Windows 8.1 – What You Need to Know

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Windows 8.1 – What You Need to Know

Like This Blog 0 Mike Danseglio
Added by May 14, 2013

Microsoft has announced the approach it will take to salvage Windows 8. Previously known by the code name “Blue,” Windows 8.1 will be free for current Windows 8 users.

Windows 8.1 will not be a simple service pack. It will include significant changes and updates to the Windows 8 operating system beyond typical patches and bug fixes.

Although the details are still somewhat vague, Microsoft is widely expected to bring back some version of the Start button or Pearl that was removed and replaced by the Metro UI (first codenamed MOSH). This fundamental change to the usability of Windows has frustrated many users and IT professionals alike, and is widely considered to be the main cause of the poor adoption rates of Windows 8.

Most IT professionals expect a Windows 8 Service Pack 1. Windows 8.1 will be more than that. It will certainly include numerous bug fixes and performance improvements which desktop administrators expect in an update. But it will be more of an incremental operating system upgrade, similar to the Windows XP Service Pack 2 upgrade.

There is no word yet on whether Windows 8.1’s changes will be applicable to Windows Server 2012. The same replacement of the Start menu with the Metro UI was implemented on Windows Server 2012 and was considered a step backwards in server administration. Microsoft did ship an interface-free option for Windows Server 2012 called Core, and many administrators have deployed that version in lieu of learning a new interface.

If you’re not already deploying Windows 8 you should consider waiting for Windows 8.1. It will certainly be more stable and more functional that the RTM version. And perhaps the Start menu will be back!

Keeping my fingers crossed,

Mike Danseglio -CISSP / CEH
Interface Technical Training – Technical Director and Instructor

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