" and "desktop") between which customers can choose."

          Or even simply just offer the choice at install or first login of which you want as the default which you can change later via control panel. To not do something so obvious was just bloody minded and petty.

      4. ZAM
        FAIL

        Re: “advance the bold vision”

        "Ribbon has (by and large) won users over, but it took a long while - many staunch haters now actually like it."

        No most users in the corporate world don't have a choice. They are stuck with the damn thing. All of the advance users of Office that have any experience with Word pre 2007,universally dislike the ribbon, but they have no option to change it. Hell one chap brings in his own lappy with 2003 for use on any complicated documents he has to prepare. LOL

        1. ThomH

          Re: “advance the bold vision”

          I quite like the ribbon and don't fully understand the dislike for it. Especially once you've set it to automatically hide, it's a pull-down menu that has icons as well as words. Then once you can rely on people's ability to discern pictures more quickly than words, you can go back to the old-school approach of putting things in the drop downs rather than in toolbars. One of the reasons they did that was that screens used to be smaller; now laptops are the predominant form of computers, screens are smaller again.

          I guess the counter argument is that the icons don't add anything to the words or the words don't add anything to the icons so one or the other just acts as visual noise, spreading everything out so as to make navigation more laborious? I can't say I've faced that problem but I'm hardly a power user — in Word I use little beyond style sheets and am sufficiently fussy that I expect not to set them up in way that satisfies me very quickly.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: “advance the bold vision”

            The Ribbon is a POS. End of.

            you might be able to hide it where you are but my Corporate Laptop is so locked down you can't hide the ribbon. You can't change anything and that is also part of the problems with Widows. MCSE's wield untold power in corporate environments often for no good reason than 'because they can'.

            I'm far more productive with Office 2003/LibreOffice than Office 2010 etc.

            They really do need to offer us a real choice.

            Menu or Ribbon and not able to be locked down.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: “advance the bold vision”

              As someone who designed builds for corporate laptops/desktops - and I don't have any vendor sponsored "professional qualification" - the reason that builds are locked down is to stop people tinkering and buggering them up. I used to see the stats from the helpdesk at "FTSE 100 company" where I worked in the mid 90s and the people still on Win 3.1 caused more problems installing their own screensavers and changing their settings was an order of magnitude higher than when they went onto NT4 workstations in the upgrade program I was working on. The same people regularly changed their screen colours so that they couldn't see the foreground from the background.

              1. Tom 13

                Re: someone who designed builds for corporate laptops/desktops

                Agreed.

                When the Help Desk can't assume they can start an instruction with "Click on the Start Button" because a user might not know what the Start button is, lockdown is the only choice.

                We offer some choices at the desk I work on now. I don't want to tell you the number of dead silences I get when I ask "Which browser are you using? IE, Firefox, or Chrome?" Or worse, the number of people who confidently answer "Firefox" and then when you visit their desk or remote it, they are running the Big Blue e, version 8* (which you know doesn't support that Google Apps feature and would have made troubleshooting the problem so much simpler).

                *yes I know, IE 10 is out, 11 will be soon. We consider it a victory we were able to get them off IE6. And there are troubling but legitimate business reasons to keep them on 8.

          2. Paul Shirley

            Re: ability to discern pictures more quickly than words

            ThomH: "once you can rely on people's ability to discern pictures more quickly than words"

            That's the mistaken thinking that got Microsoft so deep into trouble. I distinguish text faster and more accurately than icons, always have done and I don't see much chance that will change. Especially now the UI world is on a rampage to eliminate skeumorphism, in favour of increasingly cryptic symbols. Additionally I only have to learn the layout of a text UI compared to learning the symbols AND their layout.

            In case you haven't guessed that's a large part of why I find the new Start Screen unusable, though the sheer bloated space wasting, extra mouse use nature of is a bigger problem. It's also a huge part of why I use the classic text based start Menu instead of trying to spot the right icon in a sea of them, a sea that Windows loves to rearrange before I can learn it.

            I'm near the extreme spectrum on this but I'm not alone and it would be nice if Microsoft remembered we're all different and stopped trying to reduce our options.

            1. Steve Brooks

              Re: ability to discern pictures more quickly than words

              It's not necessarily the ability to discern words quicker than pictures that's the issue, it's that the words never change. Delete is always delete, paste is always paste, cut is slways cut, but have two programs that do the same thing, or even two versions of the same program, and the pictures to do common functions will be in a small or large way, different, and then starts the hunt. It's even worse when you change the interface style, because then every icon has to change to match the interface, so every icon has to be relearnt, but guess what? Delete is still delete, paste is still psate and cut is still cut.

            2. stanimir

              Re: ability to discern pictures more quickly than words

              I distinguish text faster and more accurately than icons, always have done and I don't see much chance that will change.

              I just can't express how true this statement is. Google have similar approach actually, so Microsoft should not be singled out.a Unless you are the designer remembering/associating pictures to actions always seem extra trouble till the point I have to hover the icon to realize what it is.

              1. NogginTheNog
                Thumb Up

                Re: ability to discern pictures more quickly than words

                Right from the my very first experience of Windows Server 2008 (then later Win7 and 8) the first change I make is to restore the names on the taskbar icons instead of just the icons.

            3. MJI Silver badge

              Re: ability to discern pictures more quickly than words

              Pictures vs text been having a look at various software here in the office.

              Well what does a frying pan mean?

              Or a yellow nose?

              Or a combine harvester?

              Various old bits of card in different colours?

              Hover over them and......

              What does a frying pan have to to with searches?

              What does a yellow nose have to do with reminders?

              Or a combine with printing?

              1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
                Unhappy

                Re: MJI

                I have the same here with some calling the hour glass a "little iron". I understand their frustration too, as suppose to some here who would shout them down.

                Personally I like the ability to have both options? Why? Because I'm not too proud to admit people are different. Some prefer images, some prefer text. Some are bind or visually impaired and require one or the other.

                Being dyslexic myself, I prefer a (non-autohide) menu bar for ease of understanding, and simple (but configurable) icons (not ribbons!) because a ribbon hides menus, and my word/icon memory is so poor I forget what/where things are.

                This is also with years of, basic user, experience with Windows 3.1, 95, XP and 7. WIndows 8 hides so much information, replaces some with text, some with icons, with now where or why, and it's rather confusing. :(

                I can use software that is 100% text, or 100% icon gui. I can use software that uses both and is customizable. If the software hides menus, but does not use context sensitive pop ups (try doing that in a word document!), then it's shooting it's self in the foot.

                1. MJI Silver badge

                  Re: MJI

                  Just done a test

                  "What is that icon?"

                  "I don't know?"

                  "I think it looks like a combine."

                  "Oh yes, what does it do?"

                  "It is for printing."

                  "Then why do they use a combine harvester?"

              2. sjsmoto
                Joke

                Re: ability to discern pictures more quickly than words

                Maybe it's Cockney rhyming slang in icon form?

          3. sam bo
            Thumb Up

            Re: “advance the bold vision”

            "Then once you can rely on people's ability to discern pictures more quickly than words, "

            The trouble is , when you know your way around the menus - the words become pictures, in that you don't actually read them , you scan down to the symbol (word) that you recognise by its position in the menu. you don't really 'read' them at that level.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: “advance the bold vision”

            I would say its because you obviously have little experience with pre ribbon menus and how intuitive they were and how you could use keyboard short cuts and didnt need to google how to perform a basic command.

            Ribbon sucks mouldy donkey but we are stuck with it

            1. Fuzz

              Re: shortcuts

              Shortcuts are still there on the new versions of office.

              If you are used to the old shortcuts from 2003 you can use those OR you can use the new shortcuts which are displayed on the screen.

              you even get shortcuts for you Add-ins e.g. on my Outlook the sequence alt, X, Y2 sends an SMS with my SMS Add-in.

          5. Kubla Cant Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: “advance the bold vision”

            you can rely on people's ability to discern pictures more quickly than words

            Can you cite any reliable evidence for this? It seems to be widely believed, but personally I doubt it.

            The process of see word->read word->associate with concept is complicated and hard to understand, but it's very well-trained in literate people. It's fast enough to allow assimilation of pages of text at an average rate of one word every quarter second.

            In the case of pictures, the idea is that process is more like see image->associate image with concept. The trouble is that the relationship between a picture and a concept is far vaguer than that between a word and a concept, so the second step in the process is slow, and may require some sort of probabilistic filtering produce an unambiguous result. This is one of the reasons why alphabetic writing displaced pictograms.

            I get very annoyed with instruction leaflets that decide to set the clock back 47 centuries and communicate entirely in pictures. In the case of taskbar buttons, I find I often click one with the wrong icon but similar colours to the one I want, and I don't find a blue elephant to be the obvious symbol for a database.

            Road signs are probably the exception, because they use a small set of images and you're obliged to learn what they mean, but even then some of the more obscure road signs require a lot of mental gear-churning before you can be certain what they mean.

            1. Tom 13

              @Kubla Cant

              I think the whole recognition thing came from the marketing department as an attempt to sell a cost cutting feature.

              Yes, in English you and I (probably) think faster in words than pictures. Not so much in Spanish or German and God forbid trying to decrypt even non-kanji Japanese. If you are releasing programs in all those languages plus 40 others, you start to run into issues with screen layout because the words are different lengths in different languages. Make it a picture with a word balloon if you hover over it and you solve the programming issue as well as reducing your code base. In short it's a win for everybody but the users.

              1. Paul Shirley

                Re: @Tom 13

                " In short it's a win for everybody but the users."

                Put more bluntly: 500mil users need to suffer so 1000 Microsoft engineers can be lazy.

                Except the localisation work is incremental and mostly already done in any Windows iteration. It's happening now because marketing demands that all products in their plan be reduced to the lowest common factors, otherwise the Win8 everywhere message doesn't work. Somehow they overlooked that the resulting products don't work either.

          6. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: “advance the bold vision”

            "it's a pull-down menu that has icons as well as words."

            The problem in a nutshell. It has lots of icons which waste space and there are so many of them - all different - all with little fiddly labels that they create a visual jumble of pixel fog. On top of that, icons have no natural ordering (ie, alphabetic) so finding a rarely used function is a nightmare of wasted time and frustration.

      5. John Robson Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: “advance the bold vision”

        "Ribbon has (by and large) won users over"

        Really?

        All the users who have an extra couple of inches of monitor they don't actually want to use? I still hate it. I can never find what I want to use any more - I'm always hunting for functionality.

        1. jaywin

          Re: “advance the bold vision”

          > All the users who have an extra couple of inches of monitor they don't actually want to use?

          Good point, except the ribbon takes up a few pixels less height than the previous menu bar + two toolbar set up.

          As for the collapsed ribbon, that takes up even less.

          1. Not That Andrew

            @jaywin: Re: “advance the bold vision”

            It's true the default toolbars on older version of Office take up a hell of a lot of space as well. Thing is, if you've got a lot of horizontal and not so much vertical space, like your average widescreen moniter, you can move your toolbars to the side. If there is a way to do this on Office 2007 or later, it's rather well hidden. It's almost as if the designers of the ribbon never considered monitor ratios other than 4:3.

          2. dajames Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: “advance the bold vision”

            Good point, except the ribbon takes up a few pixels less height than the previous menu bar + two toolbar set up.

            The toolbars are optional, you know. If you're short of screen space you can turn them off -- or dock them to the side of the window -- and the menu alone takes less space than the ribbon.

      6. Zane
        Childcatcher

        Re: “advance the bold vision”

        Any evidence for your claims? I still want to meet someone who likes ribbons or metro 8^)

        Microsoft taking risks? I have no idea what you mean. They are stuck with an OS that is still single user focused with lousy networking capabilties, slow and resource hungry.

        So the only the risk they are taking is "let's see if people pay for low quality". Surprisingly, a lot do.An in that, it's not a risk then anymore 8^)

        /Zane

    3. yossarianuk

      Re: “advance the bold vision”

      If you want actual choice your running the wrong OS.

      Linux you do have choice , kde cinnamon, elementaryos are all great usable desktops (most are except unity/gnome3) - also the kernel is appartantly 1/2 a decade ahead of the Windows one...

      http://www.zdnet.com/anonymous-msft-developer-admits-linux-is-faster-than-windows-7000015236/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: “advance the bold vision”

        "also the kernel is appartantly 1/2 a decade ahead of the Windows one"

        That article is by a troll. Not wanting to dilute your argument with any facts or anything, but in most functional benchmarks Windows outperforms Linux on the same hardware (e.g file server, database server, directory server, NFS server, Hypervisor, graphics, local large file copy, etc.)

        It is also usually Linux playing catchup with Windows kernel features in between major Windows releases - and the underlying architecture of the Linux kernel is many decades old (monolithic) whereas Windows is a more recent modular (hybrid microkernel) design...

        Not wanting to dilute your argument with any facts or anything...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: “advance the bold vision”

          @AC 08:19

          I hear this a lot but seriously dont believe (based on my pretty limited experience). I know this is subjective but I bought a cheap windows 7 laptop just as everything went to windows 8 (didnt want the change). I uninstalled the crapware and didnt have any high expectations from it but it was so painfully unusable. I had also decided to dual boot with linux mint because I believe in the right OS for the job and for me thats sometimes windows other times its linux.

          While it took a few seconds longer to boot I found that linux mint (not tried any other on the lappy) actually runs at what I would consider a cheap mid range machines performance. Everything responds as I click it, all animations flow as they should and while apps are not instantly on screen the delay is very short. Finally the keyboard and mouse are responsive.

          Compared to the win7 experience this is a huge difference. From a basic fresh install windows loads a few second quicker on boot. Logging in is very slow and the keyboard/mouse get laggy whenever the computer thinks about anything. Applications open eventually but the wait is very irritating and it causes the computer to lag. The performance was so unusable I stopped using it completely.

          I am not pushing linux over windows and I am sure this laptop could run XP perfectly fine. But as a win7 machine vs linux mint there is no doubt that linux runs better and uses less resources.

          1. Gabor Laszlo
            Linux

            Re: “advance the bold vision”

            And if you don't need all the pretty trimmings and want to give the apps all the juice they can get, try the xfce edition: http://linuxmint.com/rel_maya_xfce.php

        2. stanimir

          Re: “advance the bold vision”

          That article is by a troll. Not wanting to dilute your argument with any facts or anything, but in most functional benchmarks Windows outperforms Linux on the same hardware (e.g file server, database server, directory server, NFS server, Hypervisor, graphics, local large file copy, etc.)

          Citation needed, I mean badly!! In my humble experience Windows is nowhere near Linux's epoll [1].

          Not wanting to dilute your argument with any facts or anything...

          Show some references, please. Otherwise it's just trolling.

          [1]: http://linux.die.net/man/4/epoll

    4. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: “advance the bold vision”

      Bold vision is always used when the mistake has already been made. Prior to the mistake it is innovative or disruptive.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: “advance the bold vision”

      No.

    6. Ged T
      Holmes

      Re: “advance the bold vision”

      ... is exactly what I've done; my current six Windows 7 machines will be the last Microsoft OS-installed machines I will ever have: it is Linux, now and future, for my computing needs...

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: “advance the bold vision”

      Problem is of course, is most users just want a updated Windows 7. Give us the speed improvements in Windows 8 and put Aero back that you took away to discourage us from using "old windows"...

      Windows 8 was never about what USERS wanted, it was about Microsoft selling us lots of apps Apple-style, hence ramming metro interface down everyone's throat.

  3. Trokair 1
    Thumb Up

    Honestly

    From all that I've seen all they really need is to restore the standard "desktop" functionality that Win7 had behind the Touch Interface. I was extremely frustrated by the interation of the desktop that they released in Win 8 originally while still enjoying some of the features that the touch interface provided (sans touch on the PC of course). Buisness wise the gimped desktop on Win 8 is just asking for thousands of frustrated support calls that no organization wants to have to answer. We recieved enough calls when the Start button became a circle that apparently blinded people to the fact that it was in the same spot as the original button.

    Thumbs up if the full desktop comes back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Honestly

      If you're stuck on the metro interface (AKA Start Menu), look for the double sized button with the word "Desktop" on it, guess what it does?

      1. ARP2

        Re: Honestly

        True, but it's an extra step and I've notice that MS uses the Start menu to buy some time while the rest of the OS loads. So, it wastes time to have it load into the start menu.

        This is in addition to the extra steps needed to shut down, close programs (or are they apps? I can't always tell), etc.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Honestly

        "Guess what it does?"

        Funnily enough it's what it doesn't that counts - with no 'Start' button/menu/launcher you have to continually switch between TIFKAM and desktop to get programs running - unless (like me) you've installed a third-party button. I boot into TIFKAM, use it for what it's good for (live tiles) but when I need to work, all the programs I use run in desktop mode, so the extra step of bouncing out into a full-screen start menu to load up each one is somewhat off-putting and certainle does nothing for the 'flow'.

        1. Dan McIntyre

          Re: Honestly

          "but when I need to work, all the programs I use run in desktop mode, so the extra step of bouncing out into a full-screen start menu to load up each one is somewhat off-putting and certainle does nothing for the 'flow'."

          How about pinning those programs to the task bar....?

          1. Tom 13

            Re: How about pinning those programs to the task bar....?

            And have even more indecipherable icons on the screen with kaleidoscope eyes?

            No thanks.

  4. AlexS
    Flame

    Where's the submit button gone here?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thing is though, even with the desktop back as it was *before*, what is the compelling reason for most people to move to Windows 8 rather than stick with Windows 7?

    That big difference was Metro and most people don't seem to want it.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      For one thing, it is more efficient. For another it has better security... security alone is a big deal for many corporate users.

      1. Daniel B.
        Thumb Down

        Kiddie interface

        A preschoolish UI does not a secure system make. Did Microsoft Bob give Windows better security? No, it didn't. Neither does Metro.

        1. jaywin

          Re: Kiddie interface

          Last time I heard people complaining about a preschoolish UI, they were referring to that abomination XP. It's a good job that MS reverted that UI look as it totally wrecked that version of Windows and there's no way that anyone in business would ever contemplate putting such a childish design on their PCs.

          1. Daniel B.
            Facepalm

            Re: Kiddie interface @jaywin

            The difference being that the XP preschool UI was more of a skin makeover. You could keep it enabled and not suffer any changes between "Classic Mode" and "Luna UI".

            OTOH, Metro/Modern forces you to use it (no disabling) and it changes how you do everything. So while XP didn't impact productivity, Metro/Modern does.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: complaining about a preschoolish

            The XP interface to which you refer is at least middle school. When I think preschool I think AOL v3.x back in the dial up days. And I'm not sure that wasn't a more grown-up UI than Metro is.

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > For one thing, it is more efficient. For another it has better security... security alone is a big deal for many corporate users.

        Sounds like a Windows 7 Service Pack to me then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "what is the compelling reason for most people to move to Windows 8 rather than stick with Windows 7?"

      Well, they did make some decent under-the-hood technical improvements, and they did attempt to talk about those at the time. However their acclamations that it was a better OS went unhindered amongst the high level of opprobrium over Metro.

      As for whether those changes are compelling? Meh. Win 7 is working just fine here... I suspect that restoration of 'normality' in the Windows desktop arena will remove the reason people have been avoiding buying a new PC. That's probably the best that MS can hope for.

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Daniel B.
      Black Helicopters

      Interesting

      Actually, I'm betting they're giving "Blue"/Win8.1 as a SP because this allows them to backtrack on the issue without giving away the clusterfuck that Win8 is. When they rushed 7 as a Vista fix, anyone could see that Win7 passed Vista sales real fast, thus confirming what everyone knew: Vista was shit. If they sold Win8.1, the same thing would happen (assuming they'll demote Metro on the Desktop PC versions).

      This way, the "fixed" Win8.1 version will silently overtake the kiddie toy UI version and MS can keep it all hush-hush.

    2. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: MS in HEADLESS CHICKEN MODE

      If people could abandon Windows and Microsoft, that would have quietly happened, and Windows 8 would not be generating loud complaints. Most people don't have a real choice - yet. I admit Linux is getting there, and the Mac is not in its death throes any more.

    3. andreas koch
      Stop

      @ Eadon - Re: MS in HEADLESS CHICKEN MODE

      Your 4 things . . .

      I don't know why I'm responding, but aren't you a bit overzealous there?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

      If Microsoft loses 50% of the market and Apple triples their share by the end of the year, then we're still looking at a MS domination.

      Apart from that:

      I'm not the greatest of MS fans, I neither use it privately (Ubuntu, Mint, Debian [1 XP istallation in a VM]), nor at work (RHEL, CentOS), but listening to an outcry of users and then trying to give them back what they miss can't be a bad thing. Not even if they take a while. Not even if it's to save market share and not purely altruistic.

      It surely doesn't deserve a FAIL comment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Eadon - MS in HEADLESS CHICKEN MODE

        > .. but aren't you a bit overzealous there?

        Eadon is probably guilty of unnecessary hyperbole, but you have to realise that the churn associated with Windows on the desktop is a long term affair.

        Microsoft always have to keep an eye on the next 5-10 years for their continued success.

        A lot of MS shops are still using Windows XP and they are only just thinking about moving to Windows 7.

        The fact that there are some really credible alternatives now, that the cloud options are looking really inviting to some and that they seriously dropped the ball with Windows 8 is a pretty big fail for the next 5 year plan.

        Even if Microsoft is "in the death throes" (which I seriously doubt), we wouldn't actually see the result for a number of years yet.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. El Andy
            Joke

            Re: @ Eadon - MS in HEADLESS CHICKEN MODE

            @Eadon: "Even phones will become PC's once people start to regularly dock them into monitors and keyboards. After all, they are quad core beasts with loads of ram and FAST operating systems."

            Of course, at that point, you'll then need an OS which is capable of working in an entirely touch screen way on the go, but that expands to provide the kind of environment we've come to expect from devices with monitors+keyboard+mouse when docked. A kind of hybrid between a desktop OS and a tablet OS, if you will. Why has nobody thought of this already???

          2. Tom 13

            @Eadon 20:26 GMT

            Post like this more often, and your down vote count will diminish.

            Your first post was way over the top. This one is reasonable and reasoning, even in the spots where I am doubtful of your predictions. I'm doubtful about the phone bit. Mostly because they've been telling me that it, like my flying car, is just around the corner since before I started working in the IT business. You might be right. This time it may be true. But based on my experience, I'll wait and see.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Eadon - MS in HEADLESS CHICKEN MODE

          Yeah, they may only be moving to Windows 7, but Win8 isn't really that old, I was still using Windows NT4 for years after XP was released, the *very large bank* that I worked for hadn't finished their rollout of XP until well after Vista was released. This is how things work in the corporate world - it takes so long to test all your programs against a new system that it's way after SP1 that you'll go to it. Most companies try to also skip one or two versions. I don't think MS really think that major corporates will be going to 8, except after 8.1 and after that has bedded in too.

        3. TheVogon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: @ Eadon - MS in HEADLESS CHICKEN MODE

          "The fact that there are some really credible alternatives now"

          Such as what? Linux on the desktop is a failure - just look at the tens of millions spent in Munich - which still hasnt completed. Apple is a niche player - and just offers another more limited and restricted flavour of lockin...

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    4. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: MS in HEADLESS CHICKEN MODE

      Dream on. Microsoft just announced increased revenue - including from Windows....

  7. SirDigalot

    Windows 8.1

    Windows for workgroups?

    1. ItsNotMe
      Coat

      Re: Windows 8.1

      "Windows for workgroups?"

      Yep. And you are going to love the new fangled "SMB protocol over NetBIOS".

      Mine's the one with the 3.5" floppies in the pocket.

      1. Tom 13
        Joke

        Re: Mine's the one with the 3.5" floppies in the pocket.

        Noob!

        I carry the HD 5.25s, but only because they don't make the 360s anymore.

        1. ItsNotMe
          Happy

          Re: Mine's the one with the 3.5" floppies in the pocket.

          "I carry the HD 5.25s, but only because they don't make the 360s anymore."

          Those don't fit into my new Burberry coat's pockets I'm afraid...one must look the "Modern Man" these days, you know...but I do have an unopened box of "KILOBYTES" Double Side/High Density/96 TPI/Soft Sector 5.25s for you, sitting right here on my desk. Interested? Hmmm? Made in India........... Really!

        2. alisonken1
          Thumb Up

          Tom 13 Re: Mine's the one with the 3.5" floppies in the pocket.

          Speaking of noobs - I think I can still find my 8" floppies for an old Xerox dedicated word processor around the storage bin somewhere. Unless I left them on the ship :)

    2. pip25
      Thumb Up

      Re: Windows 8.1

      More like "Windows for Work"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8.1

      Naah. You are thinking of 8.11.

      (I feel very old now...)

  8. Avalanche

    Desktop 'dumped'?

    Windows 8 didn't dump the desktop; I have it in front of me right now. Yes, it is bothersome to have to press Windows+D or click on the desktop tile, but except for this and the missing start button it works exactly like before.

    So saying that Microsoft dumped the desktop is an exaggeration.

    1. Blain Hamon
      Trollface

      Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

      So it's more that Microsoft said that they see the desktop as a friend, really, and wanted to see other interfaces?

    2. El Andy

      Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

      @Avalanche: "So saying that Microsoft dumped the desktop is an exaggeration."

      As is saying they're "bringing it back", given that the coming changes are most definitely not just putting the Windows 7 shell back. The Ribbon is staying, the Start Screen in place of the menu is staying, Windows Store apps are staying.

    3. Paul Shirley

      Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

      Dumped no, degraded yes.

      By removing too much chrome making the UI visually hard to navigate, installing a 3rd party theming hack didn't help my system stability but noticeably improved my performance and reduced the headaches.

      By removing the native launcher in favour of the significantly less capable Metro launcher.

      By creating doubt that desktop mode would be fully supported, that it would be left to bitrot.

      By shipping standard apps like File Explorer riddled with bugs, many of them dating back to XP, others brand new.

      By letting it be known new technologies would not be added to desktop mode.

      MS didn't dare remove it yet but they tried desperately hard to make desktop mode unappealing and to give the impression it has no future to drive users towards Metro.

    4. ZAM

      Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

      Bothersom for you and most tech people but most users are baffeled by it. You know the users don't even know you can copy and past using crtl + c and ctrl +v. Tell them push Windows +d . . . most likely they have never used the windows key.

      I have had 4 or 5 people in the last few weeks ask me how to get Windows back on their new machines in the last month LOL . . .

    5. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

      > I have it in front of me right now. Yes, it is bothersome to have to press Windows+D or click on the desktop tile, but except for this and the missing start button it works exactly like before.

      Erm, so what exactly is the point of it? Other than, of course, being "bothersome".

      That's really a shocking indictment of something that is *supposed* to be an improvement that you would pay for.

      1. El Andy

        Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

        @skelband: Well the first thing you do when you get into Windows is typicallly to launch an application, unless you're one of those folks who turns on their PC just to admire the desktop wallpaper. Given that, doesn't starting with the application launcher open make rather more sense than starting with it closed and basically requiring a redundant mouse click just to open it?

        1. mikejs
          Thumb Down

          Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

          @El Andy: "doesn't starting with the application launcher open make rather more sense than starting with it closed and basically requiring a redundant mouse click just to open it?"

          Only if you have nothing pinned to the taskbar, no desktop icons, haven't turned quicklaunch back on, don't run applications on startup, etc.

          It might arguably make some sense for the users first login, but after that (like TIFKAM generally), it's an exercise in getting in the way.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Avalanche - Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

      And how long does it stay like that before you have to press Win+D again ? Any chance it will survive a reboot ?

      1. hungee
        Pint

        Re: @Avalanche - Desktop 'dumped'?

        Call yourself nerds?

        Step 1. Create Calendar entry, where by desktop is opened by default on startup.

        Step 2. Laugh at silly people who whinge without googling their issue.

        Step 3. Crack a joke about Linux while enjoying a smoother, better windows experience. ;-)

        Step 4. Have a brewski.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: Call yourself nerds?

          No, we call ourselves IT support techs. And we support people who aren't nerds, they're you know 'mundanes.' And they don't give a shit about your nifty nerd tricks, in fact they get rather annoyed about having to use them even if your baseline image does have them already built in. And really, why should we have to hack the interface to make it work for mundanes? The whole point of a mass market OS is that it is supposed to come with a useable, reasonably secure default interface that doesn't require extensive customization to work for the average (mode) user.

  9. mrweekender
    Thumb Down

    Developers, developers, developers, developers....

    Someone has to go and I think we all know who that someone is... Windows 8 is an almighty cluster fuck.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Developers, developers, developers, developers....

      I think he already left, which is why they are now able to start deploying the fixes. The complicating bit is all the PR FUD they've already spread about the New! and Improved! Better than Sliced Bread! interface.

  10. John Savard Silver badge

    I'm Pleased

    With Windows Vista, users had to buy Windows 7; here, the UI changes that give the users back the convenience of the Start menu are a free-of-charge update to Windows 8. This is a good thing. That the new features of Windows 8 will still be present is all right, now that they will no longer get in the way.

    I'm willing to be reasonable, now that I've heard the good news that Microsoft is being reasonable for its part.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: I'm willing to be reasonable,

      I am too.

      now that I've heard the good news that Microsoft is being reasonable for its part.

      But I'm not so sure about that second thesis.

  11. pierce
    Facepalm

    I wouldn't mind, if the newfangled apps weren't so godawful uselessly braindead. 5th graders programming in VBASIC can write better apps. There's *NOTHING* on that start screen I want.

    I'm sitting in front of a pair of 1920x1200 screens. that new style 'start screen' is an insult.

    Thankfully, Classic Start Menu (on sourceforge) solves all MY major complaints nicely.

  12. Paul Shirley

    don't need a Microsoft account

    Someone tell me I'll be able to grab 8.1 without going through the Win8 store. Didn't sign up for an account, don't intend to.

    And will I get an installer/updater I can burn to DVD and stash in my firesafe, for the inevitable day I need to repair some major failure. Already have to rebuild the BCD db every time Win8 tries to change its boot options, from the install DVD because of course Win8 won't boot!

    Of course this all supposes I want to install this update. Have to wait and see what they screw up this time. Maybe I was right and this is the version of Windows with the shortest support period ever. Launch to EOL in 8 months ;)

    1. Lamb0
      Holmes

      Re: don't need a Microsoft account

      Nope, the article left a bit of info out of the story. Windows 8.1 will be available for free through Microsoft’s Windows $tore rather than Windows Update.

      Microsoft is desperate for vendor lock-in trying to follow Apple'$ example.

      1. Aoyagi Aichou
        WTF?

        Re: don't need a Microsoft account

        Wait wait wait, that's a pretty dealbreaking information. Are you absolutely sure about the availability only through M$ store? Because I haven't found that marketing ferret saying it in http://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=http://www.microsoft.com/investor/downloads/events/RellerJPMorgan.docx

  13. Mike Brown

    by the end of the year?

    why on earth is it taking so long to add the start menu back in? Hacks have been out since before windows 8 launched.

  14. Annihilator Silver badge
    Joke

    8.1 = 6... what?

    And the versioning gets more baffling! :-)

    Remind me, 6.0 was Vista, 6.1 was Windows 7 (free if you go with the "Redmond's previous policy in which users have been charged only for an entirely new iteration of the Windows OS, not for service packs and updates to existing versions")

    Windows 8, is 6.2. So 8.1 will be... 6.2.1? 6.3? Help me out here please!

    PS, this is partly tongue-in-cheek, I understand the reasoning behind sticking with 6.x , but honestly wondering what x will equal in the case of Windows 8.1, or, as we previously called these things, Windows 8 SP1 :-)

    1. Chika
      Facepalm

      Oh noes! Re: 8.1 = 6... what?

      Should have expected it. The minute somebody mentions version numbers...

      ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!

    2. qwarty

      Re: 8.1 = 6... what?

      I gather Windows 8 Blue updates Windows kernel to 6.3, same as used in the next phone, RT, and xbox devices. No idea what improvements to power usage on existing and new chipsets its meant to bring but a major version change suggests more than a bug fixing release.

  15. Herby

    Why not call the update...

    Windows 7 and call it a day.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reckoned Windows 8.1 would “advance the bold vision”

    Hmmm thats not right, let me fix that for you

    Reckoned Windows 8.1 would “back peddle the bold vision”

    Ahh much better, now it makes sense!

  17. Splodger
    Flame

    Dear MS...

    Just get rid of Metro (completely), screen swipey stuff and "charms". And the MS store. And those full-screen programs.

    Return the proper start menu. And proper wifi network handling. And Minesweeper.

    And FFS stop calling programs bloody "apps".

    1. Mystic Megabyte
      Unhappy

      Re: Dear MS...

      I'm with you on the "apps" thing. I run the Chrome browser occasionally to see awkward web-sites. When I mistakenly go to Google Play I get bombarded with "apps". WTF is that about? Is this a site for 11 year olds or what?

      I just switch it off and start Firefox.

      As for Win8, no thanks.

      1. Aoyagi Aichou

        Re: Dear MS...

        Hah, "apps" everywhere. Extremely irritating on WP8.

    2. stanimir

      Re: Dear MS...

      And FFS stop calling programs bloody "apps". I wanna puke each time I hear that apps and the marketing is abusing it too much, too.

  18. MysteryGuy

    Are we getting a real start menu?

    Maybe I jut missed it, but last I heard the rumor was that the 'start menu' that was going to be added was really only a shortcut back to the "metro" start menu.

    Did MS say they are going to bring back the 'real' desktop start menu (for the desktop environment)?

  19. Corborg

    Our garden wall fell down

    MS tried to create a Metro driven app store, locking vendors in to their own distribution system so that they could take a fat profit ala Apple.

    It didn't work. You can have your start menu back.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eadon = Anode = source of negativity

    Eadon we GET you HATE Microsoft. I know you've been subtle, but we've caught a hint. That's fine.

    What isn't fine, is EVERY article that mentions MS, you can guarantee you come along with your steel toe

    cap ballet shoes to give them a verbal hoofing. I think you protest too much and LOVE them, choosing to hide it under a veil of hate. Bet you have MS pyjamas and underpants with a picture of Balmer over your cute penguin probing love spigot. You love him. You do. Totally. He's like your girlfriend. You kiss him. MWAH MWAH that's the sound you make kissing him....

    1. Mr Spock
      Boffin

      Re: Eadon = Anode = source of negativity

      Isn't that the cathode?

  21. Zacherynuk
    Coffee/keyboard

    Same old same o

    This is always the case with MS and always has been, just more people to spin with now.

    Windows 3 not so good. 3.1 good. 3.11 Great

    Windows 95,98 both bad, but Win 98 Second edition very good.

    Windows ME (hahahaha)

    Windows NT 3.5 not so good 3.51 Great

    Windows NT 4 not so good - SP3 Great

    Windows 2000 Great, but SP1+ great improvements

    Windows XP Unusable until SP1 - SP2 was a massive change.

    Windows Vista Unusable at least until SP2

    Windows 7 Great, but SP1 good

    Windows 8 Great except for the misdirection and shitty UI and MSN login pseudo requirements.

    I hope 8.1 allows us to view more than 6 printers at a time. I have been asking MS for a resizeable printer selection dialogue during driver install every quarter for 12 years.

    I hope 8.1 doesn't require an MSN account link - cos that would be low.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Same old same o

      95B was decent and pretty stable too.

  22. wowfood

    This is in line with Redmond's previous policy in which users have been charged only for an entirely new iteration of the Windows OS, not for service packs and updates to existing versions.

    Like how we got a free upgrade from Vista to 7 (or 6.1) or the free upgrade to windows 8? (effectively windows 6.2)

    Can't wait for the free upgrade to windows 9 to come out when they release another carbon copy OS with a few performance tweaks they they held back just to turn a profit.

  23. wowfood
    Meh

    On a more serious note

    compared to my last topic. I think windows 8 could have been a 'potential' success... if they hadn't forced Metro down our throats.

    Sure enforce it on tablets and phones, but give people a solid choice on the desktop and eventually they might migrate over. The interface works on a tablet and a phone, but it just doesn't work with a mouse.

    It's a silly mistake which has cost them in the long run. Heck, most of my friends who have bought new laptops have wound up calling me asking for help downgrading back to windows 7 (ripped the key from their old laptop) I wound up buying a blank laptop and installing Mint (my first linux OS) to avoid windows 8. Of all the people I work with, 1 has a windows 8 machine, and it's a surface.

    Even with windows 8.1 most people who held out are going to look at windows and go "Wiindows 8? That had that dodgy metro thing" and steer well clear, even if metro is now optional they'll steer well clear.

    Microsoft really dropped the ball on this, at least in my opinion. It was one of those things that had the potential to be great, but rather than keeping the doors wide open the stuck a skunk slap bang in the middle of the doorway. You can get rid of the skunk but that smell is still going to linger for some time.

  24. Levente Szileszky
    Stop

    Enough of the monkey business - full Start Menu or get lost, period.

    Seriously, you big, bald, arrogant, chair-throwing angry beancounter: not Start button BUT FULL-BLOWN, FULLY-FUNCTIONAL START MENU or you will BLOW YOUR LAST CHANCE to fix the junk you've created during your decade-long reign at MSFT.

    Kinda boring but I have to repeat myself *again*: ut sementem feceris ita metes - BALLMER & HIS ILKS MUST GO, the sooner the better because the later they go the more EXPENSIVE (time/resources/money) will be to fix the damage they caused ((and no, Ballmer's half-hearted reform attempts in the last couple of years are way too little way too late, he must go, period.)

    Also the obligatory link to the greatest article about MSTF & Ballmer from Vanity Fair (August 2012):

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

    http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/08/microsoft-lost-mojo-steve-ballmer#1

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enough of the monkey business - full Start Menu or get lost, period.

      Can't you download Classic Shell and calm down? Or use Linux or OS X?

      Or just install Windows 7, no-one's FORCING you to take 8 in the rear entrance.

      IBM, it could be argued, lost its mojo, so did Dell, so did HP, Kodak, Polaroid, the list is endless. Vote with your wallet, buy something else. I've run countless OSs and if I don't like them, I don't use them again!

      If you have to support Windows 8 as your career, change jobs. There's no point popping a vein over it - have a nice cup of tea and a lovely choccy biccy put your feet up - there - that's not so bad now is it?

  25. Piro

    Start button and boot to desktop: good!

    Now, just let me turn off ALL of metro (that means the start menu back, and no stupid hot corners), and give me back the Aero glass theme. I can't stand this flat rubbish. Removing the shadows was stupid too - makes everything look the same. It has absolutely no class.

    Then you'll have.. oh wait, Windows 7. If only they used all that time polishing up the desktop experience instead of this metro bollocks, we'd have an upgrade worth getting.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    .I..

    What I don't understand is why Sinofsky missed all that single digit telegraphy from users.

  27. MigMig

    Critique of Pure Animal Behavior - by MigMig-Johnson Kant

    ***My apologies for grammar/structure. I had no time to proof-read so I wrote this critique on the fly. Either way I should be working on a college essay due tomorrow instead of indulging on the age old practice of blind-leading-the-blind***

    I own a Windows 8 touch laptop, which I dock when I get home to turn it into a desktop. It's come to a point where even while docked and used on a non-touch screen, I no longer miss the older interface. Every program works normally. The computer hasn't suffered from spontaneous combustion and all my porn videos remain just a click/touch/digitizer tap away. Actually, Microsoft at least deserves recognition for making the term "Fingering" a practical one (as in "I lost my mouse, but no need to worry, fingering my tablet is just as easy). Please, let this not catalyze the outdated claim that Apple invented fingering because they didn't. They just mainstreamed it in a package even a monkey with Down Syndrome can appreciate.

    Digressions aside, I feel bad for these computer companies who sell their souls to cater to the middle of the intellectual bell-curve in this society and are left with no choice but to take responsibility for our culture's obsession towards mediocrity, which unfortunately, has made its nest somewhere in the middle of the aforementioned curve. One can express denial with anger, kick and scream as if the world cares, but in the end one can't hide the fact that the free flow of information has gotten to be inversely proportional with our overall intellectual progress. These is one of the many ironies that will probably always escape me.

    But not all is gloom and doom, for Apple has managed to harness this information black hole into what is arguably the greatest fiat currency collector in human history. Such ingenuity is deserving of a coveted prize (please don't suggest Nobel because even Obama won one by doing little more than following Machiavellian philosophy to a T, leaving a permanent stain on what Nobel represents past present and future). Their astuteness of their Direct evidence can be found everywhere, from free advertisement provided by those with the iconic apple sticker in their car to the iron grip its marketing has over the pour souls who, having lost their ability to exercise any form of free will, also engrave their souls with a metaphorical Apple sticker. It's almost as if this act grants them any type of edge over those with a less religious and more practical approach to satisfying their gadget-thirst. I know that there are strong similarities held between Machiavellian philosophy and Apple's infamous marketing approach, but at least Apple gives us cool stuff while Obama gives us no more than 6th grade level rhetoric.

    This leaves us with poor 'ol Microsoft, which unfortunately is far from being off the hook of scrutiny. Much can be said about this misunderstood brand, which was doomed from the day of its conception due to its forced dysfunctional marriage with arbitrary hardware manufacturers and their flaky corner-cutting tactics employed to stretch their every dollar. Some of their employees even find it impossible to hid their contempt for their jobs (a big shout out to my possibly stoned niggers [I’m half black so I’m licensed to use the word as long as I don’t pronounce it like a white man] in the Samsung Customer Service department, whom I recently had the pleasure of educating on what an ATIV 700T is). Even while being guilty of willfully dumping thousands into this company because of my addiction to digitizer technology which Apple is too thick headed to embrace, I leave enough room for the humility it takes to admit that, when compared to Apple hardware, in my opinion, the brand I sponsor with my my hard earned cash is no match for Apple. I sometimes wonder if they actually employ magical elves to put together their hardware, because when you hold an Apple product in your hands, you can physically sense the amount of love that each individual device was saturated with, as opposed to, say, originating from an assembly line manned for pennies by not-so-magical oblivious Chinese underage kids under duress from what is likely a demanding asshole morality-free boss. Furthermore, another case against PC's is the existence of the many masochistic systems administrators out there who derive pleasure out of beating their PC's into submission so they can perform simple tasks. Interestingly enough, many parallels can be drawn between these unfortunate souls and Apple's equivalent to "iSheep", one parallel just off the top of my head is denial of the possibility of being just another tool for a soulless materialistic corporation. Those who surrender and break from this chain are often tragically enslaved by another, as they trade in their masochism for a religious approach towards the competition. I guess this is fueled by a deep seated hatred towards the Microsoft brand because, according to them, is responsible for many years of aggravating driver installs, network tweaking, hardware maintenance and redundant computer restarts. Their anger towards Microsoft can reach such intensity that they are unable to at least appreciate the fact that the very demons they battled for years were also responsible for the same job security that kept them employed and often funded their children’s special ed courses.

    I hope that this philosophical perspective, which I so altruistically gifted humanity with, finally settles the intelligence-insulting battle of ideologies between gadget makers who ultimately see us as dollar signs. It is my hope that those exercising the amount of self-loathing required to read this piece in its entirety, eventually manage to improve their lives in one way or another because of it. If this manages to influence at least one soul into harnessing a sense of freedom that only comes from within, I'll consider my efforts worthwhile. In the unlikely event that this is the case, I might consider using this essay as a case in favor of a worldwide legalization of cannabis. I know, I know. You science geeks out there are probably thinking that even after more than 30 years since the airing of Cosmos, the ripples it made on waters weren't even enough for the Federal Government to downgrade cannabis from its schedule 1 title, but I see no harm that may come from an excess of optimism. On the other hand, in the likely event this is not taken seriously and even gets misunderstood as satirical in nature (which would actually be a plus at this stage), I want to make it clear that the purpose behind this essay was purely influenced by a genuine desire to bring humanity one step closer to world peace, which I believe can only be done by social awareness of our own irrational behavior leading us to behavior that should be beneath us by now.

    Disclaimers:

    *In the unlikelihood of anything within this piece is considered satire, I want to make it clear that it was purely accidental.

    *I didn't go beyond reading the Original Post's title so take my wisdom with a grain of salt. I just saw the word "Microsoft" somewhere, and that alone makes this venue a magnet for expressing ideologies, suppressed emotions, finger pointing and arbitrarily guided frustration so I couldn't resist chiming in.

    *As opposed as to what a clever reader might assume, I didn't spend an hour of my time writing this essay because I'm a attention whore, but because of my benevolent obsession with giving mixed with my tendency to procrastinate in regards to matters of practical relevance.

    *Because I'm an attention whore, if this manages to draw any form of attention (be it love or hate), it would only result in stroking my ego.

    Ok, Adios. I've stalled working on my college essay as much as I possibly could.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Critique of Pure Animal Behavior - by MigMig-Johnson Kant

      A big shout out to the MS marketing department, what a wall of useless text .

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: Critique of Pure Animal Behavior - by MigMig-Johnson Kant

        Stopped reading when he got to playing porn. As any fule kno, stock Win8 doesn't contain the pornographers favourite codecs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Critique of Pure Animal Behavior - by MigMig-Johnson Kant

      Bloody students. Get a job.

    3. MacGyver
      Trollface

      Re: Critique of Pure Animal Behavior - by MigMig-Johnson Kant

      Next time just type "Lorem Ipsum".

      This is why you shouldn't surf the internet when you are really high, or if you do, don't respond in the comment sections.

  28. Joe 48

    What About server 2012

    So 8 gets the Start Menu but what about server 2012. I know people recommend Core and I use it and am happy with it where possible. So many 3rd party vendors won't support it fully were forced into the full install for most of our server estate and then get the Metro crap which has no place on a server OS.

  29. mark l 2 Silver badge

    its good to see Microsoft have listen to critism about the shortcoming of Windows 8 on not touch screen devices and are going to return the start menu. The only worry i have with it being Microsoft is that because they want everyone to use the metro interface and buy apps from the Windows store they this may only be a temporary allowance that will get reversed at a later date once more people become accustomed to the metro interface

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently the Metro Launcher will be...

    ... Subject to a GPO allowing corporates to assert the desktop as the default - if this is true then it's one enormous reason to give 8.1 a chance.

    I had a meeting with MS once, during which it was suggested that Redmond was a bit upset at how so many software companies still weren't redesigning stuff to work with TIFKAM till I pointed out that we were discussing a MS product which (just like everything else there can be) uses the pinned Taskbar buttons for apps to display state changes even if the apps are minimized, and uses system tray icons to notify users of communications BETWEEN concurrently running applications.

    I said to the rep, "OK, you tell me how MS can remodel this app to be fully TIFKAM compliant when the preferred launcher hides the apps so you can't even see what's running and what isn't, obscures tray icon statuses so you would miss important notifications unless you drop back to the old desktop, and obscures a widget that all users need to be able to see at all times regardless of which app they're currently working in".

    Thing is, I quite like TIFKAM in a non-corporate desktop context, but I know of far too many large corporate setups where most of the business critical apps were written years ago and for many of them the vendors would want to be paid SQUILLIONS to even stop using VB6 for designing the front ends never mind developing from scratch a TIFKAM compliant front end in .NET... the idea that the corporate market was going to accept TIFKAM overnight, and then spunk even money away like there's no tomorrow on getting reluctant vendors to totally redevelop their front ends (even when in some cases doing so may actually break the functionality of the application), was just daft daft daft.

  31. MacGyver
    Trollface

    It does perform better than an bathmat, at some tasks, but just barely.

    Is it just me or is WiFI networking abysmal under Win8?

    I have to run the "Troubleshooter" task on my yellow exclamation pointed networking icon at least 2 or three times a day. I also have one access point per floor in my house each on a different channel and with a different name, and at least once every 2 hours the AP I am on at the time just stops working at full speed, and I have to switch to the next closest one, until that one starts t o slow down, and I switch back. The APs are different brands, and I could just switch right back to the previous one right after switching to the next and it would work again too. This is not an AP or a configuration issue, as XP on the same hardware (dual-boot) doesn't have the same issues, it is Windows 8. Also whats the deal with that goddamn green progress bar "working" when trying to access folders? Why does my computer need to "work" for 2 minutes to show me the contents of a folder I was just in? Did they write the File Explorer in Java or what?

    Not a day goes by when I don't curse the piece of shirt that is Windows 8. I have high blood pressure so I didn't even bring up the missing Start-menu or the fact I have to type and search to find anything.

    My happiness level with Windows 8 is a 1 out 10, in that I can still use the internet sometimes and it can't physically harm me (aside from the increased stroke risk caused by using Windows 8) .

    They put back the Start-bar in 8.1, swell, now fix the other efficiency killing stuff, then fix the rest of the things you broke between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

  32. Greg Williams
    Flame

    OK, getting a bit sick of the whining...

    Look, for God's sake... they tried something new. They tried to change what was the status quo and do something different.

    OK, fair enough, for desktop use it was less than successful, but it certainly wasn't all bad. I'm dual booting with it myself and whilst there is definitely a learning curve before you come to terms with it and get used to it - you DO get used to it. Yes, I do still prefer Windows 7.

    The biggest problem I see here is that most of you whining on about having something forced down your throats and bitching on about Windows 8 would be the same people who would wring there hands and keen with dismay if they release something that isn't much different from the last version.

    I will always respect the company that tries something significantly different, but fails as opposed to the company which cowardly releases the same shit with a slightly different visual sheen to it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK, getting a bit sick of the whining...

      They ignored near-constant feedback in testing.

      They didn't try something new, they were doing something that users didn't want, that users said they didn't want.

      1. Zot
        Thumb Up

        Re: OK, getting a bit sick of the whining...

        I agree, they had months of feedback before release. Now they've had the same feedback after release. Having something new wasn't the problem, it was truly the lack of ergonomics and unintuitive design that f**ked it up.

        It's almost like they don't use their own OS at work? If they do, I'm betting the office computers are all switched to desktop mode.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OK, getting a bit sick of the whining...

        They ignored feedback in testing, but they didn't ignore the years of feedback from users of Windows who were participating in the user feedback program. There was way more feedback from the feedback program and quite a bit of noisy shouting from techies, who have a habit of doing that sort of thing. You must have noticed that technies don't deal with change well?

      3. Greg Williams
        Stop

        Re: OK, getting a bit sick of the whining...

        "They didn't try something new, they were doing something that users didn't want, that users said they didn't want."

        The same thing happened with Vista. The feedback on that was rather fanatical and foamy-mouthed, but the released it anyway. And yes, that turned out to be a flop, like Windows 8 - but then it was refined into Windows 7, which was a fantastic OS and still the OS of choice for many of us here whilst still fundamentally being very similar and including many of the changes that Vista introduced.

        So perhaps after some refinement, Windows 8.1/9 will become the next Windows 7?

        The fact of the matter is that change pisses off everyone, especially the first revisions of that change. Eventually though, maybe it will in future iterations become a gem.

        Ultimately, people are being very impatient and prone to overreaction - especially when you consider that you can turn off Metro via other methods anyway.

        I'm not, as I said, a huge fan of Windows 8 - but I DO see potential there. A diamond in the rough perhaps? We'll see.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OK, getting a bit sick of the whining...

          I remember vividly - users complaining bitterly about Windows XP and that "it looks all cartoony".

          Company directors hated it and wanted to stick with good old Windows 98. People HATE change - they always have and always will - because it requires you to LEARN to do something differently that you could do almost instinctively. Yes, it's a PITA, but without change we'd all still be living in caves....

          I don't like the "new" 5p coins but I got over it....

          1. MacGyver
            IT Angle

            Haters gonna hate, for a reason.

            I think you mean Windows ME, as it came just before XP but after 98, it was basically Windows 98 with DOS crippled, the Windows 2000 WIA, and the theme from Windows 2000, and was a horrible OS, it is the OS that blue-screened on Bill during the press event. XP was the first truly 32-bit consumer OS available from Microsoft, but its ability to run legacy DOS programs was severely lacking, and since most of the business software people were using at the time wasn't working under the new OS (old DOS/3.1 software), of course they bitched. I "bitched" when Microsoft removed my ability to open a File Explorer under a different user (secondary shell) with IE 8 and Windows 7, because it screwed up my workflow. Windows 8 changed more than the GUI, they removed functionality, and dumbed down the whole OS. Just because most people don't fully understand why we hate it,it doesn't mean our reasons are any less valid.

            Have you tried mapping a NTLM v1 Linux Samba share to a Win8-Home drive letter recently? Good luck doing it quickly without gpedit.msc. Or how about you tell me how to change the priority of your Wifi connections under Win8. If that didn't make sense, then don't question why we hate it, you wouldn't understand our "hater" reasons anyway.

    2. Greg Williams

      Re: OK, getting a bit sick of the whining...

      their*

      ;)

  33. MarketingTechnoDude
    Holmes

    Words have a meaning .. don't mess with them!

    The word "Windows" in a computing context means to most of us the concept of multiple overlapping/side-by-side rectangular regions on the display screen which can be freely moved around/positioned/overlapped/resized/minimised/maximised by the user to interact with programs and data/graphics so we can perform work functions or be entertained in some way...

    This understanding of what Windows means has been commonplace since the early 90's (Windows 3.x, 9x, X11, Mac OSX, Linux xxx, OS/2, XP, vista, 7 ...)

    Windows 8 is a classic marketing error of line extension. You take a well known brand (or sub brand) and you slap it onto something new and expect everyone to buy the new thing on the strength of the brand recognition!

    Unfortunately The Metro/App touchscreen interface is widely at odds with our perception of what we perceive to be a "Windowing" system. You don't get windows side by side/overlapping which can be freely moved/resized etc on the same display screen.

    Classic example of a marketing leader in one category failing to recognize the appearance of a new product category and then when it is too late, flailing around in a damage limitation exercise.

    Trying to create a product which merges two distinct usage methods of interaction together is a fundamental mistake as well. They were (and still are) the leader in Windowing systems. Even if it is a declining market in the total computing sector (including the new entrants of smart phones and tablets), they still have a massive market and installed base. They need to recognize Windows 8.0 as a Cherry Coke and get back to delivering the real deal of a proper windowed system and moving their metro stuff to dedicated tablets if they want to also operate in that sector (also ran to apple IOS and Google Android)..

    Really it was a very simple thing they had to do. Just keep nudging Windows along to take better advantage of hardware developments (memory, SSD, Mulitple CPU cores, Graphics GPUs etc) and make it the best (and please for christsake reliable/stable/crashproof) desktop in the market....

    However the Windows 8 debacle has opened the gates for alternative Windowed based systems to enter or increase market share in the desktop/laptop sectors of the market place (Linux x, Chrome, Chromes, OSX).

    It is however to be expected, the leader of an existing category in any market rarely becomes the leader of the emerging new market category. Hence we have seen Microsoft fail time and time again to bring out anything new outside of their main sector of computer OS and Office Applications. In someways you could say that the Office Suite is a key part of the core software of the desktop computer operating system which has been unbundled from the OS. So in essence Windows/Office is what we generally perceive to be a Microsoft Product (the PC). Anything that is not a PC branded as Microsoft is therefore just a line extension of the Microsoft brand (which typically ends in failure...).

    So if Bill is still on the ball(mer), he should focus all efforts on focusing the company on the desktop/laptop/Office sectors and probably also companion infrastructure products (i.e. server/cloud)...

    GizaJob..i could runs rings around the marketing numpties responsible for the Win 8 debacle!

    1. Chika
      Trollface

      Re: Words have a meaning .. don't mess with them!

      Windows 1 was a strange beast. Apparently it could open windows but couldn't overlay them. Sounds familiar, that does!

      Actually, there's supposed to be an ad somewhere on YT of Ballmer selling W1.

    2. qwarty

      Re: Words have a meaning .. don't mess with them!

      Actually I like the two distinct types of application coexisting on one device and the fact I can use (or develop) a Metro app to work well on tablet, detachable, desktop, whatever. What I strongly dislike is the ludicrous notion that a full/split screen metro application space somehow replaces a windowed desktop in general on PC technology. Messaging from Microsoft is extremely muddy on this issue and this as much as the trivia like the start menu business that makes for much criticism I suspect.

      Possibly the most fundamental mistake the Windows group at Microsoft made was releasing the whole Metro system without testing the whole concept on non-trivial apps. If Microsoft Office had been shown to work well much criticism on the more radical changes would have been deflected but instead they launched with trivial apps in the store and I've yet to see anything to catch my imagination over 6 months later. Although had they not made this beginners error Metro would be rather different as I don't believe what we have at the moment is capable of delivering an acceptable mode of use for Office. I'm curious as to whether 'Blue' has learned from this mistake or its going to take another year to undo the damage.

      As you say, its hard to imagine what it is about windows in Windows that apparently escapes the current marketing and design crew at Microsoft.

      Personally I'd like to see hybrid WinRT apps that can operate in multitasking windows on desktop AND the full/split screen space but not holding out much hope this will happen this year.

  34. /\/\j17

    “It will be easy to get it right from the Windows Start screen through the app store,”

    Hopefully it will be available via Windows Update or a direct download too as I can't access the app store on my Win8 machine - it's a Netbook so falls below Metro's minimum screen resolution.

  35. Chad H.

    users have been charged only for an entirely new iteration of the Windows OS....

    Except for Windows 98, Me, Plus, 7, etc......

  36. Prowler
    WTF?

    Wait, what?

    " We feel good that we've listened and looked at all of the customer feedback ..."

    So Tami Reller is doing stand-up comedy?

    They are listening all right, to telemetry, from the shallow end of the gene pool that remains opted-in to the CEIP. They are certainly not listening to us for the last *two* years now. Sinofsky made it an art-form to delete or ignore overwhelming negative criticism on the official Destroying Windows Blog. Nothing has ever penetrated their bubble, and countless good people have tried to save them from this fiasco.

    Windows Blew will be an unprecedented kick in the teeth to everyone that tried to get through to them - if the reports are true that there *will* be a Start Button *but* it will point at Metro! There is no possible way for Microsoft to send a bigger FU to those valued customers than that. None whatsoever.

    I don't know where the article title comes from ( "have your desktop back ..." ) because it does in fact remain, but radically altered both aesthetically and functionally. Windows 7 with a bolted-on Metro might have been acceptable, but reverting the visuals to Windows 1.0 flatness among other things is what people are angry about. Turning powerful workstations with space-age graphic capability into a freaking tablet is a big problem.

  37. Shrimpling

    I'm waiting for 8.11 myself. Its bound to be the best version

  38. Dreams
    Meh

    "This is in line with Redmond's previous policy in which users have been charged only for an entirely new iteration of the Windows OS..."

    Really? What about Windows 98SE.

  39. JP19

    "get it right from the Windows Start screen through the app store,"

    Funny, the app store was the first thing I tried to delete from TIKFAM.

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