back to article Microsoft relents: 'Go ahead, install Windows 8.1 on clean PCs'

Microsoft says that in addition to offering Windows 8.1 as a free update for Windows 8 users in October, it will also be easier for customers to buy versions of Windows 8.1 that don't require an upgrade from a previous edition of the OS. Redmond launched Windows 8 in October 2012 as essentially an upgrade-only product. "System …

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  1. stephajn

    Relent some more will ya????

    Another thing that blocks us from wanting to build Windows 8 units in our shop is having to commit a license as soon as the disc is inserted. It was a LOT easier and better to have it like Windows Vista and 7 and you could skip supplying a key so that you could install it, get the system fully checked over and make sure it will run nicely before having to commit a license to it. I wish they'd loosen the grip on that one too.

    This is just another thing that drives me away from MS towards Linux. Max OS X can still bite me....hate that company....

    1. Talic

      Re: Relent some more will ya????

      I found in my testing that if you deploy Windows 8.1 RTM via WDS, you can skip past the prompt for a product key. I though this was a bit strange, but it worked fine.

    2. LarsG

      How

      How can something as simple as an upgrade or new installation be made as difficult or as complicated as this?

      Ah, when Microsoft is involved.

      Lets see now, how complicated or difficult will it be to upgrade to iOS 7 or Mavericks?

      Wonder ow much it will cost me?

      Will I lose folders or have to reinstall?

      1. MCG

        Re: How

        Well, why don't you spend five minutes getting some answers on Google, you drooling ignoramus?

        Twat.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          @MCG Re: How

          uhhhh... a little harsh?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When Ballmer walks

      This will all be sorted out.

    4. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Relent some more will ya????

      Also have the top priced version at $50 if they are serious about World Domination or even making money. For new users the current prices are mad compared to Ubuntu. Not a valid comparison for those with an existing investment in Windows programs.

  2. Roger Greenwood
    Go

    No preservation of data during upgrade?

    I know many times that's a good idea, an opportunity for a shakeup, but are they really that dismissive of many peoples expectations and usage patterns? Insane restriction for no good purpose.

    1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
      Paris Hilton

      Re: No preservation of data during upgrade?

      If you would JUST. USE. OUR. CLOUD. Really! C'mon, users! Trust your data on our servers. Don't worry, Danger never touches them! Put all your files up here, and upgrades to your computer become so much more painless. Use our Application Bazaar and you never have to re-install your programs again.

      G'osh!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No preservation of data during upgrade?

        @ Alan - problem is, I was having trouble deciding if you really were being sarcastic or not, you're just listing genuine positives!

        1. Not That Andrew
          Thumb Up

          Re: No preservation of data during upgrade?

          I see some people reading this thred have issues with irony and sarcasm.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: JUST. USE. OUR. CLOUD.

        Give me a connection to that cloud that runs about a thousand times faster than my ADSL connection's upstream link and I'll probably *still* turn you down on security grounds.

  3. h3

    What I want to know is how I can get my system working right. (That language helper irritates the hell out of me). I have a key from the £25 offer but it has the en-GB locale when I want the en-US one.

    I have never had the same problem with Windows Server (That are all en-US ?)

    Never seems to work right using the dism method that is suggested.

    I would rather just use use an already correct version but I suspect my key won't work.

    1. Talic

      Use a leaked key during the install, once you are in, use slmgr.vbs /ipk your-enGb-product-key and it should be fine. I did the same with 8.0 en-us media

  4. poopypants

    Nope

    "And even Windows 7 customers should expect to re-install all of their applications after upgrading using the Windows 8.1 retail media. Only their files will be preserved."

    Well that's a couple of days wasted re-installing dozens of software packages, chasing up licence keys, sorting out potential problems with software vendors, and generally tearing my hair out.

    Oh wait... I could just stick with Windows 7. Sorted!

    1. pip25
      FAIL

      Insane

      I simply cannot fathom why they enforce this ridiculous restriction. A full upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 should be no more difficult than an upgrade from Window 7 to Windows 8. The system did not change all that much.

      I guess I'll be able to get around it the same way I upgraded my XP machine to Win7 (by first upgrading to Vista as an intermediate step), but knowing this I'm even less eager to do so than before.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Insane

        Reminds me of the chap who installed Microsoft Windows 2.1 then proceeded to upgrade it from there:

        Windows 2.1 → Windows 3.0 → Windows 3.1 → Windows 95 → Windows 98 → Windows 2000 → Windows XP → Windows Vista → Windows 7

        I don't think the desktop background colour he picked in 2.1 survived.

        1. Duffaboy

          Re: Insane

          And what about ME ?

          1. Japhy Ryder

            Re: Insane

            Oh, you youngsters, its all ME ME ME!

          2. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: Insane

            Windows Me was only ever sold to the plebs that couldn't get a hold of 98SE. Which at the time was the most XP like OS of its time. Given all the DOS Apps & Games I still had back then, that wouldn't work on the non-DOS NTFS XP. Besides Windows Me was quickly thrown under the Bus, as they say when XP finally did hit, about a Year latter. At least thats how I seem to remember it. That and my hat that Microsoft had deliberately were blocking all access to the DOS level on Me. With little in the way benefit over 98SE.

            So I stuck to 98SE, till XP came out and gradually switched over to it.

            Microsoft may have killed DOS off, but the difference here besides the "new blue and green" look it was still fundamentally very 9x-ish and I never Once felt astray. On any Microsoft OS to date, save Windows 8! How the Hell they thought the could sell this is beyond me. I guess after nearly Twenty Years of having a choke hold in the PC Market. They really must have thought they could jolly well get away with anything they liked. Hopefully Windows 8 will eventually teach Microsoft a hard lesson. In that it can't!

        2. keithpeter
          Windows

          Re: Insane

          "Reminds me of the chap who installed Microsoft Windows 2.1 then proceeded to upgrade it from there:"

          Did that with Ubuntu through a cycle of versions from 10.04 to 11.10 once just to test the upgrade paths. Worked ok for OS but had to reinstall a lot of apps.

          Some Debianistas do this all the time (Woody -> Wheezy). Awesome.

          The tramp: I would be if I used proprietary software by the look of it

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Insane

          Is he still using a 286 with a meg of ram and a 50 mb rll drive?

      2. dan1980

        Re: Insane

        The reason for almost all otherwise unfathomable Microsoft restrictions is that Microsoft wants to force people into purchasing and using their products in certain ways.

        I am not even slightly defending their decisions or saying they are reasonable - because I don't think they are - but that appears to be what is happening. It may well backfire and may well hurt sales but they're trying it anyway.

        This spreads right through, from features to UI, to marketing and to licensing and pricing.

        1. hplasm Silver badge

          Re: Insane

          Where do you want to go today? WRONG ANSWER!

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: Insane

            The answer we were looking for; Was which Linux do you want to use today?

        2. Tom 13

          Re: reason for almost all otherwise unfathomable Microsoft restrictions

          and the few that are leftover after that stem from their defense in the IE anti-trust litigation.

          Remove those two reasons and they might be able to build a decent user experience again.

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: reason for almost all otherwise unfathomable Microsoft restrictions

            and the few that are leftover after that stem from their defense in the IE anti-trust litigation.

            Remove those two reasons and they might be able to build a decent user experience again.

            Wait are you actually >implying that the Metro UI is the fault of both Washington D.C. and Brussels? lol dude lay off the hash for a bit eh!

    2. Avatar of They

      Re: Nope

      I had to do that, not because the software didn't work, but because the boot manager ignored my desires and formatted then installed the hard drive. Protecting files my arse. But in doing so it invalidated my upgrade licence.

      MS fix was to buy a full licence. And then reinstall, I reinstalled 7 and haven't really gone back.

      A colleague used 8.1 from MSDN or technet or something and it lasted three weeks, the start button isn't a start button it is just a button to metro and it was still pants. So he went back to 7.

  5. rcorrect

    Do you hear that?

    It's the sound of silence while Microsoft continues to wait for users to flock to Windows 8.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: Do you hear that?

      I think you mean Windows 8.1

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do you hear that?

        No, I think Windows ≥8 was meant. People will probably shy away from Windows 9 too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Windows

          Re: Do you hear that?

          I think most people on here, that use windows already know that this is typical MS.

          Millenium (shit) XP (good) Vista (shit) Win7 (good) Win8/8.1(shit) Windows 9 (?)

          Lets hope now that utter fuck-wad Steve Ballsup has gone that some sanity returns to redmond.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            Re: Lets hope now that utter fuck-wad Steve Ballsup has gone that some sanity returns to redmond.

            He's not gone yet.

            He's only announced that he will leave next year.

          2. Jess

            Re: that this is typical MS

            Windows 3.x shit, but they persevered until it became a stable system.

            Windows 95 Good (providing you didn't upgrade a 3.x system or use early Pentium machines)

            Windows 98 shit, but they persevered until it became a stable system.

            Windows ME only saw it once but it looked pretty rank

            Windows NT 3.x Good (eventually)

            Windows NT 4.x Good (eventually)

            Windows 2000 Good

            Windows XP shit, but they persevered until it became a stable system.

            Vista shit, but they persevered until it became a stable system, but they called it Windows 7

            Windows 8, up until yesterday I would have said that it is the worst system I have ever seen. However yesterday I tried it on a dual screen system, and it is usable. All the crap that makes a single screen system unusable, stays on one screen and goes away when you click on the other screen, so is far less jarring.

            You can do pretty much everything you used to be able to do either via the command prompt or by creating shortcuts., so all in all, ON A DUAL SCREEN SYSTEM, it is not really any harder to use than Windows 3.1 or a Linux of a similar vintage. (It is a bit odd being back in 1991 though.)

            The login screen is pretty dumb, but typical microsoft, why do one action to get to the login screen when three will do just as well?

            XP - control-alt-delete - then you can enter credentials

            8 - click on city scape, click back, click other user - you can now enter your credentials.

            I can live without the start menu, it's Metro that is the nasty. A bit like jumping back to DOS from windows 3.1.

            Having looked at how it works, it is almost like the designer intended that metro be used on a tablet input device, instead of a keyboard, but forgot to tell this to anyone else. I could actually imagine it working quite well on a giant DS style laptop. The problem is, it is vile on a single screen.

            I think the fix would be (apart from the option to turn it off) to have it pop up in a regular window on desktop and laptop machines.

            And on tablets, have a mode where the bottom third of the screen is metro and the top 2/3 desktop, (obviously better in portrait.)

        2. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Do you hear that?

          I for One re-welcome our Windows 9x overlords... I wonder if I'll be able to dig up my collection of old DOS Games again?

      2. Richard Jones 1
        WTF?

        Re: Do you hear that?

        No that silence is so intense that nothing can hear it over the sound of people running away. With no back up option other than to skydrain who would want that pile stinking of problems?

      3. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Do you hear that?

        8.0 ~ 8,1.... As Duke used to say your Arse, your Face?? What's the difference?!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do you hear that?

      'Sound of silence'

      Like the number of pre orders or the iPhone 5C?

  6. dssf

    Generating a lot of "EH"

    Seems as if MS want or are just instigating a lot of Eight Hate....

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Generating a lot of "EH"

      8H8 !

  7. Tristan Young

    As long as Windows 8.x looks like crap, I don't want it. I would love the improved Kernel, and some of the other aspects, but Windows tablet/smartphone interface, the overdone start menu, and the flat and boring desktop mode theme will not be gracing my machines.

    I still feel Microsoft took a giant step backwards in terms of style. I skipped Vista, and I'll skip Windows 8.x.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      I agree entirely. It's not just the start menu that does it for me, it's the overly flat, square and lifeless style of the UI. Heck Windows 3.1 had a fancier design than Windows 8.x. Windows 8 is just flat, one-colour squares. It looks bland and dated (and I'm talking about the desktop here).

      1. druck Silver badge
        Unhappy

        With some tinkering you can enable the Aero-lite theme on Windows 8 to make it less dull and flat.

        Only trouble is by the second time WIndows 8 has thrown a wobbly and dumped you in a temporary profile, causing you to have to create a new profile and re-do all of your windows and application settings, you'll have forgotten how to do it.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: As long as Windows 8.x looks like crap

      Yeah, it looks like the sort of interface I'd design.

      The difference being I know I'm not competent to even become an apprentice to a user interface designer.

  8. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    It isn't the distribution model that's broken

    It isn't the distribution model that's broken. It's the product itself. It's a dud that nobody wants.

  9. andro

    Why make everything so hard to move to a failing platform that needs some love right now? They must really hate their customers. The left hand giveth and the right hand takes some more away.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      You realise for most users this is a non-issue... how many home users upgrade their OS? Only nerds and businesses are affected; nerds will easily manage and businesses work differently.

      1. robin thakur 1

        No, this is an issue, even if mostly a psychological one for them. Microsoft still things it is the big dog and is behaving the only way it knows how, shipping umpteen different versions with peculiar restrictions on when they can be used and by whom, like they are deliberately making things awkward, more so than when Desktops and Laptops were actually in the ascendency as few years ago due to web apps.

        Yes it will mostly affect businesses and self builders, but they are people too, surely! Make life too difficult for people that used to like you and you won't be liked for much longer. Some of the rabid Microsoft fans I know are strangely reticent on their prospects these days and consider that they have lost the plot when it comes to business, which should be their strongest domain. Windows 8 itself does not look like a business OS, it looks like an OS designed for children and immediately turns people off. The only area they still have massive strength in is their server platform offerings like Azure, Exchange, SharePoint, CRM, which don't really need MS clients to work any more.

        Even their Office business will face considerable challenges in the near future what with Apple giving away its iWorks suite on iPads, in my opinion. On all our corporate iPads we give out here (to anyone that wants one) not having built-in Office editing has been a traditional bugbear since we started rolling them out, and people used Quick Office HD. Now people are already asking why the presentation they authored on their iPad in Keynote won't work properly in PowerPoint. Since we now have Apple TV's hooked up to all the meeting room screens due to demand, they can simply cut out the PowerPoint step and AirPlay mirror the iPad to the screen and thereby MS software is completely cut out of the loop. It's a whole new world out there and MS need to step it up for business as there are legions of people who have gotten used to the Apple way of working on their corporate iPads and iPhones and prefer it to the 'old way' of Blackberrys to Wintel. I find it staggering that all this consumer gubbins is allowed in the workplace, but it does show you how far things have gone that even not really trying to attract business to use the devices (bar the few concessions of VPN compatibility and ActiveSync), Apple have made inroads.

      2. Pookietoo

        Re: how many home users upgrade their OS?

        Well Tesco seemed to be doing a roaring trade in £30(?) upgrades when it was first released.

  10. Gray
    Gimp

    Perhaps a change of diet is needed?

    Microsoft seems to be the 300-lb roadhouse cook wearing a filthy T-shirt, arm-pit hair hanging through torn-off sleeves, with a cigarette stub hanging from her mouth, dribbling ashes into your scrambled eggs. Except you ordered an omelet with a side of ham. She slides a plate of runny egg whites puddled among yellow yolk clumps half smothering a side of burned bacon down the counter. You're barely in time to reach out and stop the plate from crashing to the floor.

    "Eat up yer shite!" she snarls, turning away to dump a bowl of soggy potato shreds onto the smoking grill. "I'm rushed and ain't got time to please yer whining self; others are waiting and I don't hear them bitchin' like yer doin'."

    Check, please!

    1. illiad

      Re: Perhaps a change of diet is needed?

      yeah, and you then just walk out having not even paid for it!!! its amazing how many people in the cafe trade dont realise WHY they are half empty...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps a change of diet is needed?

      funny, I somehow read it as "300-lb roadhouse cock" (fair enough, carry on), hairy armpits (a bit flamboyant, but hey - check), but then I hit the bit on the "cigarette stub hanging from her mouth". Her mouth... HER mouth, WTF?!

      Oh well...where are the 300-lb cocks of yesteryear...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Usually when a company brings out a new product they sell the old one off cheap. If they started selling Windows 7 licenses for $25 a throw they could solve the "how to get people off XP" problem. Windows 8.x at $120 isn't going to do it.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Usually when a company brings out a new product they sell the old one off cheap. If they started selling Windows 7 licenses for $25 a throw they could solve the "how to get people off XP" problem. Windows 8.x at $120 isn't going to do it.

      Your assuming that the "Problem" is XP, when its more like how do we get those "Sheep" to upgrade their OS's Year-on-Year? Simply replacing XP for Windows 7 is to them an unacceptable answer. As Redmond don't want Win7 to become the defacto Neo-XP.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Redmond don't want Win7 to become the defacto Neo-XP

        I think it's too late for that.

  12. mike_ul

    It amazes me how people love bashing MS all the time. Those who say they'd rather install Linux then just install it and stop complaining, Well, except when they have no useful software to run but they can always sit there looking at their nice desktop. As for IOS, don't make me laugh. I've yet to meet an I.T professional who'd rather use that than Windows. IOS is for posers who like to sit there and look 'hip'. I like to actually *do* stuff with my PC other than watch YouTube or a few video's. Amazingly, I've never had a problem getting software to do just what I want on a Windows PC. Incidentally, I spent an entire evening using my mates IOS laptop. Frankly, when I got back home and fired up my W8 it was a revelation. It was way smoother and just better in every aspect.

    FYI, I bit the bullet a while ago and installed W8 (via an upgrade to W7) and I am very happy, It's fast and smooth and works very well. I rarely use the new start menu (I use start8) although people I work with love it. MS have a complex job and as a SW developer myself I appreciate many of the technical difficulties that exist when upgrading installations. Not always easy. So cut them some slack, guys and stop constantly bitching about them. Otherwise, stick your Linux on your PC and shut up.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Gimp

      Why cut MS some slack?

      Just give them enough rope.

      And a gag for the fanbois.

    2. poopypants

      @mike_ul

      Cut them some slack, you say? I currently have Windows 7 Pro installed. The only permitted upgrade path that preserves my installed software is to Windows 8 Pro - a cost of AU$399.99 (=US$374).

      If I choose to upgrade to the cheaper Windows 8, Microsoft will helpfully remove all of my installed software.

      Am I supposed to believe there is some technical reason for this? Yeah. Sure.

      1. mike_ul

        Re: @mike_ul

        I was fortunate to get a deal when it first came out. It cost me 25 British pounds so I guess I was lucky. Suggest you stick to W7 then which is still a good OS.

        Other than that, re-install. Not always a bad thing if you have years of garbage on your machine.

      2. mike_ul

        Re: @mike_ul

        Is this no good????

        http://www.softwaresite.com.au/ms-windows-8-pro-upgrade-/432-microsoft-windows-8-professional-upgrade-32-bit-64-bit-eng-intl-version-upgrade-product-key-download-.html

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @mike_ul

        @Poopypants

        Only (!?) £190 in the UK for Win 7 Pro to Win 8 Pro. Looks like someone's got some hate for down-under.

    3. Richard 22
      FAIL

      iOS laptop

      You used your mate's iOS laptop. You mean an iPad? Or, perhaps you mean OSX laptop, and you don't really know what you're talking about.

      1. mike_ul

        Re: iOS laptop

        Yes, OSX. Mistyped. And it's still poor.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " Well, except when they have no useful software to run but they can always sit there looking at their nice desktop."

      If you think there is no useful software for Linux then I congratulate you on your ability to live in 2013 in such profound ignorance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Where is the useful software on Metro?

        Indeed! Where is the useful software on Metro anyway? Oh I see there is none. Unless you want to look at a cut down version of the National Rail website on a 30" monitor, for which a similar effect can be achieved for free by going down to your local railway station, and staring at the customer information screens.

      2. mike_ul

        Lol. I do live in the real world you anonymous idiot. Too scared to put your real name, eh? People like you are pathetic. I have loads of tech friends and none of them (none of them) would even consider using LINUX in any real capacity. I do live in the real world, thank you. Linux is great for DB's etc. but I wouldn't dream of using it as my proper PC. Stick to your Linux. You're clearly happy. I'll stick to my windows as I'm happy, okay?

        1. Greg J Preece

          People like you are pathetic. I have loads of tech friends and none of them (none of them) would even consider using LINUX in any real capacity.

          Programmer over here, real name included. I use Linux every single day for the vast majority of that day. I'm typing from Kubuntu right now. Wouldn't use anything else for my work, and especially not Windows (unless you don't consider working a "real capacity"). I do have Windows on here - Windows 8 in fact - but that's for other uses.

          I like the way you put "none of them" in brackets a second time, like on a lyric sheet. Is that an instruction for your backing singers?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Lol. I do live in the real world you anonymous idiot. Too scared to put your real name, eh? People like you are pathetic. I have loads of tech friends and none of them (none of them) would even consider using LINUX in any real capacity. I do live in the real world, thank you. Linux is great for DB's etc. but I wouldn't dream of using it as my proper PC. Stick to your Linux. You're clearly happy. I'll stick to my windows as I'm happy, okay?"

          Because "Mike_UL" is enough to identify you then? Why not put your full name and address then if you want to play this "look how hard l am" rubbish? If you spend your time attacking OSX (and referring it to iOS) or Linux with no proper arguments, expect a similar level of response back. Most of us are happy with Windows too. Windows 7 that is. The reason Linux keeps being brought into the discussion is precisely because most of us like Windows 7, the users we support be they at work, or friends and family are familiar and comfortable with the 'Windows 95' layout, and neither we or they want the Metro / apps / tablet paradigm on our desktops. Mint and the KDE distributions work far more like Windows 7, than Windows 8 does, and with the exception of hardcore gaming, and users requiring the advanced features of Microsoft Office, or certain other big proprietry packages, there is little Linux can't provide as an alternative. Your friends may not consider using Linux in any capacity. The market isn't considering using Windows 8 in any real capacity either.

        3. Vic

          > none of them (none of them) would even consider using LINUX in any real capacity.

          Then you don't know anyone of any great import.

          Pretty much every major organisation I've seen for some years runs Linux boxes in some capacity. XP/7 rule the office desktop, but even that opsition is slowly being eroded.

          Vic.

    5. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Linux does nearly everything today what XP does....

      Office... Well you have the choice of Open/Libre Office. If that's somhow not good enough for you you. you can still run MS O2K3 - SP3 though Wine.

      Internet - WHAT A FLIPN' JOKE! Firefox, is 100% IDENTICAL WITH THE EXACT SAME PLUGINS! NOT A SINGLE DIFFERENCE TO BE FOUND!

      Games Valve is working on that now. Its an uphill climb (For now...), But, come the post XP era, I can see Games on linux heading evermore skywards!

      Special Productivity Softwares (e.g. CADCAM) admittedly this is the only thin line right now. But if I were such a customer of such Software I'd have be asking for / demanding a Linux version by now!

      So what exactly does a MS OS do that's so much better then Linux again? It sure as sh-- ain't being able to run it in a HTPC environ that's for sure. As the whole HTPC "concept" pretty much forced me into using Linux to start with!

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        @Michael Habel

        "Special Productivity Softwares (e.g. CADCAM) admittedly this is the only thin line right now. But if I were such a customer of such Software I'd have be asking for / demanding a Linux version by now!"

        By omitting any other category of software apart from these four, you are implying that special productivity software also includes every single script, craplet and two-bit pile of crud that most normal business users end up depending on in some way or other. Good luck even *finding* the original vendors, let alone discovering that they still have the staff and documentation to write a new version for Linux, let alone being told that you won't have to foot the entire development costs (and lost opportunity costs to the company) yourself because no-one else has ever asked for this.

        In short, you can demand as much as you like, but all you are likely to get is sued for harrassment.

        And Office 2003 on WINE? http://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?iVersionId=3214 indicates that you get just "silver" compatibility at best, and Outlook is rated as "garbage". Good luck persuading your average business user to try that migration.

        "So what exactly does a MS OS do that's so much better then Linux again?"

        It runs the Microsoft legacy shit that the world and his wife is still using for just about everything. (Having said that, it does sound like Win8.1 is less willing to run that shit than its predecessors. Microsoft *may* just be in the process of blowing their own toes off.)

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: @Michael Habel

          I only tossed out CADCAM as an example that Microsoft shrills like to bang on about when this particular argument arises. I guess I could've had just as simply chucked out Photoshop into that blanket statement as well. As for Office *.vba Scripts yeah... I consed your point, but One presumes that these are the same Corporations that will eventually have to spend the cash to get their staff ready for Office2k10 or Office365, as well. Cause Its not just XP that dies next April, but O2k3 SP3 as well!

          I'm not a Big Corporate, and I don't work for One either. I'm just another happy M$ Sheeple happily running XP/Vista/7. But Windows 8, no matter how much "better" under the bonnet it may be. Is just a step to far. And given that Home installs probably outweigh the Corporate Ones. Even if the vast majority of those came from OEM sales. Have pretty much already voted that Windows 8 sucks.

          Now the choice comes down to do I update to Windows 8 next year, or do I install Cinnamon Mint instead? And if your coming off XP you'll find Cinnamon mint to be VERY XP like indeed. It may not run MS Office at the levels of Corporate excellence. But I have found it to had been good enough to have been able to open and edit MS Office Files that could not, nor would not render correctly under Open/Libre Office, and way able to pretty much everything I asked of it. Same holds true for Excel.

          I don't expect Business to run Microsoft Office on or in Linux. I'm sure Microsoft would have a few choice words about that commercial practice as well. So again the whole *.vba Script thing seems a bit of FUD to me. And if I were a corporate, that had the vision to see where Microsoft want to be heading in, I'd start looking into other Office Suites. I do understand how painful that would be, in the short term. Long term I think it would be a mistake not too....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Linux

          Re: @Michael Habel

          By omitting any other category of software apart from these four, you are implying that special productivity software also includes every single script, craplet and two-bit pile of crud that most normal business users end up depending on in some way or other. Good luck even *finding* the original vendors, let alone discovering that they still have the staff and documentation to write a new version for Linux, let alone being told that you won't have to foot the entire development costs (and lost opportunity costs to the company) yourself because no-one else has ever asked for this.

          In short: they've got you by the short and curlies.

          Moral of the story, if you want control of your destiny, stick to stuff you can obtain the source for. Then at least, you can take that source code and hire someone to do the porting for you if they won't budge and you really need it, or you can use the source to find out how to port away from it.

        3. Vic
          Joke

          Re: @Michael Habel

          > Outlook is rated as "garbage"

          You can't really blame them :-)

          Vic.

    6. Dave K Silver badge

      And here lies the problem. If you like the defaults than MS has chosen for Windows 8, then you're happy and can't see what the problem is. HOWEVER, if you do not like MS's defaults, you're more screwed than you've been with any version of Windows for decades. THAT is the problem. In almost all previous Windows, you could switch off newer design elements, you could turn the start menu into classic mode, you could go back to the theme from Windows 2000/98, you could shrink the Windows 7 task bar and show full names to make it immitate Vista/XP's task bar. Everything was tweakable.

      Windows 8 destroyed that ethic. Don't like the new start screen? Tough. Want Aero (or even some slightly more rounded buttons)? Tough. Want to pull back the menus in Windows Explorer? Tough. None of these can be changed back without having to install a plethora of third party tools. If you don't like MS's choices with Windows 8, you're stuck. And that is the problem with it.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Many people are complaining because they will have to support Windows 8 and Metro as part of their job, and inexperienced users who have only really got a basic grasp of XP / 7 are going to be thrown in the deep end when they buy a new PC and encounter Metro. Quite how they are supposed to know to close a Metro program that they have to drag it to the bottom of the screen, especially as some users still struggle with double clicking, let alone anything more complex! Whether or not I shut up and put Linux on my machine, doesn't help them, although for that Mint 13 with MATE in my experience makes a decent XP replacement / upgrade for most people with little complaint. (The 'power users' probably already have a Linux distribution of some kind installed, and Windows 7 Professional naturally, so don't need any help).

      As for IOS being for posers, where as that was once probably the case, the Ipad and Iphone are now virtually mainstream, albeit at the higher end of the cost spectrum. And IOS is not a desktop operating system, though I would say it is far preferable to Metro. As someone else has stated, what is an IOS laptop anyway?

      OS X (assuming thats what you meant), IOS and Linux anyway all have far more useful and better software than Metro, which has no killer programs going for it, just the usual waffle about an official facebook interface coming out (which is bizarre on a desktop computer with a web browser) By your own admission of using Start-8 (which I always think sounds like a song by the early 90s rave act Altern-8), you are basically endorsing Windows 7, which for some reason since Windows 8 has come in, the Windows 8 fanboys have made out to be a crude, crash prone mess, with a 'horrible start menu' (that has served users very well and still does) for some inexplicable reason.

      1. Yag

        What?

        "they are supposed to know to close a Metro program that they have to drag it to the bottom of the screen"

        ...

        I guess i'll have to lose the habit to temporary drag the application windows down in order to see the one right under them.

        Nah, screw this crap. Any Win 7 still up for sale somewhere?

    8. Greg D

      Whilst I actually agree with your overall point, I had to downvote you for the following reasons:

      - Mac runs OSX, which is loosely derived from a Linux kernel

      - IOS is Cisco's network OS

      - iOS is the iPhone/iPad OS

      (note the small 'i' on CrApple's shit).

      There is also the point that Win8 is actually slightly worse than Win7 for most people. If I could just get the under-the-hood upgrades and do away with literally everything else, I'd be happy.

      I also have to say MS don't make it easy on themselves with their frankly draconian licensing models and upgrade path restrictions. They only manage to come out of it OK because of their size and the fact they already have such a foothold in the market. Any other software house would fold under the backlash and lack of sales if they used MS's business models.

      Give the users what they want when they want. I've lost count how many times they have had to backtrack on incredibly poor decision making. And I'd bet most of those decisions (the bad ones, not the backtracking) were made by Ballsup Ballmer.

      1. alisonken1
        Stop

        Actually, OSX is not Linux

        It's derived from BSD.

        And if you _really_ want an earful, log onto any of the *SD channels and mention that *SD is like linux

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        MacOS is not Linux

        I don't think the original poster was referring to Cisco in references to 'IOS' And the kernel on MacOS is based on Mach and BSD which although Unix is definitely not Linux.

      3. Michael Habel Silver badge

        And I had to down vote you cause apparently you don't know sh--! If you think that OSX is based on Linux. Its actually based on BSD as any fule kno...

      4. magnetik
        FAIL

        Mac runs OSX, which is loosely derived from a Linux kernel

        If you're gonna go around correcting people you should at least get your facts right. OS X is not based on Linux. Here, go educate yourself:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_(kernel)

    9. Daniel B.
      Flame

      @mike_ui

      It amazes me how people love bashing MS all the time. Those who say they'd rather install Linux then just install it and stop complaining

      I have on most of my desktop stuff at home. The WinXP install broke sometime around 2010. Still haven't reinstalled it or upgraded. Though you're spot on with the commercial software for some cases, which brings me to your other troll point:

      As for IOS, don't make me laugh. I've yet to meet an I.T professional who'd rather use that than Windows. IOS is for posers who like to sit there and look 'hip'. I like to actually *do* stuff with my PC other than watch YouTube or a few video's.

      Apart from the awful grammar/spelling mistakes that would make a Grammar Nazi explode (and mistaking OSX for IOS), yes you can do most of the stuff you do on Windows in OSX. And you can also do UNIXy stuff as well, which on Windows means either installing Services For Unix or a Linux VM. And a lot of IT professionals will choose OSX as their main OS, or even Linux above Windows. You're just hanging around with the actual posers.

      Hell, Windows 8 sucks so much I actually bit the bullet and switched (back) to Mac/OSX last year. And this is despite me hating the iZombie Fanboy effect, Apple's attitude under the last Jobs years and their patent trolling on round corners, iOS walled garden and such. But Microsoft's lame attempts at forcing themselves into their users is far more insulting than the Apple way. Far, far worse. Sure I could have simply bought a new laptop, wipe out W8 and install Linux but I would have been giving MS money for Win8, which I don't want to. Buying a Mac means I don't pay the MS tax.

    10. keithpeter
      Linux

      yup

      "Those who say they'd rather install Linux then just install it and stop complaining..."

      Did that around 2008. No complaints.

      "Well, except when they have no useful software to run but they can always sit there looking at their nice desktop."

      Oddy enough, I've written around half a megaword, edited about 15 hours of audio and done a couple of (short) DVDs this year, as well as the maquette for a 400+ page textbook. And some statistical analysis of not quite small but not big data.

      Strange that.

    11. magnetik

      The fact that you call it an "IOS laptop" makes me think you really don't know very much about operating systems. I'd love to know what kind of software you develop, lol.

    12. robin thakur 1

      "I spent an entire evening using my mates IOS laptop."

      I think you lost me with this ridiculous clueless statement, there is no such thing as a laptop that runs iOS. Are you a real developer or are you working your way through a learn Visual Studio in 24 hours book? Besides the whole world has practically told MS where to stick Windows 8, and most smart phone and tablet platforms run on Linux or a Unix derivative...

      I'm a IT Pro, currently specialising in SharePoint and even I can see the writing on the wall for MS, their old business model is coming to the end of its useful life. FYI I use a Macbook Pro running windows in a VM because I do actually prefer OS X and pretty much always have, though Win 7 was nice. I have used OS X for more than "One evening" and can assure you that it is perfectly decent option and the idea that there is "no useful software" to run, particularly on OS X, hasn't been true for years. I only power up my Windows VM to develop with Visual Studio,. For everything else there is a mac alternative which is as good or better and integrates better with my other devices at home and work. I also built a machine that runs Windows 8 at home, but it is rarely used other than as Hyper-V host to connect to remotely for SP2013 development and nobody else in the house wants to use it, though not for lack of trying.

      I don't personally mind Windows 8 (the Hyper-V host is at least useful) but I don't think business generally wants it, from my feedback from users and key stakeholders. It hasn't had the wider take up from non business users to force a tipping point of adoption into business the way the iPhone and iPad did back in the day and is still regarded as a colourful oddity which Microsoft might nix in the next full version. Seeing Metro on Windows Server 2012 still has the power to make me chuckle...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP end-of-life is coming...

    So let's make it really, really painful for those who didn't jump when we told them to.

    1. Gray
      Childcatcher

      Re: XP end-of-life is coming...

      When the day approaches for Microsoft to actually pull the plug on XP, and it becomes unavoidably obvious that significant numbers of people will lose their entire home computer investment -- hardware, software, and applications -- because the Win8 upgrade bloat is incompatible with everything they've depended on, the resulting public relations disaster may prove to be a painfully bitter experience for MS stockholders.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: significant numbers of people will lose their entire home computer investment

        Wait a minute, are you saying that when MS stops supporting XP all XP PCs in the world will stop booting and become doorstops like a broken Xbox ?

        Somehow I don't think so.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: significant numbers of people will lose their entire home computer investment

          No not broken, but given how "open" XP was, and continues to be! To the Worlds hackers I'm sure that most sane people will no longer wish to continue using XP sometime shortly after. It'll likely take another Stuxnet like attack to finally kill XP off. But, with Microsoft refusing any further support for XP. Just how long do you think it would take someone to write a particularly nasty piece of Code that nukes every instance of XP.

          1. Duffaboy

            Re: significant numbers of people will lose their entire home computer investment

            nasty piece of Code that nukes every instance of XP. Didn't you mean Windows Update

          2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: significant numbers of people will lose their entire home computer investment

            "Just how long do you think it would take someone to write a particularly nasty piece of Code that nukes every instance of XP."

            Most domestic users don't apply updates promptly (if at all) and most users that do are also the users who are running non-administratively, not running every damn attachment that comes their way and ignoring the phishing emails, all whilst located behind a corporate firewall that will continue to provide up-to-date AV protection. In practice, then, plenty of people are already living in the April 2014 world and the sky hasn't fallen in. I expect quite a few XP installations to continue running (malware-free) pretty much indefinitely, perhaps as VM images once the original hardware craps out.

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: significant numbers of people will lose their entire home computer investment

              So what happens when your AV supplier decides its time to kiss off XP?

              I think the best One could hope for might take you into early 2015... What then?

          3. Pookietoo
            Black Helicopters

            Re: someone to write a particularly nasty piece of Code

            I expect MSFT has that well in hand.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: XP end-of-life is coming...

        People not buying Windows 7 or better yet 8... On Hardware that was for its time just capable of running XP

        People still holding on to XP... And are soon considering a life without Microsoft. Al-la Mint Linux....

        Either way what benefit is there in that for Microsoft Shareholders?

        Not much that I can see... I just want to know how Ballmer and Co. think that they can pown off such a shitty OS on their biggest Corporate Contractors. But I guess they are the lucky Ones that are still able to get Win7 Licenses.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: XP end-of-life is coming...

      And most XP users will continue to use XP and not even notice or care.

      They'll upgrade to whatever comes with the next PC they buy when they find an app they want to use doesn't support XP and resign themselves to accepting the time to change has come. They'll comfort themselves with getting faster and better hardware while complaining they had to upgrade.

      There's a reason people are sticking with XP. They will continue to do so if they can and will put upgrading off for as long as possible.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: XP end-of-life is coming...

        I imagine by this time next year XP will be a distant Memory for most People.

        With Microsoft refusing to maintain XP past April next Year, and XP Embedded support to continue into 2016, It wouldn't take a Computer Scientist with a PHD to figure out where to strike XP with Thermal Nuclear Zero-Day Attacks much past that point.

        In fact IIRC this Site ran a Story on that, not to long ago!

        <link>http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/16/microsoft_warns_itll_be_handing_out_zero_days_for_windows_xp/</link>

  14. Rollie3pointOh

    People actually want more ways to buy Windows 8.x?

    *confused*

  15. guybrush45

    Windows 8.1 needs Price promotion like Windows 8

    I am running Windows 8.1 RTM and for me it really is a great OS (just my opinion) .....its a vast improvement over Windows 8 and has finally persuaded me to let go of my start menu replacement program & enjoy the new interface.

    The point I think Microsoft are missing here if they want people to give Windows 8.1 a go is, they need another price promotion as in Windows 8.1 being available for a "song" until Jan 31st 2014 in the same way they did at the release of Windows 8.

    I'm amazed they think that people who have steered clear of Windows 8 and are clinging to Windows 7 & XP will suddenly flock to Windows 8.1 with no "carrot" whatsoever....for me it just won't happen. People who wouldn't buy Windows 8 for "peanuts" when it was released are not now gonna pay top dollar for Windows 8.1 coz Microsoft say "it's better now honest".....Strikes me as very poor marketing.....and that's just a shame....

    SimonC

    1. Test Man

      Re: Windows 8.1 needs Price promotion like Windows 8

      No need really - most people buy new versions of Windows only when it comes with a new device. So no real need to convince people to upgrade current non-Windows 8 PCs - they'll come eventually anyway.

  16. Fiddler on the roof

    New PCs for My Kids

    Desktop for my son who is a gamer and an artist, he got a PC with Win 7, I had to take it out of the box, plug it all together and thats been it. New laptop for my daughrter with Win 8 and I want to throw it down the garden!! So far 3 nights sorting it out so she knows how to get at the stuff that she wants and sometimes I just sit there not knowing how to get things to work. When you consider that I've been using and supporting windows since version 3, I reckon I know a bit about it!

    Microsoft have seriously dropped the ball here, software isnt supposed to be difficult its supposed to be easy and to fundamentally change the way that a person has too interact with a product after years and years is just plain stupid. Why oh why didnt they say here is a new way of using iit, but if you dont like it heres the old way as well?

    1. Sammy Smalls

      Re: New PCs for My Kids

      You're holding it wrong. Wait...Oh. Uhhhh, hmmm.

  17. theloon
    FAIL

    MS still locked in 1990's OS upgrades and installs

    Everything from the price to the install methods are 25 years out of date...

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: MS still locked in 1990's OS upgrades and installs

      Make your mind up. Is it 1990s or 25 years ago?

      1. Vic

        Re: MS still locked in 1990's OS upgrades and installs

        > Is it 1990s or 25 years ago?

        The one does not preclude the other...

        Vic.

  18. Efros

    Upgrade a 7 pro to 8 pro installation

    I have a few PCs running W8, one of which is an upgrade from 7 pro to 8 pro and is my main development machine, tried the 8.1 upgrade, no dice. Seems I have to reinstall my original w7 installation and do the upgrade from there. WTF.

    Another thing I've noticed is that Skydrive seems to need the user to sign in with a microsoft ID to use it, or am I missing something.

    1. Test Man

      Re: Upgrade a 7 pro to 8 pro installation

      SkyDrive has always required a Microsoft account to use it. Fortunately with Windows 8(.1), if you simply use a Microsoft account as the login account then that is it - all Microsoft apps automatically use this.

      1. Efros

        Re: Upgrade a 7 pro to 8 pro installation

        I know that, but the trick here is that under 8.1 microsoft want you to tie your account on your PC to a microsoft account to use Skydrive. So if you have an account dobbiesnutsack@hotmail.com and have skydrive associated with that account when you log onto windows 8.1 you have to log in as user dobbiesnutsack otherwise the skydrive app is not available. Any attempt to reinstall an older version results in immediate upgrading and back to where you were. So essentially if you don't tie your account to a microsoft account you don't get to use skydrive under 8.1.

  19. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Gosh, thanks

    but no thanks until they throw out the toy town stuff.

    A non-metro version of Windows 8 might actually sell in volume. Are they going to have to have the Vista experience again before they relent? By all means use parts of metro such as simplified, two-tone icons within the UI but until they scrap the Jekyll & Hyde approach they will continue to piss people off.

  20. Chris Walsh
    Go

    18th October..

    ..will be a slow day on the internet!

  21. regorama

    i built a top notch machine recently and there is no way i would pollute it by installing windows 8

  22. Greg J Preece

    Happy Windows 8 user here

    Even happier that my upgrade to 8.1 will be free. Metro? Barely see it, doesn't bother me. When I'm in Windows it's because there's something there that the Kubuntu installation can't do, and the upgrades in 8 over 7 are worth it for me.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Happy Windows 8 user here

      The usual commentard herd mentality, I see. Downvoted simply for preferring something. OK, whatever rocks your cocks.

  23. joed
    Happy

    Windows 8 has never been an upgrade

    now you get what you paid for

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So now you can do clean installs, as well as upgrade.

    Er, No thanks. Get rid of metro.

  25. Vociferous

    No, I wont.

    I've got Win 7, there's no way I'd install Win 8.1 even if it came with free sex & beer.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: No, I wont.

      And the STD that were formally known as Metro....

  26. Dr Gerard Bulger

    Ooops. I thought you always could do a clean install

    Terrified of what Windows 8 would do to my XP system and other partitions I did clean installs onto separate disks. You need to make a bootable USB installation image and I get the process to do that off the Microsoft's site.

    Was that bad?

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Ooops. I thought you always could do a clean install

      I may be wrong here, but I think you've always been able to do that with upgrade versions of Windows, it's just not supported (and possibly of doubtful legality).

  27. Whiznot

    I think Windows 8.1 should be distributed for free through the NSA. People shouldn't have to pay for the privilege of being spy victims.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little prediction...

    Windows 8.1 will still experience sales poorer than Windows Vista.

    People will cling onto their Win7 or WinXP like a lifebuoy.

    Microsoft's desktop OS business goes on a steady decline, and along with it Microsoft's web services, gaming, consumer devices businesses all go tits up.

    Nice knowing ya, Microsoft. Should have cut your losses and focused on the enterprise and server stuff. Instead, you wanted to imitate Apple, like how Mr Bean copying the other guy's every move at the hotel buffet table.

    And just like that scene, a lack of discernment and a couple of bad oysters later (Win8, Surface), bad diarrhoea awaits you. I hope you do enjoy the 'fast and fluid' experience in the bathroom.

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