Feeds

Articles about Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 becomes world's fourth-most-popular desktop OS

Windows 8.1 adoption is speeding up, with the operating system now the planet's fourth-most-popular, according to Netmarketshare statistics. With January 2014 now behind us, the firm has totted up the results of its ongoing observations of just what browsers and operating systems hit the world's web servers. Those explorations …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2014
bug on keyboard

Uh oh! Here comes the first bug in the Windows 8.1 Update

Microsoft has suspended distribution of April's Windows 8.1 Update to some enterprise customers after a bug was discovered that could bork affected machines' ability to receive future updates. The issue affects businesses that distribute software updates via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 Service Pack 2, which shipped …
Neil McAllister, 09 Apr 2014
Windows Phone 8

Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare

Developers can now be among the first to experience Windows Phone 8.1 on real-world devices, provided they opt into Microsoft's preview program – and they're willing to risk wrecking their phones. The software giant made the latest version of its smartphone OS available for download on Monday for registered Windows Phone …
Neil McAllister, 14 Apr 2014
Canadian reseller ad for XP

Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

If you don't believe in the undead, think again: Windows XP may be just over a month from its much-publicised demise but is now Microsoft's fastest-growing operating system in terms of market share. For that zombie-like assertion we can thank Netmarketshare's new data about operating system market share. As we reported in …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Mar 2014
Bloody Serial Killer Shower Curtain

Microsoft may slash price of Windows 8.1 on cheap 'slabs

Microsoft has reportedly slashed the price of Windows 8.1 for anyone willing to install the operating on a device that sells for fewer than $US250. Bloomberg cites “people familiar with the matter” as saying Microsoft usually sells Windows for $50 a pop, but is floating the idea of a $15 price tag for OEMs working on low-priced …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014

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 …
Neil McAllister, 07 Mar 2014
Windows Server 2012 tiles gain some right click action

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 updates also tweak Windows Server 2012

Microsoft made a stack of announcements last week and you could be excused for thinking they were all about Windows 8, Windows Phone and “universal apps”. But Redmond also made a few handy tweaks to Windows Server 2012 R2. It's easy to see why the Windows Server changes have been largely ignored. And I do mean see: here's the …
Adam Fowler, 06 Apr 2014
Windows 8.1 Start screen

Windows 8.1 update 'screenshots' leak: Metro apps popped into classic desktop taskbar

A set of screenshots leaked to the web purports to show how Microsoft is working to better integrate Metro-style apps with the classic desktop in a forthcoming update to Windows 8.1. The screenshots, which were posted online by Russian serial leaker "WZor," were allegedly taken from a prerelease testing build of Windows 8.1 …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2014
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Windows 8.1 start button appears as Microsoft's Blue wave breaks

Microsoft's Blue wave of Windows, tools and services updates has started breaking complete with an early glimpse of the Windows 8.1 start button. The company revealed on Tuesday the availability of Windows Server and System Center 2012 RT, Windows Intune and SQL Server 2014 and Visual Studio 2013. MSDN subscribers had started …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jun 2013
3D Builder

Cocky Microsoft strokes soft tool in public for 3D printing on Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 users with a yen for 3D printing and a few thousand bucks for a printer can get a free design application from Microsoft – as Redmond seeks to show it's as modern as the rest of them. 3D Builder Basic tool to get you on your 3D feet "I get excited about 3D printing. Really excited. Like Tom Cruise on Oprah’s couch …
Iain Thomson, 16 Nov 2013

Windows 7 outstrips Windows 8.x with small November growth

Windows 7 beat Windows 8.x in trench-war battle for growing market share in November. Netmarketshare stats for the month found Windows 7 had increased its share of desktops from 46.42 to 46.64 per cent of machines. This meant it outpaced the Windows 8.x family, which gained just 0.05 per cent. Windows 8 fell from 7.53 per cent …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Dec 2013

Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores

Windows 8 includes a feature called “push-button reset” that restores a computer to a previous known good state, or performs a factory reset. Nothing out of the ordinary there: System Restore, as it was known in older versions of Windows, could perform those tricks. But performing System Restore did not render a PC incapable of …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Mar 2014
Remy from Ratatouille

Microsoft's so keen on touch some mice FAIL under Windows 8.1

Apple's not the only outfit experiencing upgrade blues: some who made the move to Windows 8.1 are reporting their mice aren't happy in the new version of the metro maze. Threads like this one spell out the problem, namely that mice, and sometimes keyboards too, are prone to freezing once users upgrade. Microsoft's noticed those …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Microsoft does a U-turn, releases Windows 8.1 to developers early after all

After facing a backlash from developers concerned that they wouldn't get early access to the latest versions of Windows, Microsoft has released builds of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 to its MSDN and TechNet subscription programs, more than a month ahead of the updates' official launch date. "We heard from you that our …
Neil McAllister, 09 Sep 2013

Windows 8.1: Here at last, but is it good enough?

The de-cloaking of Windows 8.1 at Microsoft's BUILD conference was greeted with cheers from attendees as the company finally confirmed changes following a major U-turn. Yes, there's a Start Button but it's really no more than an onscreen version of your keyboard's Windows key. Metro loosens the ideological shackles: you can skip …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Jun 2013

While world drools over Apple, Microsoft fixes Windows RT 8.1 update

Microsoft has once again made the Windows RT 8.1 update available via the Windows Store, following an earlier boondoggle that left some owners of ARM-based Surface RT tablets unable to boot their devices. According to Microsoft, about one in 1,000 Surface RT owners who tried to install the update ended up with their fondleslabs …
Neil McAllister, 22 Oct 2013
Windows 8.1 retail packaging

Microsoft relents: 'Go ahead, install Windows 8.1 on clean PCs'

Microsoft says that in addition to offering Windows 8.1 as a free update for Windows 8 users in October, it will also be easier for customers to buy versions of Windows 8.1 that don't require an upgrade from a previous edition of the OS. Redmond launched Windows 8 in October 2012 as essentially an upgrade-only product. "System …
Neil McAllister, 17 Sep 2013

Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins

Microsoft is rolling out Windows 8.1 as a free upgrade for all Windows 8 users. But installing the new OS may not be as simple as it sounds, particularly for those with multiple PCs to manage, or those who installed the earlier Windows 8.1 Preview. The basics are simple enough: Windows 8 users can apply the update by downloading …
Neil McAllister, 17 Oct 2013
"334/365 this is a phoooonne!!!" - Lazurite

Microsoft pulls Win 8.1 RT code which upgraded Surface 'slabs into BRICKS

Microsoft has quickly backpedalled on its Windows 8.1 update, pulling it from the Windows Store after reports that it was bricking Surface tablets. In this post at its Answers site, Microsoft explained the withdrawal of the update: “Windows RT 8.1. Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users …
Windows 8 1 Update teaser

Microsoft Research adds interactivity to Windows 8 Live Tiles

Microsoft Research has revealed, and then hidden, a new design for Windows 8. The three videos were posted late last week on a Microsoft Research web site (404 here if you really want it) and were pulled within hours. But not before WindowsBlogItalia was able to hoover them up into YouTube. The first video, below, shows Live …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014
IT Crowd. Source: Channel 4 / 2entertain

Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2: Quick start guide for sysadmins

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are now officially available. New shiny toys for the kids, but how does a sysadmin license these new products? This post assumes you're already up and running with Windows 8 and Server 2012, but I'll quickly go over the basic requirements: You'll need to obtain your Server Key Management …
Adam Fowler, 18 Oct 2013
Windows 8.1 Update  Storeapps Taskbar

Windows 8.1 Update: Throws desktop drones a bone but still as TOUCHY as ever

After months of slowly inflating expectations, Microsoft recently released its follow-up act to Windows 8.1 – the Windows 8.1 Update. It’s a transitional release, with the destination being a substantial reworking of the original concept. The problem for Microsoft is that it based Windows 8 around a new touch-friendly app …
Tim Anderson, 09 Apr 2014

Firefox's touchy-feeling Windows 8 makeover now in beta

After a long development process, a beta version of the Firefox web browser that offers support for Windows 8's touch-centric UI mode is now available. "This touch-friendly, tile-based Firefox is optimized for Microsoft's Windows 8 Modern UI and designed to ensure users get the best Firefox browsing experience possible on their …
Neil McAllister, 07 Feb 2014
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Microsoft: YES Windows 8.1 is finished, but NO you can't have it

Microsoft says it has already begun seeding the final code of Windows 8.1 to its manufacturing partners, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to get your hands on the update any sooner. In a blog post on Tuesday, Windows corporate VP Antoine Leblond said that while hardware makers are being given time to incorporate Windows 8.1 …
Neil McAllister, 27 Aug 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Microsoft lobs second Windows 8.1 preview at enterprise IT admins

Having already teased some of the consumer and small business features of Windows 8.1 with a preview release in June, Microsoft on Tuesday announced a second preview, this one with new features targeting larger IT departments. "Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview builds on the Window 8.1 Preview which is currently available, adding …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Microsoft to ship Windows 8.1 in 'late August'

The Windows 8.1 Preview is barely two weeks old, but Microsoft's Windows boss Tami Reller says the final version of the update will be ready to ship to manufacturers in just a few more weeks' time. Speaking at Redmond's annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston, Texas on Monday, Reller announced that the RTM version …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2013

SkyDrive on par with C: Drive in Windows 8.1

Microsoft has detailed, in a blog post just how SkyDrive will behave under Windows 8.1. Not everything in the post is new: we've known about offline storage and using SkyDrive as the default drive since the Windows 8.1 preview. Among the newly-revealed features is the ability for Windows Store apps to save to or load from …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Windows 8.1 to freeze out small business apps

While Microsoft is happy with the “appification” of Windows, and prepares to go-live with Windows 8.1 on October 18, it's created a gap between present and future that could be a stumbling block for a bunch of small ISVs. The kind of company that lives between the consumer and the enterprise will still be able to create and ship …
Surface 2

LIVE CHAT: You, El Reg, experts chat about Win 8.1 and Surface 2

By the end of next Tuesday – 22 October – Microsoft will have played all of its Christmas cards. Two new Surface slabs will have officially launched and Windows 8.1 will be working its way through shops, PC makers and download servers. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will bring new chips and graphics processors to make things …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Oct 2013
Man walks on water like Jesus

PC makers REALLY need Windows 8.1 to walk on water - but guess what?

An updated Windows 8 from Microsoft will NOT be the "miracle cure" for traditional PC makers in need of a sales and profits injection. And that's according to IT biz analysts Context. This is the second technology distribution channel watcher in a week to warn that Redmond's touch-friendly operating system tweak, namely version …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jun 2013
Julie Larson-Green Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Windows Experience

Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Update 1 – with pain relief for those suffering from “customer satisfaction issues” – is widely expected to be released in early April. It'll probably coincide with the Build developer conference starting on 2 April. This spring update has already gone to computer manufacturers to install on their new …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Mar 2014
Screenshot of Windows 8.1 showing new Start button

Microsoft touts business features of Windows 8.1

Much of Microsoft's marketing push for Windows 8 has focused on consumers, but Redmond took time at its annual TechEd conference in New Orleans to explain that its forthcoming Windows 8.1 update will include lots of new enhancements for enterprises, as well. For the first time, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 8.1 will indeed …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Microsoft video preview shows Windows 8.1 tablet UI options

Microsoft has had a lot to say about the forthcoming Windows 8.1 update, both in its blogs and at conferences like TechEd and Computex, and now it's gone ahead and posted a five-minute video tour so that we can see some of the new features in action. The video, which we've embedded below, is hosted by Jensen Harris of Microsoft' …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1 showing new Start button

There she blows! Mid-October release date for Windows 8.1 sighted

Microsoft will unleash Windows 8.1 for world+dog to download in October, it's claimed, a year after it released the touchscreen-friendly, tile-tastic Windows 8. The software giant is preparing to release version 8.1 of its operating system to computer makers later this month, but it has been reported the public will get the …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Aug 2013
Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet

Toshiba Encore: The Windows 8.1 tablet that might catch on

Windows tablets have hardly set the world on fire. Limp processors, confusion in the mind of Joe Public over the difference between Windows proper and Windows RT, plus a lack of apps for the user-interface-once-known-as-Metro have all combined to dampen enthusiasm. Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet Mighty Atom: Toshiba's Encore …
Alun Taylor, 21 Feb 2014
Nokia Lumia Windows Phone Update

Microsoft courts mobe-makers, tweaks Windows 8 for WIMPs

In a pre-show presentation in Barcelona, where Mobile World Congress starts this week, Microsoft has confirmed some new features coming in Windows Phone 8.1 and the Windows 8.1 update coming this (northern) spring and assured phone makers it won't hang them out to dry. Redmond has let it be know that Windows desktop/tablet and …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

Microsoft's summer update will be called Windows 8.1

Microsoft has thought long and hard about what to officially call the forthcoming Windows 8 upgrade package codenamed "Windows Blue", and the verdict is ... Windows 8.1. So sayeth veteran Redmond-watcher Mary Jo Foley, who cites an anonymous tipster. Lending credence to the rumor, Foley directs us to a Twitter post made by one …
Neil McAllister, 02 Apr 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1 showing new Start button

Windows 8.1 Start button SPOTTED in the wild

Leaked screenshots of a prerelease build of Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8.1 update reveal that the rumors are true and the Start button really is coming back – though perhaps not in the way users of previous versions of Windows might like. Screenshot of Windows 8.1 showing new Start button Thar she blows! That little icon …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2013
Office on Perceptive Pixel screen

Windows 8 apps pass 100K, Windows 8 passes Vista

Microsoft has received two pieces of good news concerning its not-exactly-barn-burning Windows 8: there are now over 100,000 apps in the Windows 8 app store, and the installed base of Windows 8 has passed that of the late and unlamented Windows Vista. What's more, that 100,000-app milestore was reached in just eight months – …
Rik Myslewski, 02 Jul 2013

Microsoft offers IE 11 preview for Windows 7 ... but not Windows 8

Microsoft has released a developer preview build of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, breaking a pattern of dragging its feet when it comes to supporting the latest version of IE on the older OS. After shipping IE10 with Windows 8, Redmond took over a year to release a preview version that ran on Windows 7, and another three …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jul 2013
Tools

So you want to develop for Windows 8.1? Visual Studio 2013 is HERE

Hot on the heels of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has released the latest versions of its flagship Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server developer tools, albeit only to MSDN subscribers for the time being. Naturally, Visual Studio 2013 offers support for developing Windows Store apps for Windows 8.1, which officially became …
Neil McAllister, 18 Oct 2013
Pin to start in Windows 8.1

Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

Microsoft today unleashed Windows 8.1, the version to soothe folks ruffled by the touchscreen-friendly user interface. Crucially, the software giant really didn’t want to make this particular upgrade: it's effectively stepped back from the original Windows 8 blueprint. At 4am Pacific time (7am Eastern, 12 noon UK time), …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Oct 2013

So, Windows 8.1 to give PC sales a shot in arm? BZZZZT, wrong answer

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 update and the rise of tablet-cum-laptop PCs may boost sales for the software titan and its hardware-making pals - but it won't happen anytime soon. Or so predicts IT distribution channel beancounter Canalys in its global shipment forecast for 2013: the analysts estimates little more than 493 million PCs …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jun 2013

Mozilla's Metro-friendly Firefox for Win 8.1 to arrive in December

A Metro-friendly version of Firefox is finally coming to Windows 8, more than a year after Mozilla first floated the new browser. Mozilla’s Firefox planners have pegged 10 December as the release date for the first iteration of the browser to support Microsoft’s boxy, fondleable interface. Builds of Firefox 26 with unfinished …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Aug 2013
Windows 8 new start screen

It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources

Microsoft's forthcoming wave of Windows updates will streamline the OS and will even see the return of the much-missed Start menu, according to new reports. Rumors that Redmond is planning a new round of updates to the various forms of its OS first surfaced last week, with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reporting that Microsoft will …
Neil McAllister, 09 Dec 2013

Make or break: Microsoft sets date for CRUCIAL Win 8.1 launch

Microsoft will begin the second act in its Windows 8 drama on Thursday, 17 October. The company said today that Windows 8.1 would be available through the Windows Store in a free worldwide update for consumers already on Win 8 from 4am Pacific Time on that date (7am Eastern, 12 noon BST). PCs and tablets featuring Windows 8.1 …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Aug 2013
Windows 8.1 Update Start Screen

Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE

Microsoft is urging users running Windows 8.1 to update their systems soon, since the company plans to drop patch support for early versions of the operating system. Redmond said that after May it would only issue updates for systems running the Windows 8.1 Update release and later. The move means that Windows 8.1 systems which …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2014

Wait for it, waaiiit for it: We update an Atom tablet to Windows 8.1 Pro

If you own an Atom tablet and you’re pondering on upgrading to Windows 8.1 now it’s out in the wild, then there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that it installs fairly smoothly in my experience. That said, I would advise to send out for pizza and rent an epic movie, the longer the better, as the update takes an age to …
Bob Dormon, 19 Oct 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Windows 8.1: 'It's good for enterprises, too,' says Redmond

Much of the hype around Windows 8 has focused on consumers so far, but Microsoft took the opportunity of its Windows 8.1 Preview launch to show off some of the ways it's been improving the OS for enterprise customers, too. In a late session at the Build developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Microsoft senior program …
Neil McAllister, 27 Jun 2013
Windows 8 multi monitor

Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

Windows 8.1 adds a layer of polish to the previous release, Windows 8, and fixes various annoyances. But has Microsoft done enough to rescue its OS against a background of plummeting PC sales and unimpressed customers who want Windows 7 back? Discussion of Windows 8.1 tends to focus on the Start screen and revived Start button. …
Tim Anderson, 18 Oct 2013