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Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)

22 Feb 13 - 02:17 PM (#3482545)
Subject: BS: Latest Windows 8 Update
From: gnu

I don't like it.

22 Feb 13 - 04:50 PM (#3482598)
Subject: RE: BS: Latest Windows 8 Update
From: Greg F.

Absolutely no-one likes the part smart[sic] phone, part pinball-machine, part video game that is Windows 8, Gnu.

Join the club.

22 Feb 13 - 06:45 PM (#3482637)
Subject: RE: BS: Latest Windows 8 Update
From: JohnInKansas

Apparently gnu has been reading too many threads started by the couple of well-known regulars prone to cryptic comments that they expect everyone else to understand, since they're deluded by the belief that everyone else thinks in exactly the same bizarre ways as they do.

It would have been helpful to know what it is about the update that isn't liked, perhaps - - - or maybe not ... .

Of course my initial premise here may be incorrect, since there is accumulating evidence that the same symptoms may be caused by excessive use of Win8 since it's another step in the Microsoft campaign to exploit their discovery that all their new products must be attractive primarily to idiots, having realized that "only idiots are buying our new junk."

I believe we must all offer our sincere and tender support until the gnu recovers from this (hopefully transient) aberration, or until we determine that it is due to Win8 in which case professional intervention will likely be required, possibly by instututionalizing our friend. (Perhaps the thought of the cold bed pans favored by the principal nurse at our best known institution for such cases may revive him, but she'll have one ready for his personal treatment should the situation require it, I'm quite sure.)


19 Oct 13 - 12:37 AM (#3568179)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update
From: Joe Offer

I had been having some problems. I'd click a check box, and it would check and then immediately uncheck. I'd use a dropdown menu and not be able to select the proper box. All in all, Windows was making me make a lot of mistakes. I did all the usual remedies, and nothing seemed to help.

So today I downloaded Windows 8.1, and now it seems like I'm using a new computer. The only major change I notice, is that there's a "Start" button icon on the lower left corner of my screen that lets me switch between my Start menu and whatever it was that I was working on. The Windows 8 "Start" page is the same collection of boxes, instead of the lists with tiny icons that one found on earlier editions of Windows. I think I actually like this Win 8 "Start" page better. If I want a list of all my, "apps," there's a down icon on the Start menu I can click to get the whole list.

I went to, and it offered the opportunity to download the Win 8.1 upgrade. The download was about 3.1 gigabytes, and took place in the background. Then the process took over my computer for about 45 minutes to install the new operating system. The installation took place without a glitch, but now I'll have to do the upgrade on several computers at work on Monday.

But anyhow, so far, I like it. There's a good tutorial at I like getting an extensive operating system update like this. It feels like I have a new computer, without all the effort of moving to a new computer.


19 Oct 13 - 01:47 AM (#3568181)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update
From: Stilly River Sage

I have been learning Win 8 Pro for several months now. To get to the old desktop you hit the windows button - and to go back to the Win 8 desktop you again depress the Windows button. It isn't rocket science.

I've also been working through the Lynda software training and have learned some great things about using it. I haven't had time to read the Win 8.1 reviews yet, perhaps this weekend. I'm probably going to create my own desktop icon to turn off the computer (it isn't difficult), and perhaps a couple of other functional icons.


19 Oct 13 - 02:38 AM (#3568185)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: Joe Offer

SRS, I'd recommend Win 8.1. I liked Windows 8 just fine, but I do think this is an improvement.

19 Oct 13 - 09:57 PM (#3568416)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

I like 8-1 because it is more like the 7-0.... I once knew

It is a nice works ... without the rat-maze of "who moved my cheese."

Sincerely, Gargoyle

it is obvious that we who know gnu knew that he knows nothing. Mac app type guy

19 Oct 13 - 10:56 PM (#3568420)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: artbrooks

I downloaded 8.1 last night, and I do think it's an improvement over 8.0 (that came with the new laptop). The only problem, and it was more of a process issue, was downloading all 11 of the Toshiba files that they say are "recommended" with Win. 8.1.

The download did kill the few tweaks I had on the laptop, like suppressing the sign-in password requirement, but that was easy enough to restore. I do like the tweak to load directly to the (old style) desktop screen. To do that, and other stuff, right-click the desktop Taskbar, select Properties, and then open the Navigation tab in the window that appears.

20 Oct 13 - 07:24 AM (#3568478)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: SteveMansfield

One thing to beware of - your system partition must be 300Mb or bigger for 8.1, or it won't install. Windows 7 only needed 100Mb and so some systems, mine included, were set with that, and it needed a bit of partition twiddling to expand system partition before it would install.

Other than that though I'm a happy 8.1-er.

It's a good update - really lives up to the tag of 'what Windows 8 should have been'. There'll be some who still want to run Start8 and the like, and that's their choice, and Mac and linux fans will hate it because that's what they do all day; but I've been running with a shell script to go straight to desktop and a homebrew start button taking me to the apps menu for a few months now in preparation for 8.1, and once you're used to that change of control features you're just fine (and the new sort and config options are a great bonus).

20 Oct 13 - 11:21 AM (#3568517)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: JohnInKansas

The only serious review I've seen of Win8.1 is that

"it fixes many of the blunders Micorosoft made in 8.0" ...

... but it doesn't say what they were.

In the absence of useful advice, I'd consider that a positive review, I guess.


20 Oct 13 - 11:27 AM (#3568519)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: Stilly River Sage

I have the "Ultimate" version of 8.0 installed, so will have to do some research to see how versions are affected. Otherwise, this is a new version and I may hold off. I can purchase any versions that are rendered to disc for sale at an extreme discount on campus. I may save the newest version for the next time I buy a computer. I'm still using Win7 on my desktop and I'm perfectly happy with that. The Win8 really is geared for computers and tablets with touch features. My desktop has none of that.


20 Oct 13 - 12:49 PM (#3568545)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: SteveMansfield

Many of the 'blunders' of W8 that W8.1 fixes were centred around the introduction of the MetroModern UI interface, imposing a touch interface on non- touch desktop machines and deprecating the old desktop interface and start menu.

8.1 allows you to boot straight to desktop, and restores the Start button to that desktop - clicking it takes you to the apps listing screen rather than to the old start menu, but with the sorting options available (also new for 8.1) we're a lot closer than we were to a usable classic desktop. Some people will no doubt carry on running Start8, ClassicShell and the like, but I've made the transition and am finding the new interface productive after an adjustment period.

Right-clicking the start button brings up a list of shortcuts to various admin and other functions like Run, and also provides an easy route to shut down for those who find Alt-F4 too challenging.

I've used TIFKAM on touch tablets and it is fine, but it's a crazy interface for a non-touch keyboard & mouse interface. Microsoft were, with some justification, seen to be abandoning that huge user base in pursuit of the tablet market, and 8.1 goes some decent way to reversing that decion.

There are all sorts of other upgrades and tweaks under the hood, but I think those are the headlines on the 'blunders' front. And to save anyone the effort no I am not a 'M$ sheeple' or whatever the cool kids are calling it these days - although I do earn my living writing software for, predominantly, the Microsoft ecosystem.

21 Oct 13 - 08:40 PM (#3568707)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: artbrooks

8.1 is free.

21 Oct 13 - 09:46 PM (#3568722)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: JohnInKansas

Microsoft pulls Windows update to fix problems

AP Associated Press
20 October 2013

NEW YORK (AP) - Microsoft has pulled a Windows update from its website after it caused some customers' devices to crash.
The company said it removed the RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store during the weekend.

In place of the update, Microsoft posted an apology for the problem and said it's trying to resolve the situation quickly. The company says it will give updates as soon as possible. It says the problem affected only a limited number of users, some of whom had difficulty downloading the update.

Microsoft says RT 8.1 is an operating system for tablets and light, thin personal computers. It only runs built-in apps or apps downloaded from the Windows Store.


Not something for most to worry about, as the RT version apparently has rather limited use among real people.


22 Oct 13 - 01:28 AM (#3568741)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: Stilly River Sage

I toggle back and forth between the metro view and the traditional desktop, but I haven't figured out how to make some of the programs put icons on that traditional desktop, so I have to toggle back and forth. I'll wait a little and see how that update looks.


22 Oct 13 - 05:43 AM (#3568786)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: Joe Offer

Win 8.1 worked great on my own computer; but I installed it on a computer at work today, and the wireless card stopped working. I had to work until 2 AM to get Win 8.0 back and get the wireless card working - there is no updated driver for the card, so I had no option but to revert to 8.0 and then reinstall all the software on the computer.
But I got two new computers set up at the same time - with Win 8.0.


22 Oct 13 - 11:31 AM (#3568881)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: EBarnacle

Here's the detailed announcement of the release as posted on Monster.

Microsoft releases Windows 8.1, a year in the making, to address Windows 8 gripes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft released its long-awaited Windows 8.1 upgrade as a free download Thursday. It addresses some of the gripes people have had with Windows 8, the dramatically different operating system that attempts to bridge the divide between tablets and PCs.

Windows 8.1 still features the dual worlds that Windows 8 created when it came out last October. On one hand, it features a touch-enabled tile interface resembling what's found in tablet computers. On the other, there's the old desktop mode where the keyboard and mouse still reign. The update adds some new finger- and gesture-friendly shortcuts for touch-based apps, while restoring some respect for the desktop mode that a billion PC users have become accustomed to.

The release comes as sales of traditional desktop and laptop computers continue to decline because consumers are spending money instead on the latest smartphones and tablets. It also comes at a time of transition for Microsoft as the Redmond, Wash., company focuses on devices and services, not just software. Earlier this month, Microsoft struck a deal to acquire Nokia's phone business and patent rights for more than $7 billion. Microsoft is also searching for a new CEO to replace Steven A. Ballmer, who announced last month that he plans to retire within the next year.

The Window 8.1 update is free for current owners of Windows 8. Downloads started at 7 a.m. Thursday in New York, which corresponded to the start of Friday in New Zealand. Simply go to the Windows Store app to find it. It may take a few hours for updates to reach everyone. Computers with Windows 8.1 already installed will go on sale Friday local time. That's also when people will be able to buy stand-alone copies of Windows 8.1.

The changes range from the cosmetic to improved functionality:


START ME UP — The Start button is back in desktop mode, although not the way it was before Windows 8 came along. In Windows 7 and before, a click on Start would have brought up programs and important folders in a list. Now, one tap on Start flips you back to the new tile interface, where you can click or tap tiles to open programs. A long press brings up crucial settings such as the Control Panel.

BOOT TO DESKTOP — You can now start up the machine in desktop mode, bypassing the tiles for a short time. That removes some of the headache for companies that want to use Windows 8 but don't want to buy a touch-screen monitor for every employee.


ONSCREEN KEYBOARD SWIPES — The onscreen keyboard now includes the ability to type numbers or punctuation marks by swiping up or away from certain keys on the standard "QWERTY" layout, eliminating the need to toggle between numeric and alphabetic layouts. You can also select from suggested words mid-stream using side swipes and taps on the virtual spacebar.

GESTURE-ENABLED APPS — You can now wave in the air in front of the front-facing camera to get a response. For example, in the new app Bing Food & Drink, a right-to-left wave in "Hands Free Mode" flips through pages of a recipe.

QUICKER TILE ORGANIZING — You can tap and hold Windows tiles with your finger to move them. Another couple taps will allow you to resize them in one of four sizes. In the previous version, you had to go back to the mouse or touchpad and right-click on tiles to do this, and you were limited to two sizes.

EASIER APPS ACCESS — Finding all your apps takes just a swipe up on your start screen, as long as you don't do it from beyond the bottom edge. Before, you had to swipe up from the bottom edge, then tap on the All Apps button.


AUTOMATIC UPDATES — Apps update in the background, replacing the constant reminders to go to the Windows Store to update the apps yourself.

SMALLER TABLETS — Windows 8.1 now has a home screen that looks good in portrait mode on screens measuring 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally.

LOCK SCREEN ACCESS — You can now answer Skype calls or take photos from the lock screen without having to log in. Just swipe down. You can also set other apps like Twitter to send notifications when the screen is locked.


BETTER MULTITASKING — In Windows 8.1, you can run up to four apps at once side by side, double the previous amount, though you need a large, high-resolution monitor to do so (On their own, Microsoft's Surface tablets are not big enough for more than two). You can resize panes using a slider that moves side to side, instead of being limited to one larger window and one slender one. This is still not as capable as Windows 7 or in desktop mode, where you can open dozens of items in windows that can be resized horizontally, vertically and diagonally. And many app makers have yet to adapt, meaning some apps still appear as a thin sliver, even if you want them to take up half the screen.

GLOBAL SEARCH — Typing while on the tile-based start screen will pull up multiple search results — if applicable — from your computer, the Web and the Windows app store. If you're searching for a musician, you'll see a list of popular songs you can play using Xbox Music, and if it's someone famous (like President Barack Obama) you'll see biographical details, videos and other information. Before, you had to choose where to search: in apps, settings, computer files or on the Internet.

EMAIL UPDATE — The standard-issue Mail app now has a "power pane" on left-hand side with folders for updates from social networks like Facebook, messages from favorite contacts and newsletters. Some of these features work only with Microsoft accounts such as Hotmail and, though. A new "sweep" command deletes multiple messages with a couple taps.

BETTER BROWSING — No longer are you limited to 10 open tabs in the tile version of Internet Explorer. Before, Web pages automatically closed without prompts when you try to open more. You can open as many as you want now. Better yet, you can have two different websites displayed side by side, the way you've long been able to before Windows 8 came along.


XBOX MUSIC REFRESH — The music streaming app now optimizes playback over discovery with a layout that has more lists and smaller photos. It also adds the ability to create playlists from any website with a couple taps. When on a website featuring artists, swipe in from the right edge and tap the Share button followed by the Music button. It will create a song playlist based on those artists, which you can then stream for free.

PICTURE EDITING — A picture editor with pre-set effects comes with the update, allowing for photo touchups, cropping, contrast changes and other features.

XBOX ONE INTEGRATION — You can pick up where you left off if you start playing a video purchased on Xbox Video on a tablet and then watch the rest on Microsoft's upcoming game console, Xbox One.

22 Oct 13 - 07:26 PM (#3569020)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: jacko@nz

Just been advised by Zone Alarm not to download 8.1 as there are issues....

25 Oct 13 - 07:00 AM (#3569912)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: JohnInKansas

Most "news" I've seen about Win8.1 have been adspeak blather about all the "new improvements."

A new article discusses some "things removed in 8.1" that might affect the decision of whether to move on with it.

Features Microsoft removed from Windows 8.1

Good-bye, Messaging. Farewell, My Computer. These and some other features were left behind.

By Brad Chacos | PC World | 24 October 13

Forget about the desktop improvements and Bing Smart Search: Windows 8.1's biggest draw may be the sheer volume of new and hidden features. Seriously--it's jam-packed.

But apparently Microsoft needed to clear room for all the fresh ideas. Windows 8.1 shaves away many of Windows 8's auxiliary features. Some of the removals are blatant once they're pointed out, while others are more obscure, but all are off the table in Windows 8.1.

[The article is too long to post, but should be worth a look for those interested in Win8. ?]


28 Nov 13 - 01:56 PM (#3579686)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)

Wellll, I can't even download the free download even after I jump thru all the hoops to do so.

04 Dec 13 - 05:24 PM (#3581519)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: gnu

Oh great! M$ IE decided I HAD to go to the Windows store to get 8.1 or reboot. I rebooted and I am now absolutely convinced that an Apple a day keeps the M$ jackboot off my throat. Unreal!

04 Dec 13 - 08:37 PM (#3581583)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)

Something else did so to me too, spent an unconscionable time getting ready and then changed it's mind, and was unable to tell me why. Still, at least it didn't try charging me $200 for the blow-job.

21 Apr 14 - 10:35 PM (#3621018)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: Joe Offer

I spent all afternoon installing the Win 8.1 April 2014 update on four computers. The process was reasonably quick on two desktops, but agonizingly slow on two laptops - like about four hours apiece. And one laptop is missing (probably taken home by a staff member), so I'll have to do that one separately.
But on the good side, I'm happy with 8.1 update on my own computer.


22 Apr 14 - 10:28 PM (#3621393)
Subject: RE: Tech: Latest Windows 8 Update (& Win 8.1)
From: Shimbo Darktree

I am sort of happy with 8.1, EXCEPT for speed. I use a modern Acer notebook with adequate processor and memory, but it is slower than Windows XP was on a several-years-old computer. And my wife thinks my computer is fast compared with hers. (She has a new Acer All-in-one, also with adequate processor and memory.) She is not happy with 8.1.

I am basically happy now that I've worked out how the filing system is structured, but more speed would be useful. Also, some software which claims Windows 8 compatibility isn't, and changing it to run as compatible with earlier versions does not always help.