Tag Archive for Windows 8

Windows 8.1 is out. Major issues are being uncovered.

Shades of the disaster of Windows Vista….and attempts to rejuvenate it. Again.

I blogged before, after using the beta version of Windows 8 and it’s recreated interface on the screen, commenting on how it’s not very functional without a touch screen, practically or ergonomically. Version 8.1 was supposed to address two major deficiencies that would cause corporations to turn they nose up and refuse to commit dollars to Windows 8: A “Start” button and the ability to get straight to the desktop, and allow users to do what they had been doing well since 2001 and the release of Windows XP.

One of my contacts is digging very deep inside, first Windows 8, and now Windows 8.1, not for sport, but because he works with lots of leading edge stuff for his own enjoyment, and has stumbled upon some disturbing things.

WARNING: DON’T UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 8.1 UNLESS YOU HAVE CREATED A BACKUP IMAGE AND RESTORE DISK IN WINDOWS 8!

Seriously. He upgraded to Windows 8.1, had an oops, then went to repair the install. No luck. He’s a very advanced user and he could not make the Windows 8.1 repair function work. He could repair a Windows 8 installation, but not 8.1. He found out by redoing the disk with Windows 8, but then that meant all the installation of Windows 8.1 was gone. This is a showstopper, and if I’m needed to repair a Windows 8.1 install that has been done as the upgrade, well, it’s not going to be pretty, thanks to Microsoft and poor engineering/development and less than through testing.

Other issues that have come to light are related to drivers for the hardware not working. His equipment is from Asus and uses Intel CPU and support chips. The drivers from both Intel and Asus for various functions will not install, which means he (and anyone else with this equipment) will have less than optimum performance, at the least, and some lack of function of installed capabilities. He has just one step behind the top end system in generation (3rd generation Intel CPUs and Z77 chipsets), so it’s not like he’s trying to make some single core Pentium 4 run very advanced OS functions.

I’ll work with him to lay out more definitive symptoms, problems and what we can find (or not) for work arounds in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, don’t upgrade to Windoew 8.1 unless a computer professional has ensured you’re set to move forward, and not get stuck losing everything is a few system files are corrupted and need repair.

Windows 8: The hackers are already in it…

This news is a few days old, but is telling: Windows 8 already has it’s own phishing and fake anti-virus malware attacks…

Hackers Already Blasting Windows 8 With Phishing, Fake AV Scams as reported in CRN.

In both cases, for those who keep asking me “why do these hacker do this?”, it’s about getting you to give them your credit card info…then they can go shopping on line for you and begin to try to steal your identity…simple, they have a business model of “crime does pay, if the gullible just hand me their bank information!”

Safe computing, you need it!

Windows 8 Adventures: You are now leaving the Mac Zone….or are you?

You can download and install a 90 day trial of Windows 8 (the “RTM” version).

My recommendation? Do this is you have a spare, reasonably new computer around. Do not do this to a working system! You can…but when the 90 days are up, you have to either go back and reinstall Windows XP/Vista/7 all over again, or buy Windows 8 and….reinstall Windows 8 from scratch.

If you do put it on a system with Windows 7 (or the earlier beta test versions of Windows 8), it will bring your data and programs forward, as an install option, but that’s where it ends…at the 90 days from the install date day, hence my recommendation for not putting it on a working system.

Windows 8 somewhat leaves the windowed world brought to us, actually by Xerox, but functionally by Apple in the form of the MacOS with the graphical user interface and the “pointing device.”

In this way, it looks different, so you could think that Microsoft really has broken away from Apples “look and feel” and actually been innovative. Nope…for those who have used and iPad/iPod/iPhone…Microsoft really has only made their version of that interface: Not as colorful, and instead of “apps,” we now have “tiles,” meaning lots of rectangles.

So, at the end of the day, Microsoft is merely following the crowd into the tablet interface world, and like Apple, moving that small, closely held (to the person, I mean physically) touch interface look and fell back to the desktops. In the MacOS world, the trend is to incorporate more and more of the iOS features to their iMacs already. Again, Microsoft just following the crowd.

I saw a comment in Twitter yesterday regarding people complaining about the changes for the user’s view in Windows 8, and it was something like “This isn’t 1995 anymore!” Granted, it isn’t, but actually, they would have been more correct to use the date of 1984, but I digress.

I spent some time in the “tile” of Internet Explorer in Windows 8, which takes you to IE10 (the latest version for Windows 7 is IE9) and it is different. I have come to appreciate tabs in my browsers, first finding them in FireFox years ago, meaning I can have many things open and know where they are. In IE10, you have to move your cursor to the top of the screen and right click to get thumbnails of the open tabs, meaning not even a hint of what’s available is constantly displayed, as you do lengthy searches and reading on topics. You have to now keep going up and looking. Yes, the tabs are just like a set of file folders neatly arranged from the dead tree days, but…guess what? It’s a fast system.

I’ll keep working around on my 90 day trial and provide commentary, hopefully providing a smooth transition to the Windows 8 world, without you having to do so much homework.

For now, unless you have lots of time on your hands to poke around and figure out all those new buttons/features and other changes, stick with what you have. Right now, there won’t be too many people you can ask for help if you get lost/can’t find what you need, so my recommendation is don’t go there yet.

Windows 8, Microsoft Surface and a Big Touch Screen Monitor – I’m Living Bill Gate’s Dream!


Click the picture for a bigger version!

Well, maybe it’s Steve Ballmer’s dream now, but that’s in the details.

Microsoft announced the Surface two days ago. Yesterday, on my current build, I put the Windows 8 Consumer Preview operating system on an i5-2300 with 16GBs of RAM, attached to a Dell SX2201T touch screen (multi-point) monitor, which also has a microphone and a webcam built in to interface to the main tower with a USB cord.
So, what have I done? I basically built myself a non-portable, and maybe not as water/shock proof desktop Microsoft Surface.

I have my “tiles” (get used to talking about them instead of “apps,” and an ability to tap and run the different programs. I’ll admit, having had the Windows 8 on a netbook for about 6 months, my fingers can’t get to those discrete sensors in the extreme lower left and right of the screen to activate the Start Screen and the access to the Settings.

But….I don’t mind that much, as I can get the experience of having a desktop like many will be using in the fixed desk settings of business and large corporations, without the expense of a Microsoft Surface, which isn’t on the store shelves until about the time Windows 8 comes out, in the second half of the year….Hey! We’re almost there!

I will be installing the full set of applications I have been running on a Windows 7 Ultimate Q9650 *GB computer for the last two years, and see just how things compare.

More later on adventures in the almost future!