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Windows GUI Operating Systems

Ars Technica Reviews Leaked Windows 8.1 Update 194

Posted by timothy
from the you-take-what-you-can-get dept.
SternisheFan writes to note that ArsTechnica's Peter Bright has reviewed the leaked Windows 8.1 update that was temporarily available from Microsoft's own servers. Here's how the article starts: "Leaks of upcoming versions of Microsoft's software are nothing new, but it's a little surprising when the source is Microsoft itself. The Spring update to Windows 8.1, known as Update 1, was briefly available from Windows Update earlier this week. The update wasn't a free-for-all. To get Windows Update to install it, you had to create a special (undocumented, secret) registry key to indicate that you were in a particular testing group; only then were the updates displayed and downloadable. After news of this spread, Microsoft removed the hefty—700MB—update from its servers, but not before it had spread across all manner of file-sharing sites... Just because it was distributed by Windows Update doesn't mean that this is, necessarily, the final build, but it does present a good opportunity to see what Microsoft is actually planning to deliver."
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Ars Technica Reviews Leaked Windows 8.1 Update

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  • Power button. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08, 2014 @06:26PM (#46436503)

    As someone who DID spend time looking for how to shut down the first time (alt+f4 to the rescue) I'd booted Win 8, thank you MS for making it more obvious.

    The writers idea that you'd just hit the power button is idiotic. I would NOT expect to get an orderly shutdown from that (possibly because that's how I have my "BIOS" configured). If I don't know for sure, I won't do it. I'm going to gamble with my filesystem, am I?

  • Re:Power button. (Score:5, Informative)

    by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruisin ... om ['aho' in gap> on Saturday March 08, 2014 @06:34PM (#46436537) Homepage Journal

    Windows Control Panel - Power Options (reachable directly by Start search since Vista, of course) - "Choose what the power buttons do" - "When I press the power button:" [Do Nothing | Sleep | Turn Off]. This is on my desktop which boots from an SSD, so I disabled Hibernate, but normally that would be there too. The default option is Turn Off.

    This has been there since *at least* Windows 2000. Congratulations, you're almost 1.5 decades behind the times...

  • Re:Nobody cares (Score:5, Informative)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @06:37PM (#46436557) Journal

    That's the real point. I use Windows 7 and it's actually ok. I had Win8 on one of several machines, and after struggling with it for months, finally installed Windows 7 Pro and called it good. They can call it Microsoft Hate if they want (which is really the geek equivalent of hollering "racism") but it's really Windows 8 that sucks.

  • Re:Power button. (Score:4, Informative)

    by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruisin ... om ['aho' in gap> on Saturday March 08, 2014 @06:40PM (#46436577) Homepage Journal

    Sorry to self-reply, but a bit more info:
    You can also configure the Sleep button (if you have one in hardware, or have one on your keyboard as many users will) and the lid-close action (if you have a laptop). So for example, you can make closing the lid just go quickly to sleep, but taking the time to press a button first cause a full hibernate. It's also very handy to have the power button configured for a (reasonably safe) shutdown; it can be used to get the machine out of various states where the UI is hung so you can't use a normal software shut down, but don't want to hard-kill the machine (which is pretty much never a good idea).

    Oh, and every single computer I've seen since I first found this feature also supports press-and-hold on Power to do a hard shutoff anyhow, in case the system is *so* frozen that it can't even turn itself off (or in case there's some process which is continually aborting the shutdown).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08, 2014 @07:24PM (#46436773)

    Apple made it's bank on a decision, in the early 2000's, to treat it's user base as lobotomised retarded proto-lifeforms. To the surprise of just about everyone else in the industry, it turns out that the masses WANTED to be treated as mouth-breathing idiot fucktard assholes who can BARELY manage to use a device with anything more than possibly one button and a wheel for the control.

    Ever since then, it's been a race-to-the-bottom for software developers. Windows 8(.1) is a direct outgrowth of this. The author's bafflement reflects the user-land perspective of "why would I want TWO buttons?! You're making it TOOO complicated! waaaaaaaaahhhhh"... Go ahead and blame MS for the new UI, but it's the hordes of retarded idiots over-spending on Apple shit that's REALLY driving this ...

    -AC

  • Re:Nobody cares (Score:5, Informative)

    by Technician (215283) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @07:54PM (#46436909)

    As an older guy who has received an Unltrabook recently, and trying do do production work instead of consuming media, I had some issues. Installing older paralell port printers attached to my LAN via Trendnet or other devices proved to be very difficult. Visiting the manufacture of the printers for updated drivers was a total failure. As mentioned, there is a learning curve. To get the drivers, you have to use Windows Update instead. Trying to sort a list of files proved difficut too. A long list has the traditional scroll bars on the right just where you expect them. Dragging the bar does scroll the list, but at the top and bottom are the two buttons which also used to scroll the list without dragging, usefull if you only want to scroll small distances in a long list. Unfortunately in Windows 8 they are only decorations with no function. You either need a touch screen to scroll the list, or highlight a file and arrow up/down through the list, which defeats picking multiple files for copy by Control Click. A small wiggle on a extended list can scroll it by several hundred items making picking files difficult.

    Maybe there is a trick to this I haven't learned other than drag drop each by itself..

    The touch screen is not the preferred method of picking files from a list. My fingers are about 5 lines tall. A mouse is a much better and precise way to do fine motor skills. Photo editing suffers the interface issue too.

    I tried to burn some CD's from a band I recorded. Windows 8 had a serious issue with my external USB DVD drive. Using Windows Media Player had no problem burning ONE disk. The media player on the left side properly identified if the drive contained a music CD, Data CD, or Blank CD. The information IS NOT passed to the right side which stubbornly recommended I insert a Blank CD before I could burn another. I went back to a Windows 7 machine which did properly recognise blank disks in the right side. Too bad they didn't keep Windows 7 functionality in the Window 8 Media Player.

    In a nutshell, don't ditch your other machines when you get a Windows 8 machine. You may need the older machines to do older tech stuff like burning CD's, sorting photos, editing audio tracks, editing photos, etc. The Windows 8 machine is a great Facebook, Skype, social media and connected machine, but for production, keep your other hardware.

  • Re:Power button. (Score:5, Informative)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @08:07PM (#46436971)

    press windows+r for the run prompt
    type "shutdown -s -t 0" and it will magically shutdown. Works for all version of Windows since 2000. Maybe earlier NT versions too.
    You can use -r to reboot instead of -s
    It's pretty much the same as linux, except "-t 0" is equivalent to "now" and -s for shutdown instead of -h for halt

  • Re:Oh my god (Score:3, Informative)

    by Atomic Fro (150394) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @10:24PM (#46437431)

    It didn't seem to me that he was critical of Microsoft as much as he was desktop users. I could barely get through the article due to rage, but this is how I parsed it:

    "Look at all these redundant features Microsoft felt they had to add to appease stupid desktop users who haven't learned anything from Vista's UI 7 years ago. These users need to go away, they are forcing Microsoft to clutter up my Metro!

    Look, a power button! A power button for Ballmer's sake! Who the hell needs that? If you are a laptop user, close your damn lid and let it sleep. If you are a desktop user, push the button on the front of your pee cee. That's been standard since ATX came out in 1995. GET A CLUE PEOPLE!

    What? You say you want to reboot? If Windows needs to reboot it will do it for you. You don't need to waste time doing that on your own.

    Well, crap. Metro apps have title bars now. Well, I guess that's not too bad. But, you know, you could have just dragged down with your mouse you lazy desktop users. Ugg, now that ugly task bar is covering up the ui in the bottom portion of the screen. I don't remember you desktop users wanting that. Leave my metro alone!

    OOOOOH PRETTY! SkyDrive is now called OneDrive, and I can access it in Metro, the OneUI to rule them all.

    Well, I don't know who wanted this. Its just redundant crap taking up space on my metro. Desktop users avoid metro anyway, so they obviously don't want it. Stop wasting time on desktop users, Microsoft.

  • Re:Nobody cares (Score:2, Informative)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday March 08, 2014 @10:31PM (#46437447) Homepage

    So your argument is M$ is going for the computer dummies and quite basically fuck the power users. Why be fucking asshats, why not a second interface, seriously fuck M$ and their desire to force a 'PHONE' interface on the desktop in some crazy fuckarse scheme to force people to become accustomed to windows phones and the buy them like mindless idiots.

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