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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,, 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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RE: Excellent Move.
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/15/2013 2:18:59 PM , Rating: 2
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.

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.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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