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In Pictures: The Windows 8.1 Preview

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Anonymous
August 7, 2013 9:00:03 PM

Windows 8.1, previously referred to as Windows Blue, is a major update that introduces numerous ergonomic improvements to Windows 8, gives you a number of new personalization options, and introduces a handful of Apps that were noticeably missing before.

In Pictures: The Windows 8.1 Preview : Read more
August 7, 2013 9:08:28 PM

I am seriously excited for this! I like Windows 8, and this should fix its small list of problems plus add so much more!
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8
August 7, 2013 9:18:08 PM

Okay, I actually don't want the start button back.

I always found it to be ugly and obtrusive with my minimalistic style, and would use programs to hide it. If it's not only ugly, but also does the same thing that's already there with both the windows key and the corner pop-up... there better be a way to disable it.
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-22
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August 7, 2013 9:23:36 PM

The picture for the calculator page is a voice recorder...
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-2
August 7, 2013 9:50:42 PM

I really excited to upgrade this "update" to my Windows 8 ~
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-7
August 7, 2013 9:52:38 PM

I don't care about the UI issues, as long as it respond smoothly better than XP or Windows 7 its good for me.
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-4
August 7, 2013 10:14:19 PM

... there is a start button, bot no easy to access to shut down and restart button... no search in start... no easy app close for desktop's and laptop's with no touchscreens... it is still awful... and i work in retail... nobody sticks with windows 8, they downgrade or buy a computer without windows and get a copy of Windows7...
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-1
August 7, 2013 10:22:19 PM

It is buggy as you'd expect for a beta release. The upgrade went flawlessly on my laptop but doesn't manage to complete on my desktop PC, which is running Win 8 pro. The USB ports don't appear to be getting initialized before the License Terms screen appears and I need a keyboard or mouse to accept the license terms. At least the rollback is far quicker than the install. The final release is due at the end of the month so I won't lob a nasty-gram at MS just yet.
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6
August 7, 2013 10:30:32 PM

Did you even read any of this DjEaZy? I think not.

"All you need to do is right-click on the Start Button and hover over the Shut down entry to bring up options for Sleep, Shut down, and Restart."

And that is just one of many things that you were complaining about.
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9
August 7, 2013 10:32:25 PM

So I'll just wait for the release of Start8.1. I really don't appreciate Microsoft's attitude of "You're using a Touch Screen and that's final.". Really, if you think about it, that seems to be the case. The Start button on Window 8.1 doesn't give you a Start Menu (which isn't finger friendly), it brings you to the Start Screen (which is).
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3
August 7, 2013 10:35:25 PM

as soon as i saw metro over and over again at the picture setting i was like i can care less
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5
August 7, 2013 10:38:23 PM

jdwii said:
as soon as i saw metro over and over again at the picture setting i was like i can care less

Might I suggest you actually read it? Really good changes. I might switch now.
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1
August 7, 2013 10:55:31 PM

Imagine that! Microsoft CAN make a desktop OS for a desktop.

That means it's almost time to upgrade from Windows 7. Of course, I'm going to let all of you guys install it first and find all of the bugs for me. Thanks, by the way. :) 
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3
August 7, 2013 10:58:49 PM

I dont understand for Windows 8, I find it to be a fairly good upgrade from 7 and this is making some great changes cant wait
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-1
August 7, 2013 11:02:58 PM

Just keep drinking that kool-aid Microsoft, and keep telling yourself everything will be all right.
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1
August 7, 2013 11:11:40 PM

for the people that like windows 8 then they will like windows 8.1 even more for the people that like windows 7 and don't care for windows 8 then none of this matters to them. if ms would just enable a real start menu, have an option to disable metro and have an option to enable aero glass, a lot more windows 7 users would be interested in windows 8, but since none of that will happen at least not in windows 8.1 then windows 8 isn't going to interest windows 7 users to jump on windows 8.
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9
August 7, 2013 11:12:58 PM

DjEaZy;

1) The Alt+F4 method never went away.

2) Yes, a close gadget for apps would be more convenient than left-clicking the top and pulling an app to the bottom. No biggy for me. I spend 99.5% of the time working from the desktop.

It's a pretty good OS. Love the quick-access menu which I use a lot and the tidy program list layout (Win+Q) as opposed to the wretched hierarchical menu system. Also, for some reason the HDD write performance across multiple drives is a great deal faster when recording gameplay using Dxtory than under Windows 7, like around 30%. It's still very much a solid Windows desktop OS. I use apps for displaying quick snippets of information that I used desktop gadgets for in Win 7 like weather, exchange rate, and gold price.
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7
August 8, 2013 1:37:25 AM

"no easy app close for desktop's and laptop's with no touchscreens" - Ehh? THrow your mouse to the top left, drag down, right click and close the 'app'. Have you even used windows 8?
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-2
August 8, 2013 1:40:10 AM

@ta152h - I prefer choice and an OS that can fit onto any device and work. I have no issues with Windows 8 and I'm working exactly as I did before. If you keep on saying the same thing over and over again I'm sure that you'll convince someone of your views
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0
August 8, 2013 1:53:02 AM

ah the mindless Windows 8 haters

go use the OS some time, seriously
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-3
August 8, 2013 1:58:26 AM

To nail this shutdown argument once and for all time, Alt and F4 works as well now as it has since (Windows) time began. :D 

I'll buy a Windows 8.1 if they have the same £25 British special offer they had for W8 in January. Failing that, I'll stick with it on one machine and pass until the next one.
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4
August 8, 2013 2:25:48 AM

Seems to me that Windows is where Ubuntu was 2 years ago when it launched the Unity desktop. Ubuntu listened and everything is easy to find now and it's touch screen ready, just see the Ubuntu Edge. If Microsoft wants a "one system to rule them all" it should add to the installation disk the options A: Optimized for laptop/touchpad B: Optimized for Desktop/mouse C: Optimized for touch screen... and let the user decide.
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4
August 8, 2013 4:39:38 AM

Don't you feel the 'new start button' is the ultimate mockery towards PC users?
It's obvious that windows 8's primary interface 'start screen' is designed for the tablets if not solely for MS's Surface PC, which many PC users consider a 'screw you' from MS.

We PC users simply want the START MENU back so we don't need to spend too much time arranging the interface and stay productive.

So the MS said: sure, here's your 'start button' back - and a click after, it's the fooking START SCREEN again.

I have no idea how they dare to do this kind of thing... such arrogance will be their undoing and I personally believe there is already no redemption for them.
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2
August 8, 2013 5:01:48 AM

If Google, or some similar company, releases an OS compatible with WinXP then the days of Microsoft will be numbered. Maybe Google will buy out the ReactOS effort and bring it to completion, or maybe MICROSOFT will decide to support the hundreds of millions of users who have bought into the Windows eco-system.
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-1
August 8, 2013 5:19:24 AM

So far the preview is a step in the right direction. Still don't see what all the kafuffle is all about and the rash of downvotes are for, but people have a right to their opinions.

Though - all they did was map the start button to Windows Key + X.

For those of you who want an easy way to search from whatever you doing, you can do Windows Key + S and it pulls up the search pane on the right hand side of the screen. (noticed a lot of complaints on the forums here about this)

For me, Windows 8 hasn't changed much of anything as I still live in the command prompt, power shell, and shortcut keys (and I like the improvements in Server 2012, previewing 2012 R2 on a test VM at the office).

From a business perspective, I think Windows 8 is a right move - because a unified platform is the right direction. Did they get it right out of the gates? Absolutely not.
Do I think that it is a gambit that will pay off in the long term? Yes, I think in a few years it will prove to be the correct move.

Anyone who preaches the imminent doom Microsoft are the same sort of hacks that believe that Apple, Google, Oracle, etc. will be dead in three years. In the case of Microsoft, I've found it's usually "Power Users" and "Arm Chair IT".
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1
August 8, 2013 5:36:31 AM

I love all the Microsoft employee replies, brilliant stuff.

8.1 Is just as terrible - i've used it. Fundamentally you can decorate it up all you want with changes and 'features' but a turd is still a turd.

The fact is Microsoft have a certain OS history that is worth pointing out, i'll not go back too far or go in to service packs, but it's a consistent pattern:

Windows 95: all new and changed, but riddled with bugs and problems.
Windows 98: fixed the above and a good OS.
Windows XP: the only example of getting it right first time (SP2+ mainly)
Windows Vista: once again new big changes, and it was terrible and bug riddled and had a plethora of issues.
Windows 7: fixed the above.
Windows 8: again, new and changed, and again riddled with problems and 'features' that only piss people off.

So we can assume that Windows 9 is where it'll be 'at'. I'll wait for that one thankyou Microsoft.
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1
August 8, 2013 5:50:42 AM

@lancelot123 for a tech a person it is no problem... and i use the WinH8.1 Preview on my secondary machine... and it is a hard thing to translate this terrible OS to my clients, that are used to previous Windows versions, learned it in school of haz taken courses starting from '95 to Win7... this version is still m$ s#!tting all over its costumer base... M$ needs to separate mobile OS from desktop OS.. tie together things, that work together, but not try to make one-fits-all solutions, because not everything is the same... MS is hurting them self and the whole PC industry...
... surfice is a flop, XBox One is not a homerun, Lumia's are starting to be better, but it would be quicker with android... apple and google & allies are juggernauts in tablet and smartphone space... MS, do, what you do the best in every second OS - do a good Desktop OS!!!
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1
August 8, 2013 6:16:14 AM

looks good, i really want to try out w8 now.
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-1
August 8, 2013 6:20:23 AM

"Clicking the Start Button brings up either the Start Screen, with its Live Tiles, or the slightly reconfigured All Apps screen, which is somewhat closer to the traditional Start Menu's content. In Windows 8.1, you’re able to choose the screen that gets displayed by default."

THIS made my day. And being able to boot to desktop.
I think that's a great change, which will make Windows 8 an enhanced version of Windows 7 for desktop users. So now, it becomes truly capable of being both an excellent desktop as well as tablet OS, imo of course.
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0
August 8, 2013 6:30:35 AM

I'm reading the comments here, and I'm not understanding all the hate. I feel that most people didn't read the article.
Windows 8.1 allows you to:
1. Boot straight to the desktop
2. Make the start menu take you to the "All Apps" screen instead of the Metro screen. The All Apps screen is basically a nicer looking versin of the old Start Menu, with the exact same functionality and easy search.
3. An easy way to shut down.

I don't know about you, but for me, those were my main complaints about Windows 8. Sure, they're still developing their modern UI. Obviously, they believe it is key to their long-term success, which I agree with. But 8.1 is way more desktop-friendly than 8.0. Am I missing something?
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0
August 8, 2013 6:41:26 AM

"Blue" is a series of updates, of which 8.1 is the first (and likely largest)
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0
August 8, 2013 7:30:06 AM

Well, guite a lot improvements and guite many of them adress desktop usage. Any news about new disk operation system? Is it included, or will it be win9 feature?
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1
August 8, 2013 7:40:00 AM

Windows 8-8.1 The official Hipster OS.
All the flashy and pretty colors and minimum sense and intuitive workflow/design.
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1
August 8, 2013 8:33:57 AM

The Apps Tile screen was only one click away from a conventional desktop with background and icons of your choosing anyway.
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0
August 8, 2013 8:38:16 AM

So many people were just so lazy to figure out how everything worked. Kudos to M$ for creating 8.1 to allow more customization.
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1
August 8, 2013 9:23:19 AM

cozmium said:
I love all the Microsoft employee replies, brilliant stuff.

8.1 Is just as terrible - i've used it. Fundamentally you can decorate it up all you want with changes and 'features' but a turd is still a turd.

The fact is Microsoft have a certain OS history that is worth pointing out, i'll not go back too far or go in to service packs, but it's a consistent pattern:

Windows 95: all new and changed, but riddled with bugs and problems.
Windows 98: fixed the above and a good OS.
Windows XP: the only example of getting it right first time (SP2+ mainly)
Windows Vista: once again new big changes, and it was terrible and bug riddled and had a plethora of issues.
Windows 7: fixed the above.
Windows 8: again, new and changed, and again riddled with problems and 'features' that only piss people off.

So we can assume that Windows 9 is where it'll be 'at'. I'll wait for that one thankyou Microsoft.


You forgot one, Windows ME, might even out the XP balance.
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1
August 8, 2013 9:26:34 AM

Looks excellent, though i wish the start menu was brought back.
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-1
August 8, 2013 9:55:32 AM

I wonder how many users here posted that are getting paid by microsoft, or being microsoft employees..
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-2
August 8, 2013 10:37:06 AM

My guess as the final result of this update is: 2 or 3 percent increase on sales of PC's. That’s equal to nothing.
People will still not like it since the changes are not really notorious to the regular and common user. They still find a UI that they don’t know and don’t want to re-learn a full OS. They will be asking for PC's with Windows 7. OEM's can´t wait too much for Windows to recover their lost sales; they must be planning something.
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1
August 8, 2013 12:17:05 PM

I gave windows 8 a shot. I didn't like it. I'll give this a shot though too. Windows 7 is going to be hard to beat.
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2
August 8, 2013 12:42:08 PM

version enterprise x64 not stable in VMware and virtualbox. freeze. no final antivirus to works with it. immature os....
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-1
August 8, 2013 12:58:21 PM

No one really cared about the start button, what people cared about was the menu that the start button allowed to be displayed.

Not including the proper menu that goes with the start button is like sticking a door knob onto a brick wall and calling it a fire escape. Microsoft needs to work on more than just the button.
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-1
August 8, 2013 1:49:57 PM

"Now people will have to relearn..."

So. Technology changes. Microsoft is just ahead of the curve, and will be the first to have integration across all their devices. Their game has always been to beta release and adjust based on feedback. They take big risks, but also enjoy the biggest payoffs.

"They are screwing their customers!"

How? You have to volunteer to buy it, and more people are giving it positive reviews than negative ones. The negative people are just the loudest. For the millions enjoying it, you won't hear them write an article or start a thread about how it operates as expected.

"I want the Start Menu back!"

Because you don't know jack about computers? You are satisfied with an antiquated, clunky, and obtuse file management system? You're afraid of change that makes sense? I have found Windows 8 to be easy because I TOOK THE TIME TO LEARN HOW TO USE IT. Then again, I took the time to learn going from DOS to a UI-OS as well. I remember the complaints then. Eventually, the complaints went away when people stopped to realize they were dumb and MS knew what they were doing.

People complained when Windows basically remained the same, functionally, but just received a face-lift over and over. Now they change that to something more intuitive, streamlined with other gadgets, and appropriate for a market moving AWAY from desktop PC's, and people pout.

If you're biggest complaint is that it doesn't run exactly like previous versions of Windows, you were right. It doesn't, and it's better for it.
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0
August 8, 2013 2:01:46 PM

Oh, and to the idiots claiming that this is Microsoft telling the people what they want instead of listening to what they want: you have no idea what you are talking about. You are the ones who want an operating system that requires no learning, no improved and streamlined functionality, and no updates ever. You are the ones being inflexible.

Give it a real, open-minded shot. Learn how to use it instead of going into it thinking it's Windows 7. It really isn't that hard to figure out. If, after learning EVERYTHING, you feel the same way, go back to the old while the rest of the world moves on.

Keep in mind, PC's have been steadily declining in sales; even while XP was still around and with the success of Windows 7. On the gaming front, build-it-yourself PC's are declining as well, because more games are moving to consoles, handhelds, and app formats, thus requiring less of the super-beefy hardware. Corporations are getting people on tablets and other mobile devices, while their "big" computing is on a laptop.

Microsoft is seeing the trend and simply being prepared for it. There's less and less need to spend money separating the desktop from everything else. Apple didn't outgrow Microsoft on the computer front; in fact, it was moving away from computers and focusing on gadgets that catapulted them to the front.

As for XBox One: it hasn't even launched yet, so we have no idea if it's going to be successful. People took a media-features-heavy preview of the system and ran with it as a non-gaming platform. Then MS showed off a bunch of games at the E3... People are just too stupid to give something a chance or wait a few days. They jump off a cliff and join the groupthink in a hurry. Concurrently, consoles are no longer just about gaming anyway; there's enough tech that companies can cram in there to have it serve as more than just gaming. It's a full blown entertainment piece in a $400 box. Don't be fooled by those claiming PS4 is "more gaming" focused; it's not. They are using it to serve the exact same function, competitively, as Microsoft. They just advertised more about the gaming side of things. Even if it were the case that Sony went gaming heavy while MS tried to be a catch-all, I'd spend the $50 more to get everything besides just gaming.

"But I just want my console to game!"

You are in the minority, my friend. Most of the PS3 sales weren't even for the games. People bought it to be a Blu-Ray player that could also game. Families buy these things more than gamers do anymore, so you aren't the voice that drives the market. Get used to it.
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-2
August 8, 2013 3:10:46 PM

Windows 8 has been pretty annoying to support so far. Across all my customers, 50+ companies, big and small, I haven't found a single person who prefers Windows 8 to Windows 7. I haven't seen something as universally hated in the corporate environment since Vista.

The thing has issues with common software, like Citrix. As an example, someone installs the Receiver, so they can connect to a published Citrix application. They then try to launch the application through IE, and it won't work. Turns out, there's multiple versions of IE on the machine, and they're confused as to which the Receiver is trying to use when launching the application link. Time to install Firefox.

Stuff like that ALL day long with Windows 8. It's a freaking nightmare. From trying to get the goddamn charm bar to pull up in a remote session, to how the search defaults to Apps now, instead of Everything, to how they're pushing Metro after how useful the taskbar improvements were in 7 (jumplists)... users having to install programs like Start8 and Modernmix to get normal functionality out of the OS....

I have to say... I really really really hate Windows 8. And literally everyone I've seen try to use it as their business machine also hates it.
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3
August 8, 2013 4:19:43 PM

Quote:
... there is a start button, bot no easy to access to shut down and restart button... no search in start... no easy app close for desktop's and laptop's with no touchscreens... it is still awful... and i work in retail... nobody sticks with windows 8, they downgrade or buy a computer without windows and get a copy of Windows7...

Access to shut down and restart is exactly the same in Win 8.1 as it is in Win7...Search in start is in Win 8 and is superior to Win7 or 8 search in Win 8.1 (it's awesome)...Metro apps can be closed with alt-F4 (same as before) or by clicking and dragging from the top of the screen (I agree it's stupid that they don't have an "x" to click to close them though, or at least I used to think that before I got used to it)...hardly anybody has ever downgraded form Win8 to Win7 (WAY more upgrades than downgrades) and Win8 is the third most popular operating system of all time (behind Win7 and XP).

You can argue that it's not a compelling upgrade for desktop and laptop users (I wouldn't agree, but could absolutely see your point), but there's actually no argument to be made for Win8 being worse than Win7. Not worth the upgrade price != worse. It means you shouldn't buy it (although I would argue that Win 8.1 especially is easily worth the upgrade from Win7).

You listing a bunch of things that aren't even partially true just shows how uninformed (and therefore worthless) your opinions are.
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1
August 8, 2013 4:26:01 PM

1. I don't need to learn something new in order to do exactly the same things I have done before. I value my time.
2. I don't like to pay for something that forces me to learn how to use it so I can do the same things that I've done with the older, already paid for, software
3. It is pointless to "innovate" just for the sake of innovation AND to expect to sell it. There were no demand or expectations of Win 7 users of something "revolutionary" new .
This thing the way it is implemented is tolerable for home use - not appealing to purchase it, but usable. I have 5 machines at home with W8, because it cost me $10-15 each. There are things, like the Photo gallery that are behaving annoyingly though, and the majority of the apps are absolutely uselessly irritating. Actually, I would live without the apps completely comfortably.

4. W8 metro GUI is absolutely NOT applicable in business environment. It slows productivity, and productivity means money. NO business will decrease profits because of lost productivity.

So far, Microsoft tought me that I shall buy Android tablets and MacBook laptops, and to seek a way to use Linux for desktops whenever possible.
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-1
August 8, 2013 4:52:19 PM

cozmium said:
I love all the Microsoft employee replies, brilliant stuff.
Windows 95: all new and changed, but riddled with bugs and problems.
Windows 98: fixed the above and a good OS.
Windows XP: the only example of getting it right first time (SP2+ mainly)
Windows Vista: once again new big changes, and it was terrible and bug riddled and had a plethora of issues.
Windows 7: fixed the above.
Windows 8: again, new and changed, and again riddled with problems and 'features' that only piss people off.


They got Windows XP right the first time? You forgot about Windows ME just before it.
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2
August 8, 2013 6:05:21 PM

Meanwhile I continue to buy OEM copies of Win7 for my builds and will use that OS for many years to come unless MS returns us to a DESKTOP interface.
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3
August 8, 2013 6:17:25 PM

doogansquest said:
Most of the PS3 sales weren't even for the games. People bought it to be a Blu-Ray player that could also game. Families buy these things more than gamers do anymore, so you aren't the voice that drives the market. Get used to it.


1) Bullsht on the PS3 claim. MOST were purchased as gaming systems BY gamers. SOME were purchased in place of Blu-Ray, because unlike the Xbox, the PS3 also was/is media center focused. Game sales back that up.

2) Fine. If MS wants to that route and shove tablet-style OS's at us in the future, then good riddance and hello Linux. I've already got one backup PC running it. We power users and gamers can live without MS if forced to do so. Let MS enjoy the ignorant dumb mAsses when it comes to get. A fool and their money....

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0
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