Let's talk about Windows 8.1 update 2 for a second

Let’s get the formalities out of the way, earlier today, WZor said that Windows 8.1 update 2 hit RTM and that it will be announced at the Microsoft partner conference in July (we will be at that event).  That’s the simple of it but Microsoft's picture is now complex with update 2 in the pipeline along with Threshold.

After we saw the tweets go out, we asked around to see if anyone else was hearing that update 2 had hit RTM and the answer was mostly, “it’s close, but I don’t know if it hit RTM yet”.

Unlike large milestones like Windows 8.1, RTM is not something publicized for update 2, so don’t expect to see a formal announcement by Microsoft until the update is announced.

We are hearing that update 2 is well on its way to RTM and this comes from a trusted source that has provided solid content in the past. Has it hit RTM? We aren’t so sure that today was the chosen day but it should be very, very soon.

Considering that we still believe that an August release of the update in on target, a mid July announcement does make sense from a timing perspective.

One thing that you need to keep in mind is there is a lot of Threshold, and Update 2 information coming down the pipe, with the wires frequently getting crossed. When you toss in ‘Is Threshold part of Windows 9 or is it seperate?” into the equation, the channels become a bit more muddy, so take any information with various bits of salt.

We have quite a bit of more information about Microsoft’s plans for ‘Threshold’ but are still working to verify them, such as the significant updates coming to the desktop.

While Wzor has been off in the past, this information has enough credibility to it, after we poked the fire a few times, it is time to get excited.

Source: Wzor

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I'm not excited about the next update because I'm convinced it will just be more garbage that ruins what started out as a great change for the OS. Now they're just going backward to stroke the lame desktop holdouts.

Lame desktop holdouts? What do you think is being used in a vast majority of settings where intensive data entry and or content creation occurs?

"That's the simple of it but Microsoft's picture is now complex with update 2 in the pipeline along with Threshold."

1. Nothing is 'the simple of it,' because that's not a phrase.
2. More than one upcoming update is complex? Why do we even care if Threshold is Windows 9 or not: software as a service baby, who needs version numbers? Besides, I'm sure back in the Longhorn days we used to talk about Blackcomb quite a lot...

68k said,
Microsoft are like Apple nowadays - they no longer take user feedback seriously.

wait, what? being a huge monopoly company you have to take feedback from users? that must be where they are going wrong.

norseman said,
They're not? They are brniging the start menu back... You guys just like to whine. Paid to whine by some company no doubt.
More like adding the Windows Phone 8 home screen to the Desktop (via a menu) to launch apps/change settings. I doubt the Win 7 Start menu will return.

jupe said,

wait, what? being a huge monopoly company you have to take feedback from users? that must be where they are going wrong.

I call Win 8 having a lower ratings/worse reviews than Win 7 around the net a problem.

68k said,
More like adding the Windows Phone 8 home screen to the Desktop (via a menu) to launch apps/change settings. I doubt the Win 7 Start menu will return.

I want the win 95 start menu BUT THEY DONT LISTEN!

I wish Microsoft would release a general install disc of windows 8.1 with update 2 integrated on their website to allow faster, clean installs. downloading the install disc of windows shouldn't be a big deal so long as you have a legit key.

seta-san said,
I wish Microsoft would release a general install disc of windows 8.1 with update 2 integrated on their website to allow faster, clean installs. downloading the install disc of windows shouldn't be a big deal so long as you have a legit key.
They already do for Update 1, so what makes you think they won't with Update 2?

From what I can tell there's a fall update ("Update 2") and a Spring update ("Threshold"). The latter might be Update 3. It might be 8.2. It might be Windows 9. I don't think they've picked a name yet.

Studio384 said,
According to good sources, there is no such thing as an Update 3 for Windows 8.1. Next spring is Windows 9, no update for 8.1.

As far as everyone in Windows I've heard from is concerned (at of Build at least) that was an invention of the press/bloggers. At the very least, people were referring to 9 long before Microsoft made any decision (and they may still not have made it).

People heard that they're going to be adding big features to threshold and figured it would be Windows 9 because the Windows 8 brand is tarnished like Vista, nothing MS can do will change peoples minds now that 8 is bad and they shouldn't use it etc.

Drawing connections between one thing and another, might not be true but then again I really don't expect a 8.2 or another 8.x update. Might just be better to move to 9 with a new menu option for those who want it and windowed store apps and whatever else they can think of, even if it's just a branding/marketing need.

We don't even know what is in update 2 so there isn't anything to get excited about yet. Normally info about the changes would have leaked before a windows new o.s version went rtm, strange.

Why is the pic for this article so out-of-date?? That's just 8.1, not even 8.1 update 1, which has the power button to the right of the username/pic in the upper corner.

deadonthefloor said,

Only on certain devices / form factors.

Indeed, the power button isn't available on all devices, the search button is, through. This is a Windows 8.1 screenshot, not Windows 8.1 Update.

Apparently MS dropped the smart menu plans from update 2 and moved it to windows 9, but what I'm more interested in is the ability to run WinRT apps in windowed mode, which would be a requirement If their ultimate goal is to replace Win32 with WinRT.

When they introduce that feature, I wonder if we'd be able to put WinRT app shortcuts on the desktop itself.

You can already pin them to the taskbar with Update 1. Honestly since Windows 7, I've been pinning shortcuts to taskbar as it adds more opening functions.

eddman said,
Apparently MS dropped the smart menu plans from update 2 and moved it to windows 9, but what I'm more interested in is the ability to run WinRT apps in windowed mode, which would be a requirement If their ultimate goal is to replace Win32 with WinRT.

When they introduce that feature, I wonder if we'd be able to put WinRT app shortcuts on the desktop itself.

not sure why people hate win c++ api, they are there just like any other api

PGHammer said,
You could pin them to the Taskbar since the original Windows 8 - that feature (from Windows 7) went exactly nowhere.

Actually, the discussion is about pinning Windows Runtime, aka Windows Store apps, to the taskbar.

Added in 8.1 Update 1

xendrome said,
Win32 won't be replaced with WinRT, you've got your architecture mixed up with your UI.....

Actually you are the one who is mixed up.

The Windows Runtime aka WinRT, is a new native runtime which contains its own set of APIs. It just happens to be built upon Win32 today. It is more than just a UI layer.

The long term goal has always been to deprecate Win32 APIs and make changes while insulating developers who embrace the Windows Runtime app model from the underlying architecture changes.

On x86/64 based systems, Win32 will remain for backweird compatability because that's what Windows is known for.

eddman said,

....

That's the end goal.

The Windows Runtime is actually built upon Win32 today.
The chart is meant as a guide for developers to entice them into a rich application runtime model that exists (apparently) seperately from Win32.

In effect Windows Runtime apps cannot access Win32 APIs directly.

deadonthefloor said,

Actually, the discussion is about pinning Windows Runtime, aka Windows Store apps, to the taskbar.

Added in 8.1 Update 1

No, Putting WinRT app shortcuts on the DESKTOP, not pinning them to the taskbar, which we already have and isn't my thing. Don't want to clutter the taskbar.

EDIT: Oh, sorry. Thought you were referring to my original post.

Edited by eddman, Jun 26 2014, 10:12pm :

deadonthefloor said,

Actually you are the one who is mixed up.

The Windows Runtime aka WinRT, is a new native runtime which contains its own set of APIs. It just happens to be built upon Win32 today. It is more than just a UI layer.

It isn't at all a UI layer. It's a broad API surface (and the infrastructure which enables it, essentially a modernized version of COM). Some subsets of it are APIs for different UI layers, but the same is true of the Win32 API.

Speaking of which, WinRT isn't "built on Win32" even today. Some of WinRT is implemented by the same underpinnings as related Win32 APIs, but that may never change. Those lower level constructs (xxxCreateWindow, WFMO, etc) make sense as handle-based C/C++ components. Even a lot of the brand new infrastructure under WinRT is written that way (Platform::String is built on HSTRING/CreateWindowsString, for example). Maybe those underpinnings will be replaced by something different one day, or maybe not.

backweird compatibility

I love this.

eddman said,

I'm not a programmer and don't know that much about it either, but what does this figure mean then?

http://aureliencallens.alwaysd...t/uploads/2012/03/winrt.png

It shows the Windows Runtime (WinRT) and Win32 to be entirely separate, or am I misinterpreting something?

Not wanting to sound condescending but it seems you are a little confused. W32 aps are going nowhere, period! Modern apps (the full screen, simple, made primarily for touch and mobile devices apps) are an 'as well' kind of thing on full windows. It means if you have a windows device that's mainly mobile (tablet/phone) you can get your stuff done with apps (apps as in the way apple coined the term) AND you can also use them apps on your main PC or Laptop (I do, I use some on my main PC and laptop - some are more suited than others but the way I see it is if my tablet was iOS or android then I wouldn't have this choice, I don't have to use them but some I like to use so why not).

So we have full windows which will run and continue to run x86 (win32) style apps for a loooooong time coming, they will also run 'modern apps'. We then have the ARM based windows made for tablets (currently its called RT but it will merge soon with WP and I have no idea of the name - doesn't matter though its just a name) and this will run all the 'modern apps' that windows can run, but this wont run the x86 (win32) apps you can do on your full PC (Sounds like android or iOS right, right? its supposed to). This is because most people don't want to use sage or photoshop on a tiny touchscreen!!! Then we have WP that is self explanatory but with the API merger devs that make for one can easily make for the other 2 (shared data sources etc.).

Cleared up?

Windows full = x86 (win32) AND Modern apps
Windows RT (or for ARM, or WP, or whatever - windows that's not full windows) = Modern apps
WP (this and the last could have a same name brand incoming I don't know) = same as above but apps will have a UI made for smaller screens.

@duddit2

I don't mean that Win32 is going away, not for some time, and I'm not stating that WinRT in its current state is capable of replacing Win32, BUT that doesn't mean it couldn't grow and become more feature rich.

Sure, MS' main purpose with WinRT at first was touch-based apps, but seeing how gradually they're making WinRT more open and powerful, by adding more APIs, opening it up to more powerful programming languages and of course adding a windowed mode, I get this feeling that maybe they're trying to make it as flexible as Win32, at some point, so that it could be used to code complex desktop programs with mouse/keyboard in mind.

It will take time, might be a long while, but is there anything from the architectural standpoint that can prevent that from happening?

duddit2 said,

Not wanting to sound condescending but it seems you are a little confused. W32 aps are going nowhere, period! Modern apps (the full screen, simple, made primarily for touch and mobile devices apps) are an 'as well' kind of thing on full windows. It means if you have a windows device that's mainly mobile (tablet/phone) you can get your stuff done with apps (apps as in the way apple coined the term) AND you can also use them apps on your main PC or Laptop (I do, I use some on my main PC and laptop - some are more suited than others but the way I see it is if my tablet was iOS or android then I wouldn't have this choice, I don't have to use them but some I like to use so why not).

So we have full windows which will run and continue to run x86 (win32) style apps for a loooooong time coming, they will also run 'modern apps'. We then have the ARM based windows made for tablets (currently its called RT but it will merge soon with WP and I have no idea of the name - doesn't matter though its just a name) and this will run all the 'modern apps' that windows can run, but this wont run the x86 (win32) apps you can do on your full PC (Sounds like android or iOS right, right? its supposed to). This is because most people don't want to use sage or photoshop on a tiny touchscreen!!! Then we have WP that is self explanatory but with the API merger devs that make for one can easily make for the other 2 (shared data sources etc.).

Cleared up?

Windows full = x86 (win32) AND Modern apps
Windows RT (or for ARM, or WP, or whatever - windows that's not full windows) = Modern apps
WP (this and the last could have a same name brand incoming I don't know) = same as above but apps will have a UI made for smaller screens.

You're actually the one who's confused. You're mixing up API surfaces and app models / windowing environments.

Win32 and WinRT (the Windows Runtime) are API sets. Some WinRT APIs are tied to the "modern" app model and immersive windowing system, but many are not. You can already use some WinRT APIs from desktop apps. In the future, this set will grow, as will the capabilities of modern/store apps.

While Win32 isn't going anywhere, it may eventually be entirely supplanted by WinRT for *new* apps (desktop or otherwise).

I hope Wzor does not use Hotmail. Otherwise he will be behind bar for releasing MS release secret. For me personally, I used to be excited about beta release or any kind of release from MS in past but since this crap Win 8 fiasco and me reverting back to Win 7, I don't care about these releases anymore.But for others who care, good for them.

Auditor said,
I hope Wzor does not use Hotmail. Otherwise he will be behind bar for releasing MS release secret. For me personally, I used to be excited about beta release or any kind of release from MS in past but since this crap Win 8 fiasco and me reverting back to Win 7, I don't care about these releases anymore.But for others who care, good for them.

WZor isn't releasing trade secrets, nor is he releasing confidential code that could be used to generate fake activation keys. .

Auditor said,
I hope Wzor does not use Hotmail. Otherwise he will be behind bar for releasing MS release secret. For me personally, I used to be excited about beta release or any kind of release from MS in past but since this crap Win 8 fiasco and me reverting back to Win 7, I don't care about these releases anymore.But for others who care, good for them.

This fiasco is running dam well on my desktop and laptop and I'm loving it, perfect syncing going on and after reinstalls now I just chose to setup PC like my last one and boom - done!

Of course if there's a taste issue going on here (personal asthetics opinion) then fair play, but from a features and usability perspective its the best windows OS I have ever used - serious.

I work in IT support and am a private consultant, and I have found many people saying the same regurgitated statements but once I show them a little and how things can benefit them they have ALL stopped to take a look, its almost like vista all over again where even at a fully fixed SP2 stage peoples predispositions made them imagine issues that were simply not there or made very little difference to anything when they were.

But, this is just my opinion anyway and I'll just continue using windows 8 and benefiting from all the time saving things it does for me :)

Auditor said,
I hope Wzor does not use Hotmail. Otherwise he will be behind bar for releasing MS release secret.

I hope you're not in China. Otherwise you will be behind bar for releasing XP panda bamboo.

You clearly have absolutely no idea what that guy leaked. It was an enormously big deal and deserved a harsher sentence than he got (time served).

Auditor said,
I don't care about these releases anymore.But for others who care, good for them.

Well thank you very much for clicking on the article that was clearly about a release you don't care about and spending the time to share with us that you don't care.

Auditor said,
I hope Wzor does not use Hotmail. Otherwise he will be behind bar for releasing MS release secret. For me personally, I used to be excited about beta release or any kind of release from MS in past but since this crap Win 8 fiasco and me reverting back to Win 7, I don't care about these releases anymore.But for others who care, good for them.
Agree. Millions also share this same feeling.

Enron said,

Well thank you very much for clicking on the article that was clearly about a release you don't care about and spending the time to share with us that you don't care.

You are welcome.

michealm said,
Millions??? Yeah care to back that u with facts???

Will you care to ask MS to release final sales number of Win 8 to consumers and how many percentage actually use it rather than downgrade it to Win 7. Oh don't put ship to OEM numbers.

Auditor said,

Will you care to ask MS to release final sales number of Win 8 to consumers and how many percentage actually use it rather than downgrade it to Win 7. Oh don't put ship to OEM numbers.

200 million as of February 2014 and growing.

For reference, that's 2.5x more than the total number of Macs currently in use today, running any version of OS X.

Auditor said,

Will you care to ask MS to release final sales number of Win 8 to consumers and how many percentage actually use it rather than downgrade it to Win 7. Oh don't put ship to OEM numbers.

Final sales numbers? You realize that Windows 8 is still being sold, right?

rfirth said,

200 million as of February 2014 and growing.

For reference, that's 2.5x more than the total number of Macs currently in use today, running any version of OS X.

Oh 200 million sales, how impressive. Does it include two of my licenses as well which I had reverted back to Win 7. Comparing those number with Mac is like comparing sales of Ferrari with ubiquitous generic cars. You do know that Mac OS is exclusive to Mac hardware platform. So comparing Mac to PC is like comparing Apple to Lemon.

Market share of Win 7 is almost 50% compared to Win 8 less than 8% market share. Heck even Win Xp beats Win 8 market share by 3 times. Win 8 has been on market for going to be almost 2 years and comes default installed on majority of the PCs. But yeah, stick with 200 million number as it looks good for gullible.

rfirth said,

200 million as of February 2014 and growing.

For reference, that's 2.5x more than the total number of Macs currently in use today, running any version of OS X.

Why do people throw these numbers around as though it really means something? I just went with a friend to buy her 14 year daughter a cheap $279 Windows 8 laptop. It is pretty easy to sell 200 million of anything when almost every manufacturer sells your product and price them so cheap. 200 million being sold is not 200 million satisfied customers. Why compare this to Apple? Who in their right mind would want a $279 Mac? Apple markets their products as premium. I've played with many Windows 8 computer priced from $300-$700 and most were just complete junk.

Auditor said,

Oh 200 million sales, how impressive. Does it include two of my licenses as well which I had reverted back to Win 7. Comparing those number with Mac is like comparing sales of Ferrari with ubiquitous generic cars. You do know that Mac OS is exclusive to Mac hardware platform. So comparing Mac to PC is like comparing Apple to Lemon.

Market share of Win 7 is almost 50% compared to Win 8 less than 8% market share. Heck even Win Xp beats Win 8 market share by 3 times. Win 8 has been on market for going to be almost 2 years and comes default installed on majority of the PCs. But yeah, stick with 200 million number as it looks good for gullible.

A license sold, is a license sold.

Dot Matrix said,

A license sold, is a license sold.

This is the beauty of monopoly, isn't it. When it is really hard to buy new PC which does not come anything but Win 8 on it. MS certainly got the money but it does not translate to user satisfaction with their product.

Auditor said,

This is the beauty of monopoly, isn't it. When it is really hard to buy new PC which does not come anything but Win 8 on it. MS certainly got the money but it does not translate to user satisfaction with their product.

Of course you'd buy a new PC with a new OS on it. Why would that differ? Can you buy a Mac with an older version of OS X? Does that make Apple a monopoly?

Dot Matrix said,

Of course you'd buy a new PC with a new OS on it. Why would that differ? Can you buy a Mac with an older version of OS X? Does that make Apple a monopoly?

You did not get the context in which I was referring to. I was pointing to the fact even though Win 8 sell as default OS on new PCs , it still has very low market share and the reason being is not many people really bought and used upgraded license and many of them had reverted back to Win 7. So the baloney of 200 M licenses sold is all hog wash.

The huge failure of Win 8 is the reason MS putting back start menu and watering down Metro crap as no one bought in to that vision except few minority exceptions like you.

Auditor said,

You did not get the context in which I was referring to. I was pointing to the fact even though Win 8 sell as default OS on new PCs , it still has very low market share and the reason being is not many people really bought and used upgraded license and many of them had reverted back to Win 7. So the baloney of 200 M licenses sold is all hog wash.

The huge failure of Win 8 is the reason MS putting back start menu and watering down Metro crap as no one bought in to that vision except few minority exceptions like you.

Is that why it's an industry trend?

Auditor said,

You did not get the context in which I was referring to. I was pointing to the fact even though Win 8 sell as default OS on new PCs , it still has very low market share and the reason being is not many people really bought and used upgraded license and many of them had reverted back to Win 7. So the baloney of 200 M licenses sold is all hog wash.

You said earlier that Windows 8 had less than 8% marketshare. That's false. It's closer to 12.5-13% (if you include 8.1, and why wouldn't you).

Your assertion that everybody downgraded 8 to 7 is measurably false because 13% of 1.5 billion PCs worldwide equals 195 million, which not only is very close to 200 million, but it's also well within the margin of error for estimated marketshare.

rfirth said,

You said earlier that Windows 8 had less than 8% marketshare. That's false. It's closer to 12.5-13% (if you include 8.1, and why wouldn't you).

Your assertion that everybody downgraded 8 to 7 is measurably false because 13% of 1.5 billion PCs worldwide equals 195 million, which not only is very close to 200 million, but it's also well within the margin of error for estimated marketshare.

He wont respond, he doesn't like logic and facts. You responded with logic and facts - FAIL YOU! haha ;)

duddit2 said,

He wont respond, he doesn't like logic and facts. You responded with logic and facts - FAIL YOU! haha ;)

Yeah you two can pat each others back if this makes you happy. The only fact is Win 8 is struggling and dragging its feet even though MS is giving it free on certain size devices while Win 7 has over 50% market share and still growing even though Win 8 is sold by default to every new PC.

If you will look review of new PC purchased by people, majority of them will tell you how much win 8 sucks but you can close your eyes and live in your bubble about the glorious days of Win 8. LOL.

Auditor said,

Yeah you two can pat each others back if this makes you happy. The only fact is Win 8 is struggling and dragging its feet even though MS is giving it free on certain size devices while Win 7 has over 50% market share and still growing even though Win 8 is sold by default to every new PC.

If you will look review of new PC purchased by people, majority of them will tell you how much win 8 sucks but you can close your eyes and live in your bubble about the glorious days of Win 8. LOL.

*yawns* Same stuff, different day, huh?

john.smith_2084 said,

I am verrrryyyy excited, but don't know why :)

Lol. I am too! It also might be that the US made it through as well. But still... =D

cybersaurusrex said,
Do we know what to get excited about yet?

There could be bits and pieces out there but they're working to verify it. Lots of rumors going around and mixing things between update 2 and threshold/Window 9 etc. We'll just have to wait for MS to come clean about Update 2 and take it from there.

I for one think it's better than having non-stop leaks, let them get a good build out and have a beta/public preview instead of crappy unfinished alpha/milestone leaks.

cybersaurusrex said,
Do we know what to get excited about yet?

If they offered Windows 8 at a reduced price (say ~$50 or less), that would get me excited. Until then, Windows 7 ftw.

Shadrack said,

If they offered Windows 8 at a reduced price (say ~$50 or less), that would get me excited. Until then, Windows 7 ftw.

They did offer Windows 8 for that low, actually lower depending on how you got it. They didn't however do the same when 8.1 came out which I found odd. It was $15 for digital upgrade and I think $39 if you wanted the full DVD which included shipping costs etc.

With they way they're going about Windows and licensing now I wouldn't be surprised if the next major version, be it 8.2, 8.5 or 9 etc to get the same type of offer for Windows 7 and older users with 8.1 users getting it for free, or so the rumor goes anyways.

George P said,

They did offer Windows 8 for that low, actually lower depending on how you got it. They didn't however do the same when 8.1 came out which I found odd. It was $15 for digital upgrade and I think $39 if you wanted the full DVD which included shipping costs etc.

With they way they're going about Windows and licensing now I wouldn't be surprised if the next major version, be it 8.2, 8.5 or 9 etc to get the same type of offer for Windows 7 and older users with 8.1 users getting it for free, or so the rumor goes anyways.

If they did another deal like that, I'd totally jump on it. Regret not doing it then but recall being put off by the beta. Should have anticipated that it would be improved. At this point I'm wondering if I should just wait for Windows 9 (or a PC upgrade). Still kinda think they should just permanently lower the price and/or discount it for Office 365 users.

Edited by Shadrack, Jun 28 2014, 12:16am :

dingl_ said,
Lets not, because no one knows anything about it that's talking mmmk

but this is the internet... we need rumors and misleading information!!!!!!!!

Of course nothing is official. Do you expect no one to talk about anything until info is official? It is called having a discussion and exchanging thoughts and ideas. Part of the fun being a part of a forum like this.