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Windows 8.1, What's The Point?


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#21 Ivanhoe

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 1122 AM

Ok.. I've updated to Win 8.1 and the main thing you notice is a button to go to the start screen, and I think they've made some sort of change to how stuff's organized on the start screen. My main reason to upgrade was that Hyper-V has been updated (virtual machine thingy) and that VMs are supposed to run faster. Not sure about that just yet :)

 

That's actually a logical outcome of the whole snafu. Turn Win8.2 into a skeletonized Type I hypervisor for running user-friendly VMs (such as Win7). The core kernel seems to be a major improvement on the old code base, its the UI that is hosed. So have 8 run the hardware and let users choose their OS "skin".

 

I have an old laptop that I used to run with Linux Mint as the host OS, and ran various VMs under VMware Player. Mostly Win7 Home, but also a couple of Linux VMs and a Windows Server 2003 appliance. Win 7 Home was my "working" environment; aside from running Player I mostly used Mint for web surfing. That machine didn't have enough CPU, and RAM maxed out at 4 GB, but I got a lot of work done on it. I sort of plan to go that route again on my next laptop, next time I will forgo long battery life and get CPU and video that benchmarks out closer to ultrabook standards.


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#22 Ivanhoe

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 1134 AM

As for unwelcome GUI designs, its amusing to watch the parallels between Metro and the alterna-GUIs in the Linux world. Along with the old-school alternatives of xfce and LXDE, we now have Mate, Cinnamon, Trinity, and who knows how many others.


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#23 Rickard N

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 1310 PM

I haven't had any problems with the new UI to be honest. Looking at pictures is the only time I even notice the app world.

 

/R


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#24 m1a1mg

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 0809 AM

I haven't had any problems with the new UI to be honest. Looking at pictures is the only time I even notice the app world.

 

/R

Photo Gallery is a free part of Windows Essentials. (Just make sure you don't install all the other stuff that comes with it.) http://windows.micro...allery=overview


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#25 TTK Ciar

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 0210 AM

If xfce is "old-school", do I even want to know your opinion of good old fvwm? :-)
 

I like it because it (1) does everything I need, (2) is stable and sane, and (3) is unlikely to change much in the next twenty years.  Continuity rocks.
 


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#26 Ivanhoe

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 2244 PM

If xfce is "old-school", do I even want to know your opinion of good old fvwm? :-)
 

 

Not as good as DECwindows.


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#27 Murph

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 2045 PM

HP is now offering Windows 7 laptops again since apparently a large number of people are demanding Win 7 over Win 8 .
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#28 Ivanhoe

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 0007 AM

http://www.computerw...r_Windows_7_PCs

 

HP has not discarded Windows 8.1 -- the perception-plagued dual-UI operating system -- nor resurrected Windows 7 from the crypt: The PC seller, like every other OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in Microsoft's orbit, has never stopped selling Windows 7.

 

But HP was the first major OEM -- it was the world's second-largest in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to research firm IDC -- to blatantly market Windows 7 PCs to consumers since Windows 8's first few months, said O'Donnell.

 

HP's selection of Windows 7 consumer-grade machines is small, just five models: Two notebooks and three desktops, with discounted prices starting at $480 and topping out at $1,000. By comparison, HP listed 68 different Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 laptop, desktop and hybrid models on its for-consumer website Monday.

 

On the business side, HP and others, including No. 1 Lenovo and No. 3 Dell, continue to market Windows 7-powered PCs first, Windows 8 and 8.1 systems second, recognizing that corporations will stick with the 2009 OS for years to come.

 

From O'Donnell's viewpoint, HP's move was not so much an admission that Windows 8 and 8.1 are flawed -- even though he argued they are -- but an attempt to grab sales wherever it can after a year when PC shipments plunged 10% and are projected to slide again in 2014. By IDC's estimate, HP's U.S. shipments fell 12.3% last quarter compared to the year prior, while Dell's and Lenovo's climbed 5.6% and 10.8%, respectively.

 

Dell and Lenovo rely much less on sales to consumers, who have declined to buy new PCs as they shift to tablets, than does HP.

 

Businesses have been sticking with 7, not surprisingly (heck, MS is having a tough time prying XP out of the hands of business users). Current desktop CPU and RAM are more than sufficient to run any Windows OS, so in tough times its going to be difficult to get home users to refresh their desktops. Monitors and multimedia integration are probably the growth area. For home users of tablets and laptops, I think there is potential for sales, but the higher performance laptop models need to come down in price. I want to replace my netbook with a higher performance laptop (not necessarily an ultrabook, but something mid-high range), but prices are nowhere near my trigger point. I'm not seeing Win8 tablets making much of an impact on the tablet scene.


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#29 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 0403 AM

The simple fact is that OS for years have been able to achieve most of their aims.

At best you're talking every third release before you start seeing important changes to the software's ability to utilise new technology hardware or run significantly greater performance, utilise additional memory etc.

 

Especially given the change in how people use computers, with most being simply internet and word platforms for home users, gaming being more of a niche market and the need for businesses to standardise and save money, it doesn't make sense to be releasing new OS every other day.


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#30 Ssnake

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 0800 AM

For the sales department of an OS vendor, it makes a lot of sense.


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#31 Ivanhoe

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 1607 PM


Pretty persistent rumors now that Windows 9 will be released in the first half of 2015. Not much clarity about what it will entail.
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#32 Murph

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 1825 PM

But I sure hope they give us back the desktop, and start button. I would not weep if they killed Metro.
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#33 Fritz

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 1927 PM

http://www.computerw...r_Windows_7_PCs

 

HP has not discarded Windows 8.1 -- the perception-plagued dual-UI operating system -- nor resurrected Windows 7 from the crypt: The PC seller, like every other OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in Microsoft's orbit, has never stopped selling Windows 7.

 

But HP was the first major OEM -- it was the world's second-largest in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to research firm IDC -- to blatantly market Windows 7 PCs to consumers since Windows 8's first few months, said O'Donnell.

 

HP's selection of Windows 7 consumer-grade machines is small, just five models: Two notebooks and three desktops, with discounted prices starting at $480 and topping out at $1,000. By comparison, HP listed 68 different Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 laptop, desktop and hybrid models on its for-consumer website Monday.

 

On the business side, HP and others, including No. 1 Lenovo and No. 3 Dell, continue to market Windows 7-powered PCs first, Windows 8 and 8.1 systems second, recognizing that corporations will stick with the 2009 OS for years to come.

 

From O'Donnell's viewpoint, HP's move was not so much an admission that Windows 8 and 8.1 are flawed -- even though he argued they are -- but an attempt to grab sales wherever it can after a year when PC shipments plunged 10% and are projected to slide again in 2014. By IDC's estimate, HP's U.S. shipments fell 12.3% last quarter compared to the year prior, while Dell's and Lenovo's climbed 5.6% and 10.8%, respectively.

 

Dell and Lenovo rely much less on sales to consumers, who have declined to buy new PCs as they shift to tablets, than does HP.

 

Businesses have been sticking with 7, not surprisingly (heck, MS is having a tough time prying XP out of the hands of business users). Current desktop CPU and RAM are more than sufficient to run any Windows OS, so in tough times its going to be difficult to get home users to refresh their desktops. Monitors and multimedia integration are probably the growth area. For home users of tablets and laptops, I think there is potential for sales, but the higher performance laptop models need to come down in price. I want to replace my netbook with a higher performance laptop (not necessarily an ultrabook, but something mid-high range), but prices are nowhere near my trigger point. I'm not seeing Win8 tablets making much of an impact on the tablet scene.

 

I manage the IT stuff at work, not a very demanding job. Factory with some 20PCs, most of them used only for the production/inventory/sales etc system that's not very demanding. I have 3 PCs with 7, 1 server 2008, the rest is XP. Hell there are a couple running 2000... There is ZERO reason to move any of these PCs to 7. There is ZERO reason to move the 7 PCs to 8. People should learn to value "good enough".


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#34 Ivanhoe

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 2218 PM

Ironically, MS did improve one major PITA for enterprise folks - licensing. Something they should have sorted out a decade ago.

 

A number of folks aren't happy that managing Server 2012 remotely with RSAT requires a Win8 workstation, and RSAT is reputed to be as touch-friendly and mouse-hostile as Metro.

 

There are some things that MS really failed to design properly, including multitasking. My Nokia phone runs Windows Phone 7, which uses a proto-Metro GUI (without any desktop-like features), and it is a constant pain to disable battery hogs like Bluetooth and to exit out of previously used apps. Even without changing high level architecture, Microsoft can substantially improve Win8/9 by accepting the fact that users aren't passive monotasking Youtube watchers.

 

My theory, which I'm pretty sure will go untested, is that Win9 can blow Android out of the water in many market niches if they design the GUI for content creators rather than content consumers.


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#35 Ivanhoe

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 2344 PM

I think somebody posted this before, but it is worth repeating;

 

install-130902.jpg
From Microsoft's own perspective, Win8 has been a staggering failure. But in its short lifespan, its already kicked OSX's ass. Forget about seducing Win8, Win7, and WinVista users. Its beyond Apple's wildest, wettest dreams to capture one-third of the WinXP market.

 

The raw numbers for that pie chart apparently come from this web page;

 

http://www.netmarket...=10&qpcustomd=0

 

One thing I find interesting in the numbers is that OSX users mostly seem to upgrade in the minor versions. This seems to parallel what I understand is going on with iOS, where Apple pushes out patches and packs very hard, and the telcos bend over and take it (as opposed to Windows Phone, where major updates are generally blocked for eternity by the providers).


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#36 Murph

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 0910 AM

Again, Ballmer and crew made a big, big mistake in Metro, and no boot to desktop. 


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#37 Colin

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 0931 AM

My department (4700 people) just moved from XP to Win 7, I suspect most of the Canadian Federal government has now moved to win 7. I just flashed up an old Pentium 4 PC I had for the kids to use, now I have a XP, Vista, Win 7 and Android 4.1 all working on the same network. The P4 loaded 35 new update, but this morning a pop up appeared saying "Microsoft will end support of XP on April 8th 2014"

 

I remember when they moved my unit from one department to this one, we came with XP, the department was using Win 98, they wanted us to change to 98, but word came down they were changing to XP, so we became the testers for the department.

 

By the way I so hate Citrix and RDMINS (Hummingbird DM)


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#38 Ivanhoe

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 1604 PM

http://arstechnica.c...ndows-xp-alive/

 

On Wednesday, ComputerWeekly reported that the UK government agreed to pay Microsoft £5.548 million (approximately $9.1 million) for continued support of Windows XP, Office 2003, and Exchange 2003 for all British public sector customers. On Friday, the Dutch government cut its own “multi-million Euro” deal with Microsoft for custom XP support of over 30,000 computers still running the Windows XP operating system.

 

...

 

Many hospitals in the US still use Windows XP on workstations and healthcare devices because software developers have not had their products certified by regulators for use with later versions of Windows.

 

Sounds like XP is going to live longer than Count Dracula.


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#39 Murph

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 0931 AM

I just spent two hours trying to download the new patch for 8.1, and it will not load.  Apparently I am not alone in this, in that no one can get it to download at all from Microbitch.  Who removed the brains from the folks in Redmond? 

 

http://www.infoworld...800f0922-240249

http://www.pcpro.co....ject-surrender/

http://www.theinquir...ws-server-users


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#40 Ivanhoe

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 1006 AM

Its sort of amusing that the 8.1 patch is causing trouble for Server 2012 systems;

 

http://www.computerw...e_to_businesses

 

IIUIC, if you install the patch on a Server 2012 system, your WSUS implementation will break. WSUS is the mechanism by which a large IT shop can download all updates and patches to a single local server that individual servers and desktops can hit for updates, and thru which admins can choose which updates should be pushed to the servers and desktops. Its a PITA to get working, but once its working its a neat thing. Without WSUS you're back to individually managing servers and desktops; labor-intensive and error-prone.


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