Report: Windows 8.1 to ship on August 1

Now that we’ve been shown a glimpse of the Start button’s long-awaited return, only one mystery about Windows 8.1 remains: its release date. If Paul Thurrott (of the eponymous SuperSite for Windows) is to be believed, though, that mystery has already been solved. Here’s what he tweeted on Friday:


I thought this was a joke at first, but it doesn’t seem to be. One of Thurrott’s followers replied to the tweet, saying he was told of an October 18 release date by a "major tech company." Thurrott shot back: "I was told this from someone a little closer to the matter."

So, there you go. A preview build of Windows 8.1 is scheduled to go public on June 26, which means that if Thurrott is correct, the final release will follow barely over a month later. That won’t leave a lot of time for bug reports and other feedback. Good thing Windows 8.1 is supposed to be a minor upgrade over Windows 8—and a free one at that. (Thanks to Neowin for the tip.)

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    • WaltC
    • 8 years ago

    I discovered a gem over the weekend that maybe some folks are unaware of. This is for folks like me who really like Win8Pro (because of the stuff it does that Win7 doesn’t) but loathe “Metro” (because I don’t have a touchscreen and am not getting a touchscreen and because I think the “Metro” UI is as ugly as it could possibly be–it might attract kindergarten children in a finger-painting class, maybe.)

    Anyway, here’s the link:

    [url<]http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/35189-Windows-7-explorer-for-Windows-8[/url<] This guy's program replaces the Win8 explorer.exe with the win7 explorer.exe, and is fully uninstallable. It requires that you have your original copy of Win7 (32 or 64-bits) and the "bitness" has to match (ie, no 32-bit Win7 file will work with 64-bit Win8, etc.) It restores the original Win7 start button & menu--hallelujah--so you will no longer need a 3rd-party stand-in. This does not bring Aero to Win8Pro (which is fine!) and doesn't replace the standard Win8 Window borders--ie, the ribbon is still there if you like it (which I do)--because neither Aero or the the ribbon are based in explorer.exe. It takes about five seconds to install and as I said is fully uninstallable and will revert Win8Pro to its original state if you want to for some unfathomable reason....;) Here's what happens: "Metro" or "Modern" or whatever you want to call it is not loaded into memory and does not even run! It's as if you flipped a switch and simply cut Metro off. I've had 0 compatibility problems--Windows Update still knows it's Win8Pro, etc. Patches don't affect it. Anyway--this is the best thing yet in that it uses all stock Microsoft-Windows files and might only marginally be considered a "hack."...;) And, it works! Thought I'd pass it on. Caveat: I don't know if it will work with the upcoming Win8.1 preview at the end of this month. If I install the 8.1 preview I intend to uninstall this program first to revert back to stock 8 and then apply the preview. However, I heard this weekend something I've not seen confirmed, and that is that if you install the 8.1 preview it does, of course, install like a service patch and does not interfere with your installed base of programs--HOWEVER, when the finalized 8.1 is released you will not be able to install it like the preview 8.1 IF you have installed the preview, but you will have to do a new, clean install and install your programs (and those unholy "Apps") all over again after installing the official 8.1! This doesn't make much sense to me, but I cannot discount it out of hand because these days very little Microsoft does seems to make sense. I almost feel like I'm dealing with loony Apple (have you seen that *ugly* cylindrical Mac Pro they unwrapped today! Ugly and impractical are far too mild to fit. Double Ugh.)

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Unsigned shell, what could possibly go wrong?

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Wake me up when they finally make a worthy successor to Windows 7.

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    What date will Windows 8.1 still suck? 8/1. Duh. 🙂

    • Forge
    • 8 years ago

    Hello from Project Mojave 2.0! We noticed you’re not that bright, and you LOVED Vista once we changed all the badges to say “7” and applied a few minor visual tweaks! Since you stupidly disliked Windows 8, we’ve applied the same misdirection, but even less subtly! We expect you to LOVE Windows 8.1, and prove once and for all that consumers are all idiots, and they love what they are told to love!

    Thanx much!

    – MS Marketing

    • Prestige Worldwide
    • 8 years ago

    You know why they call it Windows 8.1?

    Because when you see it, you turn 360 degrees and walk away.

      • kuraegomon
      • 8 years ago

      Except that turning 360 degrees and then walking… will lead you directly towards it 😛 Sorry, I had to.

        • Prestige Worldwide
        • 8 years ago

        I see your argument, and raise you this:

        [url<]http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i42/Caqtuar/Other/360.jpg[/url<]

        • chuckula
        • 8 years ago

        He could have done a 360 and then done the moonwalk!

        • sirsoffrito
        • 8 years ago

        Relevent “Last Action Hero” quote

        [url<]http://youtu.be/AiCF1QdyxhM[/url<]

      • Sargent Duck
      • 8 years ago

      *Turns 180*…wait a minute…*turns the other 180*…

      I see what you did there!

      • Wildchild
      • 8 years ago

      You had better luck with this joke than I did.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        only barely. People are just too eager to point out what’s wrong. They’re all in a hurry to be right.

          • Prestige Worldwide
          • 8 years ago

          My gaming rig is running Windows 8. I just posted that for the only reason anybody does anything anyway: the lulz.

    • shank15217
    • 8 years ago

    Its all nice and good to bash Microsoft day in and day out, but most of you keyboard warriors have never used Windows 8 or 2012 in a production environment. To say 2012 is bad because it has metro ui, something that can be easily replaced is just ignorant. As a server OS 2012 is far ahead of 2008R2, as far as 2008R2 was from 2003. The list of improvements are long and if you actually used these features you wouldn’t bash it as much as you do. Learn to look at things with a more objective view, you’re posting on a tech site after all.

      • tanker27
      • 8 years ago

      I have and do use on a daily basis. MY SharePoint environment resides on 2012 and while it is leaps and bounds ahead of our old 2008R2 environment it still has its faults and that is the boneheaded decision to include the modern/metro UI on the server!

      Like I said, I love PowerShell it can do many administrative things with it but there are times when you just have to RDP to the server to admin it and this is where 2012 fails. Even when co-located the modern/metro UI gets in the way.

      I JUST came back from Teched and guess what…..again MS was being bashed left and right by attendees for its decision to include the modern/metro UI on server 2012. EVERY seminar on server 2012 there was at least 5 or 6 admins harping on this asking for a better RDP solution/UI

      • Firestarter
      • 8 years ago

      I have used Windows 8 on a daily basis and I hated every second that I had to interact with the Modern UI. I’m sure Windows 8 and Server 2012 are great OSes underneath, but so is Windows 7.

      • nanoflower
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t see anyone bashing it as a server OS. No one doubts there are improvements to the OS. The only complaint that I see being made is that Microsoft has forced the Modern/Metro UI on a server OS. It’s not a choice that makes sense to me and apparently a number of other people familiar with running servers feel the same. You may not be one of them but that makes you the outlier.

        • shank15217
        • 8 years ago

        No, it just shouldn’t matter either way. For someone using console all day even windows 2008R2 feels awkward. Just because you are not used to it doesn’t mean its not functional.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    Joke’s on you, he actually means 8th of January, still got 6 months to wait!

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 8 years ago

      That’s the Euro release date…and people across the pond cheered!

        • MadManOriginal
        • 8 years ago

        With all the changes the EU will undoubtedly force on MS, this makes perfect sense.

    • someuid
    • 8 years ago

    The tweet I think a lot of folks would rather see:

    “If we brought back the Start Menu and gave people the choice to run entirely from desktop mode, Win8 sales would explode? Duh.”

    • pedro
    • 8 years ago

    Well, seeing as they went to all the trouble of doing this on a funny/ironic day I may as well forget my hatred of their evil empire and jump aboard the Blue Train.

    • tanker27
    • 8 years ago

    Report: Fortune 500 companies still shun Windows 8 and Server 2012

      • Generic
      • 8 years ago

      Why, exactly, would Server 2012 be shunned?

      Edit:
      Heheheh. Dance my little puppets. Dance!

      Seriously though, I see the answers I was expecting on the pro-8 side, but I was curious what the con-8 folks had in the way of complaints. Thank you for your responses.

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        Same UI reasons.

          • nanoflower
          • 8 years ago

          Agreed. I don’t understand why Microsoft ever thought bringing Metro/Modern to a server made sense. I have to imagine even their own people managing their servers hated the idea. Or maybe they used Powershell to code up their own UI so they didn’t have to work with Modern. That’s doable but not something many shops will want to take on.

            • chuckula
            • 8 years ago

            Holy crap… you mean that 2012 Server has the [s<]Metro[/s<] [u<]Modern[/u<] UI on it? Is this some type of inside joke on Microsoft's part? Even though I'm a Linux geek, I realize that you can use MS server installs on headless systems with either Powershell or RDP administration, but who thought it would be a good idea to put a mediocre Tablet UI on a freakin' server!?!?!?!?!?

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            Best part is that it works even crappier via RDP on a touchscreen.

            Touch UI –> mouse emulation –> touch ui

            • shank15217
            • 8 years ago

            Again wrong, its just as fluid over RDP as it is without. Keep making stuff up and maybe they will become true right?

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            That’s a bunch of crap. You obviously have not tried it.

            • shank15217
            • 8 years ago

            i could say the same for you, I have tried it and use the terminal services features.

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            /me giggles as he looks at the 12 sessions he currently has open.

            • Chrispy_
            • 8 years ago

            That’s great, but Remote desktop (probably the single most important terminal services feature) is a horrible, awkward experience on W8 and S2012 compared to previous versions.

            There’s a reason we’re not upgrading and that’s because it would be a downgrade.

            • curtisb
            • 8 years ago

            It doesn’t have Modern UI apps, only the Start Screen. And you still have the option of running the Core version with no UI at all. Only now it’s been changed so that you can switch back and forth between Full and Core without a reinstall (pretty sure it does require a reboot though…I haven’t tried it).

            By and large, Server 2012 has some nice features that make it worthwhile to upgrade to. Deduplication built into the OS is a nice touch for file servers. I gained about 1.2TB back on a 3TB volume when I first enabled it. The ability to Live Migrate Hyper-V VMs from one host to another [i<]without[/i<] clustering is nice. Of course, you do have to have clustering still if you want high availability/automatic failover. These are just some of the examples, but there are a ton of improvements in Server 2012 that make it easier to overlook some of the inefficiencies of the Start Screen. On a server it's generally configured for a given task or a few tasks so you just pin the shortcuts you need to the TaskBar and you never have to touch (no pun intended) the Start Screen again.

            • funko
            • 8 years ago

            you are talking too much sense for this thread. changing default settings that are largely unpopular on geek sites is frowned upon. changing default settings that evoke no such reaction is looked upon with respect

            • indeego
            • 8 years ago

            The problem is admins have to actually be trained on how to automate this across a fleet. That is time wasted not needed on other servers OS’s previously. And if it hasn’t been setup in an install script? Well then you bump across metro [i<]every new server install.[/i<] Any way you look at it it's a waste of time.

            • curtisb
            • 8 years ago

            You had to “waste” that time when 2008 and 2008 R2 were released as well. The deployment tools for them are completely different from previous versions. Any admin not wanting to take time to be trained or figure out a new system is not an admin I want in my datacenter.

            I’m not finding that I’m “wasting” any more time on 2012 than I did on 2008/2008 R2. You still have to do the base install. You still have to install all of your roles and features. You still have to install your server-side apps. You still have to pin those shortcuts somewhere.

            I’m finding that a lot of 3rd party apps that ran fine on 2008 R2 are, so far, running fine on 2012. Most of the exceptions are older versions of Microsoft products like Exchange 2010 and older System Center products. We’re in the process of upgrading those, as well, though.

            There’s also no more figuring out which edition to install. Running virtualization? Datacenter. Anything else? Standard. Literally the only difference between the two is the number of VMs you can run on the base licensing (Datacenter is unlimited, Standard is two VMs). It’s not like in previous versions were running, for example, a CA on Standard would give you different certificate options than if you ran it on Enterprise. Quite a few of my infrastructure servers (half of my DCs, a third of my DHCP servers, CA, external DNS, etc.) have already been migrated to 2012.

            Anyone running multiple sites and want [url=http://blogs.technet.com/b/teamdhcp/archive/2012/09/11/migrating-existing-dhcp-server-deployment-to-windows-server-2012-dhcp-failover.aspx<]DHCP failover[/url<]? My biggest gripe is that they won't release the new RSAT tools for Windows 7 machines.

            • cheddarlump
            • 8 years ago

            It’s similar styling, but the Start menu is only for launching programs. It is incredibly stable, and the management console is quite powerful and efficient. I’ve been running several server 2012 boxes in a hyper-v cluster since November, and the setup for clustering and network teaming was absolutely a dream compared to previous windows server versions.
            The windows update aware updating, automatic load moving (live, too) of VM’s, and the enhancements to Hyper-V are well worth a little lack of finesse of the UI.

            My one and only complaint is the new printer driver model. PITA to get working nicely with Win7 clients.

            • indeego
            • 8 years ago

            Printers have been a complete clusterf* for many years on Windows Servers, since 64-bit introduction. Novell had this crap down ~20 years ago. Amazing.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 8 years ago

            If only Windows 8 and Server 2012 had a desktop environment as well…OH, WAIT!

          • shank15217
          • 8 years ago

          Wrong, there are huge improvements in server 2012, especially in hyper-v and terminal services, not to mention way better performance reporting and monitoring.

        • tanker27
        • 8 years ago

        As an admin you RDP to a server (physical or virtual) a lot. There is some ‘wonkiness’ that happens when you do this because of the metro/modern UI.

        Powershell is a great tool to admin servers but it only goes so far, sometimes you just need to log in to the server.

          • shank15217
          • 8 years ago

          And RDP 8.0 that comes standard with 2012 is way more responsive than RDP 7.1 that comes with 2008R2. Modern UI only gets in the way if you let it. There are faster ways to do just about anything in 2012 Server.

            • Chrispy_
            • 8 years ago

            More responsive? Yes.
            More usable? No.

            Responsiveness has nothing to do with interface usability. Navigating an unwanted, awkward and poorly-designed interface at a low-latency, high framerate doesn’t stop that interface from being any less fit-for-purpose.

            I was going to make a list of complaints but honestly, any server admin that’s tried it has already given up – and why shouldn’t they? Metro is clearly a touchscreen interface and it doesn’t work that well on a physical desktop, let alone an emulated virtual one.

        • LukeCWM
        • 8 years ago

        I second this.

        Is a large company likely to migrate all workstations to Windows 8? No. Huge expense for very little benefit, and training would be tremendously expensive in employee time.

        However, tech people are the only ones using the servers, and tech people can handle funky user interfaces a bit easier than standard users.

        In my company, we’ve opted to continue purchasing Windows 7 for all new computers, yet we’re installing Server 2012 on all of the servers. Yes, a touch interface seems silly. No, we don’t want to pass up the fantastic virtualization software now standard in Server 2012. And that many more years of support and software compatibility is desirable too.

      • PixelArmy
      • 8 years ago

      Honestly curious… as I only have experience with my particular place of work…

      Do all these companies migrate that quickly? I just got Win 7 summer last year…

        • Firestarter
        • 8 years ago

        Most companies migrate at a glacial pace, for good reason.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Micro$oft brings back the Start Menu.

    Hold on while I catch my breath.

    Edit – oops..

      • nanoflower
      • 8 years ago

      Start Button

      There is no menu.

    • bjm
    • 8 years ago

    I also thought the August First release date was a joke, but I guess only time will tell.

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