back to article Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor

The Windows rumor mill is buzzing yet again, with word that Microsoft is planning yet another update to Windows 8.1 that will ship in the fall, possibly to be followed by a new, cloud-centric version of Windows that will be available free of charge. This latest scuttlebutt once again arrives care of Russian pirate group "WZor …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    please, not the start menu

    One of the nice features of Windows 8.x to my mind was the disappearance of the old start menu, it had got to feel well past its sell by date. I've seen a lot of grumbling about start menu removal by vociferous people who don't want to use Win8 or have a thing about Microsoft but not much from normal people.

    1. Stephen Channell
      Flame

      Re: please, not the start menu

      I use Windows 8.1 for my main PC (I installed it for Visual Studio 2012 C++/CX), and I tried using the "Start Screen", but frankly it is shit because it is just not finished; doesn't work with big screens; doesn't multitask very well; with huge amounts of screen real-estate dedicated to looking good from ten yards away in shops.

      When they get round to finishing it, it'll be more like Windows Phone and might well be pretty neat, but won't work much like the current "start screen" because that one is shit

    2. M Gale

      Re: please, not the start menu

      Oh well. I'm sure some enterprising 3rd parties will make a start screen replacement for you.

      If that sounds snarky, that's because it is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: please, not the start menu

        > Oh well. I'm sure some enterprising 3rd parties will make a start screen replacement for you.

        Indeed... if the Start Screen was such a big hit, enterprising 3rd parties would be selling a work-alike shell for earlier versions of Windows.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: please, not the start menu

          The question of whether the Start Screen is popular or not, is not the same as the question of whether it is better. It's been the victim of a lot of reflexive hate from the start, from people who never assessed it objectively and just hate change. A tech community of all things ought to be more open to new things, but the same neophobia prevails here just as much as it does in the rest of the species. Only with more sophisticated rationalizations.

          I hope this is a fake and MS stick to their guns like they did with the Ribbon. You don't get anywhere by listening to old people who get angry at change. Especially in a shrinking market.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: please, not the start menu

            @h4rm0ny

            the screen certainly looks like a fake. This doesn't alter the fact that the Start Screen is entirely inappropriate for desktop computers and one of Microsoft's bigger mistakes.

          2. VinceH Silver badge

            Re: please, not the start menu

            The Start Screen had "been the victim of a lot of reflexive hate from the start, from people who never assessed it objectively and just hate change."

            Yes. And the change they hate is the sudden change from one working environment to another, just to launch a program.

            It jars every single time - thankfully, it's only necessary for things I run less often; the rest is either pinned to the taskbar, or on the desktop.

          3. M Gale

            Re: please, not the start menu

            from people who never assessed it objectively and just hate change.

            Making a lot of assumptions there. Maybe some of us decided to try it, got a VM spun up, fiddled with it for a little while, and now the VM image sits there gathering dust except for the occasional run to see how much more the latest update has buggered things? Myself, I'll see what the new rumoured menu does if it arrives, and if it's shit, the disk image sits in a dark corner of the hard drive with a dunce cap on yet again.

            Seriously, if a pipsqueak upstart like Canonical can manage to officially support at least three different desktop environments with their Linux distribution, I'm sure Microsoft could manage "Metro" and "Classic", or whatever they want to call it.

            I hope this is a fake and MS stick to their guns like they did with the Ribbon.

            Best thing Microsoft ever did... from the viewpoint of the LO.o and OO.o devs. There's a lot of people who wouldn't even be contemplating looking for alternatives if it wasn't for the Ribbon.

    3. Flatpackhamster

      Re: please, not the start menu

      The tile implementation is broken on a desktop or a non-touchscreen laptop. It's an unpleasant place to work. Plenty of 'normal people' feel that way, despite your lazy dismissal of anyone who doesn't share your view. I own a Windows phone and I like it and I think Win8 works really well on small-form factor touchscreen devices such as tablets and phones.

      The removal of all the functionality everyone's used to using has to be done for a good reason. Good reasons do not include "All computers must look the same, BY ORDER" or "Our marketing department told us that the start menu is so last week". Start menu removal was a dismal failure and was done badly and annoyed the very demographic that Microsoft HAD TO WIN OVER in order to sell their product - the geeks like me, who, when people say "What's Windows 8 like", say "It's a royal PITA and you should stick with Win7". Microsoft didn't learn that lesson with Vista. Maybe they'll learn it now.

    4. Preston Munchensonton

      Re: please, not the start menu

      How about the majority who just want software vendors to give users options instead of "take it or leave it"? That isn't really that hard to understand.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: please, not the start menu

      Well... why not just have an option, for 'normal' people they could choose the spangly dangly new Metro/TIFKAM/LiveTile thingy and the 'vociferous' people could have a normal start menu with no popping back to the lovely new interface.

      It's only the 'vociferous' bunch who will be harmed by not having the 'oh so efficient' tile interface and the *vast* majority (the 'normal' people) would get the just dandy new interface.

      As there would obviously be so many normal people taking up the new and improved, Microsoft-knows-best interface then there would be absolutely NO problem and *everyone* would be happy :-D :-D :-D

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: please, not the start menu

        >>"As there would obviously be so many normal people taking up the new and improved, Microsoft-knows-best interface then there would be absolutely NO problem and *everyone* would be happy :-D :-D :-D"

        I'm fine with the choice. My fear is that there wont be one and that all the defaults will alter perpetuating people being stuck in the old paradigm through not being aware of something I consider better. Example, last week I updated Windows 8 and found that the fairly sensible Metro environment now had two ugly additions, neither necessary. The first is an unsightly black bar that appears across the top whenever your cursor nears it. This is just so it can have a minimize button and a close button. Minimize makes zero sense in Metro and the close button is entirely redundant both because most of the time closing a program is redundant in the Metro paradigm and because there are already very adequate ways of closing it. You can use the mouse to drag down, you can hit Alt+F4 - both of which are as quick or quicker than trying to position a cursor over a tiny X (uncontrolled motion is faster than controlled motion), or if you're on touch you just drag down anyway. Not only is the black bar entirely useless except as a sop to people who struggle with new ways of doing things, but it actually gets in the way as it appears whenever the mouse goes up there. E.g. if I click on my name at the top of this page to see my topics, I usually trigger the unwanted bar and have to move away and back again. Ugly and neophobic.

        You cannot turn this off.

        The other is the pinning of Metro apps to the taskbar. I don't like this because it blurs the boundaries between two separate contexts that shouldn't mix. Thankfully in this case, you can disable it.

        So choice is good and I'd be okay with that. But I suspect MS will mess things up and we'll end up with some disgusting mess that is neither fish nor fowl, but some sort of feathered trout with a beak on it.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: please, not the start menu

          @h4m0ny

          The other is the pinning of Metro apps to the taskbar. I don't like this because it blurs the boundaries between two separate contexts that shouldn't mix.

          Nail, on head, hit. I think you've pointed out the biggest problem with Windows 8: it seems constantly to mix the Metro and Windows 7 aesthetics and feels disturbingly schizophrenic as a result. Oh, you were trying to use this to justify Windows 8? Massive fail.

          I also don't buy your pro-choice arguments. There are plenty of UI choices out there with the phones providing more choice than we've had on MS desktops for years.

          Better stick to networking code! ;-)

        2. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: please, not the start menu

          "My fear is that there wont be one"

          Ha, welcome to the club.

          Maybe you can install Classic no-start.

    6. Avatar of They Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: please, not the start menu

      What is the employment benefits for working at MS?

      1. h4rm0ny
        Thumb Down

        Re: please, not the start menu

        >>"What is the employment benefits for working at MS?"

        I've never worked for MS, never have, don't expect to. Some networking software I worked on was apparently bought by them a long time ago I was told. It was written on HP UNIX 11. That's the extent of my connection with MS. Someone can have an opinion without being paid for it, you know.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: please, not the start menu

      You can cram it up your arse.

  2. Mark Allread

    Another day, another anti-Windows 8 story on The Register

    Honestly you guys should be ashamed. The tone of this article, as if another update to their OS is somehow a bad thing, betrays a very negative agenda.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Another day, another anti-Windows 8 story on The Register

      Just like all the Apple stories that the the Fruity haters out in droves.

      That's like here on El Reg. Just get used to it or find another site to troll.

      1. Brenda McViking

        Re: Another day, another anti-Windows 8 story on The Register

        I'll have you know we here commentards are fair and balanced in our opinions

        We hate Microsoft on here, and we hate Apple even more. But the one thing that really irks us the most is when Microsoft try and be like Apple - like they did in Vista, and like they're doing in Windows 8. And 8.1

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another day, another anti-Windows 8 story on The Register

      Microsoft are an established multi-billion dollar company, Windows 8 should have been there or there about on release, but it clearly wasn't, and two years later and the inference from these updates is that they're still trying to fix it. At the same time they're expecting everyone to spend oodles of cash upgrading to an OS that doesn't appear fit for purpose or offer anything (much) over the 10 year old OS they've just ditched. They've earned this negativity.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Angel

      Re: Another day, another anti-Windows 8 story on The Register

      Isn't this the site that bites the hand that feeds IT?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another day, another anti-Windows 8 story on The Register

      In IT everything sucks.

      Some hardware sucks less than other hardware but it still sucks.

      All software sucks. Again, the only thing that varies is the amount by which it sucks.

      If you haven't realised this yet and choose to support one side, I predict a rapid rise for you into management followed by an even more rapid descent down an elevator shaft as part of a systems "fix".....

      Lots of love

      A SysAdmin

  3. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    all the more reason

    to stick to windows 7 for the foreseeable future I guess(at least your not as much of a beta tester as you are with windows 8 constantly being jiggered with I mean it seems practically as bad as Linux in that regard - I say that as someone who has used Linux on the desktop for 16 years now - and have stuck to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS long past it's support cycle because it isn't broken for me(yet).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: all the more reason

      Just stick to Windows XP.

  4. frankothemountain2

    What the F is "the cloud" anyway?

    Just sounds like a scam to get people to turn over all of their data, and lose control over everything. Not interested in the least, no matter how they spin it.

    1. Wade Burchette

      Re: What the F is "the cloud" anyway?

      I hate the cloud. Internets can and will go down at some time. What happens when your internet goes down and your only copy that you need right now is in a cloud? Oh sure, a hard drive can die instantly too, but if you are smart enough to have a backup then you can still get your important files when you need them.

      Plus I never trust free cloud services. "The first one is free", says the drug lord to get you hooked. "The first 5GB are free", says the cloud overlord to get you hooked. Then when you are hooked, you'll quickly fill up that free amount and then you want more and more. "I gotta have it man! Give me another 5GB." Then your wallet gets lighter each and every month. Keep your money, I always turn off every cloud feature in Windows 8/8.1. All these cloud programs, like Office 365 and Adobe's products, are just a way to keep getting your money perpetually. I prefer a one-time fee so I can use my program as long as possible.

      I like the cloud for sharing copies. But that is a copy, not the only one. I like the cloud for legitimate backup services, although I personally prefer backups that include bare-metal recovery like the one found in Windows Server and Windows Home Server. And by legitimate I do not mean this "My PC backup" junk that infects far too many computers today.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: What the F is "the cloud" anyway?

      Yes, it looks an attempt to get into the Chromebook market. Just those who are praising those data-stealing device will accuse Microsoft of wanting to do what Google does now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What the F is "the cloud" anyway?

        The difference being that you are the customer Microsoft is selling services to, rather than the product Google is selling to the world. I know what I'd rather if I was after a subsidized notebook.

    3. Mpeler
      Holmes

      Re: What the F is "the cloud" anyway?

      Yeah, SUN saw this a long time ago - remember "The network is the computer" ? Look what good it did for them.....erm...wait...

  5. Denarius Silver badge

    Embrace and extend...

    EFI purpose now becomes clearer. Fortunately, the almost unusable networking here in Oz, coupled with the local spooks slowing crap almost as much as the multitude of slow responding cookie/add companies, (hi LinkedIn) means the cloudware version of windows will be great in large suburbs and a few CBDs if one does not mind not owning ones stuff and getting really slow access to it. It will be fail everywhere else.

    I suggest this will break the PC platform into Windows friendly and "open" versions. EFI workarounds may be coded to work around the Windows phone home and connect, but these days, who trusts BIOS/EFI to not continue spying or being vulnerable to undesired installs if the hardware is designed to be open to external network connections.? Concurrently the Pi looks better every day as a general purpose device. Old hardware may also continue to live long after its use-by-date.

    As a business strategy the MS move makes sense IMHO, but modern IT hardware and OS business seems to be not making much sense. It has become producers of toys for the bling distractable (to coin a phrase) with no increase in useful functioning. If I had any one direction to suggest that Big Vendor(tm) would hear, it would be get voice recognition running well on all form factors, including small devices like tablets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Embrace and extend...

      Share and enjoy....

  6. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Yawn

    ZZzzz...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please No !

    Win 8.1 was the most long winded service pack (whoops not call it that any more) that MS has ever come out with. Takes forever to install, whatever happened to deltas ?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Please No !

      "(whoops not call it that any more)"

      Why ever not? :) As far as I'm concerned all the "debate" about what to call it is irrelevant. It is "Windows 8 with the latest service pack" and anyone who hasn't got the latest service pack running can whistle for support. Funnily enough, that's exactly the attitude of Microsoft, too.

      You can start shouting about a "new version" when it is chargeable (and, consequently, not everyone can realistically upgrade and so software vendors actually have to support both platforms).

  8. LDS Silver badge

    If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

    Application icons are just a thing from the past, something good for old school OS like iOS, Android and Linux.

    If I were MS, I would fully replace application icons with live tiles - both in the start menu, on the desktop, any folder, and the taskbar also. This way any icon could convey useful informations, be resized to show more of them. Think about a mail app icon showing you actual messages, instead of just a plain image of an envelope. Outlook telling you what's next.

    Ooops, I should have patented this before telling, I guess, LOL!

    1. king of foo

      Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

      That sounds horrendous.

      Fine, but only if you also add a nice little tick box in the settings somewhere so I can turn it off if I don't want it...

      For me there's nothing worse than stuff i don't want flashing about on screen or making noise.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

      You are clearly not a developer. Perhaps a manager? Or a barrista? Maybe a troll... *Live* tiles? Of all apps? ...

      I'm glad we have this chance because I am quite a fan of Microsoft and I have to rant and shout and foam-at-the mouth at this piece of shit that is Windows 8.x Just what the fuck were they thinking? Its a mixed up unusable hybrid where even simple things are difficult to impossible to do, and 20 year power-users of Windows are stopped dead in their tracks by the shitty OS's insistence on sometimes switching to "tile" mode, with no option to fucking switch it off.

      Some tasks which should be easy and perhaps even fun (change your login avatar/icon) become 'hmm let me google this' difficult. My gf struggled to do this until I decided to help out. Nothing new there. Except I couldn't either.

      Looking deeper, Microsoft seems to really have some internal cultural problems, with overpowered idiot managers, and I suspect that an engineer in Microsoft is putting his/her career on the line by speaking sense. Its the only explanation for the persistence in so many fuck-ups recently (see also 'XBox One', from its fucking stupid name to its stupid management team, now gone, to its arrogant approach to its own customer base. See also Sony kicking MS ass this console generation...).

      Early on it must have been clear as day that the missing start menu was going to be commercial suicide. *Every* tester must have commented on how difficult the OS was to use without it, and how shit and schizophrenic the tile parts seemed. But MS chose to ignore this. The popularity of the now ubiquitous start menu replacement app should have been a killer indication to MS that they fucked up, but still 8.1 they didnt put it back. Internally not admitting mistakes is more important than losing market share.

      Its not hard Microsoft. You have the talent internally. Just start listening to your own customers, stop trying to be a shittier version of Apple and Google. Let them do their own thing. Play to your strengths.

      Also, ffs, pay attention to games. Its the last area Windows pwns at ('PC' gaming) but fuck you idiots will throw that away too.

      End rant, thanks.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

        You're clearly someone who doesn't understand what computers are for. And never coded a real, useful application. You're still happy with Win 3.x Program Manager like UI, and think they are cool... why an app icon should be static? Just because 25 years ago computers could just display some static bitmaps? I would welcome ways to interact with some application without having to open a full window, but hey, I'm just a professional developer leading an R&D group... with more than thirty years of experience... but I can also prepare good cocktails... just I don't spend much time gaming, that's for children... never change children toys, they hate changes, they need to repeat the same thing over and over...

    3. M Gale

      Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

      Application icons are just a thing from the past, something good for old school OS like iOS, Android and Linux.

      Because Android doesn't have widgets AT ALL.

      Neither does KDE4. That's a Linux desktop environment just so you know. There are so-called "Screenlets" if you're more of a Gnome person.

      Difference is, you can do entirely without them.

      Think about a mail app icon showing you actual messages, instead of just a plain image of an envelope.

      Sounds like the Gmail notifier widget. Though, showing the actual messages rather than a number does sound like the sort of horrendous privacy faux-pas that only Microsoft would be capable of. Yes, that is a little ironic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

        " Though, showing the actual messages rather than a number does sound like the sort of horrendous privacy faux-pas that only Microsoft would be capable of. "

        Which reminds me, a very useful little hack for jailbroken iPhones - something that removes the message from the skype popup that appears every time a message lands. This avoids the unintended display of "... Christ I'm horny, get you arse over here I need a bonk" messages.

      2. Jordan Davenport

        Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

        Well, strictly speaking, with KDE4, you can't avoid widgets at all because everything is implemented as a widget in Plasma, even the taskbar and the components on the taskbar like the application launcher, window list, tray, clock, etc. They implemented them in a way that they don't feel like widgets though, despite being coded as such and being just as modular.

        I'm just being pedantic though. For all intents and purposes, I use KDE 4 without any widgets on my desktop, more or less mimicking the Windows 7 desktop, even putting a Show Desktop button in the bottom-right corner out of habit.

        1. M Gale

          Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

          I'm just being pedantic though.

          Yes, yes you are. Goes with the territory I guess.

          Have a +1 anyway, because you're not wrong.

    4. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

      9/10 -- Obvious, but you got plenty of bites, so congratulations!

      1. M Gale

        Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

        9/10 -- Obvious, but you got plenty of bites, so congratulations!

        After coming out with this spectacular fail, despite various screenshots of dynamic, interactive widgets that pre-date Microsoft's shitty flat, limited "tile" things by years:

        why an app icon should be static?

        ...I'm inclined to believe you. Obvious troll is becoming very obvious.

        never change children toys, they hate changes, they need to repeat the same thing over and over...

        Exceedingly, unequivocally obvious.

  9. Forget It

    IMHO MS should extend the tile interface into a full jigsaw metaphor - only when you solve the jigsaw do you get to go to work - fun for all the family

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      Te-He

      and if your IP was deemed to be at Apple HQ, the puzzle would become infinite

      (like the address)

    2. tony2heads
      Trollface

      @forget it

      I thought that it was a metaphor about having to self-mutilate to get out of some horrific thing you are trapped in.

      Clearly watching too many horror movies

  10. xyz

    Considering...

    ...that all developers wander about intoning "Ye must decouple, ye must decouple" how hard could it be to have Windows 8 "I'm thick, live in 1998 and run my monitor in 640x480 resolution," Windows 8 XP," "Windows 8 (7)" and "Windows 8 Hipster" interfaces? Given the time it's going to take to get Windows 8 "right" it would have been quicker.

    And as for the cloud, given the "it's great" BS, I still can't believe that the only thing not connected to it is the black box of MH370, which would be more useful than putting the crash recording mechansim inside the thing that is to crash..

  11. Tony Paulazzo

    actually...

    I quite like the Start Menu as shown in the article. I never found the live tiles totally objectionable, just stupid looking across two non touch 23 inch screens. But as shown, almost phone size, assuming they don't take like 5 seconds to open the start menu, it's fine - however the new 4 GB downloads and 2 hours to update I could quite happily live without..

    this whole Windows Cloud business sounds a bit fishy to your humble Reg hack

    The first hit is always free, business 101.

  12. Zarko
    Holmes

    Makes sense for Microsoft

    In my opinion, publishing free version of Windows Cloud makes sense from MS perspective. The reason is competition from Apple and Chrome OS.

    Now when Windows is relatively well adapted for various devices, they will release free version for basic standalone PC work + Tablet-like devices, which can also connect to MS cloud services - Bing, Outlook Email, Cloud Drive, XBox/Films, Write, Office Cloud... They are trying to do the same thing that Google did with Android - use free OS to drive traffic to their services where they can collect information about users to use for advertisements. And deny that share of users from other OSes.

    On the other hand, power users, like for example SW developers, they will still have to buy "normal" Windows in order to be able to install Visual Studio, SQL Server and other tools.

  13. Major Ebaneezer Wanktrollop

    Windows 8 in the cloud!

    Wow! I can access my Windows 8.x desktop from anywhere and enjoy it's brilliant new interface!

    I'm the happiest braindead fucknugget in Ikea right now.

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Microsoft : could you please bite the bullet already ?

    Stop trying to make us like your fucking tiles and put the frakking Start Menu back the way it was.

    Then prove you can actually deal with this bloody mess by giving us a checkbox where we can choose which UI we want.

    Is it really that hard ?

  15. davidp231

    Windows 8.1 Update 2

    Surely Windows 8.11 would make a better name for the update?

    1. Major Ebaneezer Wanktrollop

      Re: Windows 8.1 Update 2

      Windows 8 Reversion to Windows 7 Patch would be a better name

  16. Ian Ringrose

    Will windows be “free” if you don’t wish to use desktop apps?

    I can believe that Microsoft will make windows free for anyone that gets all the applications from the Microsoft App Store.

  17. Ol' Grumpy

    I actually like Windows 8.1 suitably supplemented with classic shell.

    1. davidp231

      Or there's "Desktop Experience", which was a small update you could get on NT3.51 that made it look more like 4.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Infected with Windows 8.0"

    I used to say that when shopping for new notebooks. Just as it happened to Vista.

    Even my keyboard had a dedicated button to reach the START MENU. Finally, I can buy a new notebook knowing that it will have a START MENU.

    You know some interface is good when there are packages to make another OS behave like it. That zoom-in when passing the mouse pointer over icons in $AppleOS was so good it was copied to Windows 98, XP, etc. I heard rumors of people really interested in punching the star menu back into Windows 8.0 if Microsoft wasn't up to the task.

    Now I just need someone to make an Interface with a command-line permanently visible across the bottom of screen, a la CAD software, that reflects every command taken in the visual interface. I bet some Linuxen is capable of doing that. The best of three worlds: a personalized desktop, a START MENU, and a command-line right above it, permanently visible, reflecting the actions taken on the other interfaces. But that is just me.

    Oh, I forgot one important behavior. Stop hiding the freaking file extensions.txt.virus as default.

  19. Creamy-G00dness

    I call excrement!

    "So far, Redmond has tried to bully customers into applying the Windows 8.1 Update by threatening to cut them off from future security updates if they don't."

    No They didn't Neil, this statement conflicts directly with The Register's report at the time.

    The issue was that an earlier version of update 8.1 borked the update process and that an additional update had to be applied to ensure that these users could received future updates.

    The new version of the 8.1 update has been fixed and is still a choice for the user to download or not, this will not affect future update availability.

    .............one more time I present you the word update.

    Nice effort at negative spin, next time you may receive the cigar.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      1. Creamy-G00dness

        Re: I call excrement!

        "after it was discovered that the update created an encryption mismatch that would prevent updated machines from receiving future software fixes"

        "Microsoft issued a new version of the update on Wednesday that addresses this bug,"

        "For computers and servers that have already installed these updates, note that Windows Update will re-offer them but it will only install the portion of the update that addresses the fix," Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc wrote

        The MS 'Bullying' that was referred to in the article was rubbish and a purposefully negative statement for the reader.

    2. Neil McAllister

      Re: I call excrement!

      Unfortunately, you are wrong. Enterprise customers have until August 12 to apply the Update. Consumers have until May 13. After those dates, the ONLY thing that will come down through Windows Update will be the Windows 8.1 Update. There will be no further security patches for Windows 8.1 customers until they have installed the Update. Microsoft has been quite explicit about this and there has been no conflict in The Register's reporting of it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Compare and contrast

    Win 8 to Win8.1 upgrade, about 3.6G then instructions from me "no don't use who I am" and "no I don't want a MS account" and it boots and seems to respond OK.

    I then decide to clean up the 128G SSD drive using the built in disk tools and select clean up old windows installs, revert to RDP to check it is doing it and get kicked off, rdp again, kicked off, back to keyboard "disk error" (first in it's short history), couple of failed boots later automatic repair gives up and I have an unbootable windows install with only 8.0 media. As the disk has been fault free and not that old I assume the clean up cleaned up something it should not have.

    Other machine

    Ubuntu upgrade (13.10) to 14.04 about 900mb inc apps, does it OK, except the grub list which defaulted to the wrong windows partition (because I stupidly didn't accept the default) damn I'll have to edit that, could take me five minutes.

    Back to the windows, wonder if I can repair it from the 8.0 media, actually you know what I think I'll install Linux on that box. It could be coincidence, maybe those dodgy Samsung disks wait for a windows upgrade to make it look bad either way its a lot more work to get it going again if I have to fix it, then the 3.6G upgrade, then the 1G update then the next...

    I hope the base windows install is free and allows anyone to get a base 8/9 install going then download the rest to build it to their license level, bit like Linux has been doing for years.

  21. izntmac

    Rapid Release

    Hopefully Microsoft keeps it simple with 6 month updates and calls this Windows 8.2 or Windows 8.1 Service Pack 1. Not too thrilled about updating every 6 months and getting big downloads and pushes for new services. I don't like everything in the cloud. Would rather use OpenOffice instead of all the cloud stuff. Hopefully the releases don't become as updated as often as Chrome or Firefox have become. There is something nice about software that stays the same for a while like ESR versions of Firefox. Microsoft is trying to make money and cloud services are one way.

  22. PAT MCCLUNG

    The presence or absence of a "Start Button" is something only those below mental age 12 care about.

    Most of Windows users are so unworthy to use a computer that they havn't any idea how it is configured, whether it has been updated, etc. I fixed several for family members last year. By now, I am sure, they have sunken back into the mud. Windows 8, by the way, a pretty good operating system.

  23. Ed Mozley

    Start menu app

    Friends and family of mine who were confused by the new interface paid $3.99 for a piece of software to give them their start menu back. Those who liked the new interface didn't. Simples!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eww... live tiles

    One of the reasons why many complain about Windows 8 on a desktop is because of the Metro interface. In fact, they resort to installing third party programs such as Classic Shell to get back the traditional Start button+menu and also to boot directly to the traditional desktop without seeing the monstrosity of those tiles.

    And now, Microsoft, you want to shove the tiles in their face even when they are in a desktop environment. One step forward, two steps back.

    Just give up already, Microsoft. You won't win the battle of mobile touch devices. Windows desktop users aren't more prone to picking up Windows phones and tablets. Persisting with this will be silly.

    You have a CEO, now get back to the drawing board and properly design a desktop OS that does not have any tiles or lock screen or Charms bar or any other gimmick optimised for touch. Reserve touch only for Windows RT or Windows Phone.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Microsoft are about as relevant as SCO

    Everything MS do these days is a guaranteed fail.

    I walked away when TechNet finished the access scheme - Who wants trials when you get perfectly good open source software free and with updates.

    Then they completely borked their development platforms - its spun off to so many variants that you can't be bothered any more. Anyone tried to install Studio on Win8 - what a joke!

    Next they buggered their bread & butter desktop by making it an add-on to a devil's seed tablet affair.

    Then they broke the goose that laid the golden egg - the office system. They spunked it out to the cloud where it lies in gossamer strands slowly dying - LibreOffice is better by 150%.

    Bye bye Microsoft. I knew you from the 8K Basic ROM days, MS-Dos 3.3 and Windows 3.11 but soon you will be like Sun. Gone AND forgotten.

  26. Asok Asus

    Trash, Trash, Trash ...

    Microsoft is in trash mode big time right now: Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 (with a different version number yet, actually meaning a different operating system), then "Update 1", and then Update 2, all in a period of a year, and using new terminology for what an update is, using multiple different methods for updating, and with some VERY important updates NOT being delivered by WSUS, and all in a period of a year. And soon there will be Windows 9. Three operating system versions and two major "updates" in two years means FIVE different platform variations in TWO years, and no real improvement in terms of corporate productively, in fact, productivity has regressed for any enterprise foolish enough to embrace Windows 8 on the PC. Oh, yeah, and I'm not even counting Windows RT and its variations.

    This unnecessary upheaval is causing both the enterprise and software developers to be going out of their minds. Thus Microsoft is busily obliterating their two big monopolistic advantages: stability and application ubiquity. Software developers are fleeing Microsoft in droves to develop for iOS and Android instead, and the enterprise will soon be fleeing the instability of Windows as much as possible, probably to a combination of Android, iOS and Linux.

    Good heavens, it's amazing to see such a megalithic monopoly self-destruct so rapidly and so completely. Heck, it took IBM almost 10 years to sink this badly before they arose from their own ashes.

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