Windows 8.1 confirmed

Formerly code-named "Blue," first major update to Microsoft's latest OS will be introduced later this year.

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The Windows Blue update is now officially called Windows 8.1, Microsoft executive Tami Reller revealed this week at the JP Morgan Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference in Boston.

The free update will be available to Windows 8 users through the Windows Store when it launches sometime later this year.

GameSpot sister site CNET attended the event, where Reller said Microsoft has updated the operating system 739 times since launch in October, but Windows 8.1 will represent a broader overhaul.

"This is more substantial than what we can deliver in those weekly updates," Reller said.

Windows 8.1 is rumored to mark the return of the Windows Start button and a boot-to-desktop option, which will allow users to bypass the Windows 8 Metro interface altogether.

Reller did not discuss any details at the conference, instead opting to discuss the company's "principled but not stubborn" approach.

"You need to have a vision. You need to have a point of view," Reller said. "And you need to consistently deliver on that. You're also consistently listening, learning, and becoming smarter."

Windows 8 launched in late October and has sold more than 100 million licenses to date. CNET found that the operating system "embraces the future wholeheartedly," but said the learning curve was "steep" and in-app navigation can be difficult.

Discussion

274 comments
Kinguard73
Kinguard73

arc_salvo said

Kinguard73 I agree with your opinion on the benefits of consoles, but I always own both a console and a gaming PC (albeit not the most powerful one for its generation) if only because of PC exclusives and of course mods.
Mods are so great for me, I don't even play on PC for the better graphics, I don't care about those so much.  I play for the moddability.  I could never play a highly moddable game like Fallout 3/ New Vegas on consoles.  I'd just feel like I"m missing out on too much.  It's so fun to run around with lightsabers or real world weapons like HK416's and G-36's.
Or even fun new outfits like Warhammer 40k armor.  Maybe it doesn't fit in with the storyline/setting, but it's so fun!

Modding on consoles can be added. The trick is saving the changes as securely as a game save file. It can be done but unlike PC such changes needs to be secured because of possible hacking thus requires far more effort than PC. But make no mistake it CAN be done.

Jinzo_111887 said

Kinguard73 I don't approve of the anti-used game behavior. It just seems so childish. If anything, they need to learn to work with a tighter budget. Second, they can't legal block used games, not in Europe anyway. Valve's getting sued over it.

Who says blocking? FUTURE content requires it be registered. FUTURE content would require a simple download for the game to even be playable. What they would own is an unfinished disk and by all means own it... not like you can use it. =) Hey, if piracy wasn't so rampant this wouldn't be an issue. These games cost money to make and they should expect payment for it. Renters and used game buyers are also gonna end up as victims of piracy.

If you don't like it now you know how they feel, Least it's not your own money being stolen like them.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

Ignore my past comments.. Wins8 rocks!!! Touch screens are amazing.. GET ONE!!

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

windows 7 can last another decade in my opinion, no need to update

Vodoo
Vodoo

I like Windows normally, but Windows 8 does have a steep learning curve. At first it's hard to find your way to any type of settings at all. That's the hardest part, not the start screen. They basically took the start button and made a whole screen out of it. Once you look at it like that it becomes alot easier. 

Anything you come across that was difficult to find you can pin it to the start screen, just like you can pin games on the 360. Or create a shortcut for the desktop or drag it to the task bar so you don't have to go hunting for it again.

But if it was a steep learning curve to me, someone who is well above average on a pc, than it must be hell for people who aren't technically proficient at finding their way around a computer. Instead of making another advancement on Windows 7, Microsoft completely redesigned Windows 8 into something completely different. Now that I know my way around Windows 8 fairly well, I like it better. And that is how most people feel when they get familiar with it. It's just that people hate change.

racerxgundam
racerxgundam

Windows OS is bull#$%^  but i am a slave to it. the truth of the matter is that linux is the best but i don't have the know how. :'(

To any that think Apple's OS is some great thing..it really is just calling shyte another name.

max-hit
max-hit

Please remove all of those stupid fancy and shiny features that you add without thinking and stop trying to to be another apple. Just give us a "right to the point" and professional OS.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

jecomans said

Kinguard73 I think a major issue on PC gaming is that they have to sell games so cheap to try and avoid people pirating, which they do to a ridiculous extent, that soon barely any companies will bother optimizing for PC and the benefits of PC gaming will disappear. AAA game makers know where their profits come from and will develop as such.

I do not believe most games need to be ONLINE ONLY. However, I DO think one needs to register every game in the future. Used games do need to go buh buy or very least older games have a reduced price for activation.  That being said. The consoles are much tougher to hack and mess with though nothing man made could never NOT be hacked. PC is a WONDERFUL gaming rig because it's upgradable.

PC wouldn't be so bad if any game made would need to be registered so the most important files can be downloaded from their site to complete the game and make it playable. registered properly you should have the right to download it anytime you want to as so long as your hard drive carries the proper, none transferable key.

jhcho2
jhcho2

Well, an irrelevant update. The rule of thumb is, skip every alternate OS release from MS. XP was good, so Vista was an auto skip. Win 7 was an auto-buy, so Win 8 has to be an auto-skip. Win 9 will be a must-buy.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

I had windows 8 and switched back to 7. That BULLSHIT (being very very nice to it), of never allowing me to be the godamned administrator of MY computer drove me crazy. Defending me from myself? What the hell? At least give me an option: "Are you retarded?" where if you clicked yes you'd get the normal experience and if no you would actually be able to use the computer. If you are the administrator, why ask me for permission, or better yet, it even DENIES you to do stuff, because it deemed by it's binary brain that it wouldn't be a good idea because 01100110 01110101 01100011 01101011 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 . If you just DARE to take over it, you either won't be able to install things or open metro apps (or a combination of both) because "your computer isn't safe". All that plus a non-preemptive task manager which goes to background when your program gets stuck, which is really nice because the program is stuck in front of me and the task manager is sitting its arse  behind it no matter how much you wish to god that you could make use of it, and even if you do, it takes a life-time analyzing the problem to decide if it'll close or not. And yes, I mad.

JustArtificial
JustArtificial

Nice update, but why has it taken so long? Couldn't you have just added a button in the corner of the Desktop, or better yet NOT DELETE IT? And couldn't the option, boot to Desktop be patched in within a week?

Don't understand how those two things, have taken so long.

Regardless, Win 8 has been good so far.

bkohary
bkohary

Windows 8.2 - Always online edition?

Zanoh
Zanoh

Still sticking to 7.

JJMikhail
JJMikhail

Call me a fan boy, stupid, unintelligent or whatever but I seriously think Microsoft have wasted time and money on this, liked Windows 8 and never had problems, with some games there and there but nothing serious.

The tablet market didn't just boom out of no-where, it took time, money and patience, Google grew from a small room business to a giant corporation because it work at it, not by copying the trend and doing what the small minority write in blogs, teenagers flashing their iPhones etc.

Microsoft, do the same and everything will be alright, iron out bugs, look for new innovations and maybe try and design the 'scroll' form computer that Gates joked about once with Jobs at a conference some years ago?

fbidog
fbidog

I love Windows 8

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

VenkmanPHD said

Kinguard73 Mr_BillGates Do you even realize what you are saying Kinguard?
I am always first to point out how much better playing a game is on consoles, it's just pop the disc in and go.
However, despite that convenience, it is without a doubt much much better to do these things on PC for the following 2 reasons.
1. Graphics will ALWAYS look better on PC, no matter WHAT the console does.
2. You can MOD games
Now, I hate PC gaming, because unless you pay an additional 400$ for a video card, you can't play anything worth a crap.
However, if you are going to slam PC gaming, do it for the right reasons, not because of some ridiculous notion that consoles are going to replace PCs.

1. Who cares about a small pc hd screen when you can play on a 50 inch by hooking up one cable? Sure pc will always better but who really cares enough to shell out the money and the upkeep of a PC? PC gaming is on it's way out. Only diehards will support such if consoles get smart and start acting more like PCs.

2. Well it's not like devs couldn't allow that for console games they just don't. No it's not hard ask a REAL console programmer.

Not slamming PCs at all. Yes they are better gfx wise. Again who cares considering the price for it and it's upkeep? Consoles are potent enough to do anything a PC can this forthcoming generation. Utility with a console COULD and should replace the PC.

 I think PC gaming should be left to the relics who has the extra cash to throw away on it.

Leave the rest of the people to use common sense.

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

If they do this I will be on board, This was the first time I condemned a Windows product. It was not a terrible program being it smoked Windows 7 on startup, it was just confusing.

Renegade__angel
Renegade__angel

Now they are adding something they should have had to start with. Windows 8 had only one issue and the "metro" crap was it. Everything else was fine. Now that I'm re building my gaming PC, I'll actually consider 8 now. I'll pick 7, but at least it finally made consideration. But really, for anything other than gaming it's actually pretty neat. If I were to build a computer for any of my family, or parents then Windows 8 is the way to go because it's very user friendly and holds your hand the entire time.

fanirama
fanirama

I have my work Windows Surface Pro and for the most part, it is very good. There are a few annoyances and the initial learning curve was there. But once you know it, it is very good underneath. 

Some design decisions are head scratchers and overall the unit isn't intuitive as an iPad. For comparison I have an iPad and a Samsung Note 10.1 as well. I would rate the iPad as best #1 followed by Note 10.1 and Win Surface Pro at same #2.  I would probably even rate the Windows Surface Pro as #1.5 if not for the weight issues and some quirks and annoyances. 


Lack of start button isn't an issue on tablets at all but it probably is on the desktops. 


Overall, I think Win 8 has lot of potential and is quite good to use on a tablet.

roosteraxe1
roosteraxe1

Will there be a feature in the update that upgrades Windows 8 to Windows 7? This is the worst OS I've ever dealt with! ME was better! Nothing works right and everything you might want to do is hidden in a sub-menu you need to right click to access. Did they even run tests with users to find out if people would enjoy this POS? I doubt it. Much like the revamped 360 hud, it seems like 8 was a case of MS going "you don't like it? Well it's better so stfu and buy it!" Idiots. On a plus side, I hear sales of Windows 7 are up.

jer_1
jer_1

I bet that Classic Shell's desktop will be better than this certainly bloated and overloaded 8.1 update.

fredwv
fredwv

Windows 7 for life, bitchez!

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@HonorOfGod Win 8 rocks on touch screens... maybe... but honestly as much as I am a fan of my win 8 there is not enough of a difference if you already have win 7 to bother with Win 8 and this is coming from a fan of win 8. I just hope with 8.1 there is an option to KEEP my start as it is....

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@Vodoo Now THAT is completely valid!!!! =) I enjoyed learning however even I got frustrated over having things that did not even need to be moved around moved around apparently just for the sake of moving it.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Vodoo I don't hate change, I just hate change that sucks and makes things worse, not better.  I respect your viewpoint and think it's fair, and it's actually similar to mine, but I just wonder why Microsoft made so many dumb changes and didn't listen to their focus groups if they even made any.

The change from command-line to a GUI when they went from DOS to Windows was a big change.  So were the changes from the Windows 95/98 generation to XP, and then Windows 7.  I didn't see a lot of people complaining about those new and different changes because they were GOOD.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@racerxgundam Try using a searching online when your having trouble with Linux. A number of distros are based on the Ubuntu distro, so the Ubuntu community would be a good place to start looking for answers on Linux.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@max-hit Go with GNU/Linux and use WINE and PlayonLinux. It should succeed where Windows failed.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Kinguard73 I don't approve of the anti-used game behavior. It just seems so childish. If anything, they need to learn to work with a tighter budget. Second, they can't legal block used games, not in Europe anyway. Valve's getting sued over it.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@jhcho2 

Yeah, that's SO true it's always worth saying.  Luckily, I still have windows 7 on my desktop, so I'm good there, but on my Laptop I have 8, so I'm hoping that 8.1 will make it more convenient to use.

It's not impossible to learn to use Windows 8, it's just annoying even after you learn its quirks.  I'm betting that Windows 9 will be great though, it's just how Microsoft likes to do it.  One good OS, one experimental OS that may suck that they test things on (but you have to deal with it because its a monopoly), then back to a good OS so they don't piss off customers too much and make desktop/laptop Linux a REAL threat.

jecomans
jecomans

@jhcho2 But what if you started on the wrong one? Any way, I've already given Windows 8 all the things this update has; bit late of Microsoft to realise that the majority of PC users actually want a desktop OS not a smartphone OS.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Reuwsaat This is why I'm considering switching to Linux. If you want me to give you some ideas about different Linux distros, just ask and I'll give you a link.

jecomans
jecomans

@JustArtificial Boot to desktop and everything else in the update can be easily done by even most computer rookies with a simple internet search.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Zanoh Same here, then switching to Linux when 7's life cycle ends. By the way, if you want to know about different versions of Linux, just ask and I'll give you a link or two.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@JJMikhail 

Honestly, I really do think that you're being a fanboy and not seeing things clearly because if Microsoft wasted money on anything, it's making Windows 8 the incredibly disliked, inefficient and hard to use OS that almost nobody likes that's actually selling and being adopted less than even Windows Vista.

If anything, this new 8.1 update is the best use of their time and money they've made since Windows 8 got released.  Just because you're happy with Windows 8 doesn't mean that the vast majority of paying customers and potential customers are.

If something sucks for so many people and its outright hated as much as Windows 8 is, no matter how much individuals may like it, it is a failure on the whole.  I don't defend things that I like that most people dislike or hate, because I know that those things are flops or failures no matter what my personal taste is.  

And if the things I like that others hate get discontinued and go out of business/ et. et. al. I am not surprised in the slightest.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Kinguard73 I agree with your opinion on the benefits of consoles, but I always own both a console and a gaming PC (albeit not the most powerful one for its generation) if only because of PC exclusives and of course mods.

Mods are so great for me, I don't even play on PC for the better graphics, I don't care about those so much.  I play for the moddability.  I could never play a highly moddable game like Fallout 3/ New Vegas on consoles.  I'd just feel like I"m missing out on too much.  It's so fun to run around with lightsabers or real world weapons like HK416's and G-36's.

Or even fun new outfits like Warhammer 40k armor.  Maybe it doesn't fit in with the storyline/setting, but it's so fun!

jecomans
jecomans

@Kinguard73 I think a major issue on PC gaming is that they have to sell games so cheap to try and avoid people pirating, which they do to a ridiculous extent, that soon barely any companies will bother optimizing for PC and the benefits of PC gaming will disappear. AAA game makers know where their profits come from and will develop as such.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

@roosteraxe1 

You say ME was better? As far as I know, ME was TOTAL CRAP. It wasn't compatible with almost everything. :-\

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@Jinzo_111887 @Kinguard73  Funny thing about registering. Phones has numbers. Please enough excuses.  A simple code placed in phone and one meg of data downloaded is not difficult. Anyone who can afford the new systems can afford that.

Not to mention a usb formatted to carry that one meg of key data can be obtained from most libraries or public locations. So best you have to download the file and worse is a registration key tied to your game.Either way you look at it without both or either you cannot play the game. Nor should you.

There is work around even if that lawsuit is won and I hope that lawsuit is thrown out. In the end, it's pointless. You have no idea how well game developers can work around law to make sure thieves don't get free content. 

You want to blame someone? Blame the thieves. Unless you are one.

They are making it hard for the developers and honest gamers.

Hate them not those protecting their investments.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@Jinzo_111887 @max-hit 

I try to do that, but there's some stuff that even WINE and PlayonLinux either can't do, or can't do well enough for me to drop windows entirely.

I still do dual-boot on my computers though.  I run Mint (Cinnamon edition) on my desktop and Opensuse 12.3 with KDE on my Laptop.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

@Jinzo_111887 @Reuwsaat I've been using Ubuntu for a while now, but with the server one. Terminal stuff is magical, a simple command line and you saved yourself from countless clicks on the mouse (and some hanging/rebooting). But even better than all of it's great functionalities is the community, always prompt to give you the biggest help, even teaching you new stuff. The single reason I still use Windows is because of the DirectX, while WINE gave some major steps it's still a bit early to do the final leap to the system. Soon to change with the support Valve and other companies have been giving to it though! Can't wait to see the day!

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@dr_jashugan @roosteraxe1 

I don't know, ME had a memory leak that wasn't fixed for a while, I'm not even sure if it ever was fully fixed.  That meant that you had to shut down or restart your computer every so often or all your memory would get used up by basically nothing.

Vista being better than 8?  Sure, I'll vouch for that.  After several service packs it was quite respectable for me, on hardware that was powerful enough not to take a hit from its high overhead that is.

Numbers do show that 8's less popular than Vista was at the time.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Kinguard73 @Jinzo_111887 I can understand that they aren't happy about it, but they chose the wrong market for DRM and mandatory registration. Games are supposed to be about fun. There is no fun in those things. The only exception is Nintendo's registration for cool merchandise, but that's it. Also, about the registration keys, they won't work. They will probably just be hacked out or bypassed with a keygen, both are illegal, but so is trying to interfere with used sales. Also, I don't think they would avoid one region just because they don't like the way things are done in that region. They want to maximize profits, and not selling in a region just means less overall sales. There is only possible loophole they could resort to, but it would just be a setback compared to this gen.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@Jinzo_111887 @Kinguard73 "There's more to it than that. I don't like registering my games."

I read it all but it came down to that. Well you don't like this and they don't like losing money. Like I said all your arguments boil to this point. You aren''t the one losing millions of dollars.

Blame thieves. No wonder DLC holds more and more content and less and less is in the game why the heck would anyone gives thieves anything for free?

Preowned? You can own it just too bad you can't play it without buying another buying another key. Hey, worse case they sinply stop selling it in the country saying it's ok for people to steal from them.

The buig picture? They are not trying to say you DON'T own your game. They are saying thieves don't have a right to it. I got my xbox and all my games stolen. If they were all registered the thieves would have had coasters and if they couldn't use my xbox without my registered passcode it would be a brick for them.

I am all for screwing crooks over and though I will never go for always online I wholly believe in registering what I do own so thieves can't use it without being busted.

I won't respond after this because it's moot. You do not see what they are preventing and see what you are promoting.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Kinguard73 @Jinzo_111887 Yes, and not every place can get reliable signals for phones or broaband. I can't get a good internet connection out here because companies don't want to provide it out here. There lame excuse is it's a dead end road.

There's more to it than that. I don't like registering my games.


A work around? I can't see any. By trying to interfere with the preowned market, they are breaking the law, just like pirates. Yes, they are both the companies trying to interfere with used digital software and pirates are criminals. Also, the ruling that legalized used digital sales in Europe has already established ground for the lawsuit, so I don't think it's just going to get thrown out.


Thieves? If you mean middlemen, I agree. Why not get rid of both retailers and publishers from the equation so we can pay devs directly for their work?

I hate the childish behavior from these companies. They are sinking to new lows instead of working with a tighter budget. We don't need HD graphics as long as games are fun. The DLC is also not helping them since it's basically counting their chickens before they hatch. Also, here's the thing about investing, it's an activity that involves risk. They chose to risk a lot, they should be held accountable for their actions.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Reuwsaat @Jinzo_111887 I agree, MS needs to be mooned like that. I'm glad more companies are turning their backs on them and preparing to do it. Dell's starting to do it. Anyway, I installed Zorin (A linux distro that is suppose to help Windows users have an easier time adapting) on my grandma's pc after we installed a new hard drive. It's based on Ubuntu 12.04 and helped her adjust to it. The again, she mainly uses it to surf the web.

roosteraxe1
roosteraxe1

@arc_salvo @dr_jashugan @roosteraxe1 I was really just talking trash about 8. ME was probably the worst OS Micrsoft's released. Either way 8 is still garbage if you ask me. Vista was pretty broken, but it's still better than 8. Of course it seems every even numbered version of Windows is just beta testing for the real, odd numbered versions anyway. Microsoft doesn't really beta-test WIndows before release. It costs them too much money and they'd rather charge us for that privilage by releasing crap in between the working versions of Windows. Then they iron out all the things people hated about the even version and charge everyone full price for the upgrade to the real version of that operating system in the odd version. From a business standpoint, it's genious. From a customer standpoint... well let's just say I have no more faith in Microsoft as a company. In my eyes they're just greedy bastards looking for every possible way to nickel and dime people to death. Like most big corporations and politicians ; )