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Although developer builds of Windows 8.1 have been floating around for some time, the first "official" consumer test release is set for June

Hot on the heels of Microsoft's announcement that it has sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses comes news that "Windows Blue", AKA Windows 8.1, will be available to test in June.
 
A public preview of Windows 8.1 will be made available for consumers to try out during Microsoft's BUILD conference, which will take place from June 26 to June 28.
 
Windows 8.1 is expected to bring back some semblance of the iconic "Start" button and will make an effort to ensure that customer feedback doesn't go unanswered. "We are being very real about what needs to change and changing it as thoughtfully and quickly as we can," said Windows Chief Julie Larson-Green.


Microsoft's Julie Larson-Green
 
“We're not sitting back and saying, they will get used to it.  We've considered a lot of different scenarios to help traditional PC users move forward as well as making usability that much better on all devices."

Source: Microsoft



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Current Windows 8 Users
By Amuzon12 on 5/7/2013 6:57:20 PM , Rating: 4
Will this be a free upgrade for existing users?




RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By kmmatney on 5/7/13, Rating: -1
RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By bodar on 5/7/2013 9:56:48 PM , Rating: 3
Good to hear, I just wish these kinds of this were baked in and configurable through the Control Panel. If MS is going to force a new UI paradigm on us, it had better be good. It's disheartening that they aren't willing to admit that the "one UI for desktop and touchscreen" experiment was a step backwards for Windows.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By althaz on 5/7/2013 11:07:42 PM , Rating: 3
How was Vista short-lived? XP was long-lived, but generally MS releases a new Windows every 2-3 years. (8.1 is a pretty rapid release though).


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By wordsworm on 5/8/2013 12:46:14 AM , Rating: 3
I went from XP to Vista to XP and then to Windows 8. Now my gf uses Win7 and I can't stand it. I don't see the start menu as important any more.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Pirks on 5/8/2013 1:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
Same here, win 7 is dead to me, upgrading my wife's laptop to 8 as well after she played with 8 on my desktop and liked it a lot


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By AstroGuardian on 5/8/2013 2:37:17 AM , Rating: 2
True...true...


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Motoman on 5/7/2013 7:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
It should be, but I doubt it.

The official release date for Win8 was Oct. 30th, 2012.

How awesome would it be for a new official OS release to happen before then...giving Win8 less than a year in production?

It richly deserves it.

Win7 came out on Oct. 22, 2009...Vista was Jan. 30th, 2007. Just shy of 2 years.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By txDrum on 5/7/2013 7:44:42 PM , Rating: 2
I believe Microsoft has gone on record saying that big Windows 8 updates would be free once you have a license. Not 100% sure, but reasonably so.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/8/13, Rating: 0
RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By acer905 on 5/8/2013 12:56:40 PM , Rating: 3
Win8.1 == Win 8 SP1


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/8/2013 1:03:50 PM , Rating: 3
Wrong...
quote:
According to the latest rumors, the 2013 release will be inexpensive or perhaps free, to incentivize upgrades. And it will be a full operating system upgrade. In this regard, the new development cycle Microsoft is moving towards closely resembles Apple's -- frequent, cheap operating system upgrades.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By acer905 on 5/9/2013 12:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
Never trust rumors.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/9/2013 12:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
Says the one who thinks 8.1 is going to be a service pack... when it clearly says it's not.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By acer905 on 5/9/2013 6:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
when the rumor that Cheesew1z69 keeps spewing as if it were fact clearly says it's not


*Fixed it for you


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/12/2013 5:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously have a reading comprehension issue. It's quite apparent.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/12/2013 5:39:18 PM , Rating: 1
Again, for your fucked up eyes and trolling bullshit.
quote:
And it will be a full operating system upgrade .
What part of this do you not get? FULL OS... not SP.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By acer905 on 5/14/2013 12:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
So... You were saying?

http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/14/windows-blue-de...

Same as and service pack from MS, such as XP SP2 and SP3, it will be free, fix bugs, and add features.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By dj LiTh on 5/7/2013 8:20:30 PM , Rating: 4
Yes it has been confirmed that windows 8.1 or "Blue" will be a free update for windows 8 owners. Think of it as an service pack update.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By inighthawki on 5/8/2013 12:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
I think considering it to be a service pack is a bit of a disservice. The number of changes just based on leaks is pretty substantial. More than any service pack or even OSX update has provided.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/8/2013 8:12:17 AM , Rating: 3
Source?


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/8/2013 9:47:03 AM , Rating: 2
Rated down for asking for a SOURCE when someone says it's confirmed without backing it up? LOL

Pathetic...


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By BRB29 on 5/8/2013 10:33:46 AM , Rating: 2
there was another article here on DT not so long ago stating that it will be free for users that bought win8.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/8/2013 11:07:15 AM , Rating: 2
Again, link? I can't find it. And for current Win 8 users, they may be true, but I am unable to find indication on any search I have done. So with no indication on any search that it's going to be free for existing users or non-existing, I would like something to SHOW me that this is the case. It's quite a simple request.


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/8/2013 11:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, found it.

quote:
According to the latest rumors, the 2013 release will be inexpensive or perhaps free, to incentivize upgrades. And it will be a full operating system upgrade. In this regard, the new development cycle Microsoft is moving towards closely resembles Apple's -- frequent, cheap operating system upgrades.


That is NOT confirmed no matter how you slice it, so if the OP is stating it's been CONFIRMED, link?


RE: Current Windows 8 Users
By Labotomizer on 5/8/2013 5:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
The only systems that it has been confirmed to be free for are Surface Pro and RT. Those will get all major releases for 3 years. Outside of that nothing was ever promised.

I could see it being a yearly, $30 upgrade cycle. And with the improvements it seems like it would be worth it. Would be on my desktop and laptop anyway.


By BRB29 on 5/8/2013 7:46:46 AM , Rating: 4
Take the GUI of win7 and put it in win8. Done!

Win8 is great at multitasking yet its GUI metrosexual BS drives you insane. It's like having the best performing sports car with poor visibility.




By Belard on 5/8/2013 8:30:10 AM , Rating: 2
Win8 doesn't do anything faster than win7 that is humanly noticeable. The bootup is a hybrid sleep boot mode, but win7 wakes up in 2 seconds. And with Linux, it boots up as fast as win8 (I'm comparing this info with my own hardware as I murdered win8 with LinuxMint ).

I enhanced my win7 with : Teracopy and Better Explorer to get Win8 enhancements FOR free! And without the ugly win8 flat desktop look.

A thing that makes MS SUCK is that IE10 on win7 is flattened... What then F... Win8 BASIC skin doesn't belong on win7 thank you!


By BRB29 on 5/8/2013 8:46:55 AM , Rating: 3
Umm...are you retarded?

win8 uses multiple cores better(4+). The improvement is not all that much but it's an improvement.

The task manager in win8 is clearly better.

I can care less about flat looks or not. I want a good GUI that facilitates multitasking instead of hindering it.

And why the hell do I have to go to BottomRightCornerSlideScreen/Settings/power/shut down to turn off my PC. Shutting down should not be in settings. I thought I was stupid when I can't find the power button but a lot of people had the same problem when they first use it also.


By Motoman on 5/8/2013 12:42:27 PM , Rating: 1
There are a number of nice improvements in Win8 over Win7.

None of them are worth putting up with the Kindergarten UI though.

It doesn't sound like 8.1 provides a true fix to that...they've apparently come up with some sort of mish-mash of Start menu and the Fisher-Price UI.

The technically ept will install Start8 or something similar and get along witn Win8 just fine. But the vast majority of the market is technically inept - even to the point of doing something that seems so ridiculously simple to DT readers. So if 8.1 doesn't restore a *real* Start menu and desktop, fully, with the absolute ability to avoid ever even seeing the Metrosexual UI, it's not going to help.


By Cheesew1z69 on 5/8/2013 1:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, we get that you don't like it. You are being a fucking maniac over it though.


By Labotomizer on 5/8/2013 5:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
I like your posts on almost everything but Windows 8. You really devalue yourself by using terms like "Metrosexual UI". That's fine, you don't like it. We all get it. Some of us do though.

Is it an improvement over the start menu on the desktop/laptop? Not really. But I use the start menu/start screen once or twice a day. And that's how it was on Win 7. So it really doesn't impact me. Is it an improvement on something like the Surface? Without a doubt. It's AWESOME on a device like that.

Win 8 is rough around the edges. But it was a smart move. Will MS be able to execute before competition catches up and realizes that a multi-UI system really is the future. My tablet can dock and run with my normal keyboard/monitor/mouse configuration for an office workspace. Or it can run as a tablet. Or I can use it as an ultrabook with the type cover and BT mouse. It's a ridiculously good design and will likely be the direction computing as a whole moves. I do believe someone, be it MS or someone else, needs to take it a step further. Modern interfaces like Thunderbolt bring the idea of external GPU/CPU power to a state that it's practical. I can see plugging in a tablet and having it be every bit as fast as a desktop. And I am extremely excited to see that come to fruition.

Win 8 is the right direction but there were a few things that could have been handled better. But I don't believe that keeping around the old way of doing things is always the right answer either. Why spend development resources to keep something that needs to be phased out eventually. And since people are happy with Windows 7 now was a good time to move forward. Nothing wrong with people who want to keep Win 7.


By LRonaldHubbs on 5/9/2013 3:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The technically ept will install Start8 or something similar and get along witn Win8 just fine. But the vast majority of the market is technically inept - even to the point of doing something that seems so ridiculously simple to DT readers. So if 8.1 doesn't restore a *real* Start menu and desktop, fully, with the absolute ability to avoid ever even seeing the Metrosexual UI, it's not going to help.

You keep saying this, but the reality is that you are wrong. It's only the technically ept individuals who have a problem with Metro at all. People who are technically inept love Metro, and they also happen to be the majority of the market.


By Motoman on 5/10/2013 9:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You keep saying this, but the reality is that you are wrong. It's only the technically ept individuals who have a problem with Metro at all. People who are technically inept love Metro, and they also happen to be the majority of the market.


If that were true, sales would have barely declined at all.

However...sales have dropped through the basement. And I know a *lot* of technically inept PC users...and not a single one has ever described Win8 in terms other than disgust.

There is not a single doubt that unskilled PC users HATE Win8 even more than skilled IT folks. The reality of the PC market would be wildly different if that wasn't the case.


By kattanna on 5/9/2013 11:36:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The task manager in win8 is clearly better.


one thing I dont get..is WHY hasnt MS replaced their task manager with process explorer, which is also theirs, and is SOO much better


Pfft.
By Motoman on 5/7/13, Rating: 0
RE: Pfft.
By retrospooty on 5/7/2013 8:24:38 PM , Rating: 4
LOL... At least they are taking feedback and doing something about it. Vista sucked and they took the feedback and made Win 7. Win 8 sucks so taking the feedback maybe will lead to something better.


RE: Pfft.
By MrBungle123 on 5/8/2013 11:24:19 AM , Rating: 1
Do you honestly think that MS gives two shits what any of their customers think? They want customer lock-in and will tweak their products so that they can walk the thin line between locking people into their ecosystem and pushing so far that they leave en-mass.


RE: Pfft.
By retrospooty on 5/8/2013 11:29:58 AM , Rating: 2
I agree... But if it works to our advantage, then good. Most people hated Vista. It forced MS to re-evaluate and adjust for Win7, and Win7 was unanimously loved. Now most people hate 8. If it forces MS to re-evaluate and adjust on the nest one, then that is a good thing.


RE: Pfft.
By cyberguyz on 5/8/2013 3:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately it seems the next 'loved' Windows won't be 8.1.

I hope they think long and hard on what form Windows 9 takes.


Huh
By seamonkey79 on 5/7/2013 6:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
You could have done this before, you know, when we were talking about all these things as they were removed. Not removing them could have worked wonders for you.

'We're not sitting back and saying, they will get used to it.' (anymore?)




RE: Huh
By Belard on 5/8/2013 4:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
"We are being very real about what needs to change and changing it as thoughtfully and quickly as we can,".... Yup.

They had their chance before... And nothing is showing that they are listening now... Time to move on.


RE: Huh
By MrBungle123 on 5/8/2013 11:20:20 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing that keeps windows on my systems is games, really hoping that valve's Linux ambitions pan out and take MS down a notch.


Microsoft sold 100 million licenses but....
By cyberguyz on 5/8/2013 5:59:43 AM , Rating: 4
Are the people that paid the $25-$40 (or got it thrown in free with their laptop) actually using it? I paid for the cheap-ass upgrade. Even left it on my system for a couple months to give it a fair evaluation. Windows 7 is back on ALL my systems.

I won't be buying Windows 8.1 - not even at a $25 license. I am sure there are quite a few million folks out there that feel the same way. I have a good idea what is coming in 8.1 and frankly, I am not seeing enough improvement to move to it.




By retrospooty on 5/8/2013 8:34:17 AM , Rating: 1
You can tell by stats usage...

Win8 - At the end of April 2013 Win8 was at 3.2% usage rate after its October 2012 release. http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-m...

Win7 - Was already at 4% in Nov 2009, the month after its Oct 09 release. At the same point in 2010 it was 12%.

So you can easliy say its 1/4th the adotpion rate.


theres already an upgrade to windows 8
By cokbun on 5/7/2013 9:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
there's already an upgrade available to windows 8, it's called windows 7.




By Booster on 5/8/2013 6:15:49 PM , Rating: 1
So true!

Microsoft should definately get rid of Julie Larson-Green (= ribbon interface, = metrosexual Windows).

Hope this Metro garbage will end up an epic fail just like Windows Phone.


Windows 8 up-downgrade.
By max_payne on 5/7/2013 7:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
"...will make an effort to ensure that customer feedback doesn't go unanswered."
Thanks ! so basically Windows 8.1 will be ... a renamed copy of Windows 7 !!!




Return of the Start Button
By Snoop on 5/8/2013 10:21:39 AM , Rating: 2
All indications point to a return to the start button on desktop with Win 8.1..........AND all indications say this start button will return you to Metro.

Is that listening to customers or patronizing them?




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