back to article Windows 8.1 Update 1 spewed online a MONTH early – by Microsoft

Early leaks of upcoming builds of Windows are common enough, but the latest leak of code purporting to be Windows 8.1 Update 1 comes from an unusual source – Microsoft itself. On Thursday, wily snoops discovered that the set of six updates that make up the forthcoming overhaul of Windows 8.1 can already be downloaded from …

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  2. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    Brilliant

    Applying updates with no description of what the update is supposed to be doing. And with no idea if these are the final, official updates, or some kind of beta or internal rc release. And no idea if they have any impact on your drivers.

    Windows users - got to love 'em. Clicking "install" with no idea what the consequences will be since the early '90's. This is what you call "job security" if you work in the PC repair field.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Brilliant

      >Implying that Person (or Persons), attempting this are somehow inept at re-installing Windows again, should they fail. Or that they somehow haven't quite come to grips with why owning an Off-(Workstation)-Site NAS Box, and keeping their "Important Crap" is a good idea!

      The only "Job Security" I see here is in MicroSoft selling even more Hard Copies of Window (H)8, to cover those that nuked there Recovery Partition ONLY install. Thankfully in the case of such sh-ty OEMs the first Warranty claim I put in for upon arrival of my new shiny shiny is to get a proper Install Disc sent to me.

      Really though in the case of Windows (H)8, your just better off installing your own Linux of choice on it. Myself I'd recommend Cinnamon Mint.

    2. h4rm0ny
      Linux

      Re: Brilliant

      >>"Windows users - got to love 'em. Clicking "install" with no idea what the consequences will be since the early '90's. This is what you call "job security" if you work in the PC repair field."

      The experimental spirit is not confined to GNU/Linux, you know. Back in my SuSE days (6.4), I'd be installing things from any number of websites if it sounded cool. Not to mention my attitude of "that compile flag sounds cool - lets add it!" The true neophile is not constrained by Operating System.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Brilliant

      Yup, because it's impossible to get alpha, let alone beta or pre-release versions of Linux.

      And editing the registry is hardly just clicking a download is it.

      BTW how's that Mozilla phone going?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brilliant

      Since when does any non business user read what updates do? 99% of people just set them to auto.

      That's why it's great to be able to just do a System State rollback if it screws something up....

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Brilliant

        Restore has miraculously 'repaired' more than one machine screwed up in some unknown way and gained me plaudits along the way.

        The downside being of course, that I have to do it again in future.

        Still, less and less often - whatever folks here say about bloat-ware and dodgy OSs.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Brilliant

          >Applying updates with no description of what the update is supposed to be doing. And with no idea if these are the final, official updates, or some kind of beta or internal rc release. And no idea if they have any impact on your drivers.

          Well, there is only one way to find out, hey?

          Seriously though - the sort of people who are keen for these updates would make an image of C:, and just restore it if things go pear-shaped. No problem.

    5. Duke2010

      Re: Brilliant

      Stop talking drivel

    6. Vociferous

      Re: Brilliant

      Home machine with backup, who cares if it gets borked?

  3. Ole Juul

    Someone left the barn door unlocked

    And some people started horsing around.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A question

    Q. I got paid by Microsoft to write this article

    [_} Yes

    [_} No

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A question

      What does that even mean? That's just stupid.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: A question

        What does that even mean? That's just stupid.

        Its called a "Joke" this One being for the MicroSoft Shrills out there, that always feel the need to White Knight for their beloved Vendor.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: A question

          >>"Its called a "Joke" this One being for the MicroSoft Shrills out there, that always feel the need to White Knight for their beloved Vendor."

          I get accused of being a shill for MS here just for liking a lot of their products, but I've never received any remuneration from MS for my posts and never expect to. So which is worse - someone who genuinely likes technology and defends it where appropriate, or someone who just likes to throw out unprovoked character attacks at others because they like a product?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Windows

            Re: A question

            yeah, like the overwhelming majority of Linux users out there....

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A question

              Both of them then?

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: A question

                >>"Both of them then?"

                See, moiety? This is what happens - you make an unprovoked dig at MS users. Someone then responds with a stupid (and tired) dig at GNU/Linux, and the whole community just gets that little bit less interested in the actual technology involved and more like a crowd of drunken football supporters. And the mostly neutral people who just want to discuss actual tech get sucked into a massive waste of time and get called shills for putting down flawed attacks.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A question

                  "See, moiety? This is what happens - you make an unprovoked dig at MS users."

                  Actually, I thought it was a dig at Wikipedia's upcoming "paid edits" policy...

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Thumb Up

                    Re: A question

                    @Anonymous Coward -

                    "Actually, I thought it was a dig at Wikipedia's upcoming "paid edits" policy..."

                    ------------------

                    OK - I could see that. Not a bad bit of trolling after all then - a slight little more info would help the trolling process though. Like sticking Jimmy Wales' name at the bottom or something. Don't want to make your trolling so "insider" that no one even understands what they're being trolled about.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A question

                  Point taken h4rm0ny. I was actually referencing the fact that this isn't the first time Microsoft have "accidentally" let an upcoming release "escape" in order to score some free press.

                  I don't have much of an axe to grind against anybodys choice of OS. I don't like the way a lot of the big players operate, is all.

                  Nevertheless, it was a silly thing to post and wouldn't have happened if not for beer. Quite a lot of it. I really should get some sort of breathalyser lock for this keyboard.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Pint

                    Re: A question

                    @moiety - That's freaking hilarious! Nice work - no, please keep posting after the beers. As long as we know, we'll be able to laugh along with you.

                    I like the paid Wikipedia article idea though. I'll have to borrow that one for my blasts against Apple's press-release/articles.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: A question

                      Maybe we need some sort of user status in the comments, based on the amount of fumbling in the edit box

                      Status: Moiety is twatted and has his random generator turned up to 11. Again.

                      Status: User X is stone-cold sober and is genuinely like that etc.

                      Get on it El Reg!

                  2. h4rm0ny
                    Pint

                    Re: A question

                    Actually, I was more offended by the fact you had mismatched parentheses characters in your post. ;)

                    No worries! Have one more on me - it's the weekend. ;)

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: A question

                      I thought they looked pretty and the fact that it would make programmers dribble and twitch never occurred to me.

                      That's how much beer we're talking about.

          2. LordWilmore

            Re: A question

            I think you'll find the slur used was 'Shrills'. Presumably people with higher voices are staunch supporters of Windows.

          3. Vociferous

            Re: A question

            > I've never received any remuneration from MS for my posts

            You really shouldn't work for free. It drives down wages.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A question

        Q. I got paid by Microsoft to write this article

        [_} Yes

        [_} No

        "What does that even mean? That's just stupid."

        Can you really not understand that? Really? It is a yes or no question.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A question

          Actually it's a statement.

        2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: A question

          Yes/no questions are not always simple. Most of the real-world scenarios cannot be approximated to one-bit values. Too much loss in the compression. And if the end result, the gained knowledge, is not useful, there is no good reason to ask at all. It's nothing more than a noise.

          Even worse, question may be set up in a way that both answers would be actually the same - like the good old "have you stopped beating your wife?" or "do you still drink in the morning?"

  5. sam bo

    Too late !

    looks like MS have already shut the door on this one. No updates for this 8.1 machine after doing the registry hack.

  6. solo

    "..or the process will likely fail.."

    They always fail for the first time. So they chose to release it in disguise to let of the first time blues.

  7. John Tserkezis

    I don't have 8.1 desktop around here...

    ...So I'm going to wait for the official April release before not caring about it.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: I don't have 8.1 desktop around here...

      You obviously care to some degree because you clicked on article specifically about Windows 8.1 updates and then bothered to post.

      Unreasoning hatred is still caring. ;)

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Update to 8,1 NOW!!

    World: "No"

  9. vmistery

    But what do the updates actually do? Now I am an intrepid explorer and all of all things new, beta and shiny but I do normally like to read the release notes or some comments about why it is so amazing first.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "But what do the updates actually do?"

      Apparently make Windows 8 less crappy and more bearable for those that are stuck in the past in a non touchscreen world....Amongst lots of other things.

      "We are making improvements to the user interface that will naturally bridge touch and desktop, especially for our mouse and keyboard users," said Joe Belfiore, vice president of Windows Phone. "We have a number of targeted UI improvements that keep our highly satisfying touch experience intact, but that make the UI more familiar and more convenient for users with mouse/keyboard."

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Apparently make Windows 8 less crappy and more bearable for those that are stuck in the past in a non touchscreen world....Amongst lots of other things.

        ....Really? Why do I get a rather condescending vibe from this Guy? Like 24" Touchscreen Monitors are the "New BIG DEAL!", and I still just haven't been clued into this fact yet? Even though Touchscreen Monitors, have been 'round since the Vista era?

        1. dogged

          > Why do I get a rather condescending vibe from this Guy?

          Because you're a touchy prick?

        2. Richard Plinston

          > Even though Touchscreen Monitors, have been 'round since the Vista era?

          Actually since the early 80s. See 'HP 150'.

          In the 90s there were many touch monitors avilable, mostly for Kiosk type applications.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Touch screen

          monitors have been around since the nineties...Albeit with an IR grid but touchscreen all the same...

      2. Anonymous Bullard
        FAIL

        has the penny dropped?

        '"We are making improvements to the user interface that will naturally bridge touch and desktop, especially for our mouse and keyboard users,"'

        So it seems that (according to their statement) it wasn't good for mouse/keyboard users after all!

        That should have been their priority!! There wasn't hoards of touch-screen Windows users demanding a touch interface. In fact, even though they've inflicted everyone with an interface designed for touch interface and there still isn't hoards of touch-screen users!

        Sorry, MS. Too little, far too late.

        So when I read this, from the guy behind L-Mint, I switched faster than you can say alt-control-delete: "If we can make things better for people whose screen is tactile, we're happy to do so. If it's at the cost of frustrating desktop computer users based on the limitations of these portable devices, we're not interested"

        [MS's $1bn advertising campaign crushed by 2 sentences.]

        Lesson for MS: Beta testing and previews are important not only for your customers, but also for yourselves.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "more bearable for those that are stuck in the past in a non touchscreen world"

        Touchscreen = fingerprints = a pain in the arse if you'e doing anything visual. You either work through them and risk a flaw in your work because that smudge was part of the image and not the fingerprint you thought it was; or you clean the screen and have to then shut down the 20 apps that you started up whilst wiping.

        Some setups are simply more suitable for some types of work.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Touchscreen = fingerprints = a pain in the arse if you'e doing anything visual"

          Really? How do you explain the tablet market then?

          I have switched to touchscreen laptops and monitors, and they are great - particularly for visual work - fingerprints aren't any more of an issue...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me no click!

    Run away!

  11. h4rm0ny

    So what's in it?

    Surely El Reg. can ferret out someone who's installed them and report back?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: So what's in it?

      Yeah, that would be nice. Is is a Big Deal update like 8.1?

    2. dogged

      Re: So what's in it?

      Haven't there been tons of stories about this anyway?

      Minimize buttons on metro apps, some new stuff in the main title bars, just pointy-clicky stuff for when you need to be all pointy and clicky.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: So what's in it?

        I wish MS had the courage of their convictions. I have never needed a minimize button on a Metro app and I can't see why I ever would. I have a keyboard, for Pity's sake. If I want to get back to the Start screen, it's approximately one centimetre away from my left hand at any moment (Windows key). No mouse, no touch screen needed. Just keyboard. Windows 8 works fine with mouse and keyboard. Just some people are very bad with change.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: So what's in it?

          We finally discovered someone who uses the Windows Key!

          1. Pookietoo
            Thumb Up

            Re: So what's in it?

            I use the Windows key - it opens the Unity dash. :-)

          2. MCG

            Re: So what's in it?

            Never mind that - we finally discovered someone admitting to using a Metro app!

  12. jason 7

    Thank God!

    It's a service pack in all but name rather than a complete OS upgrade.

  13. Morrie Wyatt
    Joke

    Release date?

    Let me guess. The official release date would have to be April 1st, wouldn't it?

    After all, Windows 8 can be best described as a bad joke, and suggesting that a point release will fix it would have to warrant an exclamation of "April Fool!"

  14. Mikko

    Oh good. Expect reverse engineered zero day exploits (well, practically "zero day") in 3...2...1...

  15. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    If...

    If there's not a classic Start Menu in this update, who gives a shit?

    I've been using Server 2012 as my desktop for almost a year now and I really,REALLY still miss the old Start Menu. I kept hoping that with long-term use, I'd finally be enlightened on how MS expected us to be productive with TIFKAM, but so far, my eyes are still dark. 2012 R2's little fake Start Menu was a joke. Nothing but barren waste as far as my dim eyes can see. Hours and hours of registry tweaks to get something that resembles a usable desktop. Sad. Microsoft used to know how to design and produce decent (if totally insecure) desktop software, but they seem to have fired all those folks.

    1. pirithous

      Re: If...

      It's a good thing that there are other choices out there besides Windows.

  16. pirithous

    One of the main things I dislike about the feudalistic Windows 8.x, is that there's a backdoor in the app store with unknown potential that Microsoft has been very silent about. People try to justify it because "everyone else is doing it", namely Android, but a phone and a desktop are two different things and there exists differences in data sensitivity more times than not. On an Android device, one can install cyanogenmod and sideload applications onto the devices. You can choose to _not_ install Google Play. That's not possible with Windows 8.x, as the app store has been foisted upon the desktop user whether you like it or not. Applications cannot be sideloaded on Windows 8.x, and a myriad of devs are unhappy about the locked down nature. A dispute between MS and a dev could result in the application getting pulled. What other functionality does the backdoor have that we don't know about? Just because you can't see it, or may feel safe because you trust Microsoft, doesn't mean that the lack of evidence supports anything. We already know MS collaborated with the NSA to hand over private data, then acted like a good Samaritan and came up with every lie in the book to deny any involvement. Like they would really tell the truth when caught red-handed. I do not trust their OS from a security standpoint anymore. The UI is a different story that I'm not even going to get into right now, but it's safe to surmise that it's not drastically being changed with Update 1 due to turbulence that would be created amongst current Windows 8.x users. If it's changed too rapidly, Microsoft won't have any big bang with Windows 9. I think the writing is on the wall, and we're seeing the death of Windows. The embrace, extend and extinguish way of doing business isn't a very nice thing, and people have just had enough of the repugnant business practices of Microsoft, and there are other, better options now. The PC is not dying but diminishing, and Linux keeps getting better. It seems like Linux would be a good choice for a platform that becomes more of an esoteric thing. Windows phone is a complete dead end, and will go nowhere. Windows tablets may have a future, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm leaning towards a no. The unfortunate thing is, that EXT4/Btrfs and many other technical bits and pieces of GNU/Linux are way ahead of Windows.

    I am surprised at Microsoft's continual bad decisions, even considering their new leadership team.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That's not possible with Windows 8.x, as the app store has been foisted upon the desktop user whether you like it or not"

      Wrong - just don't sign in with a Live ID - hey presto - App Store disabled.

      "Applications cannot be sideloaded on Windows 8.x,"

      Yes they can. You can sign and distribute your own apps if you want to.

      "I do not trust their OS from a security standpoint anymore."

      Secure boot makes it potentially more secure than any other OS on the market.

      "we're seeing the death of Windows!"

      Windows sales and revenue are up! Again.

      "Windows phone is a complete dead end, and will go nowhere"

      WP already hit 10% market share in the EU big 5 - inc the UK - and has a 17% share of enterprise phone sales in the UK - largely replacing BlackBerry! And remains the fastest growing mobile OS.

      "EXT4/Btrfs and many other technical bits and pieces of GNU/Linux are way ahead of Windows"

      They finally provide basic features like proper ACLs that Windows has had for well over a decade....and ReFS on Windows is way ahead of those....

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Secure boot makes it potentially more secure than any other OS on the market.

        Saddam has potentially a specially crafted industrial infrastructure driving around in the desert at night, producing chemical weapons!

        1. h4rm0ny

          Lets test your counter-argument.

          Proposal: "Secure Boot enables the verification of binaries prior to booting of the OS, thus protecting against scenarios where the OS or boot loader itself has been tampered with - of which real attacks exist in the wild today."

          Counter-argument: "Saddam has potentially a specially crafted industrial infrastructure driving around in the desert at night, producing chemical weapons!"

          Yeah, I'm not really seeing how you've shot down the value of Secure Boot, there. But for comedy value, please do post back here when (not if) GNU/Linux distros start taking real advantage of UEFI's (not MS') technology. I'll look forward to seeing you attack it as pointless a second time. Which of course you will, being a non-partisan type that you are. Right?

          1. Anonymous Bullard

            "Yeah, I'm not really seeing how you've shot down the value of Secure Boot, there. But for comedy value, please do post back here when (not if) GNU/Linux distros start taking real advantage of UEFI's (not MS') technology"

            Nobody is trying to shoot down the value of Secure Boot, which is only a part of UEFI. (although allowing malicious code to be able to write to boot sectors with ease should be prevented in the first place).

            It's the fact that Microsoft are requiring OEMs to ship with secure boot enabled, using a Microsoft key (in order to be Win8 certified, and receive preferential discounts).

            In other words, in their default state computers are only able to boot code signed by Microsoft - hindering (or preventing) booting to other operating systems (that decision is left to the OEMs).

            Surely this isn't a difficult concept for people to grasp?

            By the way, Linux has been taking advantage of (U)EFI much longer than Windows has.

            1. h4rm0ny
              Flame

              >>"Nobody is trying to shoot down the value of Secure Boot, which is only a part of UEFI. (although allowing malicious code to be able to write to boot sectors with ease should be prevented in the first place)."

              Actually the person I replied to was mocking it as a conspiracy theory and check the post that follows yours for more of this. So yes, people are trying to shoot it down and you should have seen the furore when it was released. The hate was almost physical.

              >>"It's the fact that Microsoft are requiring OEMs to ship with secure boot enabled, using a Microsoft key (in order to be Win8 certified, and receive preferential discounts)."

              I don't know about any preferential discounts, can you give me some specifics, please? But it's a fact that as part of the Windows 8 certification requirements, OEMs are not allowed to lock secure boot and must allow a physically present user to turn it off. I can point you at the specific paragraphs if you like. So it is wrong to present Secure Boot as something that prevents other OSs from being used as posters here do whenever it comes up. And wrong to present it as worthless as posters also do. It's a good thing.

              >>"In other words, in their default state computers are only able to boot code signed by Microsoft - hindering (or preventing) booting to other operating systems (that decision is left to the OEMs"

              As I just pointed out, it isn't "left to OEMs". MS require them to leave users with choice. In fact, here is the paragraph taken from MS's hardware requirements for Windows 8 Certification:

              "18. Mandatory. Enable/Disable Secure Boot. On non-ARM systems, it is required to implement the ability to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup. A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup without possession of PKpriv."

              I have this to hand because I had this same argument with Eadon before. If you're smart enough to switch a computer's boot device you're smart enough to turn Secure Boot on or off. And if you're not, then you probably shouldn't be trying to install an OS in the first place. ;)

              Regardless, the point is your attempt to make it sound like MS have locked computers down from their users (leaving yourself enough wiggle room with "in their default state", is disingenuous. It makes as much sense to say that in their default state computers are only able to boot from a particular hard drive, or in their default state are only set to use the default clock speed for their processor. Or in fact anything else you change really simply by pressing F1 when your computer turns on. It's not hidden, it's not locked. Modification is only "hindered" your words, if you're malware or anything else that would fiddle with the boot process that isn't the person sitting in front of the machine.

              Honestly, there are two possibilities. You genuinely find yourself "hindered" by pressing F1 when your computer turns on, or you're attempting to make something easy and known about, sound difficult or obscure, for the sake of influencing perception on this.

              >>"Surely this isn't a difficult concept for people to grasp?"

              It isn't. If you're referring to how Secure Boot is used. I've explained it numerous times to people who don't know how to do it but have been told by some partisan source that it stops them using their computers how they're told. I'd like to say that most of them reacted with relief that things weren't as terrible as they'd been told, but in fact a number of people react angrily because one of their attacks on MS has been shot down.

              If the "concept" you think people should be able to grasp is how MS hinder other OS's via Secure Boot, then no, it's not a hard concept to grasp, it's simply a wrong idea. Which is why I'm shooting down stupid comments about Saddam Hussein. Sadly, as you can see by the few people who downvoted me, they would prefer a lie that makes MS look bad than a truth which doesn't. Which is not the sign of a true engineer, but I digress.

              >>"By the way, Linux has been taking advantage of (U)EFI much longer than Windows has."

              Both have run on UEFI for about as long as its been around, so far as I know, but if you check my post, I wrote Windows takes advantage of Secure Boot, not UEFI. So again, you're not correcting me at all, just shifting topics to something not relevant. UEFI is a long list of features which both OSs have taken advantage of bit by bit at different times. When I wrote Windows makes real use of Secure Boot, I did so because that was the feature I was talking about. And just because I suspect you might try to confuse things, I used the adjective "real" to distinguish actually deriving advantage from just grudgingly signing a boot loader that then boots unverified code, as RedHat does.

              I like GNU/Linux. I do development work on GNU/Linux. I've been using it for over a decade. I still think Windows is excellent software with a number of advantages (and disadvantages). Because I'm an actual engineer not a fucking football fan who wants to wave the flag for some particular company and spread misinformation about other companies' products.

              1. h4rm0ny

                @Anonymous Bullard

                I missed the edit window by a moment, so have this addendum.

                Look at pirithous's post. Why am I tearing your post apart and not theirs? Because they actually know what they're talking about and whilst I do not necessarily agree with their emphasis in a number of places, they reason and support their argument. They know enough about Windows to take digs at Resilliant File System or challenge the idea that Secure Boot alone will make an OS the most secure. (though the OP actually did write "potentially" the most secure which is correct as without locking down the boot process, there's always a big hole). Yes, they make a bizarre dig about "call girls using Windows Phone", but generally they're making a supported argument. I might think they're biased but at least they have an informed opinion. Your post however, is downright disingenuous. As is Richard Plinston's who is still, years later, repeating the same discredited crap about Secure Boot and who only seems to appear in order to attack MS.

                In short, if you're going to criticize, do it because something is actually causing you or someone else a problem. Don't decide you want to criticise and then try and force something into a criticism.

              2. Richard Plinston

                >>"It's the fact that Microsoft are requiring OEMs to ship with secure boot enabled, using a Microsoft key (in order to be Win8 certified, and receive preferential discounts)."

                > I don't know about any preferential discounts, can you give me some specifics, please? But it's a fact that as part of the Windows 8 certification requirements,

                It is quite simple. If not certified (which requires secure boot enabled) then the OEM does not get discounts - they may even have to buy at retail prices.

                1. h4rm0ny

                  >>"It is quite simple. If not certified (which requires secure boot enabled) then the OEM does not get discounts - they may even have to buy at retail prices."

                  Wow. That's the "specifics" that were referred to? You're claiming this? The hardware requirements (of which Secure Boot is referenced in order to specify that the user has to be able to turn it off) are for being able to say that your product is "Windows 8 Certified". That's what an OEM has to comply with in order to brand their PC Windows 8 ready. It's a good thing, otherwise you get another Vista debacle where manufacturers churn out low-spec, under-powered hardware under the MS brand. Setting minimum requirements for hardware in order for OEMs to advertise something as Windows 8 ready is a good thing.

                  For you to twist this in your head into a scenario where MS are financially penalizing OEMs for not locking computers down, is insanity. Especially given that the hardware requirements (I quoted them earlier) actually require the OEMs to not lock the PCs down.

                  1. Richard Plinston

                    > "Windows 8 Certified". That's what an OEM has to comply with in order to brand their PC Windows 8 ready. It's a good thing, otherwise you get another Vista debacle where manufacturers churn out low-spec, under-powered hardware under the MS brand. Setting minimum requirements for hardware in order for OEMs to advertise something as Windows 8 ready is a good thing.

                    Microsoft did set minimum hardware requirements for Vista. The OEMs did meet that requirement. The problem was that Vista was poorly implemented and ran poorly, some features not at all, on that specification.

                    With 'secure boot' Windows 8 runs identically whether it is turned on or off, it has nothing to do with performance or the running of the system.

                    > actually require the OEMs to not lock the PCs down.

                    Actually they _are_ required to lock the PC down (secure boot on). It happens that they must provide a mechanism to turn it off (so that, for example, Win7 will boot). Non-technical users may not know why they can't boot a different OS (on, say, a CD) or how to fix that.

              3. Anonymous Bullard

                WTF?

                All I said was Secure Boot hinders or prevents people from installing a non-MS OS.

                "If you're smart enough to switch a computer's boot device you're smart enough to turn Secure Boot on or off. And if you're not, then you probably shouldn't be trying to install an OS in the first place."

                So you agree.

                You can quote the specs all day, but the fact that MS are enforcing this all in the name of security is complete bullshit.

                1. h4rm0ny

                  >>"So you agree."

                  No. You can see that from my previous post where I said you were wrong, pretty obviously. You're attempting to dispense with any matter of degree in order to try and build a case against MS, which is silly. You said "Secure Boot hinders or prevents people from installing a non-MS OS".

                  I pointed out that nobody is "prevented" from installing a different OS on their PC because MS hardware requirements require the ability to disable Secure Boot. I then went on to point out that the "hinder" part is wrong as well because it's no more of a hindrance than saying swapping the default boot device is a hindrance. It's the same process - press F1 on boot and click the option you want. To try and dress that up as a hindrance, especially when the only people who will need to do so are the sort of people who install their own OS, is dishonest.

                  And your response is to try and argue that I "agree" someone is "hindered" because I acknowledge that adding the option requires a couple of clicks. No. I disagree with calling that a hindrance in the same way that I would call adding a blade of grass to a path a hindrance to walking. You are blatantly trying to disguise the actual easiness of what this involves and make it sound like some road block that MS have placed in the way for no good reason, when in fact it's trivial to work with and affords genuine and significant security benefits.

                  You drip with bias. What do you use in your head to make you think bias is good?

      2. Richard Plinston

        > You can sign and distribute your own apps if you want to.

        Your answer is, at best, disingenuous.

        You may be able to sideload your _own_ apps but this requires Windows 8 Enterprise plus Active Directory Domain Services.

        Distributing this to others may be possible _within_ an enterprise but is not possible to others.

        > Secure boot makes it potentially more secure than any other OS on the market.

        The intent of Microsoft was to lock out other OSes entirely and make Windows the _only_ OS on the market.

        > WP8 .. And remains the fastest growing mobile OS.

        You haven't looked at the Q4 results then. 2012Q3 was a low, low point and 2013Q3 was high because of price cutting to below cost. So, yes that quarter showed high growth. 2013Q4 was a collapse.

        Do try and keep up rather than pedaling selective out of date stats.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The intent of Microsoft was to lock out other OSes entirely and make Windows the _only_ OS on the market."

          It is a Microsoft requirement that secure boot can be disabled on standard Windows.

          "Do try and keep up rather than pedaling selective out of date stats."

          Pot, Kettle, etc - see from 2014:

          http://www.gsmarena.com/windows_phones_made_record_sales_this_holiday-news-7510.php

          http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2326255/windows-phone-sales-soar-despite-insufficient-nokia-marketing

          https://twitter.com/joebelfiore/statuses/426887478121738240

          1. Richard Plinston

            > http://www.gsmarena.com/windows_phones_made_record_sales_this_holiday-news-7510.php

            Even that article acknowledges that it is MS spin:

            """Obviously this is a bit of PR from Microsoft in the form of them patting themselves on the back, but the lack of concrete numbers takes away some of the fun."""

            A couter article is:

            """Nokia Lumia sales weaker over holidays"""

            http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/23/5337424/nokia-lumia-sales-q4-2013

            Nokia's own figure show a drop from Q3's 8.8 million to Q4 8.2 million. If other company sales are up it is because they are dumping their stock (at a loss perhaps) now that Nokia will be part of Microsoft.

            While there is growth 'year over year' from 2012Q3 to 2013Q3 and maybe 2012Q4 to 2013Q4 those 2012 quarters were a low point when WP7 was dead-ended and WP8 wasn't yet available. There may be some recovery in unit sales but at the expense of profitability, which is negative.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Nokia Sales != Windows Phone sales.

              Presumably Nokia stuffed the channel before Microsoft agreed to buy them.

              Regardless of how you spin it, the fact is that Windows Phone sales are up, have grown over 100% in the last year, and are still growing rapidly.

          2. Richard Plinston

            >> "The intent of Microsoft was to lock out other OSes entirely and make Windows the _only_ OS on the market."

            > It is a Microsoft requirement that secure boot can be disabled on standard Windows.

            That does not deny the _intent_, only that it would be in breach of anti-trust. In any case without disabling secure boot you would not load Windows 7 and OEMs would not put up with that, nor would customers.

            With ARM devices 'secure boot' must not be able to be disabled.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "With ARM devices 'secure boot' must not be able to be disabled."

              So just like Apple / Google then (and therefore not an antitrust issue in that market). Except that the Android and IOS OSs are so insecure it is just a minor inconvenience to unlock them...

            2. h4rm0ny

              >>"That does not deny the _intent_, only that it would be in breach of anti-trust"

              Actually what it does is remove the "evidence" that you used to support your case from one where MS actually did something (other than improve security), to one where MS have done nothing wrong but Richard Plinston still tries to rally people to condemn them because he says they'd like to do something wrong. Allegedly.

              >>"With ARM devices 'secure boot' must not be able to be disabled."

              Yeah, that's why I wrote "standard Windows" which you actually quoted. ARM is the same as with phones, iPad, et al. You know who did unnecessarily lock the boot process, though? Google's Pixel Chromebook. You can switch it between ChromeOS and Ubuntu. If you want to put your choice of OS on it, you have to manually place it into a developer mode every single time you turn it on. Why don't you go on a rant about them seeing as there's no real security advantage there unlike on Windows and is transparently done to lock the hardware down (which as I pointed out, isn't the case on Windows PCs where it can be properly disabled) ?

      3. pirithous

        "Wrong - just don't sign in with a Live ID - hey presto - App Store disabled."

        Microsoft has made it difficult and confusing for users to bypass creating a Live ID during the installation phase of Windows 8.x; I know because I've gone through the install phase and have read posts online about frustration surrounding this issue. Microsoft is trying to lock down Windows 8.x in a purely feudalistic manner and sway consumers to get apps through the Windows Store; therefore, that is why I use the word: "foist". Did I use the word "force"? No, I didn't.

        They want to get to a point where the conventional desktop is completely gone, and everybody has to ask permission to deploy their app: purely Orwellian. Because most users feel forced to create a Live ID during the installation phase and don't know how to bypass it, and due to the fact that the writing is on the wall in terms of how Microsoft wants Windows to function, app store and all, your comment above is really shortsighted. Not only that, but even if a Live ID isn't created and the app store is disabled, it still resides on the hard drive. What if a future Windows update enables the app store without a Live ID? I guess I just blew your argument wide open.

        "Yes they can. You can sign and distribute your own apps if you want to."

        I'm talking in terms of the average user; you're taking this out of context to fulfill a point of view which very few people are going to understand in technical terms, and in one instance requires buying a license from MS. So here we are again, asking Microsoft permission to do things with your own device: hardware which belongs to you. This is straight from stackoverflow.com:

        "One basically has two options to perform sideloading:

        1. Windows 8 Pro and Windows Server 8, if they are joined to a domain, are directly ready for side-loading.

        2. Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT, as well as the above-mentioned systems without domain, require the activation of a special Sideloading key, which can be purchased by enterprises only and usually available in 100 packs (priced at $3000 per pack, $30 per licence).

        The installation of the app can be done either by using the application image and DISM or in runtime by add-appxpackage PowerShell CmdLet."

        http://stackoverflow.com/questions/18829126/deploying-windows-8-app-on-several-devices-without-app-store

        So what you're suggesting is that a user or developer has to jump through hoops and potentially pay money to do what they want to do. I don't agree with your argument.

        "Secure boot makes it potentially more secure than any other OS on the market."

        Oh yeah, you're right! Secure boot, which is part of the UEFI specification, which, just for the record also works with other OS's, is what will make Windows 8.x the most secure OS on the planet. In fact, with secure boot, all of Windows' malware issues will be eradicated. That combined with the Orwellian app store with its backdoor will assuredly make one rock-solid system.

        "Windows sales and revenue are up! Again."

        Right, and Pamela Anderson is a computer programmer. We need to take a look at the big picture, not quarterly blips that get shareholders all excited. Take a look at these numbers:

        http://www.businessinsider.com/windows-monopoly-is-getting-destroyed-2013-7

        "WP already hit 10% market share in the EU big 5 - inc the UK - and has a 17% share of enterprise phone sales in the UK - largely replacing BlackBerry! And remains the fastest growing mobile OS."

        I had to travel to the inner city a few days ago, and noticed quite a few call girls using Windows phones. Therefore, it must be growing, so I do see your point.

        "They finally provide basic features like proper ACLs that Windows has had for well over a decade....and ReFS on Windows is way ahead of those...."

        ACL's worked right out the box with ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS, and other Linux filesystems. I'm not sure what you're even talking about.

        Here's some info on how ReFS is _not_ up to par in the filesystem world, and this is just from one site of many: "ReFS does not support data de-duplication, copy-on-write snapshots (a ZFS and Btrfs feature, but ReFS snapshots can be done when paired with the Microsoft Storage Spaces), file-level encryption (dropped from NTFS), or compression (Btrfs can now do Gzip, LZO, and Snappy). "

        http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA0NDA

        I haven't used ReFS, but all it is is an improvement on NTFS, which frags itself within minutes of use, and makes the heads of a drive seek all over the place during reads due to how it's designed. Even with ReFS, Microsoft is behind in the filesystem world. And why shouldn't they be, when the world's servers primarily run on Linux? How does the proprietary development model compete with open source projects that are being rapidly developed, even with billions of dollars? Are those billions of dollars being directly funneled into filesystem development? Why would MS funnel more money into filesystem development to improve it to a level comparable with Linux/Solaris, when internet backbones, banks, cloud storage and file hosting services, etc., are all running on Linux or BSD? Wouldn't that be trying to design something for an uninterested, and already saturated market that already has a free product that works better than anything else? Do you know that OneDrive runs on Linux servers?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "ACL's worked right out the box with ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS, and other Linux filesystems. I'm not sure what you're even talking about."

          Try via NFS. It took until version 4.1 (which until very recently was 'experimental') to get the full ACL functionality that Windows has had for years.

          "ReFS...it is is an improvement on NTFS"

          Which was already in many ways ahead of common Linux filesytems.

          "with ReFS, Microsoft is behind in the filesystem world"

          Because ReFS is not yet feature complete. However what it does already in terms of resilience is unmatched by anything out of the box on standard Linux distributions.

          "when the world's servers primarily run on Linux"

          Nope, Microsoft has a 75% server market share: http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/01/09/an-overview-why-microsofts-worth-42/

          "How does the proprietary development model compete with open source projects that are being rapidly developed"

          Lots more money, resources, and the use of patented advanced technology.

          "Do you know that OneDrive runs on Linux servers?"

          Nope - it runs on HTML5 / Windows Servers on Azure. Linux doesn't scale as well as a file server. The worlds fastest standalone SMB and NFS servers are both on Windows Server.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Nope, Microsoft has a 75% server market share: "

            75% of units SOLD

            Actual usage: http://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/operating_system/all

          2. pirithous

            "Try via NFS. It took until version 4.1 (which until very recently was 'experimental') to get the full ACL functionality that Windows has had for years."

            Version 4.1 of what? What are you talking about? It seems as though you're trying to gather erroneous factoids together to prove a point. I already told you that ACLs existed as far back as ext2.

            "Which was already in many ways ahead of common Linux filesytems."

            In which ways is it ahead? Prove your point by linking to a credible article. I already linked you to one of many articles which shows that ReFS is not ahead. NTFS is a mess of spaghetti code, and anything based of it will be mess also. You keep focusing on Linux filesystems, but in my previous post I mentioned BSD and Solaris. Obviously Linux is a big threat to you, which is why you are zeroing in on it. ZFS, ext4, and Btrfs have already won the filesystem war against MS's offerings. Yes, MS's filesystem works, but it isn't as good, and the market has loudly spoken.

            "Because ReFS is not yet feature complete. However what it does already in terms of resilience is unmatched by anything out of the box on standard Linux distributions."

            So now you are admitting that ReFS has shortcomings, and are bringing up Linux once again. How is it unmatched? I already linked you to an article showing what it's lacking. ZFS and Btrfs are amazing filesystems that I don't see ReFS surpassing. You can find demos of how a ZFS RAID setup recovers on the fly after a drive is smashed with a hammer. Where's the demo of ReFS doing that?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN6iDzesEs0

            "Nope, Microsoft has a 75% server market share: http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/01/09/an-overview-why-microsofts-worth-42/"

            I'm talking about servers running the world's internet, and I'm not even sure if that Forbes article is correct. They provided no reference for the claim; they just pulled out a number and it may or may not be true. Unix and Unix-like systems hold 67.4% market share as of February 2014. Windows holds 32.6%. Even the Linux market share is beyond Windows', at 38.6%, and this will increase as it continues to eat away at MS's market share as an unstoppable force. IBM invested 1 billion dollars in Linux last year, and this is just the beginning of an interesting new era. Don't think that this will be the only investment made, as there are many more to come.

            http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2014/02/03/february-2014-web-server-survey.html

            http://slashdot.org/topic/bi/ibm-investing-another-1-billion-in-linux/

            "Lots more money, resources, and the use of patented advanced technology."

            Difference of opinion here, but like I said, when we look at the technical specs and benchmarks, your argument fails. I am basing things I say off science, and you are basing things off of defending a company for whatever reason.

            "Nope - it runs on HTML5 / Windows Servers on Azure. Linux doesn't scale as well as a file server. The worlds fastest standalone SMB and NFS servers are both on Windows Server."

            I never said Windows servers weren't involved, but so are Linux servers: http://searchdns.netcraft.com/?host=onedrive.com&x=0&y=0

            1. Richard Plinston

              >> "Nope - it runs on HTML5 / Windows Servers on Azure."

              I bet these 10,000 servers didn't appear in Forbes figures. Nor does Google's, Amazon's and the rest because they build their own and don't buy them from, say, HP.

              """The new Skype backbone is composed of about 10,000 Linux servers."""

              http://www.geek.com/news/microsoft-updates-skype-to-use-secure-linux-servers-instead-of-p2p-supernodes-1487121/

  17. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
    Trollface

    is it W8 Enterprise Edition?

    "Also, forum posters warn that it's essential to install all of the updates in the correct order, or the process will likely fail."

    That sounds very much like SAP, Tivoli, or other fine examples of enterpricey software. Although, there is usually no correct order, just an obscure order that happens to work, and nobody knows why.

    Years of talk about MS wanting to move upmarket. Now the day has dawned.

  18. Vociferous

    Leaked? No.

    Controversial products are often "leaked" to get feedback prior to release and lower the news-worthiness (and hence bad press) when it is released for reals. Microsoft does this a lot.

  19. IT Drone
    Windows

    Evolutionary pressure?

    > "We are making improvements to the user interface that will naturally bridge touch and desktop, especially for our mouse and keyboard users," said Joe Belfiore, vice president of Windows Phone. "We have a number of targeted UI improvements that keep our highly satisfying touch experience intact, but that make the UI more familiar and more convenient for users with mouse/keyboard."

    Working with a 27-inch Windows 8 desktop machine, I have it pushed quite far back on the desk where it looks like a really gigantic mobile phone even compared to the 1980s monsters.

    The main improvement I need is longer arms when I am forced to use the kiddy toy features of Windows 8.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Evolutionary pressure?

      Faux News seem to manage just fine with larger touch screens than yours:

      http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/07/those-giant-fox-news-touchscreens-are-microsoft-perceptive-pixel-displays-running-windows-8/

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