Skip to comments.Goodbye Windows 8, hello Windows 8.1
Posted on 07/30/2013 11:15:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Consider the following: Internet Explorer 11 is available as a preview for Windows 7 or as part of the Windows 8.1 preview, but not for Windows 8. Similarly, PowerShell 4 will run on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, but not Windows 8 even though it will be available for Windows Server 2012, which is the same core code as Windows 8.
So does this mean Microsoft giving up on Windows 8? Um, no.
Windows 8.1 is Windows 8, as far as Microsoft is concerned. It's an update to Windows 8 that will be available in the Windows Store, free of charge. It has new APIs that aren't in Windows 8 that Internet Explorer can use.
Microsoft will port some but not all of those back to Windows 7 for IE 11; as we understand it, the HTML5 Media Source Extensions and Encrypted Media Extensions support that lets you stream Netflix in IE 11 without needing a plugin won't make it to Windows 7.
It has new versions of the controls developers built apps with too; the new alarms and timer app in Windows 8.1 uses the Windows 8.1 version of a control that's three times faster than the Windows 8 control on a low-end PC. "We could have done a lot of profiling of data, a lot of tweaking or we could just upgrade to the version 8.1 control," program manager Steven Abrams said at the Build conference.
Couldn't Microsoft just port those APIs and controls to Windows 8 as well? Well, it already has that's Windows 8.1.
Microsoft is betting that if you're prepared to install a new version of the browser and the updates to make it work, you'll be willing to do that as part of an update that also gives you the Start button so many people have been asking for and a bunch of new features.
Microsoft is also trying to put out a 'new version' of Windows in a year, rather than three, with a new version of the browser in a year rather than 18 months (which is how long it took to get from IE 9 to IE 10) and as part of a continuous development schedule that put the usual SP1 contents into Windows 8 before it went on sale and has given us 700 improvements to Windows 8 since then.
Given that there are only so many hours in the day and only so many engineers on the team, it makes sense that Microsoft has decided to prioritise resources for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 and create, test and support two versions of the IE 11 preview rather than three.
Keeping up with a continuous development cadence is going to require Microsoft to make a lot of rational decisions that don't make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. Similarly, when IE 12 comes along, I expect it to only run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.2.
You can also expect to see a significant push to get you to upgrade to Windows 8.1. The way Microsoft is trying to make that acceptable to end users and businesses alike is by making upgrading easier and promising compatibility. "Upgrading to Windows 8.1 is simple as the update does not introduce any new hardware requirements and all existing Windows Store apps are compatible," says Erwin Visser, the Windows general manager who handles the business side of the market.
That means that all Windows 8 devices will run Windows 8.1, that all Windows 8 Windows Store apps will run on Windows 8.1 (something they're working on but that isn't true in the preview), that drivers and desktop applications will work in the same way. And that upgrading to Windows 8.1 won't mean wiping systems and installing a corporate image and reloading your applications and data. Visser calls upgrading to Windows 8.1 much more like running updates or installing a service pack. And if you were planning on switching to Windows 8, just plan to switch to 8.1 instead.
To use the car metaphor that's so popular, in a year, the Windows team isn't rebuilding the car or even fitting a new engine; it's changing the tyres, swapping out the instruments on the dashboards, fitting a new car radio and tuning the engine control software.
It's worth noting that it's different for servers. A server upgrade is a major task and Microsoft doesn't expect anyone to upgrade their servers every year; the best they can hope for is that any new servers you put in place will run the latest version of Windows Server. Also, Windows Server 2012 R2 is a major upgrade from Server 2012, with a significant number of new features it's a much more impressive and compelling update than Windows 8.1, ironically. Windows Server 2012 systems will be around for a long time so they need PowerShell 4 and its major management improvements like Desired State Configuration.
Microsoft hopes that Windows 8 won't be around for long after Windows 8.1 comes out. It hopes everyone using Windows 8 will upgrade, just as it hopes we're all using automatic updates to keep our PCs up to date. After all, we're telling Microsoft to keep up with Apple and Android; surely we want the new, improved stuff, especially as it's free with better features why wouldn't you want that, thinks Microsoft. And if it can just get us to keep updating our PCs year after year, it will never have to deal with a decade of XP again.
With that combination of incentive and what we're telling Microsoft we want, why would it make sense for it to give us any reason to stay on Windows 8 when we've been so vocal about telling Microsoft to change it?
Microsoft delivers to testers Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview
Microsoft made available to testers the Enterprise version of its Windows 8.1 preview on July 30.
The Enterprise preview includes some of the business-focused features of Windows 8.1 that were not available in the Windows 8.1 preview, which Microsoft made available for download by any and all interested testers in late June.
Among the new features in the Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview build are:
Here's the full list of business-focused features Microsoft officials have said will be coming in Windows 8.1.
In a post to the Microsoft "Windows for Your Business" blog, officials noted that Windows 8.1 will remain under the same lifecycle policy as Windows 8, which means support will end on January 10, 2023.
Microsoft officials said earlier this summer that Windows 8.1 will be released to manufacturing by the end of August 2013. Officials still are declining to comment as to when existing Windows 8 users will be able to get their hands on the RTM bits.
Ping to read later
I was going to snark ... but when you take Windows ... it is pointless and besides, maybe one day the pig will sing!
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems Microsoft has lost their way. It just seems like everything they do is a mess, a flop, or both.
I really question Microsoft’s ongoing reason for existing. Seems everyone else is eating their lunch. Also, it seems like Microsoft has a distinct tin ear when it comes to the consumer.
They should rename Windows (Wait Around)
Then they could call it the Wait Around Operating System.
Just Wait Around. There are plenty of other things to do while you are waiting for the OS to load and shutdown.
ha ha ha just kidding... : )
I tell ya, I’ve been so happy since the traditional Microsoft blue screen has been replaced by the machine freezes every time a browser waits for a response from some website.
I expect to sleep for a very long time.
Is it still possible to load Win 8, and get the free 8.1 download?
RE: Maybe its just me, but it seems Microsoft has lost their way. It just seems like everything they do is a mess, a flop, or both.
As I look at Microsoft’s Windows history, I’m not sure if this latest move from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 is anything different from what they’ve done before.
Their first attempt at Windows failed. They went from Windows 3.0 to Windows 3.1 and then to Windows 95.
Windows 98 received a less than enthusiastic response and Windows Millenium Edition (ME) was a flop.
Then came Windows XP that was a huge success. What followed was another disaster — Windows Vista. That was replaced by the superb Windows 7.
Who knows what the latest incarnation -— Windows 8 to 8.1 will be like....
I think Windows 8 is great. I don’t get all the whiners.
I get that sense too. It seems like all they do is endlessly meet and discuss what they'd like to have in an OS...all in a sealed echo chamber. Then they issue press releases that tell us how wonderful it will be and send out Steve Balmer to tell us how much we'll love it.
Every version of Windows has had whiners. They usually become the people that then love it and whine about how the next version is awful and the one they hated was perfect.
I for one have really been enjoying 8.1. Whenever I use 7 now, It feels like I’m using a relic. Even the look of desktop icons is irritating.
I think the way MS is doing it is to break all things not MS in the XP updates.
That last update really screwed up the stability of my admittedly old TV card drivers, especially when run under WinAmp.
It’s the performance, stupid, not the pictures of the screen. Blue screens were unacceptable. Feature overload was and is unacceptable. Lack of administration utilities is unacceptable. Lack of transparency in the Bizantine registry design is unacceptable. System freezes, when, as I mentioned, a browser waits for a response from a website are unacceptable in multi-processor, multi-thread systmes. Etc, etc.
Microsoft is still the go-to for business.
Microsoft doesn’t make crap off the retail consumer. They are in the business for business.
I have been running 8 since pre-release. The family uses it daily on desktops and laptops. It is just fine. I am not a huge fan of metro, but that is just fine too.
Only Microsfot could introduce software that looks worse and has less features, and call it an “upgrade”
windows 8 was the first software i ever bought that made me want to get violent
I lost almost a month of prodcutivity trying to get it to do stuff I used to do every day for 20 years.
It works for me, as well, with a noticeably faster start up. I mainly run it from the “desktop tile”. Not perfect, but not a dog.
I really like Win 8 also. Every Windows articles unleashes the Pavlovian responses about how terrible all things MS, and Win 8 in particular, are.
RE: I think Windows 8 is great. I dont get all the whiners.
1) They want the START button back to launch the programs they’re familiar with. Well, Windows 8.1 does just that.
2) They don’t want to learn a new user interface, having been so familiar with the old interface, which they’ve been using for over a decade.
BACK TO COMMAND LINE!
How can you blame the OS or the browser for slow server response?
I use Win 7 with IE 11 and FR is now one of the fastest loading/connecting sites I visit. Drudge on the other hand is getting increasingly slower.
Point is, it depends on the server and it's ability to handle traffic, not necessarily the machine you are using to connect.
PS...I have the I7 quad core.
I blame the OS for system freezes when a remote server having nothing to do with the system that the OS runs and then freezes is slow to respond, D’UH! A big D’UH!
Windows 8 sucks.
I prefer going back to Windows 7
PS When a remote website does not respond to a request from my browser, I want to be able to open up another window and kill that connection and nothing more. Instead, Windows freezes my entire hardware/software system.
2) I want a user interface that's optimized for a desktop arrangement with a mouse or trackball, and a very large monitor that is more than arm's length away. Pages and pages of tiles designed to be operated by touch are a pain in the neck.
3) All the world isn't a tablet. All the world isn't web-browsing and facebook
4) It's called "Windows" for a reason. The Win8 "desktop" is a pale shadow of Win7.
5) Windows 8 is the reason I installed this on one of my computers (and Win 7 Pro 64 on all the others). I'm not a linux geek ... never seriously used it before. Have used every desktop version of Windows ever, except WinMe. Beware, MS: you're alienating loyal customers.
That's a little chunk of reality, FRiend. Call it whining if you like. I call it "The customer is always right."
Windows 7 == Star Trek 2009
Windows 8 == Star Trek Into Darkness
People have been saying all those things about MS for 20 years. Yet somehow they still own 80% of the desktop space and make more money than any of their competition.
Here's the good news... MicroCenter is giving computers away and the computers being given away are much stronger and faster than even two years ago. I just bought an HP refurb which appears new, 6GB ram, a tb disk, and an I3 processor running at 2.6 gz with Win 8 for $300, which is basically crazy. The computer is much faster than the one it replaced, and Win 8, so far, hasn't been hard to learn to work around.
What was that stat? 93% of computers use Windows. Can’t be that bad.
then what are they doing marketing to end users?
And they apparently listen to their customers. Win8 annoyed a lot of people for specific reasons. If Win8.1 addresses those complaints, the customers will continue to be satisfied.
Only time I ever get a system freeze related to the browser is when Flash is deciding to crash. Don’t know why it takes Flash so long to crash and why it needs all the resources while it does so, but once if finally gets around to crashing all is well again.
My wife’s real nice Dell that is about four years old came with Vista. It is a locking-up bogged down, POS that can’t load its upgrades, can’t take its proper browser and now I am stuck with having to change her to 8 and 8.1 which will be a disgusting culture shock. She will hate it.
I needed a new home laptop of my own. I use 7 at work and its fine but my old at-home machine was a five year old $340 net book using XP. It had a hard drive crash after five years and I decided I would go over to the dark side.
Bought a new 13” Mac Air. In a weekend, I figured out most of the change over issues although the amount of items on the screen versis small buttons and icons is hard on us old timers that are nominally far-sighted. I think I can get my wife to use one as well and never look back at MS for home use. They keep having trouble with browsers and changes to OS GUI that are so extensive that they PO customers that have used their product for a decade.
The Opera browser will fix at least some of whatever browser problems you’re having.
The Window is closing on Windows.
I just bought a MicroCenter “Power Spec” Core i5 computer. Win7 Pro 64 installed ... came with a Win8 disk. The license is apparently for Win8, Win7 is a “downgrade”. If 8.x turns out to be any good, I’ll install it.
Windows 8 == Star Trek Into Darkness
Apple OS == Star Wars
I think Windows 7 is great. I just think people like it so much they aren’t ready or motivated to upgrade yet. I will at some point, just not yet. People are waiting also because they have ipads and android tablets, but at some point they’ll upgrade. 8.1 sounds pretty decent. I like the idea of a lightweight touch laptop or hybrid with a full robust OS behind it.
So you’re saying all OSes that matter are now owned by JJ Abrams?
That sounds more like a browser issue then an OS issue.
I would start with some basic maintenance, if that doesn't do it, I would look at your start up programs and possible TSR conflicts.
TSR's are notorious for lock ups!
The NSA could probably answer that question.
likewise i worked on my MIL's unit this past week - she was upgrading from dial up to DSL....she has a reasonably fast machine - but after 3 hrs of refusing upgrades, I ripped the DSL out and told her to send it back
We bought her an Ipad today with highspeed internet from Roadrunner - she's in love
LOL! I never do those things.
And computers really have become appliances, they just don’t need to be upgraded as much as they used to. I’ve got a 6 or 7 year old computer at home that’s been through one round of upgrades that I’m finally probably going to replace outright next spring. It’s only really started showing its age the last 6 to 9 months, some stuff is running slower than I’d like, even then if some people would just make their Flash games less piggy I wouldn’t even be contemplating replacing it now.
The PC bleeding just isn’t as sharp as it used to be.
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