Print 102 comment(s) - last by TakinYourPoint.. on Jan 24 at 5:29 PM

Windows 8.1 update expected in April

Microsoft launched its Windows 8 operating system in 2012. Windows 8.1 was released last year, free of charge, and aimed to fix some of the issues that customers had with the original release. However, Microsoft is already moving forward with the next version of its OS and is looking to distance itself from the Windows 8.x name as soon as possible according to Paul Thurrott.
Thurrott writes:
Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment. That's a disaster, and Threshold needs to strike a better balance between meeting the needs of over a billion traditional PC users while enticing users to adopt this new Windows on new types of personal computing devices.
The next OS will reportedly be called Windows 9 and is tipped to launch in April 2015. The new OS is in currently in development under the codename "Threshold" and the first tidbits about the OS will be discussed during the Microsoft BUILD conference in April 2014.
Some details of Threshold have surfaced including the fact that the Start menu will return, it will mark the introduction of Metro 2.0, and that the OS will be able to run Metro-style apps on the desktop with desktop apps.
Microsoft is also tipped to be trotting out the latest update to Windows 8.1 at BUILD in April. That update is said to be substantial and offered to Windows 8.1 users [again] for free.
Thurrott reports that one of the most interesting things about Threshold is that it casts Windows 8 in with Vista as an OS that just didn’t click with consumers. 

Source: WinSuperSite

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By retrospooty on 1/14/2014 10:50:26 AM , Rating: 4
Apparently the old start menu will return in its exact original state, and users can choose it or metro based on their own device and prefs... Perfect. Also nice that Metro and its apps can be Windowed. That makes it what 8 should have been in the first place. 2015 and 2016 will be the year enterprise start moving away from 7. I say starts not finishes, because right now 8 has basically zero enterprise presence because everyone hates it with a passion.

RE: Sweet!
By Da W on 1/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: Sweet!
By substrate on 1/14/2014 11:54:14 AM , Rating: 4
Well, you only have to install Windows 8 then do the Windows 8.1 upgrade via the Microsoft Store. This applies even if you bought the $30 upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8. I have done it myself.

RE: Sweet!
By Da W on 1/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: Sweet!
By Samus on 1/15/2014 3:35:21 AM , Rating: 2
You can install Windows 8.1 with a preview key, or any preview keys in the below link

or request a preview key from Microsoft by downloading a trial install

or follow this guide on installing without a key:

Obviously preview/trial keys get you 30-days since they do not activate, but any Windows 8.x key will activate Windows 8.1

You don't need to have Windows 8 installed to install Windows 8.1. Google search for whatever ISO you need. My Digital Life and ASKVG both have legal links for the RTM ISO's from Pro to Enterprise.

RE: Sweet!
By lucyfek on 1/14/2014 1:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well, this not exactly correct - definitely the 7 to 8 upgrade part can be skipped with the help of registry trick (how many of these applies to 8 to make it usable;).
The 8 to 8.1 upgrade - I do not recall now for sure (did it over TG weekend) but since I was not going to buy into the Store thing (wished the whole Metro thing just died and "fell off" my desktop system) I know I did it outside the Store. Same situation - 8pro and MC pack, 25$ (the only reason I got it, plus the fact that you can move the license between systems). Downloaded 8.1Pro iso from MS - pain but can be done. Did backup, started the upgrade (I believe that you could select clean install there if this was your concern) and it worked ok (with some issues resulting from my ssd/hdd/folder junctions giving problem with MC setup). Have system image (never give up your good system, images take only so much space on hdd) and you'll be set (though MS decision/mistake(?) to make it so painful is a shame - even Adobe does better).

RE: Sweet!
By Makaveli on 1/14/2014 3:23:38 PM , Rating: 4
That is your own fault for buying a upgrade.

This issue with happen to you with any version of windows as much as I hate windows 8 your at fault nice try tho.

RE: Sweet!
By dragonbif on 1/14/2014 11:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
Now that is just not true, Windows 8.1 has some enterprise presence. We, for example have several of the new Dell Venue 11 Pro tablets (i5, 8GB, 256GB) Windows 8.1 Ent tablets in use. We call them Pro tablets or for our users "laptop replacements" because if we call them anything else like a tablet they think of the iPad. When they think that, its none stop "how am I going to get anything done if I don't have my normal applications?" The dual monitor docks Dell has for their tablet is what sold it for us.

As a side note, none of our desktops or laptop will ever have Windows 8.1,

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/14/2014 11:29:42 AM , Rating: 3
I said "basically zero". It's an extremely small #.

"As a side note, none of our desktops or laptop will ever have Windows 8.1"

Exactly... Ours either. We actually has one remote site go out and buy a cheap desktop with Win8 without asking us first, we told them we wont support it and made them take it back for a refund. LOL.

RE: Sweet!
By sgestwicki on 1/14/2014 2:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'm another system admin that will not inflict Windows 8.x on my users. The cost of retraining them is just too high. Microsoft did make improvements for the enterprise but they didn't just shoot themselves in the foot with the "Modern UI", they freaking blew their leg off.

RE: Sweet!
By Labotomizer on 1/14/2014 11:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
Our company doesn't dictate, at least not to system engineers and the like. I run Windows 8 as do about 20 other engineers for the integrated Hyper V. Most of us prefer VMware but for the workstation side HyperV is better than VMWorkstation. The true VMware gurus still run workstation for vmotion between vSphere and workstation, but outside of that 8 is fine.

I think people have made too big of a deal out of it. But I would not advise wide adoption because of that reaction. Upsetting large numbers of users, regardless of my personal opinion, is usually poor advice. Just because I like black coffee doesn't mean we shouldn't buy sugar and cream. And just because I like Windows 8 doesn't mean everyone should get it.

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/15/2014 9:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
"Our company doesn't dictate"

The truth is ours doesn't either... If someone wanted to get one it would be fine IF they know how to use it. The issue above where we told them we wouldn't support it is because they couldn't figure it out and kept calling needing help.

RE: Sweet!
By inighthawki on 1/14/2014 11:24:59 AM , Rating: 1
Apparently the old start menu will return in its exact original state

Where did you hear this? The rumor is only of a start menu, not necessarily exactly as it was. I don't doubt for one minute that the new start menu would have some kind of live tiles on it.

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/14/2014 11:27:38 AM , Rating: 3
It's on the internet, so it has to be true. ;)

RE: Sweet!
By JediJeb on 1/14/2014 2:14:44 PM , Rating: 3
Uhh, Bon Jour!

RE: Sweet!
By lagomorpha on 1/14/2014 1:28:40 PM , Rating: 2
new start menu would have some kind of live tiles on it.

Please no

RE: Sweet!
By espaghetti on 1/14/2014 1:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
I like tiles....
On the floor in my bathroom.

RE: Sweet!
By troysavary on 1/15/2014 1:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
I like Live Tiles, but the Start Menu would be a poor place for them.

RE: Sweet!
By bah12 on 1/14/2014 11:44:54 AM , Rating: 3
2016 will be the year enterprise start moving away from 7
I don't know. I know I'd be ok with win 9 on new PC's, but I seriously doubt they will have a feature that I would upgrade for, 99% of it will be fluff that is virtually worthless to business.

The new faster OS/Office rollouts are going to come back and bite MS. Enterprise IT craves stability. The fact that XP/Office changed so rarely is literally what built MS in the enterprise world. No IT guy I know wants to mess with OS and Office upgrades every 2 years. 5 years is the minimum lifetime in IT with 7 being ideal. Desktop OS upgrades are about the most time consuming things in IT (unless you approach it from a buy all new, or only upgrade on new). Just doing the upgrades takes time, and validation even more so.

Add to all this the fact that both the OS and Office haven't added a must have feature since Office 2007 (if you count ribbon as must have), and there is little reason to move beyond a Win 7/Office 2007 setup. The only real reason is because MS will eventually strong arm us into doing so via licensing/support.

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/14/2014 12:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
The same was said about XP, Vista and 7, but at some point new PC's are bought and they have the newer OS. Right now enterprise is simply not accepting Win8 at all, and OEM's therefore offer a free Win7 downgrade as the default OS installed on enterprise class PC's and laptops. This is the same thing that happened with WinXP and Vista. Once a workable OS comes out (7 and 9) the free downgrades stop and new PC's start using the newer OS. It's all part of MS's cycle Good OS > Bad OS > Good OS > Bad OS. Vista never happened in enterprise and Neither will 8. If 9 is good then it will be the one to catch on, and by all early word on it, it will address the issues enterprise doesn't like about 8. .

RE: Sweet!
By nafhan on 1/14/2014 3:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm voting for 2020 (end of extended support) as the year enterprise moves away from 7. We're talking about companies that are in some cases still moving from XP to 7 (note, not 8).

Windows 9 may have some presence at the enterprise level, but nothing short of the end of security patches or some major incompatibility with business essential applications/hardware will get the big guys off of Win 7. Depending on the cadence of MS OS releases, Win 9 may get skipped, too.

RE: Sweet!
By Motoman on 1/14/2014 12:35:28 PM , Rating: 5
This is just it. If MS is actually thinking that releasing a new OS version every year or so like Apple is a good idea, they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Apple's footprint in the enterprise is basically zero. MS will live and die by the enterprise. And the enterprise hasn't got the slightest interest in yearly OS upgrade cycles...or probably even 2 or 3 year cycles.

Windows 8 is going to be completely bypassed in the enterprise...and Windows 9 *might* start getting adopted by the time Windows Ten comes out.

MS really kind of needs to stop freaking out...which is what they're doing. Their antics with Fisher-Pricing everything (like the ribbon and Metro) and these rapid-fire OS versions are doing nothing but eroding their hold on the market. They think they're competing against Apple - they aren't. Only Apple competes with Apple. MS users expect Windows to be Windows, and they expect Office to be Office, etc. And they aren't impressed by what MS has been doing with Windows and Office for the past few years.

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/14/2014 1:10:44 PM , Rating: 3
"MS really kind of needs to stop freaking out...which is what they're doing. Their antics with Fisher-Pricing everything (like the ribbon and Metro) and these rapid-fire OS versions are doing nothing but eroding their hold on the market. They think they're competing against Apple - they aren't. Only Apple competes with Apple. MS users expect Windows to be Windows, and they expect Office to be Office"

I have to agree with you on that. Windows is/has been the grown up OS that the whole world runs off of including the factories that make every Apple product and pretty much everything else. They need to stop reacting to Apple's consumer "toy" success and keep being the grown up OS that runs the whole business world. That is where MS's money is, that is where MS's past present and future is and it isnt going away.

RE: Sweet!
By TakinYourPoints on 1/15/2014 1:16:50 AM , Rating: 2
Hate to pull an Argon but while Windows is obviously important in the office/spreadsheet world and very entrenched areas such as CAD/CAM, Linux and OS X are incredibly important elsewhere and are not easily replaced by Windows.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, most people here would be very surprised or disappointed if they visited Google, Facebook, or any other major Bay Area tech. Macs running OS X as far as the eye can see. Friends doing security for major Fortune 500s are developing in OS X with Linux distro of choice in VMs. Ditto anything with backend web development and programming web applications. It makes sense given that so much non-proprietary non-MS backend runs on some flavor of *nix, and that developing in Windows isn't as simple as doing the same in OS X (just getting Ruby to work is a PITA in Windows).

Windows is obviously important in enterprise. That's where Microsoft gets most of their revenue from, after all. To write off anything that doesn't have to do with Office or Exchange is terribly shortsighted.

It doesn't speak to MS being a non-"toy" OS either: myself and most people I know work in OS X or *nix and use Windows strictly for games. We'll see for how long if Valve can make a convicing case for SteamOS.

Rapid iteration is clearly where Microsoft needs to go next. People are used to rapid and free feature updates from Apple and Google. Microsoft has to at least try if they're going to keep up. Windows XP style lifespans have no hope of keeping up with competitors.

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/15/2014 7:20:55 AM , Rating: 2
Meh, they dont need to "keep up with competitors" in enterprise and release more often, they need to release less. Enterprise doesn't want a new OS every year. They want a good one that lasts for many years. Adding (forcing) a dumbed down consumer UI to Win 8 has insured that Win8 will never be in the enterprise model.

And to your other point, yes Linux an OSx are used to a small extent by some companies. I wasnt saying nothing else is used at all in enterprise just that MS IS enterprise. They own it, their fortune is in it and they need to not blow it like they are blowing the consumer side.

RE: Sweet!
By troysavary on 1/15/2014 1:25:49 PM , Rating: 2
They aren't doing a new OS every year. If Win9 comes out next year, it will be approximately 3 years after Win8.

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/16/2014 7:42:43 AM , Rating: 2
I was responding to this odd non-sensical comment. "Rapid iteration is clearly where Microsoft needs to go next. People are used to rapid and free feature updates from Apple and Google. Microsoft has to at least try if they're going to keep up. "

Saying that no, they dont need to do that. Takin is stuck in his little world and doesnt understand much about the real world of enterprise. No worries.

RE: Sweet!
By TakinYourPoints on 1/15/2014 9:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
A "small extent" by some companies translates to all they use at Google, Facebook, back-end at Amazon, and on and on.

Forget open standards developmment on the web, you can't even compile Android source files on Windows. That requires either OS X or Linux.

I hope people here don't honestly think that Android was made on Windows, or that Google uses it in any way. Its all Macs and Linux. *nix operating systems may be a minority use case on the low-end consumer desktop but man is that usage important for development of web applications, security, and backend that everybody with a browser uses. These particular things are not easily replaced by proprietary Windows development environments.

Things would be very different if the web was dominated by Microsoft technology rather than open standards.

Microsoft's backend and Office integration is absolutely essential to lots of enterprise, absolutely, I would never disagree with that. I'm just saying that spreadsheets aren't the end-all-be-all to what people use computers for. A smaller percentage of very important programmers and technology companies using OS X, Linux, etc, are at least as valuable.

Adding (forcing) a dumbed down consumer UI to Win 8 has insured that Win8 will never be in the enterprise model.

Regular improvements and a dumbed down Metro UI are totally mutually exclusive. Its a false dichotomy, one thing has nothing to do with the other.

RE: Sweet!
By superstition on 1/15/2014 11:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
The whole the "IBM PC is a serious machine and the Mac is a toy" thing has been going on since the first Mac was released.

It won't ever end. Some religions just keep going.

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/16/2014 7:52:00 AM , Rating: 2
Naming a few things on a few companies is fine and all but it doesn't change the fact that the whole world runs off Windows. When I say the whole world runs of Microsoft I'm not speaking literally of course. What that means is that the majority of business does run off of Microsoft in 1 form or another every company uses them. They are by far the dominant force in the enterprise market as well as the PC market. No 1 has ever done what they do. Of course there are other parties Linux Unix Sun Oracle and mainframes too, and a lot of companies use them but it's only part of the picture. Microsoft is the only 1 that does the whole package, and they are firmly entrenched in that.

Let me put it another way... If hypothetically, a single company were to close its doors and disable all of their products like Apple, Oracle, Google, Sun micro, UNIX, any Linux house, SAP, or any the number of other companies. If one of them we're too close their doors and suddenly deactivated all products, life will go on on... Some companies would stumble and have to figure out another solution, and some would lose money for it. Some might even go out of business... But if MS were to close up and all products deactivated, the entire world's economy would come to a grinding halt. It would literally be the end of the world as we know it. No other company can say that. Dont forget, every iDevice and Mac is made in factories that run their businesses of MS PC's. Every planning, purchasing, inbound logistics, warehousing, shop floor, shipping, accounting, reverse logistics, CRM software etc etc... It all runs on PC's.

Almost every product we produce and purchase relies on it. Google doesn't, but Google doesn't make physical products, they are a software company duh. If Windows disappeared suddenly, you wouldn't have a job because the people that pay you wouldn't have a job. It wouldn't matter if you did have a job or saved money, because there would be no food in the grocery stores. Yes, sorry my friend, the whole world relies on Windows and its 1000x more complex than just "spreadsheets".

RE: Sweet!
By TakinYourPoints on 1/24/2014 5:29:07 PM , Rating: 1
Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Oracle, "a few tiny little companies".

But if MS were to close up and all products deactivated, the entire world's economy would come to a grinding halt.

Hilarious given that stock and commodities exchanges don't even run on Windows, it runs on Linux. Same with the backend of any other financial institution.

Seriously dude, there's a whole world outside of spreadsheets and syncing calenders.

To be clear, OBVIOUSLY everything Microsoft does is important. Different tools for different jobs. Your usual "black and white" game of trying to say that there is only one important thing in all of this and what would happen if any of these companies disappeared is the same kind of useless thought experiment that third graders do on the playground. I shouldn't be surprised after all this time but I'm actually amazed that you took so much time to type out something so fundamentally obvious and useless.

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/16/2014 7:56:10 AM , Rating: 2
"Regular improvements and a dumbed down Metro UI are totally mutually exclusive. Its a false dichotomy, one thing has nothing to do with the other."

I agree it doesn't... Other than the fact that the UI is what is stopping enterprise as a whole from even considering using it.

RE: Sweet!
By haukionkannel on 1/14/2014 2:11:52 PM , Rating: 3
Windows 9 is too early to enterprice to upgrade from win7. They will using win 7 as long as they can. Like they used (are still using) Win XP. Enterprice don't like upgrades...
In our system we even have to wait normal service packs many, many months until they have been tested, retested, repacked and so on...
Enterprise users are not gonna upgrade to win 9 if it will be out 2015, even if it would work like a charm. Tehy will wait until the os they are using is in the end of the line...
It is not the quality it is the validation of all those enterprise software that is running on the OS!

RE: Sweet!
By retrospooty on 1/15/2014 7:24:03 AM , Rating: 2
I think the point he is making isnt that Win9 will be quickly adopted, its that (if they do fix the start menu) it will be the one enterprise goes with. They will eventually down the road a few years upgrade their aging 7 machines and go to 9 or later skipping 8 and 8.1 and the horrible forced touchscreen UI.

RE: Sweet!
By troysavary on 1/15/2014 1:29:34 PM , Rating: 1
There is no "forced touchscreen" in 8.1. If you don't want Metro, you never have to see it as long as you set the desktop programs as the default rather than the Metro versions. ClassicShell is free as well. Do that, and you have a system that is functionally pretty much the same as Win7.

RE: Sweet!
By nikon133 on 1/14/2014 3:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it is wrong... most our bigger customers are on volume licensing anyway, so they have required licenses and media for older versions of Windows. Even small customers (with OEM licenses) can downgrade, and both HP and Lenovo, here in New Zealand, are still offering business machines with Windows 7 Pro pre-installed.

What yearly releases give Microsoft is capability to fine-tune software and clean up design errors they have made. One can expect that MS will release (generally perceived) good version of Windows every 3-5 years, and fill years in-between with better or worst received concepts and experiments... and this is exactly what businesses need, good version every 3-5 years.

Everything else in-between doesn't really touch them, regardless of how good or bad it is.

RE: Sweet!
By ranran on 1/15/2014 8:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
Well said, Motoman. This is exactly it. Their constant knee-jerk reactions to Apple and what they perceive as necessary markets to compete in are hurting them in the long run. I attribute this to little long-term vision, and much short-term reaction....

RE: Sweet!
By robinthakur on 1/18/2014 7:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you that MS has been far too reactionary of late and they are really freaking out and alienating their core audience and badly shaking enterprise confidence in them. On the phone side they have quite closely aped Apple (with some eventual minor success) but OS wise, Apple now offers free OS updates which basically means that the vast majority of Apple OS X users upgraded overnight when Mavericks came out. If you think Apple have no footprint in the enterprise of today, think again. In our company, every meeting room is equipped with an Apple TV so that people can present from their iPads, iPhones and MacBook pros/airs that the company now issues, using Airplay mirroring. BYOD meant that these devices were entering the company every day, and users started requesting them instead of PC's. People seem to regard being able wirelessly present as one of the biggest leap forwards ever in tech, they love it.

What MS needs to do, is focus on pleasing business, which might be less glamorous than what Apple is doing, but will mean they will continue to make profit. They also need to stop trying to push everybody towards cloud (though their infrastructure for cloud is first rate) just because it is massively profitable, the hype is fooling the back end, they still dominate, but on Office and Windows, they are really screwing up their future business and killing the market for PCs.

This will have a major fall out, which is not obvious, as developers that bothered to learn about Windows 8 apps and how they are put together (or worse, paid to get certified) will be totally annoyed at all this constant change, and the obvious conclusion is that MS don't know what they are doing.

RE: Sweet!
By Helbore on 1/20/2014 2:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft doesn't necessarily need the enterprise market to upgrade on a yearly basis. The intention is for consumers to upgrade on a yearly basis. Enterprises will upgrade on their own schedule and always have done.

Even when Microsoft were operating on a three-year release cycle, enterprises were still skipping versions. Its a massive job (and expense) to upgrade a large company every three years, so it never happened. It didn't stop Microsoft turning out new versions on that schedule, though, because enterprise isn't the only market they sell in to.

RE: Sweet!
By Griffinhart on 1/14/2014 12:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, this is exactly what people were feeding back and posting about during the Original Win8 beta. Had they done it then I have no doubt Windows 8 would have been a success story.

RE: Sweet!
By inperfectdarkness on 1/15/2014 9:00:08 AM , Rating: 2
I just want to know if--when 9 releases--if MS will issue apology cards with each purchase. Or at least give super-steep rebates to everyone who bought a new PC and was force-fed Win 8.

By p05esto on 1/14/2014 11:29:59 AM , Rating: 3
I really tried Windows 8 but just couldn't. It was so dumbed down and hard to use, so slow, so garbled up with crap I don't use. I could have installed 3rd party apps and spend a week changing everything to make it work smoother like Win7....but I just reverted back. Power Users are what MS needs on their side, they influence the regular users and when power users tell their family and friends to stay away from windows 8 they do.

I personally didn't mind Vista after SP2 at all, is there hardly a difference to Win7? I liked the start menu in Vista better in fact (more customizable)

RE: try
By ICBM on 1/14/2014 11:45:36 AM , Rating: 4
I have had quite the opposite experience. I have found Windows 8 to be smoother and more streamlined. Granted Metro has no place on a non touch desktop system, so then stay in desktop mode, problem solved. All my friends and myself now have switched with no complaints or desires to go back to 7(which everyone loved as well). People just need to get past Metro, and that is very easy to do with 8.1.

I agree on Vista, after SP2 and throw and SSD in the mix, it became nice. The biggest issue with Vista from my perspective was the sluggish performance early on. 8 is the most streamlined well running Windows to date, so I don't think its completely fair to compare the two on that level.

RE: try
By Snoop on 1/14/2014 11:51:11 AM , Rating: 2
Same here. Throw Start8 onto Windows 8 (i have completely disabled metro) and it is, IMO, the best desktop OS MS has created. It runs great. All of my development has been switched to a Windows 8 box with Virtual Machines, runs 24/7 and it is solid as a rock.

RE: try
By Etsp on 1/14/2014 11:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
Are you using Hyper-V for those VM's? That's what I'm using and I like it a lot. My only issue is the lack of a virtual router and firewall.

RE: try
By Snoop on 1/15/2014 12:15:41 AM , Rating: 2
VMWare Workstation for all my VM's. I should try using Hyper-V one day but to be honest VMware has exceeded all my expectations over the years. It just works.

RE: try
By Etsp on 1/15/2014 2:08:39 AM , Rating: 2
Well, one major benefit to Hyper-V is that it comes with professional versions of windows (Windows Server and Windows 8 Pro), vs the $250 retail price of VMware workstation.

If you already bought it though, I doubt that there's a reason for you to switch.

RE: try
By sgestwicki on 1/14/2014 2:45:12 PM , Rating: 2
I stopped customizing the Start Menu in Windows 7 because of the search box. I loved no longer having to dig though the All Programs to find what I wanted.

Just in case someone doesn't know. You can do the same search for programs in Windows 8.x by going to the Start Screen and just start typing. There is no box to type in so it isn't obvious.

Win 8.2
By lemonadesoda on 1/14/2014 1:09:24 PM , Rating: 3
Start menu will return, and the OS will run Metro-style apps on the desktop

Now THAT should have been win 8, or in MS fix-it mode, win 8.1. The fact that they need to launch a whole new OS just to get back to WinXP/7 style environment is just embarrassing for MS. In fact, why not release a Metro 2.0 patch which fixes all of this NOW, just like MS was successful with R2 versions of previous MS OSes.

A fixed Win 8.2 would be accepted by consumer and enterprise MUCH MUCH faster than Win 9, which will have to go through the usual 1 year watch and test cycle, ie. no one will use it until 2016

RE: Win 8.2
By haukionkannel on 1/14/2014 2:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
Win 9 is not win7. It will be Metro2 like MS has said. It srill uses tiles and so on. Maybe we get back some ey candy, or on option for it. Transparent tiles? Or animated tiles... who knows.
The startup toobar in desktop mode can come back even earlier. So many is usin some alternate way of getting it back that it is safer to use "official" MS startup menu, so it will be back, but with tiles...
All in all nothing to fancy, but a practical thing to do.

RE: Win 8.2
By inighthawki on 1/14/2014 2:34:55 PM , Rating: 3
I have no idea what you just said...

RE: Win 8.2
By mlmiller1 on 1/17/2014 11:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
I think he said he believes windows 9 will be the same as windows 7, only it will have more eye candy.

RE: Win 8.2
By mlmiller1 on 1/17/2014 11:29:28 AM , Rating: 2
No, I am wrong. He is saying win 9 will be a prettier win 8. And that win 9 will have options to make it like win 7. Then he states that even though there are third party modifications to win 8 to bring back win 7 feel, it will not be adopted until it comes from Microsoft.

I think that is what he was trying to say...It's like a riddle.

Interesting choice of words
By NellyFromMA on 1/14/2014 12:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
Some details of Threshold have surfaced including the fact that the Start menu will return..

Is that a fact? I thought it was a rumor.

RE: Interesting choice of words
By inighthawki on 1/14/2014 2:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
Everything is rumor until Microsoft makes it official, but the source of the rumor is pretty reputable.

RE: Interesting choice of words
By Murloc on 1/14/2014 4:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
details that surface are always a rumor as they can always change their mind until there's not enough time anymore.

By inighthawki on 1/14/2014 11:36:03 AM , Rating: 5
Needs aero glass back or from my eyes the desktop UI will be a disaster. There are quite a few people passionate about it, and for those who don't like it, there is always a checkbox to turn it off.

Windoze X
By SuckRaven on 1/14/2014 12:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
I guess that means we can look forward to Windows 10 in 2016 or so being a P.O.S.

Shame. 10 is suck a nice number for an OS.

RE: Windoze X
By Xplorer4x4 on 1/14/2014 9:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
Nah they will probably come up with some name for it like they did with Vista or NT. Then Win 10 will come after that which will be nice and polished.

By villageidiotintern on 1/14/2014 12:20:47 PM , Rating: 4
I'm still holding out for Windows 9.8 SE.

Upgraded to 8.1 yesterday!
By Any14Tee on 1/15/2014 11:35:54 AM , Rating: 2
Why do I listen to you guys, curiosity definitely got the better of me - yesterday gone on eBay and purchased legit product key for Windows 8.1 (£32 for key and download link), downloaded to separate partition running dual boot with Windows 7. It's alright, not bad, not worth paying the full whack for it.

I have been using it extensively today, a little tweak here and there, metro tiles pointless unless you have a touch screen. I have customised it so it looks just like my Windows 7 (sort of defeats the object I know) but there are some neat little touches which are unique to windows 8, the start button being welcome addition.

There is one feature I can't live without and it only comes with Sony VAIO laptops, I call it the Whoooosh bar (VAIO Gate to be precise) - its like windows task bar except it resides at the top and when you scroll across it to select an application it does the Mexican Wave. You can short-cut your apps to the VAIO Gate, I find this compensates for the shortfalls in Windows 8.1. I have it installed on my custom-built gaming desktop, so you don't need to purchase a Sony VAIO and you're able to download the software from Sony website.

I am freaked out why MS never gets it right the first time, its frustrating and makes us want to upgrade unnecessarily.

RE: Upgraded to 8.1 yesterday!
By Any14Tee on 1/15/2014 11:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
"but there are some neat little touches which are unique to windows 8, the start button being welcome addition."

I meant to say Windows 8.1

Maybe Steam OS...
By nafhan on 1/14/2014 11:14:29 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like 2015 will be my next OS upgrade. Probably Windows 9, but I'm hoping on the outside chance that the gaming situation will improve on Linux thanks to Steam OS.

Save some money!
By bobgoh on 1/14/2014 4:42:38 PM , Rating: 2
Install Stardock Start8 and boom you have Windows 9!

My thoughts.
By snipes76 on 1/14/2014 4:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
My Win7 system crashed when the Windows 8 Developer Preview was out, so I played with it for a few months. I also played with Ubuntu. I've been on Ubuntu since. That was almost 2 years ago now.

I'm just of the opinion that there is no need to pay for an operating system anymore. There are very stable, feature rich Linux distributions out there. The problem is, it requires change.

For one, it kind of resets the whole power user thing. I'm pretty handy on windows, but the switch to Linux pretty much obliterated any of that knowledge. It was doable though. It also requires you to find some replacement programs for what you used before. I'm fresh out of college, so my Microsoft Office usage dropped significantly (and we used Google Docs half the time in college anyways). I'm pretty invested in Google Apps, so the change wasn't that hard.

I can see that not happening for a majority of people yet, because they obtain their OS through their PC purchase, but I see that slightly changing. Microsoft getting into hardware, PC manufacturer consolidation, lackluster Windows 8 sales is all pushing OEM's to offer different choices. HP, Dell, Alienware(through Dell) offer Ubuntu laptops online now. Mac is a known alternative. Chromebooks have made a slight, but noticeable impact. I think the days of Operating System sales are numbered. I don't think Windows 9+ will ever have the impact like Windows XP or 7 did.

To me, Windows 9 is irrelevant.

Not at all like Vista
By wordsworm on 1/14/2014 5:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
I tried Vista... liked very little about it and went back to XP. 7 was basically XP tweaked to handle the then contemporary computers and user needs. Windows 8, though, has given me a much faster, easier, and more stable out of the box OS that I've ever had. I had to relearn a few things, but well worth it. I certainly don't need a start menu again. 8.1 I'm not as fond of. It feels slightly dumbed down.

Is it just me...
By deltaend on 1/14/2014 8:39:41 PM , Rating: 2
Or is Microsoft following the Original Star Trek Movies tradition of releasing one bad OS between good OS releases? Is this possibly some sort of strange, secret, marketing scheme?

Windows 7 tested amazingly well in beta with reviewers getting almost everything they wanted in the final release. Windows 8 tested horribly in beta and the reviewers got almost nothing that they wanted in release. It's hard to believe that Microsoft most reviewers for Windows 8 without some sort of hidden reason.

By StormyKnight on 1/14/2014 11:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
Microsloth should give users a choice on how the OS should look. If you like the regular Win95 - Win7 Icons on a grid look, you just choose it in settings. If you like the phone (Metro) look, again choose it in settings. I personally don't care for the Metro interface. I will never upgrade to it. If Win7 is the last OS to have the grid display then I'm holding on to it

Carts and Horses...
By croc on 1/15/2014 12:39:19 AM , Rating: 2
If I were Microsoft, I'd make the leadership transition a priority THEN worry about how to deal with the OS crisis... Ya gottta have a horse to pull that cart, y'know...

Several things that I'd note as being different in the Vista / Win 8 scenarios... In the case of Vista, it was talked up, about, and over-hyped to hell and back. It was going to be the be-all and end-all of operating systems, to hear MS tell it. But, in the end much of the hyped features never made it into the public beta even, let alone the RC version. Still, it must have been one of the most publicly discussed / tested OS's of all time. Yet, for all the public testing (and public moaning) the memory management that made it into release killed Vista's public reception. If Win FS had made it into even the public beta, I'd've been a lot happier... It WAS fun though...

Windows 8, on the other hand, was kept as close a secret as MS has ever done... Yes, there was a public beta, but not a public beta that invited every man's dog into the fray. And from what I gather (I dropped out of the beta after the first release. I just could not handle the smell...), the input of feedback was sort of received by the circular file...

Win 7 was just right. A large enough public beta, feedback loops that worked, and a RC that was so close to the finished product that I hardly noticed the difference when I 'upgraded' from win 7 rc 1 to win 7 Ultimate.

I MIGHT test 9, dunno. I'll wait and see.

Windows 8.1
By Strunf on 1/15/2014 8:21:06 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get why there's some kind of reinforcement on the message that windows 8.1 is free, it isn't free you have to have windows 8, so it's nothing more than a free service pack like any other service pack, maybe there's a few things that make it a bit more than a service pack but they are essentially correcting issues on windows 8.

By KOOLTIME on 1/15/2014 3:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
The main issue is its made for touch screens, not desktop which there are billions of desktops in use all over the world.

Most businesses that do office upgrades for new items is usually 3 years+ or 5 years at a minimum. The cost is to much yearly upgrade for most businesses.

Total time for market change with such cost factors and sinking economy, the money for NEW, is not a yearly function in the tech world. 10% can afford it, the rest of the 90% of the world on real life budgets don't upgrade so fast.

There has to be a solid reason to upgrade and windows 8, is clearly a pain to use for desktops, as the extra work to navigate, very slow and makes productivity go way down.

By damianrobertjones on 1/14/2014 5:46:55 PM , Rating: 1
"mark the introduction of Metro 2.0"

Metro DOES NOT EXIST! It's Modern UI

Too late
By TechIsGr8 on 1/15/2014 1:33:31 PM , Rating: 1
I've already switched the family over to the Mac ecosystem, with a couple of macbooks, a mini, and a time capsule. No more daily/weekly/monthly emergency security updates to close holes. No more hoping that my Windows 8.1 pc will boot today, or that MS Updates or the App Store will even just operate without an error. Microsoft just doesn't understand user friendly technology. They've enjoyed a free ride with business sales, but that may even be in jeopardy now. Would like to see Microsoft turn into a software company, rather than a Windows fanboy. Create their applications to run on Windows, Mac, and Android, and reap revenue from a wider software channel. The utter incompetence of Windows 8/8.1 was the final straw for me.

By Perry Tanko on 1/19/14, Rating: 0
The succession of the turds
By Argon18 on 1/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: The succession of the turds
By troysavary on 1/14/2014 11:38:32 AM , Rating: 1
All of which have had, or currently have, greater marketshare than any version of MacOS. Even Microsoft's failures still dominate everyone else on the desktop. Luckily for Apple, mobile is the current cash cow.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Shig on 1/14/2014 11:48:54 AM , Rating: 1
This is the microsoft cadence. Crappy OS -> Good OS -> Crappy OS -> Good OS and so on.

RE: The succession of the turds
By arazok on 1/14/2014 12:38:43 PM , Rating: 5
You have to admit, that each crappy OS is less crappy then the crappy version before it.

Win ME = A gold brick of crap. It crashed if you just looked at it.
Vista = A solid turd, but generaly ran OK if you bought all new hardware.
8 = More of a shart. Rock solid under the hood, but the fancy two tone paint job made it impossible to love.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Motoman on 1/14/2014 12:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
I built lots of machines with ME - honestly never noticed any difference in stability compared to 98.

Vista was actually fine - once all the hardware vendors caught up with drivers. MS botched that launch badly because they didn't work with their partners well to ensure proper support of the new driver model...Vista in and of itself wasn't the problem.

As for 8...well, it has always had only one problem - Metro. Everything else about it is great. But Metro is so stupefyingly horrible that it wouldn't matter if the OS otherwise cured cancer and printed money for you. And MS has paid the price dearly for so utterly f%cking up their core product to the point where it was essentially unusable. The stupidity on this one can defies measurement.

RE: The succession of the turds
By retrospooty on 1/14/2014 1:07:41 PM , Rating: 2
"I built lots of machines with ME - honestly never noticed any difference in stability compared to 98."

I am going to guess you built them, then sent them to whoever used them and didnt answer your phone or emails afterward LOL.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Motoman on 1/14/2014 1:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Nah. Had ME on a machine or two I used myself for a while. I've honestly never understood exactly why it gets bashed as much as it does. As far as I could tell it was just 98SE with a few more patches preinstalled.

RE: The succession of the turds
By lagomorpha on 1/14/2014 1:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
I kind of suspect a lot of the ME bashing comes from people who had grown accustomed to NT4.0 or 2k and expected that kind of stability.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Motoman on 1/14/2014 1:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if memory serves back in the day a lot of games wouldn't run on NT or 2k...hence I knew a few people that actually dual-booted Me and 2k for work and play.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Visual on 1/23/2014 6:22:53 AM , Rating: 2
But that wouldn't make sense... most of what didn't work on NT was DOS stuff, and ME's main difference from 98 was exactly ditching DOS.

RE: The succession of the turds
By retrospooty on 1/14/2014 1:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
ME's issue as far as I saw it was that it was super easy to corrupt. If you installed it and left it as is, you may have been fine, but you can potentially make one driver or config change and BAM, unstable permanently until you re-image it from scratch again (or restore a saved backup).

"Easily corruptible" had always been Windows weekest weekpoint. Even without a Virus. it has happened to everyone, most people several times. It's certainly good now as of Win7, but prior to that it was awful and ME was probably the absolute worst.

RE: The succession of the turds
By sgestwicki on 1/14/2014 2:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
That could explain it. I had a cheep Gateway pc with Windows ME on it that ran solidly for years. I just though had the only good copy in existence.

By ClownPuncher on 1/14/2014 3:16:10 PM , Rating: 2
It had massive registry issues.

By damianrobertjones on 1/14/2014 5:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
Nah... OEMS releasing machines with 256MB ram wasn't the best along with consumers COMPLETE ignorance to the benefits of Superfetch and UAV

RE: The succession of the turds
By dew111 on 1/14/2014 5:54:57 PM , Rating: 3
I built lots of machines with ME - honestly never noticed any difference in stability compared to 98.

Clearly you were not using them. My family had two computers at the time, one with 98SE and one with ME. The ME would crash every 10-15 minutes. The 98SE was fine. Luckily, my sister used the ME while I used the 98SE lol.

I agree, Vista was generally good. It was a bit slower than XP but much more secure and lasted a lot longer between reinstalls. Win7 really wasn't much different from Vista. They polished the UI some and optimized it. And everyone says it was night and day between the two. Microsoft just can't win.

By TakinYourPoints on 1/15/2014 1:21:02 AM , Rating: 2
Windows Vista got an incredibly unfair rap.

Yes, it was awful for the first six months, but its driver and compatibility issues were addressed before SP1 even came out. Once SP1 was released it was perfectly fine, and significantly better than XP. Windows 7 was a massive improvement with its KDE inspired UI, but under the hood it was very much like Vista.

Windows ME is another story though, a complete and total disaster. People bashing on Windows 8, deserved as it may be, seem to forget how bad ME and to a lesser extent XP were.

RE: The succession of the turds
By deathwombat on 1/15/2014 12:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
I upgraded from Windows 95C to Windows Me, and I never understood what all the fuss was about. It never crashed, and there were clear improvements over 95. I maintained a couple of labs of Windows 98 computers, and Me could do everything that they could do. My best guess is that people felt that it didn't offer enough to justify upgrading from 98, and maybe it didn't, but I never had any of the problems that people claimed that Me was plagued with.

RE: The succession of the turds
By michael67 on 1/14/2014 6:58:44 PM , Rating: 3
Actually i like W8, and even the Metro UI has for certain its uses, and if they make it so, that W9 has the desktop experience as W7 next to the Metro UI, then they have a winner, anything less they will be burned for it, more or less.

But i truly really still are wondering what made them do it, abandoning there bread and butter desktop users in W8, the way they did.

Think MS was thinking it had to compete with likes of Google and Apple, and it forgot its main users, and just abandon them, yeah W8.1 has a lot of fixes to rectify there blunders, but what they should have done is that they should have made a classic desktop version/mode and a ''experimental'' hybrid desktop/tablet version, and see how people like it.

But you just dont experiment on your main costumers with a Beta product, as the Modern UI was for sure noting more then Beta UI, when it released W8.

You dont push change true peoples troth, you warm them up for it, because if you force it on them they will resist, if you warm them up for it, and ask for there input then you engage them to change.

This is noting new, and it should have bin a lesson they should have learned with Vista en the Ribbon UI, its just MS never learned to be humble till now.

I use W8 and i actually like the OS, as many under the hood improvements are worth switching over to it for, but it is ridicules that i had to use 3th party programs and hacks to make the OS function the way i wanted it again.

Some times you have to force change, there was also a lot of resistance to the ribbon interface in Office, but after some resistance, most people mostly liked it, and it was a change for the good.

I think MS was thinking that again, and I do see the need for Metro, and it would be fine if they had made the the new UI optional, because on touchscreens, the new UI is better, but not on the desktop, and as people dont like change, specially when forced up on them, and they are really unforgiving if its less efficient then the old way.

So if MS now lets people pick between what type of UI they wane use, and even let them switch if they use a hybrid device (like the ASUS T100), W9 could be a winner again like W7 and XP.

And i really wonder if by now they finally learned there lesson, and they really start listening to there customers and acknowledge that they have to serve THERE needs and not there own, if they do, maybe then MS stands a change it will survive in the real long run.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Disorganise on 1/14/2014 10:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
"Some times you have to force change, there was also a lot of resistance to the ribbon interface in Office, but after some resistance, most people mostly liked it, and it was a change for the good."
Guess I fall into the minority then. The ribbon is bloody awful compared to proper menu's. And the latest upgrade to office 2013 [notably visio and excel] takes it all to a whole new level of torture - the whole logic of the UI seems to have changed; presumeably to be tablet friendly. Sure, sometimes you need to re-learn things (though I still prefer to 'find' things [NT4] than Search for things, and 'send to' makes more sense to me than 'share') but sometimes change is genuinely detrimental - and we either give up and use even less of the software capabilities than we did before, or we start looking for alternatives.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Concillian on 1/14/2014 8:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
So moving backwards, that would put Win2k as a crappy OS?

BS. Win2k and WinXP are barely different, there's no way you can put them on opposite ends of the spectrum. Going one step further would put WinME as a Good OS? This really has you on crack.

Also Vista was only crappy until SP1, at which point it became almost everything Win7 was, but the name had already been tarnished. You ever use Vista after SP1 / SP2? There's no real problem with it. It had some initial driver issues and some memory bloat that affected SUPER low spec machines, but once Win7 was released it was a fine OS and like Win2k --> WinXP was barely distinguishable from it's successor at release, outside of color scheme and a pretty minor revision of the taskbar.

You can't compare Win8 to these OSes. Win8 has deep flaws due to the inconsistency of Metro and Desktop apps. It's in a class of it's own.

RE: The succession of the turds
By ClownPuncher on 1/14/2014 11:59:16 AM , Rating: 5
Vista wasn't anything like ME. You're oddly uneducated about tech for being on a tech site.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 1/14/2014 3:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed... if anything positive came from Vista, it was the redesign of Group Policy and its vast amount of new security templates. From a corporate perspective, Vista had a lot of new 'domain' features that would have been great. Unfortunately, the lack of drivers and support kept XP around for quite a long time.

By ClownPuncher on 1/14/2014 3:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the driver issues were caused by hardware manufacturers, the biggest being NVidia.

RE: The succession of the turds
By djdjohnson on 1/14/2014 12:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
"Me" was the only operating system I ever tried that would crash sitting on the desktop doing nothing, with no third party software installed.

So in that regard Windows 8 is better. But not by much.

RE: The succession of the turds
By Shig on 1/14/2014 12:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
Vista was 'fine' after SP1, before that it was a travesty.

RE: The succession of the turds
By retrospooty on 1/14/2014 1:06:18 PM , Rating: 2
"Vista was 'fine' after SP1"

Fine after SP1 and several fairly advanced Windows tweaks that normal users could never do alone. Also, this only applies to most hardware, there were definitely some configs that just sucked forever with Vista.

RE: The succession of the turds
By inighthawki on 1/14/2014 2:15:50 PM , Rating: 5
Vista was also fine as long as you had semi-modern hardware and components without iffy drivers. I used vista well into the betas, easily a year or two before release, and still never had an issue. I thought Vista was leaps and bounds better than XP at the time.

RE: The succession of the turds
By sgestwicki on 1/14/2014 2:36:45 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with that completely. One of the biggest mistakes Microsoft made with Vista was allowing computers that could never handle the OS to have stickers saying they could. Of course if they didn't bloat the OS so much it would have been a problem either...

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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