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Microsoft recently announced some features of the new user experience included in Windows 8.1 “Blue”, including Start button functions, the ability to boot to the desktop and Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft has not yet disclosed other features, but said that Windows 8.1 will be a free update from Windows 8. In many ways, Windows 8.1 will become what its predecessor should have been.

After Microsoft unveiled Windows 8, the newly introduced user experience was criticized.  Some users complained about the lack of discoverability, help or cues for the new user experience, and many rejected Windows 8 because of the changes. Based on the information currently available, market analysts from Gartner believe that Windows 8.1 features could quiet most of its detractors.

Microsoft has not released many other details, but Gartner expects only minor changes to the Windows desktop, which would ensure high levels of compatibility with legacy Win32 desktop applications. More compatibility issues will likely arise from moving from IE 8 to IE 11 than with Win32 applications that run on Windows 7, but organizations will need to allocate time to test critical applications and understand vendor support policies. In the future, Windows will likely include more updates like 8.1, perhaps on an annual basis.

Gartner’s advice for organizations is preliminary and may change as Microsoft provides further details on Windows 8.1. Based on the information currently available:

  • If you have considered Windows 8 only for touch-based devices, evaluate Windows 8.1 for broader deployment;
  • If you have been avoiding Windows 8, but usually prefer to adopt a new OS via PC refresh, consider deploying Windows 8.1 on newly purchased PCs after you have completed the requisite testing – especially with IE 11;
  • If you are engaged in early planning phases of Windows 8 projects, pilot on Windows 8 if it makes sense, but switch to Windows 8.1 beta as soon as possible. Plan to use Windows 8.1 for production deployments.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8, Blue

Discussion

Comments currently: 14
Discussion started: 06/21/13 04:18:17 PM
Latest comment: 06/25/13 10:01:34 PM
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[1-9]

1. 
In the commercial world the lack of Win 8 penetration means no Office sales also no network sales so this poor design means that the commercial world will bypass all 3 M/S cash cows. Once this happens and they discover that they can do with out the exorbitant license fees they will be lost forever as customers.
This is what happens when the powers that be start to chase domestic market share and forget about the commercial implications. If M/S does not release a commercial version without it having all sorts of distractions and gets rid of the tablet inter-phase it is going to loose its main money spinners to some other source.
5 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 06/21/13 04:18:17 PM]
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2. 
Windows 8 could have been what windows 7 is, if M$ would have not tried to force the METRO UI on desktop users! Now Windows 8, and 8.1 is just one Main reason why I have not purchased a new laptop! Unless OEMs start offering laptops with preinstalled Linux and driver/OS support, I will have to live without new hardware for a while, or save longer and buy an macbook! Samsung has a nice laptop with a high resolution screen, but to get the screen, would require the purchase of windows 8, and an Intel CPU, and I would like to buy a laptop with an AMD APU, a high resolution screen and Windows 7 or Linux!
4 1 [Posted by: BigChiefRunAmok  | Date: 06/21/13 07:53:17 PM]
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3. 
Win 8-8.1 gives more reasons to go Apple.
1 3 [Posted by: USAFANG67  | Date: 06/22/13 04:24:57 AM]
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- collapse thread

 
Win 8-8.1 gives more reasons to go Linux.


There. Fixed that for you...
1 1 [Posted by: LexLuthermiester  | Date: 06/23/13 07:33:05 PM]
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Win 8-8.1 gives more reasons to stay with Windows 7.


Also a good fix...
1 1 [Posted by: LexLuthermiester  | Date: 06/23/13 07:34:11 PM]
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4. 
If Microsoft will focus games on xbox, they will lose 90% of windows users. I would use linux on desktop, and i already prefer android on tablet.
2 0 [Posted by: kingpin  | Date: 06/23/13 05:43:52 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
FYI, Android IS Linux. Recompiled for the ARM/Risc architecture, sure, but it's still Linux!
1 0 [Posted by: LexLuthermiester  | Date: 06/24/13 05:06:15 PM]
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5. 
Having played around with 8.1, I've come to the conclusion that while MS has made some improvements, they are simply not enough to save it. It is still cumbersome to use, unintuitive, and visually unappealing[in some ways downright ugly]. Easy of use and improvement are what any software maker should be looking for. And yet MS seems to be running headlong in the opposite direction.

Android/IOS for tablets/phones is far more appealing, easy to use and functionally intuitive. For desktops/notebooks I would sooner use XP, 7 or even Vista before using ANY version of 8. And if any of you knew how much I dislike Vista you would understand the gravity of that statement. Good distributions of Linux, such as Mint, Ubuntu and the like are reaching the point of being easy to use by anyone.

MS, you need to let go of your pride, admit you bombed and go back to and improve what worked, WITHOUT FORGETTING the power users that help shape opinion and market acceptance. Making an OS's GUI highly and competently configurable is key to making a great OS. Need an example? Look no further than XP. Simply expand upon user customization and configuration capabilities.

Further, stop treating your customer base like they are criminals. This Activation, WGA nonsense isn't stopping the crackers/pirates/counterfeiters. It is only alienating the general public.

In short, MS, get a clue, pull your head out of your backside/the sand and LEARN from your mistakes.
2 0 [Posted by: LexLuthermiester  | Date: 06/23/13 07:54:34 PM]
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6. 
Guys relax. Just install Classic Shell on Windows 8 vanilla, and be done with it. You don't need this crap update.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 06/24/13 08:16:20 AM]
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- collapse thread

 
To be fair, many of us have tried that. Classic Shell is a great way to get back many useful functions, but in the end many others are just too much of a pain to use. Windows 7 is far superior in this way. Heck, LINUX is easier to use!
1 0 [Posted by: LexLuthermiester  | Date: 06/24/13 05:10:45 PM]
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7. 
Yeah right.
0 0 [Posted by: lol123  | Date: 06/24/13 12:55:55 PM]
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8. 
I had to replace my main 'pooters old Anus P8P67 mobo last week due to instability and of course that also meant I had to pay the microsucks tax for another OS if I wanted to use windoz . Luckily I had a W8 'upgrade' (ohhh the irony) disc I was given last year which I clean installed onto one of my SSD's and having extensively trialed W8/Start8/classic shell last year I knew what to expect, but being an old git I had forgotten how bad the experience really was.....sigh

I've been dual booting for years so I also had to instal Linux again and now I really wonder why I even bothered with W8......microsucks will never see another penny from me, I'm gone, and my other 5 machines I use are in the process of being 'upgraded'......... to Linux
0 1 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 06/25/13 01:54:17 AM]
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9. 
I don't want to touch my notebook screen, period.
0 0 [Posted by: beck2448  | Date: 06/25/13 10:01:34 PM]
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