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Windows "Blue" Will Be Free Update to Windows 8, RT Users

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May 15, 2013 6:06:11 AM

I can't wait .
May 15, 2013 6:19:23 AM

Don't ask if Windows 8.1 is good enough for you. Ask if you are good enough for Windows 8.1
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May 15, 2013 6:24:33 AM

Having used Windows 8 since its beta release. It's definitely a better OS than 7. Sure the learning curve is there, I guess MS over-estimated the IQ of the general public (I blame Apple for that).
I am expecting an increase uptake of new laptop/PC towards the end of the year, with the release of Haswell and this re-tooled Windows8.1.
May 15, 2013 6:28:50 AM

I'm currently using Windows Garbage... I mean Windows 8...
I have 2 big issues with it.
1) It takes too long to boot. (way longer than Windows 7)
2) It doesn't recognize Sound properly...
It has BIG problems with Sound Blaster Platinum FX, no matter which driver it sees ONLY Microsoft LAME drivers so I can't fully use my sound card, it takes a long boot and a restart
to be able to get sound.
According to my device manager I have 5 High Definition Sound Devices LOL
I know that 1 of them is the actual Sound card, ALL of them have the SAME LAME driver.
1 is my MONITOR, 1 is my HDTV, 1 is probably from my VIDEO card (although I never installed that driver either)
I had the exact SAME configuration on Windows 7 and I only had ONE NOT 5 "sound devices" .... so this issue is definitely a Windows 8 driver problem.
I hope that "windows 8.1" patches this issues.
There are other issues like some programs or games do NOT run unless I run as administrator.... which make no sense, but I can live with that.... but the 2 issues that I mentioned above are really annoying.
May 15, 2013 6:30:39 AM

So...basically its SP1 or am I misunderstanding something important?
May 15, 2013 6:33:17 AM

@portentous
I think you are over estimating the advantages of windows 8, Its not that people aren't smart enough to learn how to use windows 8 its just that there is no point. Every time i have upgraded my OS there has been a reason behind it be it performance or better driver support. Windows 8 offers me nothing over windows 7, why should i bother learning a whole new OS for nothing? I'll just stick to windows 7 until i actually have a reason to upgrade.
May 15, 2013 6:56:09 AM

This just in, Microsoft decides to not charge you for a SERVICE PACK.
There was much rejoicing (yay).
May 15, 2013 7:03:04 AM

As someone who uses a tiny netbook, Windows 8 significantly faster than windows 7 in terms of startup and shut down. It's also faster in terms of internet browsing. Honestly, if you can work a smart phone, you can work a Windows 8 computer. It's really not difficult. However, the little edge in speed isn't really a reason to upgrade to Windows 8 unless you're like me and a tiny bit makes a huge difference. Also, I haven't had an audio issue with Windows 8. The only thing that's been a real pain is the resolution of my netbook not being compatible with Windows 8 apps. If it's really bothersome, just downscale the resolution. The image is a bit fuzzier, but you won't be bothered by incessant pop-ups saying that your resoution is too low to run an app. Hopefully, Windows Blue resolves this issue altogether. Regardless, I look forward to seeing the reviews on Windows Blue.
Btw, I don't really want to run the Windows 8 apps... I just really hate that pop-up when I try to open Chrome.
May 15, 2013 7:29:14 AM

Windows 8 is snappier, faster and uses less resources than Windows 7. It boots quicker and shuts down faster than any other OS ever. I can not stand the Metro interface....so I installed one of the many START button programs and have been enjoying Windows 8 since it's release. It is a GOOD thing that MS is fixing the START button issue with the upcoming release. They should have allowed that option to be enabled from the get go. As too boot times. I use an SSD for the OS......but from the BIOS screen to the desktop for me, 9 seconds. :) 
May 15, 2013 7:50:01 AM

Blue is more than SP1 in that it is supposed to bring more unity to Win8, RT and WP8.
May 15, 2013 7:52:14 AM

So, people who just want to "use" their computer to get work done and not be "GEEKS" about it are IGNORANT because MS is forcing them to relearn Windows all over again!!!? Is that how a reputable company is supposed to operate?! And to top it off, some of the reviewers here are blaming Apple for what "dumbing down" the customer?!!!!
Unbelievable!
May 15, 2013 8:45:08 AM

a service pack by any other name.... service packs or updates add functionality and/or fix problems but still use the same software backone ... am i missing somehtign because as said this is just a service pack
May 15, 2013 9:28:15 AM

Considering how amazingly many copies if win8 they have really sold in used machines (not counting sold discounted copies to oem's that's still in a computer who haven't been sold just to raise the "sales number" for the sake of appearances) i'm sure this is world wide news... /yawn
May 15, 2013 9:54:18 AM

There has seemed to be allot of debate over Windows 8, even though it's thus far just as successful as windows 7 (profit wise). Guys, if you take a look, without the metro stuff, it's like a faster, smoother, and more intelligent version of windows 7. Not to mention it's way lightweight in comparison. What's the big deal, it's almost I identical to Windows 7 when you put the start button back in with Start8, which only costs 5$.
My only issue with windows 8 is this, the Metro APPS suck. I'm ok with the UI. I uninstall all of those crappy full screen applications, and install ones worth their salt.
May 15, 2013 9:59:07 AM

drwho1 - I have a SB Premium FX and it works in Windows 8 flawlessly using the SB drivers. FYI I still have 2 computers on Windows 7 and both of them have the Premium FX too and they do in fact show more than 1 device and those work exactly the same as they do with Windows 8. On the boot time Windows 8 is faster no matter how you time it. You're the first I've seen to even suggest it's slower. On mine it's roughly 20% faster on the boot time. On the games etc. I have a large number of commercial games and *zero of them require running as admin. In this regard it's also identical to Windows 7. You seem to be in the great minority on these particular issues.
May 15, 2013 10:05:11 AM

I think some of you are too young to remember "Are you good enough for Grape Nuts?"
May 15, 2013 10:10:56 AM

[Having used Windows 8 since its beta release. It's definitely a better OS than 7. Sure the learning curve is there, I guess MS over-estimated the IQ of the general public (I blame Apple for that).]
Windows 8 is so advanced that even Microsoft themselves do not know how to write proper app for it. All heavy weight software from Microsoft still has to run in "desktop" mode, including MS Office, Visual Studio, SQL Server Manager etc. No wonder Windows store is so barren. This is indeed an OS at least 10 years ahead of its time!
May 15, 2013 10:24:05 AM

portentous said:
Having used Windows 8 since its beta release. It's definitely a better OS than 7. Sure the learning curve is there, I guess MS over-estimated the IQ of the general public (I blame Apple for that).


I think its more accurate that MS under-estimated the willingness of the general public to have crap shoved on them that was inappropriate for the desktop.

May 15, 2013 10:27:56 AM

"She said the updates will be made available through Windows Store to make the transition extremely simple and painless."

Wait a minute, does this mean that people will have to make a Microsoft account in order to be able to update ? Why not make this available from Windows update, you know, like every service pack ? This is the absolute minimum they can do, otherwise this is just Microsoft being low, very low.

They don't learn, do they ?
May 15, 2013 10:42:25 AM

tpi2007 said:
"She said the updates will be made available through Windows Store to make the transition extremely simple and painless."
Wait a minute, does this mean that people will have to make a Microsoft account in order to be able to update ? Why not make this available from Windows update, you know, like every service pack ? This is the absolute minimum they can do, otherwise this is just Microsoft being low, very low.
They don't learn, do they ?


You don't already have a Microsoft account? If you don't, then how do you log into your Windows 8 computer? Besides, if you have a Skype account, you have a Microsoft account.
May 15, 2013 10:42:58 AM

DrWho1, your 2 gripes are loading times and drivers for you old soundcard
Firstly Windows 8 is butter smooth and uses less system resources than Windows 7, although I don't doubt you are getting a slower boot I would venture the issue is related to your equipment rather than the OS itself as almost everyone else is getting faster boot times
Secondly, if you don't have a Windows 8 driver for your soundcard, please rsisit the urge to blame MS for this, creation of new drivers lies solely at the door of the hardware vendor
Irish_adam, there are plenty of improvement in Windows 8 over Windows 7, lots are under the hood and if those features are worth the $40 to somebody then that is reason enough. I appreciate the ReFS, smaller footprint, better memory management. While Metro is a love or hate thing, under the hood the improvements of Windows 8 are absolutely a must have. Especially the networking. Get Classic Shell or any of the other 30 or so free Start Menu replacements if you are unable to get past the Metro barrier.
May 15, 2013 10:52:26 AM

I think some of you are too young to remember "Are you good enough for Grape Nuts?"
May 15, 2013 11:26:04 AM

If no one ever used a pc before and sat down in front of a Windows 8 pc and a Windows 7 pc, I'm about 90% sure people would pick up on Win8 faster.
The problem is twofold.
First, Windows 95-7 all looked close enough where once you learned one, you could use the next with just a minor learning curve between. So for everyone that is used to Windows already, Windows 8 is a system shock. Way too much changed way too fast and we're not used to big jumps in the OS.
Second, Windows 8 was designed as a touchscreen interface. I've used Windows 7 and 8 with touchscreens and 8 just feels right with one. Problem is it just feels wrong without one as well. Most pcs being sold with 8 don't have touchscreens so it feels as messy and alien as running Android on a desktop.
MS made Windows 8 as a unifying OS. It looks, feels and acts the same on a phone, tablet and PC. For people that want the same on all their devices, this is great. For people that want a desktop to run like a desktop with keyboard (the standard, what is FAMILIAR) and mouse and their phones and tablets to run on touch it just feels WRONG the second you use it.
I'm tired of hearing how the users are stupid because they can't adjust. That would be like if you used a steering wheel with brake and gas pedals all your life to drive a car and went to a dealership to take a test drive and all the new models had was a flight type joystick and throttle, then the salesman called YOU an idiot because you "couldn't adjust" by the time you sat down in front of it.
Some people are going to pick up on it right away, but most are going to want to hold on to their clunker as long as possible to avoid such a major change. MS made a huge mistake, all they had to do is make an option, "metro" or "classic" on setup and no one would be bitching but instead we get metro jammed down our throats with no other option (besides 3rd party) and get told we're idiots?
Really?
For god's sake that's the most asinine statement on the planet.
May 15, 2013 11:27:02 AM

On paper, it's something between a Service Pack and a new operating system.
Windows Vista = NT 6.0
Windows 7 = NT 6.1
Windows 8 = NT 6.2
Windows Blue = supposedly NT 6.3
Vista and 7's Service Packs have not changed the version numbers of 6.0 or 6.1...except for the numbers after it, like 6.0.xxxx or 6.1.xxxx...
May 15, 2013 11:31:23 AM

How do you Start Windows 8.1?? If I can get past that, I might invest.
May 15, 2013 12:22:56 PM

drwho1 said:
I'm currently using Windows Garbage... I mean Windows 8...
I have 2 big issues with it.
1) It takes too long to boot. (way longer than Windows 7)
2) It doesn't recognize Sound properly...
It has BIG problems with Sound Blaster Platinum FX, no matter which driver it sees ONLY Microsoft LAME drivers so I can't fully use my sound card, it takes a long boot and a restart
to be able to get sound.
According to my device manager I have 5 High Definition Sound Devices LOL
I know that 1 of them is the actual Sound card, ALL of them have the SAME LAME driver.
1 is my MONITOR, 1 is my HDTV, 1 is probably from my VIDEO card (although I never installed that driver either)
I had the exact SAME configuration on Windows 7 and I only had ONE NOT 5 "sound devices" .... so this issue is definitely a Windows 8 driver problem.
I hope that "windows 8.1" patches this issues.
There are other issues like some programs or games do NOT run unless I run as administrator.... which make no sense, but I can live with that.... but the 2 issues that I mentioned above are really annoying.


As a fellow annoyed user of sound blaster products, the issue is most definitely the sound card and not win8. The first issues is that the Sound blaster Platnium FX does not exist, which may cause issues in it's own right. The Platinum x-Fi on the other hand is a card that came out way back in 2001, and there was a varient of it that came out at the same time called the Platinum eX (which I use to own). Neither of these cards were made to work with modern OSs and lost vendor support before Vista came out. Sound blaster did come out with a basic wonky driver to make them work with Vista (and thus win7/8 as they use the same driver model) after several customer complaints, but it has never worked right. The oldest sound blaster card you can get to work on vista/7/8 relatively reliably would be an Audigy 2... and even then there is potential to run into stability issues on anything other than basic use. The real solution to your problem is to get a sound card that is not 12 years old. I mean you have (hopefully) upgraded the rest of your hardware by now, there is nothing that makes sound cards immune to becoming out of date like anything else.

For your multiple device issue, this is something called "Plug and play". It is fairly new, and considering the 10 year old sound card you think is so great, I'll bring you up to speed: Back in the days of windows 95 MS had this great idea that they could provide drivers for known hardware so that they can at least have basic functionality before loading the official driver. So if you have an OS that is newer than your hardware then there is a good chance that you do not need to load vendor specific drivers unless you need specific functionality. But if your OS is older than your hardware then it does not pick it up because it does not have a base driver in the library. This is why win7 did not automatically pick up all of your audio devices, but 8 does. But the feature has only been around since windows 95... so I completely understand why you might not have heard about it until now.

Any program that makes changes to the kernel (which does include some games, and antivirus software like malwarebytes) triggers the UAC (user account control). This feature has only been around for 7 years now, so I completely understand why you might not have run across it yet. If you were up with the times there is a website called 'google' and if you do something called a 'search' then you can get tons of information about how to set this up properly so that it does not bother you all of the time. It just sucks when MS does something terrible, like make a feature that lets you know when potentially malicious software might be screwing with your system. I would suggest that you turn the feature off entirely and go back to the old winXP days of hoping and praying that you system is not infected.

As for boot times, you are probably the only person that has worse load times with 8 than 7. For most people it cuts 1/4 to 1/3 of the boot time off. But there are many things that can cause this including having bad drivers for hardware, malware and other poorly written software that needs to load, or bad BIOS configurations. If you are the only person having the issue, it is much more likely that you simply don't know how to put a computer together than something being wrong with the OS you are using.

And above all else. If win8 is such a terrible experience, there is absolutely nothing preventing you from going back to an OS you are more familiar with. I mean, if a new OS does not run like butter on my system then I will ditch it in a heartbeat for something that does. And there are tons of great alternatives available to win8, including win7 and a number of linux distros. But if you actually learned a bit about your system I am sure that all of these issues could be solved.

I am not saying that there are not some serious legitimate issues with win8 (I have many annoyances about metro that I hope to be fixed and the new UI matures), but these are not some of them.
May 15, 2013 2:08:39 PM

My mother-in-law can actually use windows 8, and thats saying alot. I find it to be alot snappier.
May 15, 2013 5:20:17 PM

ameera bates said:
tpi2007 said:
"She said the updates will be made available through Windows Store to make the transition extremely simple and painless."
Wait a minute, does this mean that people will have to make a Microsoft account in order to be able to update ? Why not make this available from Windows update, you know, like every service pack ? This is the absolute minimum they can do, otherwise this is just Microsoft being low, very low.
They don't learn, do they ?


You don't already have a Microsoft account? If you don't, then how do you log into your Windows 8 computer? Besides, if you have a Skype account, you have a Microsoft account.



You don't need a Microsoft account to use Windows 8, you can use a local account, but I understand your post, Microsoft does a good job to put the Microsoft account option as the preference when you're installing, so it's no wonder you didn't notice that you have another option.
May 16, 2013 4:51:03 AM

I hate it when people say Windows 8 is hard to learn... the modern UI is easier to use, everything works in the same or similar way regardless of the app you're in. It's safer and more secure if people stick to store apps and most will... also don't overestimate the reliance of legacy desktop apps, most people have no need for legacy software. Also I like how my work and personal life are separated because of the desktop/modern UI.
There a lots of advantages to using Windows 8, for one my laptops a lot faster, and boots into windows in around 5 seconds versus 20 - 30 for windows 7. On top of that everything runs faster, is a lot more stable, and more efficient. On the exact same hardware I've seen a game literally killing the laptop running Windows 7, with the fans on full whack and producing enough heat to cook an egg... same laptop running Windows 8, playing the same game... fans on low and it's running very cool.
Moral of the story... actually try something before bashing it... you know you're gonna end up using the same it'll just be called Windows 9, and you'll love it...
May 23, 2013 8:13:22 AM

Windows 8 needs to have voice integrated into it. This tiles and cr+p is just so everyone can see what you got loaded on your screen and if you go the wrong programs loaded up. Then your boss can nail your a++.
June 14, 2013 6:27:56 AM

Will that be free for those who bought laptops preloaded with Windows 8 Single Language Core edition ???
!