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Name of OS is also confirmed

Until now, we knew (officially) that an unnamed successor to Windows 8 would enter Release Preview testing next month at Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTBUILD Conference.  Now that unnamed release has received an official title.  

At JP Morgan & Chase Comp.'s (JPM) Media and Telecom conference today Windows chief financial officer Tami Reller confirmed rumors that the upcoming OS, codenamed Windows Blue, would be christened "Windows 8.1".

More importantly, the update -- which reportedly will allow users to boot to desktop, return some semblance of the Start button (albeit one that dumps users into Metro), and include better mouse support in Metro -- will be offered for free to Windows 8 customers.  The update will be distributed via the Windows Store.

OEMs are hopeful the update will revive floundering PC sales.  Q1 2013 marked the worse percentage drop in PC unit sales in history.

Tami Reller
Tami Reller announced today that Windows 8.1 will be free. [Image Source: Microsoft News]

Tami Reller yet again addressed Microsoft's sentiments on another key topic -- Windows RT.  Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), The Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992), Dell Inc. (DELL), and Acer Inc. (TPE:2357) -- have attacked the OS [1][2][3][4] have all attacked complaining about its lack of legacy compatibility and Microsoft's poor marketing of the platform.  Many of these OEMs have refused to release Windows RT products, sinking sales to an anemic 200,000 tablets in Q1 2013.  But Microsoft, like its hardware partners Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) and NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) [1][2][3], is standing clearly behind the platform.

In a statement at the conference Ms. Reller stated, "We need the flexibility of ARM"

Windows RT
Microsoft is standing behind its ARM product, looking to new form factors.
[Image Source: TalkVietnam]

There may be relief in sight for Windows on ARM (WOA), aka Windows RT.  One of the improvements Windows 8.1 is expected to bring is UI adjustments to accommodate 7- and 8-inch displays.  The explosion of this lower-priced segment helped propel another struggling tablet platform -- Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android -- from a bit player to a serious contender, with designs like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Kindle Fire, and ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357) Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet.

There's not much Microsoft can do about the legacy compatibility issue, other than to try to foster the growth of ARM-compatible apps in the Windows Store.  But hopefully Microsoft improves its educational efforts, both in general on how to use Windows 8 (for new users) and the differences between Windows 8/8.1 and RT (for potential ARM device buyers).

Source: Microsoft



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Excellent Move.
By maevinj on 5/14/2013 3:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
Glad Microsoft came to its senses and released this as free.




RE: Excellent Move.
By Arsynic on 5/14/2013 4:01:51 PM , Rating: 4
Everyone pretty much assumed that Windows Blue would be a service pack.

Unless you somehow knew that MS would do like Apple and charge for it and later changed their mind. Do you?


RE: Excellent Move.
By maevinj on 5/14/2013 4:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason, I've been under the impression that they were going to charge for it. I'm not sure why. Guess I'm just use to greedy corporations charging the end user for their screw ups.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Akrovah on 5/14/2013 4:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
I too had been under the assumtion that it would be a charged upgrade. I figured a small (for a Microsft OS) amount, like say $50.

My guess is this is because they are naming it something that sounds similar to Apple's upgreades with the x.x naming rather than calling it what it essentially is, Service Pack 1.


RE: Excellent Move.
By cfaalm on 5/14/2013 5:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
$ 50 would have been way too much imho. OSX upgrades have been below $ 50. With the flack that W8 caught I think MS wouldn't take the risk of even more negative publicity around W8 by charging even a low amount.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2013 8:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
$50 was more than the OS at launch!!


RE: Excellent Move.
By BRB29 on 5/15/2013 8:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
$50? when they were giving it away for $15?
Even past the expiration date of that offer, it's still allowing you to buy Win8 Pro for $15. They are that desperate.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 10:23:29 AM , Rating: 3
where is it for 15? because if that's the case,I will buy it.


RE: Excellent Move.
By seeker353 on 5/16/2013 12:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
They had an offer going that ended (IIRC) on 1 March. You could buy a full retail Windows 8 Pro license for $15 as long as you owned a registered, non-pirated license for Windows Vista or 7. I'm not sure what it's going for now.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Akrovah on 5/15/2013 10:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently $50 was too much for some people.

I was just throwing a number out there that seemed reasonable compared to thier usualy multi-hundred dollar prices for new OSes (not taking into account launch promo prices), which is what the name implied rather than a simple update.


RE: Excellent Move.
By hiscross on 5/19/2013 12:30:54 PM , Rating: 2
"greedy corporations" sure everything should be free. That has always worked. Just look at North Korea, free food, free housing, free speech, and in the end a perfect place to live. Oh, the Soviet Union was great until they shut it down for some reason. Hope and Change.


RE: Excellent Move.
By nikon133 on 5/14/2013 5:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure MS did talk about dropping model with new OS every 3 years with free SPs in-between, and doing cheap incremental OS updates every year instead. I cannot recall if that was mentioned as something they decided to do from now on, scheduled to do in future or just considered as an option.


RE: Excellent Move.
By CZroe on 5/14/2013 9:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Everyone pretty much assumed that Windows Blue would be a service pack."

You must not have been around for Windows 98 Second Edition less than 10 months after Windows 98.


RE: Excellent Move.
By jabber on 5/16/2013 6:02:44 AM , Rating: 3
And Win95 and Win95 OSR2 which brought new goodies to the OS.

Things change.


RE: Excellent Move.
By rs2 on 5/14/2013 10:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
It is a service pack, in all but name.


RE: Excellent Move.
By B3an on 5/14/2013 11:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a SP. Nothing about it is anything like a SP. No SP has ever added anything even close to half as many features as 8.1, let alone a new kernel. Even MS have said it's not an SP.

This is an update. Equivalent to an OSX update, but even in its unfinished state the leaked builds probably have more new stuff than a typical OSX update. MS are now doing yearly updates to Windows.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2013 4:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
I said this in another article, and kept being told I didn't know what I was talking about. The price, I was wrong about, but it appears it will be free for existing 8 users, didn't see anything about non 8 users.


RE: Excellent Move.
By arthur449 on 5/17/2013 7:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
It's similar to Windows XP Service Pack 2, which Microsoft was also mulling over whether to charge for it and/or call it Second Edition.

http://winsupersite.com/windows-xp/windows-xp-serv...


RE: Excellent Move.
By Argon18 on 5/14/13, Rating: 0
RE: Excellent Move.
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/15/2013 2:18:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You mean instead of charging, like they usually do? Pay for Win95, and pay again for the Win98 fix. Pay for WinME, and pay again for the Win2k fix. Pay for Vista, and pay again for the Seven fix.

Wow, everything about this statement is just fundamentally broken. It's actually kind of impressive that you managed to be so wrong. Win98 came 3 years after Win95 was not a fix by any reasonable definition. If anything you should call 98SE a fix for 98. WinME was a disaster and wasn't better than 98SE at anything, so rip on that edition all you want. Win2K had nothing to do with WinME though; different kernel and different market. Also, Win2K came out months before WinME, so how can you possibly call it a fix? Vista was fine, and anyone with a functioning brain and motivation to research the subject understands that the problems at launch were caused by a) third party developers writing lousy software b) hardware companies writing lousy drivers. Win7 was great, but as far as being a fix, it was a marketing fix more than anything else.

quote:
It's the Microsoft way after all. Pay and pay some more, never mind that most of their products are half-baked junk.

Pay and pay some more? Yeah, that sounds like the business model of every company ever. Half-baked junk? Say what you will, but realize that MS has been dominating the desktop/laptop OS market for a very long time, and there is something to be said for that.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Argon18 on 5/17/2013 12:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
Your word-smithing doesn't impress me. Win95 was a turd through and through. Heck, it even BSOD'd during Bill Gate's media presentation. Win98, when it was released, was called "what Win95 should have been" by journalists everywhere.

Win2k was indeed the fix for WinME. Initially they were targeted at different markets, ME for home, and 2k for business. But ME was such a colossal turd, the solution at the time was to install Win2k at home.

As for dominating the desktop market, that isn't hard to do when you've been fined $hundreds of millions for violating anti-competitive monopoly laws in a dozen different countries. Gaining market share by breaking the law and harming consumers isn't something to be proud of.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Motoman on 5/14/2013 4:46:45 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, but still...

quote:
which reportedly will allow users to boot to desktop


That's very positive.

quote:
return some semblance of the Start button (albeit one that dumps users into Metro)


That's very negative, and crucially doesn't fix anything. They've managed to break the Start button in the process of turning it back on.

Just stop f%cking around already and do what any sane person would do - put the normal Start menu and desktop back in, without any further molestation thereof.


RE: Excellent Move.
By 91TTZ on 5/14/2013 5:02:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Just stop f%cking around already and do what any sane person would do - put the normal Start menu and desktop back in, without any further molestation thereof.


Microsoft is hesitant to do this because they're trying to promote their whole mobile initiative. They want Windows sales to directly lead to Windows Phone and Surface sales. I agree with you that this is horrible for the desktop, but Microsoft is trying to corral users into this new ecosystem that they heavily invested in. It's just not working.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Kefner on 5/14/2013 5:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
Thank goodness for Start8 and 8gadgetpack, installed both first day I got my PC, and it's been basically the same as Win 7. So, the new Start button will just be a dump to metro? I've already done that by pinning the metro icon onto my task bar, so nothing new there for me. Now I just hope it doesn't "break" Start8 or 8gadgetpack!!! :)


RE: Excellent Move.
By BRB29 on 5/15/2013 8:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
uninstall it and update. I'm sure there will be an update for Start8 for 8.1


RE: Excellent Move.
By seeker353 on 5/16/2013 12:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, they can keep the Start Button if they're not bringing back the old Start Menu. If all it does it drop you into Metro, then what's the point? You can already move the mouse to where the Start Button used to be, click, and enter Metro.


RE: Excellent Move.
By talikarni on 5/16/2013 3:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Glad Microsoft came to its senses and released this as free.


Uh..it is Windows 8 Service Pack 1. After public release, it will be released the same as Win7 SP1, Vista SP1, and so on, new users still need to pay for it, existing users get the Service Pack... only now they are not calling it a service pack even though thats what it really is.


RE: Excellent Move.
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/17/2013 7:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
it's not a sp....


RE: Excellent Move.
By Argon18 on 5/17/2013 12:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
Oh really? It's free. And its purpose is to address customer complaints about 8.0. I don't care what they name it, if it looks like a service pack and feels like a service pack...


RE: Excellent Move.
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/20/2013 1:32:51 PM , Rating: 1
It's free, what is your point exactly? It's not a SP. It's been stated already. Get your Apple loving head out of your ass and look around a little bit.

Fucking trolls...


RE: Excellent Move.
By fteoath64 on 5/20/2013 3:28:22 AM , Rating: 2
Huh ?.! If it were not free, then Win8 will be doomed. This is a service pack that is direly needed for Win8 to establish a firm foundation towards the future and assure it of that future. The key weakness of RT must be remedied in order for its future to be way more open than the PRO. A dual path will assure RT of freedom of choice in its competitive space. For RT to be constrained like PRO is to really torture it to death. Not a good thing.
An unrestrained RT can compete with the best of the Androids and IOS in following the PC model of openness and freedom to develop. Also developing a layer to allow Android apps compatibility will go a lot way to ensure apps get ported natively to RT. BlackBerry can do an Android compatibility layer and I do not see why MS cannot do it for RT. By going to 7inch or 8 inch format, a 4:3 aspect ratio especially a 1600X1200 screen would be ideal to compete with the best of Android and PPI wise match a retina display on visuals alone. This is enough to play with the best of the market prices are reasonable enough. MS has to know that people buy iPad becuase the price is worth it compared to what the competition offers. If MS can beat this price/worth ratio, it can have a new winner in the segment. Low end screen resolution should be 1366X 1024 and should NOT be 1024X768 because that is 3 year old tech!.


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