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Windows Microsoft Operating Systems Software Upgrades

Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today 398

Posted by timothy
from the improvements-abound dept.
The newest iteration of Windows has begun rolling out, and is winning positive reviews. (Here's an in-depth review from Ars, and a more concise one from Wired — both give 8.1 a thumbs-up). Kelerei wrote with the above-linked TechDirt article on the release, noting that it is a staged rollout rather than global. Starting this morning, though, 8.1 is available to some customers. Kelerei writes: "The upgrade is optional (and free) for existing Windows 8 users, though if one looks at the changes, it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade." Also at Slash BI.
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Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today

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  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:54AM (#45151707)
    The millions of consumers buying cupcake pans this fall will need to fill them with something. Toast and bagels won't fit.
  • Re:Meh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpoonStomper (1330973) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:55AM (#45151719)
    That's quite silly. Considering this brings back the missing features that everyone was missing like a start button and boot to desktop. This puts it on par and better in many ways than Windows 7.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:55AM (#45151721)

    What is the use case for me typing something in the windows search charm thing and me wanting to get results from my PC and web pages, music, and photos from the Internet? Searching for files or file content on my PC already got harder with vista. Now this? If I want to search the web I can use google or bing or whatever I want. When I search my PC it is because I need to find a file on my PC. Also I do not want my data on sky drive.

  • DO NOT WANT (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nightsky30 (3348843) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:57AM (#45151745)
    Just loaded Linux on my Father's PC yesterday :)
  • Ubuntu 13.10 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:04AM (#45151811)

    Ubuntu 13.10 is being release today, a date planned long ago. Noise about the service pack for Vista 8 is only intended to distract from coverage of Ubuntu and keeping it out of the news.

  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:07AM (#45151835)

    Not really.

    Boot to desktop is nice.

    The missing Start button that they "gave back" however now takes you to a "Start Screen" that takes over your entire screen (what if I wanted to navigate based on a graphic that was previously on the screen or based on instructions that I wanted to keep up) and relies on hot-corners and swiping for navigation (which are a waste based on the simplicity of the previous interface.

    The "returned" start button is equivalent to someone buying a car and stating that they wanted a manual transmission. Then when the car was delivered it turned out that it had an automatic transmission. Then when this draws a complaint, the seller installs a stick and clutch pedal, but leaves the automatic transmission.

    What's scary is that 3rd party companies had no problem doing this almost on day one. This is more just MS not wanting to bend. Not surprisingly, nobody I've spoken to is happy with this.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:15AM (#45151915) Homepage

    Who is making those reviews?

    Dude, it's in the summary -- Ars Technica and Wired.

    You can choose for yourself if you trust them. You could even read them if you cared since they're linked in the summary.

  • by Theophany (2519296) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:17AM (#45151927)

    Enterprise customers held with contempt are evaluating third party vendors they never would have considered before. If you force people to use a new interface regardless, than it's an opportunity for your customers to pick what that interface is going to be. Sales of Mac's to the Enterprise have hit record highs, Linux is breaking through where it never did before. People are even toying with Chromebooks.

    This seems a tad hysterical. Enterprise users will continue to use W7 for a while yet. It still works, is still supported and is less of a headache to maintain for the tech guys than upgrading everything to work with W8. Businesses aren't clamouring to upgrade all their machinery just because MS has a newer OS.

  • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:46AM (#45152201)

    3. Still not immune from viruses and worms - needs continuous stream of patches;

    Yeah, that utopia really is proving hard to reach.

    customer remains at the mercy of Microsoft; like the forced ditching of XP which works perfectly fine.

    Yeah, fuck Microsoft with its 12 year support cycle. Versions of OS X and Linux from 2001 are still in mainstream support.

    5. Still no native support in the OS for cameras; SIM cards, etc. even Android is better in that respect despite being minuscule in size compared to 8.1.

    Eh, my webcam works fine in Windows 8 without extra support. I assume Android has SIM card drivers because of u no it's used for 'phones a lot.

  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dunezone (899268) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:55AM (#45152281) Journal
    Free or not its still ridiculous that I need to download third party software to have a feature that was standard to Windows for 17 years.
  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by operagost (62405) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:59AM (#45152341) Homepage Journal

    "I run windows XP, I tried windows 8 and hated it, what the heck am I supposed to do when they stop supporting XP".

    Run Windows 7 until that leaves support in 2020?

  • Re:Meh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CreatureComfort (741652) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:04AM (#45152381)
    That's what all the fan boys say, but when I checked it out, all he was handing out were poorly documented recipes and a lump of ingredients that I had to bake myself, and when I asked where to go to get the rest of the ingredients I needed, all the other cooks called me noob, and said that I didn't really need those raisins, or I should be using walnuts instead of the pecans I really wanted...
  • Re:Meh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:09AM (#45152429) Homepage Journal

    No.l Actually 8.1 WON'T fix that.

    All it does is add a teasing layer of "fuck you" to the interface with the useless "Start button".

    What the people asking for a start button back are REALLY asking for is a start MENU. Not a start SCREEN.

  • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:13AM (#45152467)

    What are you talking about? Linux isn't immune to viruses and worms.

    And your vigorous handwaving didn't actually address the main point: nobody gives 13 year consumer support cycles except Microsoft. Trying to get stuff working on non-contemporaneous versions of Linux is way harder than on Windows - it may be possible in principle if you have the source, but that's an open vs closed source software argument which rarely applies in practice except among cadres of geeks.

    MS isn't stopping you from supporting SIM cards or GPRS, and it's only imposing hardware restrictions if you want to re-sell discounted licences, which is sorta what Apple does except that Apple says, "You can't sell it at all because fuck you."

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:25AM (#45152607) Homepage

    "it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade"

    Question is: Is it hard to imagine people who aren't on it upgrading? eg. From Windows 7?

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:42AM (#45152807) Journal

    Well lets see...both are single task designed OSes, both have a look like something from the early 90s [obamapacman.com] and oh yeah...both suck.

    So I'd say its a pretty apt mistake to make. BTW I have a question to all those Win 8 apologists...why do you not praise the "innovation" of sticking teeny tiny desktops on cellphones? Because all MSFT did was flip the same tired old shit they did for a decade, instead of stuffing a desktop GUI on a cellphone they jammed a cellphone GUI, complete with appstore crapstore and swipe gestures, onto a desktop where it makes NO fucking sense. Hell for that matter why aren't you replacing the steering wheel in your car with bike handlebars? After all by MSFT logic since bikes are growing and are the most popular UI worldwide for transportation that MUST make them superior and therefor perfect to use anywhere for anything.

    I think I'll just leave this here [youtube.com] and note how many times he says things like "stop" and "I don't want that" as the OS actively fights against the user who isn't doing the "tweeting twits and social shit" MSFT clearly designed the OS for. A GOOD UI should HELP the user and get out of the way, a BAD UI is a hindrance...which would you say Win 8.x is?

  • by linebackn (131821) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:43AM (#45152815)

    The newest iteration of Windows has begun rolling out, and is buying positive reviews.

    There, fixed that for you.

    Does anybody besides the shills really think anybody not paid or threatened with leg breaking would give this a positive review?

  • by omnichad (1198475) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @11:02AM (#45153025) Homepage

    I thought we were talking about marketing names. Version numbers in Windows are more or less meaningless.

  • by linebackn (131821) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @11:02AM (#45153027)

    Say what you will, but the Windows 95/NT 4 Windows Explorer is the lightest weight, least cluttered, most consistent, and most sensible version of their user interface of all of them.

    It pre-dates all the web "integration" madness so it is not tied to IE under the hood. It provides all the file management and desktop functionality anybody would really need, even in a modern computer.

  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asmkm22 (1902712) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @11:21AM (#45153273)

    8.1 actually makes the experience pretty decent on a desktop. Just get used to right-clicking the start menu instead of left-clicking gives you quick access to most t hings you need. The real "start menu" is still there, but once you unpin the crap it starts with (weather apps and such) and pin your actual programs, it functions well enough. It's also nice, now that I'm used to it, to be able to just hit the windows key and start typing to get the program i want. The search is fast, and you really just type and hit enter.

    There are a few tweaks to make, though, but nothing real difficult. For example, I set the default picture viewer to the actual Windows Picture Viewer (or whatever it's called). By default it loads up an app, which makes you go through the weird transition away from the desktop with no real clear way on how to get back (mouse the top left for a list of open apps, including the desktop).

    For the record, I couldn't stand version 8. I only recently gave 8.1 a try, via Technet, and it's been pretty decent. Certainly not the horrific beast that win 8's reputation implies.

    Oh, and I work in IT.

  • by smash (1351) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @11:25AM (#45153295) Homepage Journal
    They've gone back to program manager, except it is less flexible and customizable.
  • Re:Meh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dragon-file (2241656) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @11:41AM (#45153447)

    The other big unresolved sticking point has been attachment to specific software. In the case above, she has used some ancient version of "print master gold" for a while and would very much like to continue doing so. It's this kind of thing that we tend to shrug off that keeps people from switching

    Couldn't agree more. I had a friend who brought me his laptop... The OS drive was shot and the XP CD key was gone. So I replaced the drive and installed mint. His first complaint was not having office so i recommended wine. He came back 3 months later saying it was running slow. His solution to the Office problem was to install a cracked copy of XP in Virtual Box.

    Moral of the story: Software makes the average user HATE change.

  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @11:48AM (#45153527) Homepage

    I've been recommending OS X instead. The hardware is nice and it just works.

    Sure, so long as you don't mind paying Apple prices for hardware plus Apple prices for every last little cable/connector/widget that isn't included with it. Standard connectors, peripherals which will work on the next generation of computer...? Hah!

    And ... only if you only want to run software that Apple is 100% happy with. No hacking, please.

  • by JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:51PM (#45154249)

    With all respect, I agree with him. I am both Linux and Windows person with no requirement to spend valuable CPU cycles on unnecessary eye-candy simply to impress someone who happens to look over my shoulder.

    GUI interfaces need to be slick, clean and uncluttered, they need to get you to where you need to be in as few mouse-clicks and key presses as possible, whilst at the same time allowing usage of both of them for navigation.

    Rotating cubes, melting windows and icons that animate other than to tell you your mouse pointer is over them have no place on any computer outside of a kindergarten classroom - Windows, OS X, or Linux, I don't care, I'm not biased.

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