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Windows RT 8.1 Update Pulled From Windows Store 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the gone-but-not-forgotten dept.
UnknowingFool writes "After reports of update problems including bricking of some devices, Microsoft has pulled the 8.1 update for RT from their store while they investigate. 'Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1. As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience. We will provide updates as they become available.' While update problems are not new to software, could this be a consequence of Microsoft not releasing 8.1 RTM to developers? Developers may have experienced problems earlier and alerted Microsoft before it went live."
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Windows RT 8.1 Update Pulled From Windows Store

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  • by icebike (68054)

    My Surface Pro (not RT) update went swimmingly.

    Its faster than it was before. Oddly, I now have two voice recorder apps. ?
    But everything I previously had on the machine works perfectly.

    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:17PM (#45177279)

      Except, unfortunately for you, it's still a Surface Pro.

      • by lgw (121541)

        The only problem with the Surface Pro is price - it's a fine tablet and actually has software, since it's easy to port normal Windows stuff. It's the RT that has the limited system library, and so only new apps.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by icebike (68054)

          "Easy to port normal windows stuff".

          No port necessary. Period.
          Just install. Done.

          Yeah, the price is too high. Drop that by 1/3 and it would be price competitive, drop it by 40% and they would sell every one they could make.
          It is a really well thought out tablet. A bit Too heavy. Battery life needs improvement. But I still like it, Windows 8(.1) and all.

          Its faster than my 10 inch Android tablet, but a lot easier to adapt to business use because of software compatibility.
          This is where RT fails.

          • I think Microsoft's may be tiring of products that stay in the loss leader category for years at a time.

            • by symbolset (646467) *
              Microsoft is ready to pour $100B into mobile if they can find in that a path to success by doing so. But there is no such path. The truth is that we moved the party and don't want them here. How rich they are is not relevant. They are rude, obnoxious and not fun. We moved the party to get away from them.
          • Faster? Cite a reference maybe?
            • Re:On the other hand (Score:5, Informative)

              by Joe U (443617) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:51PM (#45178341) Homepage Journal

              Faster? Cite a reference maybe?

              He's talking about the Pro. Which has a Core I5 w/ Intel HD 4000.

              In simple terms, it's faster. If you want to get detailed, it's much faster.

            • Re:On the other hand (Score:5, Informative)

              by icebike (68054) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @10:00PM (#45178377)

              I just gave you a reference.
              My Surface Pro is Faster than MY 10 Inch Android Tablet. (Acer A700.)
              It might not be faster than yours.

              Boots faster. Sub 6 seconds from power off to login ready.
              Loads Google Chrome Faster. Switches apps faster.
              Runs Vmware.
              Runs Linux and FreeBSD inside of VMware virtual machines.
              My day job still requires windows. It runs all my compilers, linker and debugger, etc.

              Go try one out at a nearby Mall or something, instead of beating me up.
              I was a doubter too. Played with one at the Microsoft Keosk for 15 minutes. They even let me install software (Visual Studio).
              I ran some tests, and slapped down my credit card. I never even looked at the RT units.
              You can dis this machine just because its windows (if that't your game), But as a Windows machine, its a pretty sweet package.
              Its a full 64bit WinTel machine.

    • My Surface Pro (not RT) update went swimmingly.

      Its faster than it was before. Oddly, I now have two voice recorder apps. ? But everything I previously had on the machine works perfectly.

      Not surprising - The x64 / x32 versions never stopped working.

      Though, if you had an older (AMD) processor, 8.1 never really started working...

      • by hairyfeet (841228)
        Citation please? Because while I'e been avoiding Win "LULZ I Iz A Cellphone LULZ" like an STD from what I understood if it can run Win 7 it can run Win 8 no prob.
    • by olsmeister (1488789) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @07:09PM (#45177517)

      My Surface Pro (not RT) update went swimmingly.

      Its faster than it was before. Oddly, I now have two voice recorder apps. ? But everything I previously had on the machine works perfectly.

      Apparently the update inadvertently exposed the previously hidden voice recorder app placed there by the NSA. Oops!

    • What? That's you?

      Call Microsoft and tell them that you're that guy where the update worked! I bet they want to hear that there actually is someone.

      • by icebike (68054)

        As I mentioned, the PRO is not the RT, and the RT is the only model having a problem.

        • Completely irrelevant to the story at hand, then.

          • by icebike (68054)

            So what?
            Who appointed you the Thread Police?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They just can't catch a break. Definitely a lot of distraction going on in the company with the unknown next CEO.

    • by justthinkit (954982) <floyd@just-think-it.com> on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:12PM (#45177243) Homepage Journal
      Yes, sure, it is all about not catching a break.
      .

      How about this? No one wants to use an RT, even to test it. Sure it gets tested by QA people, but no one wants to use it all day every day, trying to get useful work done. So an update is sent out the door with little to no real world testing.

      RT is clearly a brand of dog food no dog wants to eat.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Just out of curiosity: have you used an Rt? And if so, for any length of time? Or is it a case like most nay sayers who clicked it on in a store and said: I hate these tiles and left it at that?

        • by RMingin (985478) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:55PM (#45178113) Homepage

          I have. It reminded me a lot of my first generation iPad when I got it. Potential maybe, but stifled by lack of non-basic apps that people want to use. Apple got through that stage by being the only serious players in the market. MS is going up against two deeply-entrenched and not-deeply-retarded adversaries, I don't see it working out as smoothly.

      • by real gumby (11516)

        How about this? No one wants to use an RT, even to test it. Sure it gets tested by QA people, but no one wants to use it all day every day, trying to get useful work done. So an update is sent out the door with little to no real world testing.

        RT is clearly a brand of dog food no dog wants to eat.

        You sound like a blind Microsoft hater. If nobody used RT it wouldn't matter if 8.1 were buggy or not.

        More likely two of the RT users had problems with 8.1 and MS decided to pull it before the third user got around to upgrading too.

      • MS is putting their flagship on the line for the belief that what's a little odd now will grow on people. And from my perspective, there's a strange appeal to a Windows operating system like RT. It's impervious to viruses, its fast, its simple, and you can't break it. Its everything a tablet OS should be. So while we're talking about putting Windows 8.1 Pro on all the tablets, we're missing the point. People fight with their computers - that's always to be expected. They don't have the patience to fight wit

    • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @07:10PM (#45177521)

      Yeah, especially since MS *DID* in fact release 8.1 RTM to developers early. So the question posed in the article is based on a false premise.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        preview versions were.. different from rtm.

        but I don't think for RT at all, not even preview?

      • Yeah, especially since MS *DID* in fact release 8.1 RTM to developers early. So the question posed in the article is based on a false premise.

        Did that include 8.1 RT, or just 8.1 x86?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:07PM (#45177217)

    Seriously, the PC is important, and Microsoft is killing the platform. The universal computer is what drives innovation, not the consumer machines that Apple and Google are selling.

    • Are they killing the platform or opening the door so it can be freed?

      • well when they locked down the bios so nothing else can be loaded I would say the answer would be killing it.

        • by Mashiki (184564)

          Having "one of those locked down bios" sorry I mean boards with UEFI, [msi.com] and being able to load 'nix, bsd and windows without a problem, I'm guess mine is broken. I will say though, being able to mess around with the UEFI inside windows itself is damned nice. I haven't found anything 'nix wise that will allow the same support, but if someone knows something I'd be interested in it.

          • You seem to be confusing UEFI and SecureBoot. UEFI itself is fine and not a problem and SecureBoot is okay if it can be disabled, however, Microsoft have dictated that Arm based Windows 8 devices cannot allow the SecureBoot to be disabled.
  • by hjf (703092) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:07PM (#45177219) Homepage

    Serves them right. Microsoft should have learn already that the way to release stuff is to put a BETA label in it, like Google does with everything else. Service unavailable? BETA! Unexpected error? BETA! Lost all your data? BETA!

    Beta is a blanket term for "we can charge for this but if it breaks it's not our fault".

    Come on, MS. You're lagging behind.

    • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @07:23PM (#45177589)

      This should be modded "Insightful" not "Funny."

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Hey, watch it buddy, that comment came up when I metamoderated and I agreed, funny.

        I mean, it isn't like it's a big secret or anything. Oh, you need to clean the elephant poop off of your rug...

    • by bmo (77928)

      "Along with the standard computer warranty agreement which said that if the machine 1) didn't work, 2) didn't do what the expensive advertisements said, 3) electrocuted the immediate neighborhood, 4) and in fact failed entirely to be inside the expensive box when you opened it, this was expressly, absolutely, implicitly and in no event the fault or responsibility of the manufacturer, that the purchaser should consider himself lucky to be allowed to give his money to the manufacturer, and that any attempt to

  • Another one (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:07PM (#45177221)
    There is also a widespread issue with updating to 8.1 failing with a 0xC1900101 - 0x40017 error [infoworld.com] on PCs.
    • by gtall (79522)

      Hey, maybe MS could get Rick Perry to run it. They have similar philosophies of believing of chimeras.

      • They have similar philosophies of believing of chimeras.

        Hey! *I* am a chimera!

        (and have been since my bone marrow transplant - 100% chimera - my blood and bone marrow has my donor's DNA, the rest of me has what I was born with)

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          I'm confused, doesn't a chimera have to be two different species, not different organisms? Like someone with a pig's liver? Just a friendly question from a cyborg...

          • Not a clue about the proper labelling. But my doctor has been calling me a chimera for a year now, and seemed quite pleased by it (any trace of my old bone marrow would mean that they did not cure my cancer - the fact that I'm showing 100% chimerism is the best possible result).
            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              You got me interested since it seems I'm wrong. Apparently my definition came from this [wikipedia.org]

              The Chimera (/kÉËmÉÉ(TM)rÉ(TM)/ or /kaÉËmÉÉ(TM)rÉ(TM)/, also Chimaera, Chimæra; Greek: ÎÎμαÎÏα ChÃmaira) was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of three animals â" a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, wi

          • I believe him.

            After all, the say the chimera never lies...

        • Hey! *I* am a chimera!

          Did you seriously just post that without calling GP an insensitive clod?

          This is /., we have^Whad standards.

  • Bricking? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cyberjock1980 (1131059) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:13PM (#45177249)

    It's bricking when it cannot be fixed. This can, hence the article summary is wrong. Wake up editors!

    • Re:Bricking? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mondor (704672) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:22PM (#45177309)

      Ordinary users can't revive the dead tablet, even if it only fails to load the touchscreen drivers. Tablet becomes the photo frame, showing the log in screen. Unless other drivers failed as well, or tablet is asking to navigate to skydrive to get the bitlocker key, but you don't have any other computer. Besides, the on-screen keyboard doesn't function, so you can't enter it.

      Yes, you can get over some problems with Windows 8 tablet if you have USB hub, flash drive, ISO image of Windows 8, USB keyboard and mouse... But I am talking about ordinary users, not geeks.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        In the EU if that happens then the shop that sold it to you is responsible for fixing it under warranty. The minimum warranty period on electronics is two years, although some countries offer you much longer (in the UK tablets are typically five to six years).

        So in that sense it isn't really bricked because even the most clueless user has a legal right to get it fixed for free under warranty. It really does have to be for free as well, e.g. if you bought it online the shop has to pay return postage costs.

        Ma

    • Re:Bricking? (Score:4, Informative)

      by sjames (1099) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @07:36PM (#45177695) Homepage

      Bricking means it can't be revived by ordinary measures. Most bricks can be fixed with JTAG or a soldering iron, but they're still considered bricked.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        The moderators are all smoking pot this Saturday night, I see. The only mods are +5 funny when you should be sitting at +5 informative.

        Too bad I don't need karma or I could clean up tonight (yeah, I just burned one).

  • Windows (Score:4, Funny)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:14PM (#45177259)

    There are a ton of people complaining about things no longer working after the 8.1 'upgrade'. Thank God I run a nice, reliable operating system like Linux instead of this crap that breaks machines every time you try to upgrade.

    • Well, I run Linux as well. But to say that Linux does not have this crap is actually an understatement. Linux these days does have its issues. I run Ubuntu and the 13.04, 12.10 upgrade was very painful. Even now on some machines I still run 12.04 as some software simply does not work.

      • Try other distros. I had problems galore as an Ubuntu user for my first 2 years with Linux, then finally tried distro-hopping and was shocked to find that overall they were just as easy to use (especially the apt/Synaptic-based ones) and a lot more stable.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I take it you never "upgraded" to KDE 4.2... my computer still has nightmares about that foul beast. Or worse, GNOME. Thank God I was warned about Unity.

      But yeah, the nice thing about linux is KDE sucks? Well, swap desktops or distros (I just dialed mine back until it got less retarded).

      Poor Windows users. That's what they get for using a toy OS.

    • Well, the main difference is probably that you not only investigate whether your next update bricks your system but you can also decide for yourself whether and when you want the update to happen.

  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:16PM (#45177269)
    I'm so glad that oracle pointed out the flaws of open source! I would hate to think of bad code stemming from proprietary ideologies.
  • by madmarcel (610409) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @06:50PM (#45177439)
    Upgraded my laptop the day the update became available in the store...have only noticed two odd things so far:

    VLC is dead. Crashes immediately, then gives error about failing to send an error report. Yay. Uninstalling and reinstalling made no difference. Double yay.

    Pictures used for wallpaper, screensaver, login screens, etc changed after reboot. Bizarre, but easily fixed.
    I should note that I had to google how to change some of these back to original settings, as not all of these are changed from control panel. and the actual
    setting I was looking for is hiding behind a GUI element that doesn't look clickable. That annoyed me more than anything else.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      What a great operating system you spent money on!

      • by kamapuaa (555446)

        To be fair these could happen with Mac OS or definitely Linux as well. Losing background pictures is pretty minor.

    • by maugle (1369813)

      I should note that I had to google how to change some of these back to original settings, as not all of these are changed from control panel. and the actual setting I was looking for is hiding behind a GUI element that doesn't look clickable. That annoyed me more than anything else.

      I'd like to add my voice to this: What the hell are UI designers smoking these days? There used to be a time when user interfaces were very direct and to-the-point about what the user could and could not click to make things happen. Now we're seeing all these awful "flat" interfaces where it's nearly impossible to tell what can be interacted with and what's just there as part of the background!
      The fact that Apple - who claim to be #1 in user interface design - seems to be leading this charge is mind-bog

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I'd like to add my voice to this: What the hell are UI designers smoking these days? There used to be a time when user interfaces were very direct and to-the-point about what the user could and could not click to make things happen. Now we're seeing all these awful "flat" interfaces where it's nearly impossible to tell what can be interacted with and what's just there as part of the background!
        The fact that Apple - who claim to be #1 in user interface design - seems to be leading this charge is mind

    • by antdude (79039)

      I noticed the changed wallpapers too. However, my assigned screen saver was the same.

      Here's what's worse. If you install W8.1 from its ISO file over the old activated and updated W8.0 with its Media Center addon (got it for free), then it asks you to enter a key, reactivate, changed settings back to defaults, lose my free Media Center addon offer, etc. Annoying. That should not happen if I am keeping my settings to upgrade from a W8.1 ISO file!

  • no beta test? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388)

    could this be a consequence of Microsoft not releasing 8.1 RTM to developers?

    Seriously? They didn't seed that to the devs for a week or two? That's just plain stupid. Only reason I can see for pulling that is if there was a serious problem they needed to get fixed quickly.

    Also raises the question of how much they really care about the performance and stability of RT on other manufacturers' boxes?

  • > "After reports of update problems including bricking of some devices,"

    Hang on, aren't all Windows RT machines exactly the same hardware? How could there be differences between machines where an update would brick some and not others?

    And the Windows 8 journey just keeps getting more entertaining.

  • Developers may have experienced problems earlier and alerted Microsoft before it went live."
    Duh, you think? Only a Microsoft exec would be dumb enough to think otherwise.

  • Running the Apple walled garden model against a variety of hardware, and your rapid updates brick some of the models. Shocked - SHOCKED - that there's gambling going on in this establishment.
  • ...Wednesday to be exact. A Wholesaler had a drawing after a vendor event. Last year I won my iPad at the same event. I also own a Nexus 7, and was willing to give this Microsoft Tablet a go. At the very least it could be used as a HTPC lite or something. It's 1080P output via a Micro HDMI port was beautiful, and a full-size USB port was a bonus, as was the Micro SD slot. The lower-rez screen was a disappointment. After 24 hours and a concerted effort to find a use-case for it, I quickly grew to hate the th
  • Did not have access? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Clirion (720337) on Sunday October 20, 2013 @07:52AM (#45179829)
    While normally I would look at this, it seems that I had early access from the Windows 8.1 Preview that was loaded on my RT device for 2 months before I did a refresh back to Win8RT OS. The device got constant updates to keep it within striking distance of RTM. I am thinking that it was not the lack of "Windows 8.1 RTM" for a RT device that casued the issue.
    • With any build, there is a possibility that some small change may have caused this. If RTM was released to developers some of them might have uncovered this issue earlier.
  • Waiting for 8.1.1

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

Working...