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Microsoft Windows Technology

Windows 8 Is Ready 558

New submitter drinkydoh writes "In an announcement today, Microsoft has finally said that Windows 8 is now complete. Microsoft has begun delivering RTM versions to manufacturers and the general availability of the tablets and computers using Windows 8 will be on October 26th. 'Microsoft's final milestone concludes almost two years of development for its new Metro-inspired Windows 8 software and marks the beginning of the release phase. Microsoft says MSDN and TechNet customers will be able to download it from August 15th. Windows Store will go live on August 15th. Developers will be able to access the final tools and submission process for Metro style apps at the Windows Dev Center later this month.'"
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Windows 8 Is Ready

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  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@beau . o rg> on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:54PM (#40845309)

    Microsoft seems to repeat mistakes don't they? DOS 4.0, Bob, ME, Vista; the public reaction to all should have been predictable enough that somebody in a corporation their size should have been able to see it coming and delay or abort the release of those turds. But no, they dropped em all and took the abuse and ridicule while apparently learning nothing. Now comes Windows 8.

    Maybe they will have time to get Windows 9 right, maybe not. That is what has changed, before they were an unstoppable monopoly and now? We shall see. They have offended their OEM partners with the Surface tablet, the Developers, Developers, Developers! with the knifing of Silverlight and apparently the beginning of the end for both Win32 and .NET and I'm not convinced customers are going to be all that happy with what is about to be rammed down their thoat. All at a time when their monopoly is threatened like never before. The desktop PC itself is being questioned for most users, Office is threatened by Cloud apps and even the long standing stranglehold of Blackberry + Exchange is not looking very healthy about now.

    Netcraft hasn't confirmed it yet but Microsoft just might be dying. And after hating on them for decades I'm not entirely sure I'm going to applaud when they exit the stage. The PC is likely to go with them, by which I mean the open platform anyone can write programs for and create add on hardware, etc. The post Microsoft future looks like a grim world of sealed media consumption devices for most and a return to 'workstations' for the select who can afford machines costing as much as a car.

    Few will question anymore that Apple is a dark force of DRM and lockin. And the release of the Nexus 7 shows Google to be fast getting in touch with their Evil side. The only major difference (other than a model years' worth of hardware refresh) between it and the equally sealed up Amazon Fire is which app/media ecosystem it is bundled to.

    • by skaag ( 206358 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:57PM (#40845369) Homepage Journal

      PC era gone? but wait... Steam is coming to Linux! We're saved!

      • by HerculesMO ( 693085 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:19PM (#40845787)

        Too bad the only games that will follow onto the Linux steam platform are games you've already beaten 5 or 6 years ago on the PC.

        Best of luck getting Valve to convince other dev studios to port games to Linux at a huge expense, when the audience simply isn't there. Linux on the desktop is dead. It's linux on the "device" that has a chance. I know why Valve is pushing towards Linux because the Windows 8 App store will eat their lunch, but realistically nothing is going to change. Windows 8 has gotten more idiot proof than usual, and that's what draws in people that don't already somehow have a PC.

        • by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @04:03PM (#40847397)

          Windows 8 has gotten more idiot proof than usual, and that's what draws in people that don't already somehow have a PC.

          Thing is, make something idiot proof, the universe evolves a better class of idiots.

        • If the rumors (which I personally don't believe) of a Linux-powered Steam Console are true, that's incentive enough.

          The Ouya (or however the fuck it's spelled) managed to get somewhat-mainstream promises of support, and that's for a low-power, crowd-funded Android console. You take Valve, possibly the best game studio on the planet (and definitely the best self-funded studio), who already has a large-scale relationship with most publishers and has experimented with acting as a publisher itself, and have *TH

        • by jbolden ( 176878 )

          Gamers used to be very willing to boot to a gaming OS. It was standard to have a "gaming" configuration of DOS and a "windows" configuration in the Windows 3.0/3.1/95 days. I see no reason if Linux had strong gaming support that their wouldn't be gamer machines sold with Linuxes tweaked to optimize gaming. That honestly is a pretty good niche for Linux, a place where custom kernel could really matter. And heck the hardware OEMs would probably love a product where they could do a real value ad and make

    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:08PM (#40845585)

      According to The Ed Bott Report on ZDNet [], Microsoft is turning over an entirely new leaf in its history by taking cues from Apple and developing its own hardware/software "ecosystem" (I hate that term) and alienating its OEMs which have been just as slow and lackluster as Microsoft has been over the last few years.

      If we accept Bott's analysis as at least somewhat valid, Microsoft may be on the road to recovery--at least if they develop and release products that people desire.

      They're already copying Apple and Google's consistent theme (copying "Metro" UI elements to their rebranded Hotmail, and they're developing software and hardware together. Perhaps he's right and this will bode well for Microsoft in the future.

      However, there is the part of me that says that those people who want that sort of thing had already jumped ship to Apple's own "ecosystem" and everyone else was just fine staying with Microsoft because of whatever reason (cost, support, application support, familiarity, etc).

      Personally I think the Metro UI (and the other unified design deals) is ridiculous and meaningless for me to get my work done and it's not going to make me move away from other products I've been using more recently. However, perhaps it will work and their demise as stated by you may be averted for another few years.

      • OEMs are what made Microsoft what it is. They've tolerated a small amount of Microsoft branding, but if Microsoft rocks that boat too much, then Redmond better have a big plan to make up for what is basically the foundation on which the whole company is built. Microsoft deciding to become like IBM of old at this point, so far as I can see, carries substantial risks (though, of course, if it works, would have substantial rewards).

        • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@beau . o rg> on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:08PM (#40846589)

          I can see where Microsoft is coming from actually. Dell, HP, etc. add almost nothing anymore. They all just rebadge stuff made in the same Chinese factories Apple, the phone makers, etc. gets their stuff from. So why leave the profits currently going to Dell and friends on the table? Cut out the middleman AND gain agility to innovate. The downside of course that with that vast 'PC' ecosystem out there competing it ensures that one lame batch of designers can't kill off the PC as a platform. And Microsoft has never been known as a 'innovator' or even particularly creative. They ain't no Apple. Heck, they have never been known to even play at the level of a Sony or Samsung. They better get really good, really fast because they have pretty much declared open season on the OEM partners.

          • The problem here is that HP and Dell both have significant inroads into the corporate, small and medium sized business worlds (well, Acer and Lenovo are also doing alright there as well). If Microsoft sets itself up as a competitor to these companies, this is going to significantly alter the landscape. I can well imagine these companies looking at throwing resources behind something like Android and making a corporate version of it.

            I think if it's just tablets, then it's a pretty small portion of the whole

    • but Microsoft just might be dying

      Much as I might have loved that headline 10 years ago, now the thought of Apple becoming a dominant force in the PC market scares the shit out of me. Goodbye MS monopoly, hello Apple walled garden. At least MS has the common courtesy to at least try to hide their evil.

    • by bbbaldie ( 935205 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:58PM (#40846441) Homepage
      Their future will resemble that of IBM, Novell, HP, Sears, and many other companies that were once #1 in their specialty. Still making money, still active in the market, occasionally coming up with something truly revolutionary.

      But one thing's for damned certain: their days of dominance are over. OVER! YES!!!!!!!!!

    • by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:59PM (#40846447)

      First, Microsoft usually doesn't view much of anything as a total failure. Like many, they view their mistakes as market research. When they do something really wrong, they learn from it.

      Bob may have been a failure, but they learned a lot from it, and it lead to other products like the (also abhorred but largely successful) MS Agent technology (aka clippy, fido, etc..)

      Neither ME or Vista were failures per se. ME was never intended to be anything other than a stopgap. MS had intended to transition Windows 9x users to Windows 2000, but when that got pushed back to XP, MS had to come up with a stopgap for OEM's to provide new hardware support. It was held together with chewing gum and twine, to try and extend the life for just a few months more...

      Vista, likewise, was not a failure either, in that it was never intended to be a success. It was a "hatchet man", that was put out in order to get ISV's and OEM's to follow the new security rules. It was also intended to be really annoying so that vendors would fix their software to be UAC friendly. MS knew Windows 7 would come along and replace it, and by then the issues would be solved both in vendors and software.

      DOS 4 was just a huge steaming pile, though.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:49PM (#40847253) Homepage Journal

      Although I agree that W8 is a clusterfuck of epic proportions, a lot of what you say just doesn't hold water.

      That is what has changed, before they were an unstoppable monopoly and now?

      They're still an unstoppable monopoly; try buying a PC with a different OS.

      I'm not convinced customers are going to be all that happy with what is about to be rammed down their thoat.

      Their customers are OEMs and enterprises, not you or me. I'm not their customer, Acer is; I'm Acer's customer. Enterprise customers are likely to skip 8 like they did Vista, we'll see whether or not OEMs start shipping Linux desktops (I, for one, would be happy if they did).

      All at a time when their monopoly is threatened like never before.

      Their monopoly is in desktop operating systems and office software, where is the threat?

      The desktop PC itself is being questioned for most users

      For every home computer, there are ten in the workplace, the tablet may replace PCs in most homes, but I wouldn't bet too much money on it.

      Office is threatened by Cloud apps

      Pure marketing hype. "The cloud" is unlikely to gain traction among enterprise users, even very many home users.

      "The post Microsoft future looks like" Mark Twain, who said "reports of my death are greatly exaggerated". Mocrosoft isn't even in the doctor's office, let alone the grave. And if Microsoft went away, OEMs would just use Linux or Android or BSD. Computers aren't going away any time soon.

    • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @06:11PM (#40849075) Journal

      Dude look YOU know what this is and I know what this is...its a Hail Mary pass. MSFT is finally starting to realize that one we hit muilticore PCs went from being the needed to constantly upgrade of the MHz wars right past good enough and into insanely overpowered territory for a good 80-90% of the buying public. What is Joe Average User or Bill Businessman gonna use their PC for that needs more than a Phenom I quad or even a Core Duo? As a PC seller and repairman I can tell you the answer is "not a damned thing" as I have plenty of customers on those first gen Phenom triples and quads or Intel Duos and quads and other than adding more RAM or HDD space those units are insanely overpowered compared to the work they have.

      So all those users aren't gonna be buying new PCs until those die which could take years Hell I've done upgraded them to Win 7 and I can easily see those units lasting until win 7 goes EOL in 2020 because frankly? They're not even being stressed, the users just can't feed these multicore monsters enough useful work to really heat the chips. Hell I'm seeing the same thing with laptops, the work people do when mobile is pretty much netbook territory, webmail, surfing, videos, a little light office work, so even the laptops aren't getting slammed and thus just not wearing out like they used to. Oh there will always be people buying PCs, the gamers, the content creators, those that kill their current unit, but there isn't gonna be the kind of growth that gives wall street a stiffie.

      So Win 8 is a Hail Mary pass for MSFT, a way for them to take one more shot at the juicy tablet/smartphone brass ring. Will it work? Doubtful but at this point MSFT really has nothing to lose by trying it. If businesses and consumers balk unlike with Vista where all they had to offer was a creaky old XP with 32 bit limitations now they can just say "Fine take Windows 7" and not lose anything. After all its not like they don't already pretty much own desktops and laptops. But by trying it now, when many are just now looking at Win 7 they think they can get people used to the "Metro" UI and then they won't balk when they see a WinPhone or WinTab like they have with WinPhone 7.

      Would I have done it that way? Nope I think its a dumb move, they should have spun off mobile and let them innovate without being tied to the legacy of Windows and Office. But frankly at this point MSFT really has nothing to lose, as the money they blow on win 8 if it flops is nothing compared to how they will be tied to X86 which honestly will probably stay at the current numbers with zero growth unless some "killer app" comes along that can actually strain these monsters and we're not seeing that, even in gaming anymore for the most part. So they might as well throw the Hail Mary and see if they can pick up some ground because the clock is running out and they are waaaay behind in the game.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:55PM (#40845319) Homepage Journal

    Where'd I put my popcorn?

  • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:55PM (#40845333) Homepage Journal

    Lotus wont run!
    Nor much of anything else for that matter.

  • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:57PM (#40845357)

    Everyone on slashdot is about to become a UI expert.

  • TERRIBLE! (Score:3, Informative)

    by bhlowe ( 1803290 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:59PM (#40845401)
    I installed it this morning on a second drive.. The installer forced me to enter an email, my name, zipcode, birthdate, and sex to complete the installation. Are you kidding me?! Welcome to 1984.

    The start menu is gone as are control panels and anything that resembles Windows 7. I spent 2 minutes searching for the "restart" command and eventually just clicked the power button. UGH... Terrible.... DO NOT INSTALL OVER YOUR WINDOWS 7 UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ive been using the beta for a while now. Yes a few things are oddly placed - you no longer hit start to stop your computer for one.

      The new start menu actually rocks - My start menu use to be a horrid mess where all I did was use the Windows 7 search feature - Which is now how I use Windows 8 - Hit the start thing type the name of what you want hit enter

      Windows 8 is in many ways MUCH MORE keyboard driven and geek centric - I like it really !

    • Re:TERRIBLE! (Score:4, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ] ['rld' in gap]> on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:59PM (#40846457) Homepage Journal

      You just failed the Windows 8 IQ test. You are not forced to enter those things as all, you just couldn't find the "skip" button.

    • Re:TERRIBLE! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:30PM (#40846967)
      I love how this gets modded +4 informative when it's completely factually wrong.

      1) When you install Windows it asks for you to create a Microsoft Account (which asks for those items, none of which you are required to be valid), sign in with a Microsoft Account, or run as a local user. You can choose to be a local user, where you log in with a user name and password and aren't linked to any external services like mail or calendar.

      2) The start menu is gone, so get used to that (although you can install a replacement that mimics it if you really want), but the old control panel is not, and the desktop including explorer is not. I don't know how you could possibly miss it.

      3) As for restart, it's still in the most obvious places it used to be including when you log out, or on the crtl+alt+del screen. They did move it from the start screen (because how much sense does it make to press start to shut down?), but moved it to the settings (along with wifi, brightness, and other common options) which is accessible from any app, including the desktop.
  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:00PM (#40845425)

    MS is ready to hit START BUTTON with Win8 production.

  • by tetrahedrassface ( 675645 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:01PM (#40845445) Journal

    I guess it's time to upgrade from Me... is that even possible? I like Me. I feel like a failure.

  • I am not familiar with this new definition of the word 'ready'
  • so... (Score:4, Funny)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:04PM (#40845503)
    So, they removed metro?
  • by who_stole_my_kidneys ( 1956012 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:06PM (#40845541)
    It is an absolute disaster on the desktop, looks silly, and works great on embedded devices \ single purpose devices.
  • An auspicious date (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:09PM (#40845613)

    Of course there are many, many factors leading to the downfall of Microsoft. We've been reading about them for years as the 800 Pound Gorilla from Redmond has been slowly breaking its bones under its own weight.

    Most people will point to the fact that Microsoft's failures have ensured that more people are using Linux worldwide than ever before... in the form of Android smartphones. MS *could* have had that market, but they continued to present shit products in the face of (at least perceived) quality goods from Apple and Google.

    We've also heard in the last few days and weeks about how serious Valve is about getting their products to be 'Native' for Linux. We're going to see more of that, especially as more and more game designers want to develop for smart-phones.

    Going forward, Microsoft's plans for smartphone development look pretty dismal. They're not even supporting their own technologies or frameworks, like Silverlight.

    Ultimately, however, I think that shipping an WindowsME-bad desktop OS while this massive paradigm shift is happening is going to have long-reaching and long-lasting effects. Unlike when WinME shipped, there are some pretty darn good alternatives for development on both phones and PCs right now. When Win8 starts flopping around like a hooked carp, it's not going to be just the developers looking for an exit. It's going to be gamers and home-users as well. This time that exit is pretty darn visible.

    And today is the day that flopping carp was hooked.

    Captcha: resisted. How oddly apropos...

    • I think it's important to remember that Windows 8 is a reaction to the problems Microsoft is having. They're developing a UI that'll be consistent across their systems that will work well on phones, and Windows 8 itself is designed to be just as at home on a tablet as a PC. The only thing I can see that's potentially an issue (having not used 8 since the original beta, so it might have improved a lot since) is that Metro might not be ideal on the desktop, and might even be actively off-putting enough for W

  • by jdastrup ( 1075795 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:09PM (#40845621)
    Killing the Start Button is like building a house without a front door. Sure, I use the garage door 99% of the time. According to Microsoft, this is reason to get rid of the front door.
  • by MSRedfox ( 1043112 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:11PM (#40845655)
    Everyone complains about the new Metro interface. I've been running Win8 preview for a while now and while I've adapted to the new interface, it does still bugs me. But complaining about it is like arguing about KDE vs Gnome; you can castrate the Metro interface to look like Win7 with 3rd party software. What really matters is the kernel. It may break some applications and for those people Win8 is a bad choice. But from my experience, the new kernel is runs better than Win7 (which is saying a lot given how much better 7 was than Vista). Several games I tested got a nice frame-per-second boost (or at least performed equally) under Win8 vs Win7. So for me it's worth it to upgrade but I suppose your mileage may vary and as benchmarks come out we can see more about how the kernel performs on different systems.
    • by neminem ( 561346 )

      Why would you want it to look like Win7? Win7's interface sucked almost as much as Win8.

      I do agree that Win7's kernel is much better than XP (and -obviously- better than Vista's), but I disagree that the kernel is all that matters - it certainly does matter, but so does the UI, as there's only so much you can do, and unless you want to implement it yourself, you're also reliant on the third-party software actually existing. I would know - I've modded as much of the Win7 interface as I can to behave more lik

      • Okay, I concede the kernel isn't all that matters. The UI matters too; I just got tired of seeing non-stop posts complaining about the Metro interface while talks about the kernel changes seem to get glossed over.
  • Wait, what? (Score:4, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:12PM (#40845677) Journal

    They've released Windows 8 Service Pack 2 already?

  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:24PM (#40845871) Homepage Journal

    Announcing Windows 15!

    Or you can wait two weeks and upgrade directly to Windows 19!

  • by rabenja ( 919226 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:40PM (#40846119) Journal
    I think that it will be some degree worse or better than Vista for Microsoft and users. As a CIO, and from what I have read so far concerning Metro, it will be a *very* long time (until forced to, such as when it is no longer possible to get OEM W7 installed) until we will be upgrading to Metro. To me it sort of resembles Mozilla thumbing it's nose at corporate users. The most curious part about upgrading to a new version of Windows for us is that pretty much the only problems that we face in the process are with older Microsoft products that fail on the new OS.
  • by X.25 ( 255792 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:44PM (#40846195)

    Before Windows 7 came out, almost everyone I knew (that ran Windows) was *genuinely* excited about it and was planning to upgrade to it. And they did.

    I don't know a single person that even considers Windows 8 (either as a desktop OS, or a phone OS). Many people don't even realize it's going to be a desktop OS, they assume it is a smartphone/tablet only OS.

    I can only wish Microsoft good luck, because I don't think they understand what they're doing.

    • They were excited because Vista was bungled and XP was really old. I think MS knows that people will hate Win 8. For MS, it is not about improving the desktop for endusers. It is about forcing their way into the mobile space. Had they developed a separate OS for mobile like iOS or Android, they would have fewer developers (see WP7). With Win 8, developers have to develop for Metro whether they want to or not.
  • by scharkalvin ( 72228 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @04:12PM (#40847517) Homepage

    Windows 3.1 Great product
    Windows 95 BUGGY as HELL
    Windows 98 Great (at least by the time SE came out)
    Windows NT concept product who used it?
    Windows 2000 Enterprise Giant!
    Windows ME (ho hum)
    Windows XP Longest lived version yet
    Windows Vista Nuff said!
    Windows 7 Greatest yet.
    Windows 8 WTF?

  • Metro is a total pos (Score:3, Informative)

    by Endophage ( 1685212 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @06:15PM (#40849135) Homepage
    For those who don't have to write software Metro may seem nice. However, to those that do write software, if they haven't found out already they shortly will, Metro's sandboxing is just a total fuck up. Metro apps can't communicate with non-Metro apps. It's even difficult for them to communicate with other metro apps. Hell, it's even difficult for them to just access files on the hard disk. Want a nice Metro app to browser your downloads? No Sorry, you can't have that, your Downloads folder is off limits to Metro. I've seen some developers that actually had to build a web server into their desktop service so that a Metro UI could communicate with it over a REST api rather than using traditional inter process communication.

    To the point one or two people have made about Windows 7 menu search and Metro. Yes you can bring up Metro and start typing to find the application you want. However, it's much less distracting and easier on the eye to have a small menu, with colours that match the rest of your system, pop up over a small area of the screen, rather than Metro where the whole screen flashes and changes colour before you eyes and start to type your search causes the entire interface to change, then selecting your application drops you back out of Metro, more sudden screen changes.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun