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It will kick off in New Zealand

Microsoft announced today that Windows 8.1 will be released globally on October 18. 

The Windows update will kick off at 12 a.m. local time in New Zealand and make its way around the globe from there. This means that Windows 8 users can grab the digital download version at that time as a free update at the Windows Store. 

Customers can also pick up Windows 8.1-powered PCs and tablets starting that same day. 

"It’s very exciting to be delivering Windows 8.1 to consumers just before Windows 8 celebrates its 1-year anniversary," said Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc. "You can expect to read more from us on Windows 8.1 leading up to availability on October 18th!"


Windows 8.1 promises some useful upgrades from Windows 8, such as the long-awaited Start button. The button is not a Start menu, however; just a quick way back to the Start screen. Those who don't want to deal with live tiles at all can use the Boot to Desktop feature. 

In addition, built-in apps, the Search tool and All Apps screen have all been improved.

For those who particularly enjoy customization, it will be easier to do so on the Start screen.

Windows 8.1 first appeared in June in a preview edition.

Source: Windows Blog





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Cool, another failure coming our way.
By 91TTZ on 8/14/2013 11:48:23 AM , Rating: 5
Microsoft didn't want to listen to its customers about Windows 8 and tried to shove a bad idea down people's throats. They claimed that people loved it, that it was flying off the shelves. Now it turns out that they were misguided.

Finally they've admitted that they were wrong (sort of). But instead of relenting and giving customers what they want they're trying to repackage those same bad ideas and give it another attempt. They've added a start button (as I told you they would) but no Start Menu.

Without letting the customer customize the way they interact with Windows it's just going to fail again. People simply don't want the Metro interface. They don't want the Windows Store.

Give the customers what they want and you'll make money. Try to force the customer to do what you want and you'll lose a customer.




RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By eek2121 on 8/14/2013 11:54:22 AM , Rating: 4
It's not that they don't want the Windows Store, it's that they don't want metro. Having a Microsoft store built into Windows isn't a bad idea.

I was in Staples twice in the past 2 weeks, once buying a Nexus 7 tablet and the other time looking for a case. I heard someone shopping for tablets asking the salesperson if they had any laptops with Windows 7 on it after looking at the different laptops. The salesperson stated they weren't allowed to sell Windows 7 anymore, and each person walked out of the store empty handed.


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By kmmatney on 8/14/2013 12:40:54 PM , Rating: 3
I agree. I haven't used the Windows store, but I don't mind the idea. What I don't like are the Metro Apps taking up my full screen on my desktop. I expect this on a tablet or phone, but it really freaks me out on my desktop (and my 17" laptop).

I do like Windows 8 overall, but not for any of it's "Metro" features. Once you install a start menu and boot to the desktop, it's great. We just need this option out of the box.


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By retrospooty on 8/14/2013 12:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
"I do like Windows 8 overall, but not for any of it's "Metro" features. Once you install a start menu and boot to the desktop, it's great. We just need this option out of the box."

Yup... Works fine after that, but most people don't know and/or wont try it. It should be out of the box, period. MS is only hurting themselves with that though, so whatever. That is their choice.

The only other thing I don't like is the multi-OS choice/bootloader menu. Where any other OS (including all of MS's previous OS) you would boot up get the prompt in DOS to choose which OS you want to load, then choose and it loads. With Win8, you boot up to Win8, then choose your OS, and if it is 7, Ubuntu, or whatever else you have loaded, you have to reboot again to get to it. Inefficient, overly complicated and totally unnecessary. Why on Earth would they spend time and effort programming something like that is beyond me. It worked perfect before and no-one ever had any complaints about it.


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By Mitch101 on 8/14/2013 2:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
Ive been running 8.1 for about a month now and Im ready to re-install my PC because Im having a lot of issues with 8.1 that I cant wait till October but I guess I asked for it by running the pre-release software.

For starters the upgrade messed up all my presets on my ATI drivers but that was an easy but annoying fix.

When starting a game in Steam I get a blank screen then I have to hit esc key and then the game starts to actually load and execute. Not sure whats going on there.

Anything that uses Adobe flash crashes a lot. Its obvious that Adobe software is not ready for Windows 8.1 and why should it because its not technically released. This makes a lot of sites I go to unusable.

But the most annoying is I get hard drive freezing issues when I try to do something like play a movie or browse to a new directory I have to wait a very long time to see some of my content. It gets better over time but its not as fast as it should be there is definatly something going on here.

The question is will I load Windows 7 or Windows 8 I really dont want to go through the headache of uninstalling all the Windows 8 add ons like e-mail I and Photo Viewer that dump me back to the Windows 8 start menu that I might actually reinstall Windows 7 in the rebuild process.

Yes you heard that right and from me the big cheerleader for Microsoft. I still love Windows Phone and Im still getting an XBONE before anyone goes to church thinking these are the end of days.


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By sheh on 8/14/2013 6:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
You can have a text mode boot menu. I don't remember right now how to enable it manually, but after saving boot menu changes with EasyBCD it happens whether you like it or not, so that's one way.

You can also use non-Win8 boot managers.

I wonder why Win8's GUI boot menu requires loading big chunks of Windows, or so I read anyway.


By max_payne on 8/14/2013 7:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah good point, I did it with EasyBcd by fluke too while removing an entry (windows 8.1 btw) and rewriting the loader. You then get the regular text based menu. I have read that in a multi-boot system, setting any other OS as the default boot OS, also restore the text based menu.


By Monkey's Uncle on 8/14/2013 9:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
Windowblinds and Start8 make Windows 8 a lot more palatable - though you have to pay for them.

I'm not sure if the faked-out 'start button' in Win 8.1 will break start button replacements like Start8. If it does, I would most certainly avoid installing this upgrade to Windows 8 (even if it were free).

I had Win8 + WB & Start8 installed for a while, but I got bored & put my Win7 image back on (Yay Acronis!).


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By DiscoWade on 8/14/2013 12:38:08 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
They've added a start button (as I told you they would) but no Start Menu.


To tell you the truth, I could care less about a start button. I depend on the start menu. I don't care what market research and 8 fanbois say, I need my start menu; I use frequently. Years of muscle memory is hard to erase. Maybe, hopefully, by 8.2 Microsoft will finally get it.

The other things I don't like about Windows 8 is the lack of Aero and thus the ugly color scheme. In honesty, it is hard on my eyes. The two reasons why I will not get Office 2013 is the ugly, hard to look at UI and the very difficult to use file save feature. Maybe, hopefully, Aero and a easy on the eyes GUI will return in 8.2 or 9.


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By ultravy on 8/14/2013 1:21:22 PM , Rating: 3
Same here! Microsoft removes features away instead leting user to choose between metro - start menu, ugly aero (not much memory saved here - DWM off 1-2 mb ram saved), etc!


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By inighthawki on 8/14/2013 3:31:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ugly aero (not much memory saved here - DWM off 1-2 mb ram saved)

I don't think the extra memory usage had anything at all to do with it's removal. It was for performance, battery life, and no longer having to maintain the code.

Nonetheless I agree, they shouldn't have removed it.


By Monkey's Uncle on 8/15/2013 10:32:32 AM , Rating: 3
You have a choice in Win 7 whether you want to use Aero it or not. If you have d a weak computer with limited memory, you can turn it off to save some cycles. If you have a computer with ton of memory and 6 overclocked cores worth of horsepower, there is no real deficit to using it.

Windows 8 gives you no such choice. It's my way the highway - go out and buy something like Windowblinds if you don't like the butt-fugly "Modern" theme.


By Monkey's Uncle on 8/15/2013 10:34:39 AM , Rating: 4
Calling Aero ugly is purely subjective. Personally I find Win-8's "Modern" styling (or lack of styling) ugly as hell.

I for one will take Aero over that any day. I say To-may-toe, you say To-mah-toe.


By EnzoFX on 8/14/2013 2:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
Spare me on the Aero, it was terrible to begin with. MS is just bad by design. They keep thinking they can force their way of thinking on everyone.


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By kleinma on 8/14/13, Rating: 0
By max_payne on 8/14/2013 6:40:52 PM , Rating: 3
wow, you are exactly the kind of guy we want in those forums. Polite, helpful and open minded. I am sure everyone is dying to listen to your advises now.


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By 91TTZ on 8/15/2013 9:31:25 AM , Rating: 2
I already do use Windows 8 with the Start 8 menu. It looks good that way, and I think that if Microsoft would have sold it looking like that out of the box it would have been a sales success.

But they didn't, and it's not a sales success.

The reason that I said it'll be another failure is because most people aren't like me and won't buy Windows 8 and then install an add-in menu. They'll just avoid the product.


By Monkey's Uncle on 8/15/2013 10:40:43 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

I have Win8 because I got it as a part of MSDN developer. I also have registered copies of Windowblinds and Start8 (Yes, they cost MONEY and are not FREE).

Do I use it. Nope. I use Windows 7 FP1.

Will I use Win8.1? I will evaluate it. If it fraks up Start8, I will delete it and yet again re-image back to Win 7.


By kleinma on 8/15/2013 3:22:08 PM , Rating: 3
Windows 8 being a success has nothing at all to do with inclusion or exclusion of a stupid button or menu.

It has everything to do with the failures in marketing the changes to the system in the correct way. Marketing has always been Microsoft's weakest point. They have no idea how to show their innovations off to the users properly.

I have had so many people tell me how much they hate windows 8. Then I ask them why. Then they fail to be able to give me any actual reason, and most of the time they have never used it. I get an answer "well there was a thing on the news about how a guy said he didnt like it and that it isnt good, so i want windows 7". Anyone that I have showed either my surface pro, or just given them a proper tutorial in windows 8 on their own machine, have had nothing but good things to say afterwards. I probably have sold more surface pros through demonstration than Microsoft has with their dancing people commercials.


By max_payne on 8/14/2013 6:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't bet on the return of the regular start menu and aero anytime soon. But as much I hate windows 8 at the beginning with my 2 addons (start8 and windowsblind 8 for Aero) I got back what I like in windows 7 and the goodies of windows 8 desktop. I never ever have to look at modern iu so I just forgot about it.


By johnsmith9875 on 8/14/2013 9:44:01 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft has apparently declared war on text menus, despite their popularity.

I think their GUI designer saw the movie "Fahrenheit 451" but learned all the wrong lessons from it.

I don't want pictograms for every function, how am I supposed to remember hundreds of little colored shapes and what they mean?


By 91TTZ on 8/15/2013 9:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The two reasons why I will not get Office 2013 is the ugly, hard to look at UI and the very difficult to use file save feature.


Yeah, Office 2013 looks horrible. Aren't the color schemes limited to white, light gray and dark gray? It's very hard to look at. Not only is it ugly but when I tried using it for a week my eyes started hurting trying to find active buttons vs. grayed out buttons. It's as if they're trying to remove menus, borders, and logical organization in favor of randomness and everything thrown onto one nondescript viewing area.


RE: Cool, another failure coming our way.
By Apone on 8/14/2013 3:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft didn't want to listen to its customers about Windows 8 and tried to shove a bad idea down people's throats. They claimed that people loved it, that it was flying off the shelves. Now it turns out that they were misguided.

quote:
Give the customers what they want and you'll make money. Try to force the customer to do what you want and you'll lose a customer.


You have to give Microsoft credit for trying though, Apple does this all the time and customers fall in line blindly when they make revisions to OS X and iOS.


By johnsmith9875 on 8/14/2013 9:39:04 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily. Apple users were infuriated at OSX Lion 10.7.x, so much so that Apple eventually buried the OS and moved people to 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Now 10.7 is a quiet embarassment to Apple and they only will sell it to you on request via their support line.

So at least they're listening.


By Apone on 8/15/2013 12:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
Sure but I was speaking in regards to tradition. Apple has always dictated what it will (and will not) offer on its software and hardware and its customers (from my experience) have traditionally fallen in line with it (hence the term "iSheep"). The negative uproar also isn't nearly as bad as when Microsoft released Vista and now Windows 8 which also yielded significantly reduced PC sales which annoyed OEM's like Dell, Acer, etc.

I'm sure Apple is listening but remember, Steve Jobs flat out admitted he hates focus groups, market research, and was even quoted in a 1997 BusinessWeek interview saying "Customers don't know what they want until you show it to them".


By tayb on 8/15/2013 12:31:23 PM , Rating: 3
They have added a lot. You can customize what menu opens when you click the start menu, where you land when you boot, what pressing the start key does, and customizations to the start screen itself such as ordering and what not. They've also made great improvements to the search and removed the silly tabbed searching that was there before.

The problem has been and remains to be that people are unwilling or unable to understand that start screen = start menu. Microsoft must simply accept the fact that the average user can't figure out simple UI changes and they should just provide an option to show the old style start menu.


Exciting?
By futrtrubl on 8/14/2013 11:49:00 AM , Rating: 5
"It’s very exciting to be delivering Windows 8.1 to consumers just before Windows 8 celebrates its 1-year anniversary,"

Let me fix that for you Microsoft:
"It’s very humiliating to be need to deliver Windows 8.1 to consumers before Windows 8 celebrates its 1-year anniversary,"




RE: Exciting?
By Argon18 on 8/14/2013 3:33:49 PM , Rating: 3
For sure. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the "Windows 8" brand name is now tainted. It's left such a bad taste in people's mouths, that adding a ".1" suffix is not going to fix that. Even if this .1 service pack fixes some of the problems, they still have the branding problem. It's Vista all over again.


RE: Exciting?
By inighthawki on 8/14/2013 8:22:47 PM , Rating: 3
Yep, they definitely need a Windows 9 to clear the name.


RE: Exciting?
By johnsmith9875 on 8/14/2013 9:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 9 had better be Windows 7 with all the bugs fixed. Microsofts service packs are slow in coming


RE: Exciting?
By OoklaTheMok on 8/14/2013 11:46:20 PM , Rating: 1
You sound just like the people who wanted to keep XP around, and demanded that the next version of Windows after 7 must return to being like Windows XP, but better...


RE: Exciting?
By UnauthorisedAccess on 8/14/2013 7:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
Surely worth a 6. Best comment I've read in a while.


Great!
By Flunk on 8/14/2013 11:33:38 AM , Rating: 2
Now how about Apps? Microsoft certainly hasn't convinced me or the company I work for to port any apps to WinRT at this point.

If you build it, they will come doesn't seem to be doing all that well. Microsoft isn't used to this sort of competition so they really need to step up here.




RE: Great!
By Argon18 on 8/14/13, Rating: 0
RE: Great!
By kleinma on 8/14/2013 3:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
I guess Sony was slow with the playstation 1 because Ninendo was around for years. I guess Starbucks was slow to the coffee busines since Dunkin Donuts has been around for ever. America was pretty slow to get on that whole soverign nation bandwagon in 1776... I mean there were already countries for hunderds of years by that point....


RE: Great!
By troysavary on 8/15/2013 4:20:05 AM , Rating: 1
Once again, you prove you have no clue. MS had phones and tablets a decade before the iPhone and iPad. The hardware wasn't there for them to become comsumer devices at the time. I'd hardly call that late.

Sure, Kin failed. Zune is still around as xBox music, and is a great service. The stand alone MP3 player market is pretty much dead except for iPods anyway. Windows mobile was a major player in the smartphone industry when smartphones were just business tools, it was hardly a failure at the time and MS did not slink away. Granted they were slow to bring a consumer version, but Win Phone 9 is growing and iOS is shrinking so that battle is far from over. MSN as a dal-up ISP is gone, yes, but who uses dial-up? MSN the web portal is still around. Bing is number 2 in Search, and is far better than Google these days. Win RT was just a fallback in case Intel could not deliver tablet CPUs.


RE: Great!
By Argon18 on 8/15/2013 1:49:53 PM , Rating: 1
Blah blah, excuses excuses. Thanks for helping to prove my point!!


RE: Great!
By troysavary on 8/15/2013 9:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
What point is that? That you are an idiot? You are welcome.


RE: Great!
By Argon18 on 8/16/2013 12:05:06 PM , Rating: 1
You have the debate skills of a school student. Keep studying grasshopper, you're going to need it once you reach the real world. Trust me.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads













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