Windows Blue To Be Released as "Windows 8.1", Future of Service Packs Uncertain

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News Posted: Sat, Apr 6 2013 8:00 PM
Microsoft's annual BUILD conference is coming up soon, and while Windows Phone will no doubt have a role, desktop Windows users will surely want to pay attention as well. Windows 8 has been around the block at this point, with some aspects of it being quite pleasing and others leaving critics wanting. So, what's Microsoft to do? An update, of course. Windows 8.1 is rumored to be just around the bend, with a code-name of "Blue."

But here's the thing: does this signal the end of those service packs from yesteryear, and a new start for Microsoft's OS releases (similar to how Apple rolls things out with cheap, albeit not free updates)?

The point update is an unusual name change for Microsoft, and it could usher in a new way of updating its OS, and perhaps a different way of counting licenses. While the death of Service Packs may be disheartening (or, even the thought of it), keeping a planned schedule of releases coming -- even if it costs a bit -- might not be so bad. After all, you can only expect so much from free.
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ajm531 replied on Sat, Apr 6 2013 8:52 PM

while its true you can only expect so much from free is true regardless its going to anger alot of people and it could drive some away as the free updates may have been whats keeping many with windows but now if they emulate apple there may be little reason to stick with windows or update to windows blue screen of death.... i mean windows 8 or 8.1

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That pun.

Windows might go the apple route and thats not a bad thing. continuous updating is a better business model than service packs. The same thing happened in the car industry. back when toyota started producing cars, american manufactures put out one car every 2-3 years.

Japan changed its car design a little bit every single day, every model was different from the last and the effect was a widespread improvement of technology for vehicles.

If Windows will change it model it will have its finger closer to the pulse so to speak for consumers. it will improve faster and as a side result of rushing out a new program and then fixing the bugs they will become more like the mobile platform's leaving room for widespread innovation.

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Apr 7 2013 9:11 AM

Windows will switch to a subscription model. You'll pay for it continuously and own nothing.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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Good to see Microsoft doing all it can to extend the life of Win 7 on the Enterprise desktop.

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Clixxer replied on Sun, Apr 7 2013 1:44 PM

I could see this being a good and bad thing. Good part is like said earlier is that MS will likely be getting stuff out faster and better since people are paying for it. The bad I could see is how long will the service updates for security and other things? Not everyone is going to pay money to get every update so is it once 8.2 comes out the support for 8.1 just dies? I know we dont have the answers now but I would like to know these. Also since this is going to be 8.1 is there going to be different versions or what? I bought two keys of Windows 8 Pro so does 8.1 give everyone pro or what?  Not that it really matters but if you paid more for pro version of windows 8 and then someone that had the regular version upgrades and basically get the same it would kind piss me off I spent more money.

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I have been running Windows 8 Enterprise 64-bit since it shipped on a Lenovo W530 and it has not been that stable. I was hoping for a SP1 to iron out the glitches. Maybe this 8.1 is the fix. We will see.

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JDiaz replied on Sun, Apr 7 2013 10:11 PM

Thing is there won't be much different except for the annual upgrades... supported fixes, patches, and updates will continue to happen as they are now, the Service Pack was mostly just a accumulation of those all put into one. So you only have to worry about updates given after the Service Pack release.

While the upgrade can offer more changes than the Service Packs ever offered. So we'll have to see if they improve Windows enough to warrant the new system before we can say it will really anger anyone... mind the present Windows 8 can do with some fixing!

Also consider, what's better... getting fixes and changes sooner or waiting till the next version of Windows release? The upgrade system allows for these changes annually instead of waiting for Windows 9 a couple of years from now!

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