Windows 8.1 rolling out in October

First major update to Microsoft's latest operating system will be released worldwide beginning October 18.

641 Comments

Windows 8.1, the first major update to Microsoft's latest operating system, will be released in October, Microsoft has announced.

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The rollout will begin at 12:00 a.m. on October 18 in New Zealand, spreading to other markets as a free download thereafter.

Windows 8.1 "continues the vision" of Windows 8 and includes updates in areas like personalization, Internet Explorer 11, Bing-powered search, built-in apps, and cloud connectivity through Skydrive.

In addition, Microsoft's video calling service Skype will be included with Windows 8.1, replacing the Windows 8 Messaging application. Windows 8.1 will also feature a Start button, but not a Start menu. A Boot to Desktop option is also included, for those who wish to skip the Start screen altogether.

Windows 8 launched in October 2012 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.

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Keypo

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Edited By Keypo

Sleep, shutdown, restart.

I use windows 8 no problems after i replaced the startmenu. I like that people are making start menus, hoping for something super initiative windows/mac/linux can copy.

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SpinDie25

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Edited By SpinDie25

So they are trying to make windows 8 more like windows 7.. Why spend resources trying to make it more like something you already have? Just ditch windows8.. Seriously. Windows 7 has a good 8 more years of life left in it. Just make windows 7 service pack2 and call it a day.

Not only is windows 8 a complete and utter failure but it pulls resources away from perfect windows 7. Which is still new in my book

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MADDjoe

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Edited By MADDjoe

So basically, windows 8.1 is Microsoft's attempt to make their crap shine. Crap don't shine. I don't care how big a bow is on it. They should recall the OS, and fire everyone who designed it, and give people back their money or refund it with a copy of windows 7.

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SpinDie25

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@MADDjoe I wish i could hit the like button like 20 times

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ghostwarrior79

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@Ben Aprigliano Yes it does!

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ghostwarrior79

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WHAT! Microsoft is trying to CON-solify us PC gamers and eventually turn us into Xbox buying zombies! No thanks, MS! I'll stick to windows 7 home premium.

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dkeppens

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Edited By dkeppens

Please start developing games natively on linux and unix anytime soon now dear devs. Dump microsoft's crap already so i can finally go "what is that windows thing you all keep talking about"

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Sikrion

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@dkeppens I keep waiting for this to happen


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Thanatos2k

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This should do it.

http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/i-RrTj8nL/0/950x10000/i-RrTj8nL-950x10000.jpg

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DarkTempest7

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@Thanatos2k

I just download Start8 and block MetroUI altogether with it. Brings back the start menu in all it's glory. Looks just like Windows 7 minus the aero (sadly the windows 8 themes look like complete shit)

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plm3d_basic

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@Thanatos2k

So true. And the windows 8 fanatics will say but it's more optimized and faster and more optimized and faster and more optimized and faster...... No mention of the fact that is less functional, less efficient, idiotic setup, built for portable devices, asinine interface, stupid setup, requires "classic shell" to revert back to a system that people are used to and have grown accustomed to for decades. But, but, but it's more optimized and faster.....

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MADDjoe

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@plm3d_basic @Thanatos2k Agreed, I don't care how "optimized" or "fast" something is. 'If the average Joe can't use it all the goes down the drain along with your money.

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Thanatos2k

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No Start Menu = no sale.

Wake me when we get a desktop operating system back instead of a mobile one.

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handsome222222

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bye bye windows 7

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dark_rising76

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Edited By dark_rising76

Takes abit of time to get use to Windows 8 even though I find it glitchy at times when it freezes up or won't let you hit the back button to the previous screen. I do like the split screen option on it so that way I can see two things at the same time without clicking the tabs back and forth.

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brainiac1988

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Edited By brainiac1988

"8.1 Will feature a start button, but not a start menu."

"A boot to desktop option is also included."

WTF?

Seriously... Who is in charge over there? JUST GET RID OF THAT GOD AWFUL METRO INTERFACE.

People dont want a tablet OS on their PC or laptop.

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Shilleto

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@brainiac1988 talk for yourself i want it

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Bordonaro

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@Shilleto @brainiac1988 you are whats wrong with this world

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Yatterer

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Edited By Yatterer

Windows 8 on phones is quite sleek looking, but god damn it has some problems. Did you know you can't change the volume for alarms, incoming calls or media separately, you just have the option of turning volume up or down? Also setting mp3 files you have on your phone to be ringtones, guess how that works? Like this: you hook your cell phone to your computer and you transfer the file you want to use as a ringtone to the folder "ringtones" on your phone, and like the official web page says, this works on Windows Vista, 7 or 8 (http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/how-to/wp8/start/add-ringtones-to-my-phone), if you have XP, you might have some additional problems. Now my girlfriend says that when logging in to Windows Live Messenger or Facebook, her phone automatically pulls all the contacts from that account and if you delete them from your phone, you automatically delete them from the account, but I have not looked into that yet. I don't think Windows 8 was designed primarily with phones and tablets in mind, I think they kept PCs in mind aswell and ultimately created something that kind of doesn't work well, period.

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Sky_Stifler

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This video pretty much explains everything about Windows 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYet-qf1jo

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Simplythebest12

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Edited By Simplythebest12

Still has the same shitty Metro interface bleh !!!

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snakefantasy10

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F4qzPbcFiA

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ghostwarrior79

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@snakefantasy10 it sure is a trap, Akbar!

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mimsoo

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@lonesamurai1 So true

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Articuno76

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@mimsoo @lonesamurai1 Agreed. Although Windows 8 takes some control away from the user, for the majority of people it won't matter; the performance improvements and light-weight nature of Windows 8 are enough.

However, I think MS greatly underestimated how big the issue of comfort and ease of use was with Windows 8; it demos horribly for one thing; I have never seen someone play with it in store without walking away a little confused and turned off). And even if they do get the hang of it they consumer is rarely left understanding why the changes have been made or how they would benefit them.

They need to get a step further and have the non-metro interface start-up being the default setting. Maybe demo it by showing performance differences side-by-side.

The whole share your life angle and media centralisation concept simply isn't working because everyone is doing it...and oftentimes better than MS is. For that reason Windows 8 feels like a top-down design thrust upon consumers by a company that is out of touch rather than an attempt to fulfill consumers (unspoken) needs.

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Articuno76

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@buccomatic @Articuno76 @mimsoo @lonesamurai1 I'm not talking about the kind of control most users will notice is gone (the kind that permeates regular use).

I mean things that you'd only notice if you tinker around with admin settings or stuff deep in control panel. In that sense all versions of Windows 8 so far more for the lay-user (which is almost everyone) oriented than previous versions. You could make a case that that makes it 'technically' worse (and I guess it does)...but most people will never notice or care.

What did you have in mind when thinking about Windows 8 removing control from people?

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buccomatic

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@Articuno76 @mimsoo @lonesamurai1 "Although Windows 8 takes some control away from the user, for the majority of people it won't matter"


wrong. that's exactly why no one likes it.

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egilskal

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Edited By egilskal

Microsoft is deploying a different strategy.. trying to appeal to current/future markets.

Most who dislike the MetroUI are older pc users and more familiar with win 95/xp/7 desktop layout. But what about the younger people who are growing up with tablets and smartphones? They will feel more familiar with the win 8 UI.

They are also seem to be banking on the fact that eventually tablet pcs will overtake desktop pcs. Not to say desktops will die out, just become more of a niche market.

At least I think that is what MS is trying to do. Desktop PC users? Hopefully Linux can get some proper support and save the day.

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jcsadone

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@egilskal "They are also seem to be banking on the fact that eventually tablet pcs will overtake desktop pcs." - maybe, maybe not. Same was with PC gaming - everyone said that eventually consoles will take over desktop PCs in that matter since early '90. PC should be long dead now as a gaming platform. It's 2013 and we all know how right there were. Some people say that XBone and PS4 are last generation of consoles - while I don't believe that either, we could say "yeah, yhym".

Same was with laptops - they should take over desktop PCs aswell, shouldn't they? If anyone should start worry about becoming niche market it's actually laptops not desktops ;P

It all looks so logical and dandy if not for a one thing - people work on desktop computers and laptops in range of stuff that is really uncomfortable to do on tablets. And we all like to spend our time in comfort zone - thats why M$ is popular in first place. I know that if I was forced to do my job on tablet, I would change company that forced me to.


W8 is great for my smartphone, but really - it sucks balls on my PC.

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gostor_lives

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Edited By gostor_lives

i hope its good.....

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volc-123

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Edited By volc-123

To all of you thinking Windows 8 is rubbish. I have two words for you : Windows Vista.

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LordRork

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@volc-123 Vista was just a bad release, not so much a bad OS. It was rushed out too early with inadequate driver support.

The interface built nicely on XP, and Win7 built nicely on Vista. Win8 decided to take away any obvious cues that Vista and 7 had, such as searching and how to get at useful areas (like control panel).

You could at least navigate Vista easily.

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NoAngle

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@xzzdenko @NoAngle on 8 you do not meed to click anything, you just start typing.

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ThAdEa82

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Edited By ThAdEa82

it'll actually be an entirely new windows...$100 pls

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Draken_Domingo

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@ThAdEa82 Nah man, that's Apple that does that. After all, they're STILL on OSX

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reign-supreme

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@ThAdEa82 reading the article tells you one thing, it's a free update for existing windows 8 users. READ - that's the keyword here.

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RiverCityRandom

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...Let's try this again.

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deactivated-5c3f3718d93f1

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For you guys throwing rocks at W8 without even having used it before:

- The new Start UI works just like the previous one; it's just bigger.

- You can still press start and search away instantly; the search box will appear when you start typing.

- You don't need to use apps at all if you don't want to and IE can be run as both an app and a program.

- All my Steam Games run just as smooth on W8 as they did on W7.

If you are satisfied with W7 then stay with it, but please stop crying about something you haven't even tested yourselves.

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xzzdenko

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Edited By xzzdenko

win 8 is just fine when you get used to it, only thing thats missing is that super sexy search from start menu from seven

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deactivated-5c3f3718d93f1

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@xzzdenko Press star and type away. The search box will appear when you start to search i.e. it's just hiding.

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Vegamyster

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@xzzdenko Works just like Win 7 start menu: http://download.cnet.com/Start-Menu-8/3000-2072_4-75852660.html

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Edited By NoAngle

@xzzdenko nothing is missing, for every action that could be done on W7 there is a faster way to do it on W8.

if you are using touch then charm to the right will get you to search.

if you are using mouse then top left corner then down.


OR

if you like keyboards Win+X will get you to a menu where almost everything is.


OR


if you are the metro main page, simply start typing the name of the file or app or software you are trying to reach, W8 searches everything and narrows down search as you are typing more letters..



i really do not see how is this hard or harder than 7?

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s2i2p2i2o

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@NoAngle Because you don't want to open up an app-version of Internet explorer or any other program, since they are fucked up. Or maybe there is another way to close the apps without going back to the metro thingy or pressing alt+f4?

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NoAngle

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@s2i2p2i2o @NoAngle

you do not need to close W8 apps, they close automatically when not in use, when they are temporarily in the BG, they do not use resources like on previous versions of Windows.


if u stilneed to close an app for any reason, then you can do it in several ways:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/how-close-app
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NoAngle

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@s2i2p2i2o @NoAngle you can open regular software that way too. not only apps.

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novajosh923

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Ive had to replace the wireless card in my laptop twice trying to find out why windows 8 drops wifi connections then I reverted back to windows 7

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Demandred24

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@novajosh923 wireless drivers are immature with win8. Give it some time to catch up..

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edinko

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Microsoft are really stupid not releasing for example halo 3+4 on win8 to drive sales. ITs not rocket science.

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Saketume

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@edinko I think they should be VERY careful not to piss off their consumerbase any more.

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