Microsoft Releases Details Of Windows 8.1 Update
Scott Frankling / 5 years ago
It was meant to herald the future of operating systems, embracing desktop, touch and mobile simultaneously. But the truth is Windows 8 has been very poorly received with criticisms abounding about how user-UNfriendly it is, how it has been designed predominantly for touchscreen and that no one can find that darned ‘Start button’.
In fact, the operating system has been the subject of such disdain that there were calls for it to be replaced straight away with Windows 7.1. That was never going to happen; too many units from too many hardware manufacturers were already in the channel, the advertising and marketing juggernaut had already left and there were fears from inside the Microsoft camp that such a move would have irreparably damaged the company (don’t forget, RIM was the biggest business handset manufacturer until the Blackberry messenger service fell over in 2011).
Nevertheless, extremely poor sales of the standalone operating system (i.e. not pre-installed on hardware) has provided insight into public reaction; Windows 7 is still available and is still selling. There are also reports that people who buy Windows 8 hardware are opting to ‘downgrade’ to Windows 7, calling Windows 8 ‘unusable’.
But today, a new article appeared on the Windows blog detailing the changes that have been made in the Windows 8.1 release. No mention is made of any user backlash but some new/ improved features do address notable concerns – customisation, personalisation, improved searching (including aggregated global search results using the Bing search engine), improved apps and App Store, plus better mouse and keyboard functionality are all addressed in the statement.
Many people will see this as bowing to popular demand, others will see it as a complete U-turn and Microsoft admitting they have made some horrendous errors of judgement but, in truth, if you want a ubiquitous operating systems where your experience will be similar regardless of the device you’re using, then hasn’t Microsoft been brave in attempting to push touch, desktop and mobile closer together? The 8.1 update is, to all intents and purposes, a sign that it may be one of the biggest and most successful brands, but it is not so arrogant as to ignore criticisms and feedback from the public and businesses alike.
More information is promised in the coming weeks ahead of the 8.1 release.
Oh, and the ‘Start button’? Well…