Author Topic: Microsoft Opens New Windows After System Revamp  (Read 2132 times)

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Offline thaiga

Microsoft Opens New Windows After System Revamp
« on: June 28, 2013, 06:47:53 PM »
The tech company back-pedals on its concept for Windows 8 by releasing an update which makes the operating system more familiar.

Users have complained that Windows 8 hides features and functions

Microsoft has released a preview version of an update to Windows 8 in an attempt to address users' concerns about the flagship operating system.

The company has back-pedalled on its original concept for Windows 8, which was built on a radical tile-based "Modern" user interface.

At a conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the tech giant would now make it easier to reach and use the older Windows "Desktop" interface.

"Let's make it easier to start applications the way we're used to," Mr Ballmer told the audience of software developers.

"What we will show you today is a refined blend of our Desktop experience and our Modern experience."

Microsoft made the preview of Windows 8.1 available for free as a download.

Windows 8.1 will allow people to boot up in Desktop mode. Users will also find a button that resembles the old Start button.

A common complaint about Windows 8 is that it hides features and functions, and replaces buttons with gestures and invisible click zones that have to be memorised.

Other new features of Windows 8.1 include more options to use multiple apps.

People will be able to determine how much of the screen each app takes while showing up to four different programmes, rather than just two.

Frank Gillett, an analyst with research firm Forrester, said that with 8.1 Microsoft is doing a better job of uniting the Desktop and Modern screens but the changes are superficial.

"They smoothed off some rough edges, but they don't fundamentally change the experience of having two experiences within one operating system," he said.

The preview version of Windows 8.1 is meant for Microsoft's partners and other technology developers but anyone can download it.

The release comes exactly eight months after desktops, laptops and tablets with Windows 8 went on sale.

The version of the Windows 8.1 update meant for the general public will come later in the year.


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Microsoft Opens New Windows After System Revamp
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 07:23:14 PM »
Tried to install the update (15.2 MB) on the Consumer preview version of Windows8,  which I still have running on an extra partition, but it refused that. Now I gotta download the whole ISO file: 3.5GB, takes about 6 hours. Maybe it'll do overnight, if the electricity remains stable. :-[
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy

Offline thaiga

Re: Microsoft Opens New Windows After System Revamp
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 07:47:46 PM »

Shows some highlights of what to expect in Windows 8.1

First look at Windows 8.1
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Microsoft Opens New Windows After System Revamp
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 08:09:33 PM »
I was testing that Consumer Preview version of Windows8 for a while. It is faster than Windows7, but I couldn't get used to those buttons, always just opened the same desktop view as on Windows7. But true, if you're looking for some function you know from former versions, you need to type in the name in the search box to find it: the surface is quite confusing. All my friends who had asked me whether it's worth buying, upgrading to it from Windows7, received a "no!" as answer.

I wonder whether Windows8.1 is really better now. Probably tomorrow, if that download was successful, I'll know more.
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Microsoft Opens New Windows After System Revamp
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2013, 07:08:13 PM »
Downloading overnight was a flop; I didn't get the complete file, just a little from the end was missing. So I downloaded again this morning. That was supposed to take about two hours. But after about every 30 minutes or so there was a problem, that made it hang. I was downloading with Firefox, so I just paused, waited a little, and resumed again. After about three hours I got the complete file on my PC. Then I burned the DVD of that. Worked fine!

Then I tried to find the best way to get it installed on my PC. First I tried to upgrade the old Windows8 Consumer preview again. And again it refused! Then I tried installation from that still working Windosw8 CP. First it seemed to be working, just took ages. And then the bug M$ had put in that caused me problems: With one of the last updates they had delivered me the restriction of two hours use, as a teaser to purchase it probably. While my new installation was going on, that became active and turned the PC off during the installation. Didn't continue the installation either, when I started the PC again. So, now I know what not to do with this one: download updates after the full version has been made available! :-[

But finally I could get it installed from the DVD running at start up and then after deleting everything on that partition. A couple of updates it downloaded from the internet still, and then worked.

As to the software itself, it is a little, just a little, easier to find the familiar features. Some features like the WINDOWS EXPERIENCE INDEX (in Vista and 7 and 8 located in Control Panel =>System) I was looking for in vain. Personalization features like rounding the corner of Windows etc. I couldn't find either, neither the "Desktop Gadgets and Sidebar" like meters, clock, calendar etc, which were still present in the Windows8 Consumer Preview; and the desktop gadgets pack, that can be downloaded for Windows8 responds with an "incompatible" message at the attempt of installation. The speed of actions like opening programs is outstanding, but that could be attributed also to it being a new installation without much running at start up and in the background. The infamous START button is built in now and gives a menu to select from. Also there is an arrow downwards on PC view that leads you to a list of installed programs.

Still, if somebody asked me after this first check, whether I would recommend  to him upgrading from Windows7 to that, I would probably say "No!" Together with a new Computer, especially a tablet, things might be different.

The whole thing seems to focus on bringing one to the right webpages where M$ can make an additional penny. It might be suitable for people who refuse to think, search and select themselves, those lazily taking what is put constantly under their nose, those thinking computer and internet could help to make them happy and "save money" on items they're made to buy by obtrusive advertising instead of need.
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy

Offline thaiga

Re: Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE you update
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 05:15:55 PM »
Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE you update - especially if you've got more than 1 PC

Get ready for a long download ... and another ... and another

Microsoft is rolling out Windows 8.1 as a free upgrade for all Windows 8 users. But installing the new OS may not be as simple as it sounds, particularly for those with multiple computers to manage or those who installed the earlier Windows 8.1 Preview.

The basics are simple enough: Windows 8 users can apply the update by downloading it from Microsoft's Windows Store.

You may have to launch the store once or twice before you see the Windows 8.1 Update Live Tile – but once you've found it, starting the download takes just a couple of clicks.

The download itself may be a bit frustrating, though. The size of the update varies based on which version of Windows 8 you have installed, but it's generally about 3.5GB, so you'll want to have a reliable broadband connection.

Note, also, that the update has only just shipped, so Microsoft's servers are swamped and downloads may be slow going. Fortunately, you can keep using your PC while the files come down in the background and if the download is interrupted for any reason, you can pick it up from where it left off by starting the update again from the Windows Store.

Further complicating matters, however, if you have multiple devices to upgrade, you won't be able to download the update just once and apply it to all of your machines. El Reg asked Microsoft for clarification on this point and this is what we were told:

The Windows Store is the only way for consumers (non-enterprise, non-IT Pro) to download and install Windows 8.1. No ISOs will be made available, so each device needs to be updated individually via the Windows Store.

It actually goes further than that, though. "Consumers" here really means any copies of Windows 8 that weren't purchased through Microsoft's Volume Licensing programs. So a small business with 20 PCs to upgrade, for example, will have to do them one at a time via the Windows Store – so that's 20 separate 3.5GB downloads.

Enterprise customers have it a little easier. The installation media for Volume Licensing (VL) versions of Windows 8.1 can do in-place updates over existing Windows 8 installs, so admins won't need to download the update again for every PC that needs to be upgraded.

Enterprise sysadmins can also choose to perform what Microsoft calls a "refresh" deployment, where "data and settings are captured, the current OS is removed, Windows 8.1 is installed on a clean drive, apps are reinstalled, and then the user data is restored."

These methods are only available with the VL install media, the ISOs of which were released to MSDN and TechNet on Thursday. The earlier Windows 8.1 ISOs that shipped in September can only do clean installs with fresh product keys; they don't include the in-place update or refresh functionality.

What's more, customers who installed the Windows 8.1 Preview face an additional hurdle. When they upgrade to the final Windows 8.1 code, only their user accounts and data will be preserved. All of their applications will have to be reinstalled – and that means all of them, including Windows Store apps and desktop applications alike. (Though, to be fair, we were warned about this.)

Finally, if you're upgrading from an earlier version of Windows, official Windows 8.1 media is available for preorder from Microsoft's online store now and is scheduled to begin shipping tomorrow. But that's only good if you're upgrading from Windows 7. If you want to upgrade a machine that's currently running Windows XP or Vista, the correct procedure is to purchase Windows 8 media, upgrade your machine, then download the Windows 8.1 update using the Windows Store method.

Got it? Good luck and happy upgrading! Neil McAllister, 17th October 2013

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

Re: Windows 8.1 Update Must Be Installed by May 13
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 12:12:09 PM »
Last week, Microsoft released Windows 8.1 Update (1), a mandatory update that makes the Windows 8 experience a bit more tolerable for mouse and keyboard customers.

 Since then, Microsoft has warned that this update needs to be installed by May 13, the next Patch Tuesday, in order to receive additional security patches from Microsoft.

"Since Microsoft wants to ensure that customers benefit from the best support and servicing experience and to coordinate and simplify servicing across both Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 RT and Windows 8.1, this update will be considered a new servicing/support baseline.

"What this means is those users who have elected to install updates manually will have 30 days to install Windows 8.1 Update on Windows 8.1 devices; after this 30-day window - and beginning with the May Patch Tuesday, Windows 8.1 user's devices without the update installed will no longer receive security updates," states a Microsoft engineer.

In other words, starting on patch Tuesday in May 2014 and beyond, Windows 8.1 (and Windows Server 2012) users will require this update to be installed. If the Windows 8.1 Update is not installed, those newer updates will be considered "not applicable."

Note that no other Windows platform has this restriction; users of Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 will have no problems downloading and installing security fixes on the Patch Tuesday. This new baseline only applies to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

For keyboard and mouse users, Windows 8.1 Update is a must-have despite Microsoft's own push. Simple things like pinning Start Screen apps to the taskbar, the power button on the Start Screen, and options to close and minimize within Start Screen apps makes the experience a lot easier than before.

To see what's new in Windows 8.1 Update, head here.


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Windows 8.1 Update Must Be Installed by May 13
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 12:36:25 PM »
And what, if I have to reinstall my original version of Windows 8.1 after the deadline for updating due to a hard disc failure? Have to throw that away and buy new!
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy