Topic: Windows Blue by mid-2013

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • #2929
    The Telenator

    If you have been considering, like so many of us have, moving to the current Microsoft OS of Windows 8, you may want to hold off on that.

    I won’t go deep with specs and details — a little bit of hunting on search engines can provide you with probably much more than you wanted to know in the first place, but the basic ‘word on the street’ is as follows:

    The next system, so far still called ‘Windows Blue’ may be out and available as soon as the middle of this year — 2013. What’s more, it may become an annual upgrade, much like those who use Apple have come to know, and even more notable, it may be a FREE or nearly free OS. Why? There are a number of reasons. First, adoption of Windows 8 has been, by all sources except Microsoft (who are refusing to release numbers, which is even more proof of trouble), in a word used often here ‘abysmal’.

    The solution? For one, you fix this by issuing the ‘OS that everyone uses’, as Microsoft themselves has put it. Yes, you practically give away a good, stable and always new OS — Windows Blue.

    There is more proof and trouble to support my claim. Polls and research agree that people simply do not understand what Windows RT is. Many are having serious complaints and issues getting used to Windows 8 (even though things are very much like Windows 7 once one gets beyond the first 15 minutes or so). Further Samsung has just removed its RT products from Germany and states that the entire EU removal will follow.

    It’s not my norm, but I actually ‘feel’ for Microsoft in all of this. Yes, some of it is their own fault — this ‘double’ OS mess of both 8 and RT for one, and the failure to communicate well — but much of this isn’t their fault. That is to say that by all reliable accounts from knowledgable users, the Win 8 OS is a very good OS and shows much promise. (This remark applies just as much to our consideration of the OS for our digital audio work!)

    I’ll leave it right here and avoid further speculation. As Apple’s stock has tumbled since last autumn, resulting overall in a loss of $280 billion that they are still striving to recover, suffice it to say that, all around, Oh, the Times They Are a Changin’! Cheers!


    For people like me who constantly check tech sites, this is all old news. 😛 Right at the start of specualation about Blue (Win 8.1), which I think began end of last year, there were rumours (I don’t believe MS confirmed it) that Windows was moving to a more regular update schedule, and possibly costing less per hit because of it (obviously you couldn’t keep the prices as they even are now, despite having dropped considerably, if it were a yearly update). There are advantages and disadvantages to that system, and the one MS employed in the past, and none of it is confirmed. I’m not sure how reliable the sources are, either.

    I guess we’ll find more out when 8.1 is released later this year.

    But 8.1 won’t “fix” the WinRT and Win8 divide. Some conspiracy theorists (who might be right, for all I know) believe MS deliberately made WinRT purely to get the push on to Intel to make more competitive CPUs for mobile usage, as they were lagging considerably. I’m curious to see if Haswell changes much. Of course, for people like me who are more aware of this stuff, I know that it’s a product I will likely want (I’ve held off buying a tablet mostly due to current Intel CPUs being still impractical). However, can MS overcome the general view that people seem to hold about them, how their products are used and what they are for? I guess only time will truly show this.

    As interesting as they are, I’m a bit sick of all the rumours. Trying to help move their products up the chain, I’ve tried to push MS to fix a few of the issues in some of their products (apps, basically), but they are very unresponsive. I guess we’re stuck with rumours for most things with MS, as they don’t seem to concerned about providing much detail about anything to the public, unless it’s a buzzed up blog post by a senior employee, and/or a marketing statement (usually the same). A pity, too!

    And .. that’s probably all I have to say. It’s all rumours at this point. 🙁 Not sure about the mid-2013 either. I’ll believe it when I see it, but I personally suspect it’s more heading for end of third quarter or a bit after, which would be close to the one year mark of Win8 release.

    The Telenator

    Hey, druid! Several important points here. First, some of this is above rumour status, and I’ll explain in a minute.

    I posted this thread, not so much for those who follow PC trends, but for those who don’t — yet meanwhile might be considering a shift to Win8 after putting it off for as long as they reasonably could. I would hate to see folks running out and going Win8, then seeing Blue come out right after. This is regardless of the discounted 8 upgrade that MS has been pushing lately, too.

    As I expect you know, one reason rumours are so extensive is that MS, normally taciturn about the details anyway, have really clammed up lately, refusing to disclose units sold in the last 2 quarters and so on. As it stands now, MS watchers who are familiar with their usual behaviors are all pretty much in agreement that some game is afoot. And we do have some facts and data to support some safe conclusions.

    For example, Samsung’s radical actions are all facts — no rumour at all there. You can often learn more about a company by watching what the others do. Also, a little checking reveals that an abnormally high percentage of steadfast Windows users have held back on upgrading to Win8 despite the good offer. It’s now become obvious that MS is going to have to do something, if only to maintain credibility, and its options here are quite limited.

    So when you say ‘old news’ I understand the bits you are referring to, but the distinct likelihood that the release of Windows Blue will be moved up remains and, importantly, so many of those who regularly blog or formally report on MS matters are pretty well in agreement for a change — this is the new and rather recent development. After weighing the options myself, I have to agree with the experts that this is the most likely course.

    And I also agree with your assessment and cold feet about annual upgrades, even if made ever so affordable to the vast majority of users. It should be considered, however, that this almost certain course of action is more in line with other software releases, whether we are comparing it to Apple’s behaviour, major synth upgrades, DAWs, and much more. With Microsoft, I expect we’ll all be so used to this within just a few years that their former way of handling OS releases will seem strange to most users in hindsight.

    Also what is new is that MS personnel aren’t talking even more than usual, and in the world of software nothing is written in stone (until it is written in stone). Since we do know a few things for certain — for instance, that MS’s main source of revenue is indeed its software sales and that MS has taken a real hit here with all the Win8 hesitancy and slack sales of its Surface tablet — so it would be most logical for MS to move to a very regular repeating cycle, and it should do so as soon as it possibly can.

    Personally, I’m dead certain Blue will be out as soon as they can manage it safely. They badly need to move beyond what is looking like a confusing and big mistake with the Win8/RT issue that has only been compounded by the confusion over tablet PCs and smartphone advances to some degree. I truly believe MS has made an even larger mistake by failing to understand the consumer in the last year or so. I think, for one, it failed to understand how fast consumers would embrace their phones as the favoured internet portal. There is, of course, the related issue involving apps as well that I won’t go into right now.

    The bottom line is that, despite the fact Win8 itself is in my opinion a very good OS, Microsoft ‘blew it’ in every other regard. It now must choose whether to become mired in this mess, slapping on band aids, or to move ahead as quickly as possible with its only available ‘cure’ of Windows Blue — a major surgery of ‘OS-ectomy’ — and leave this confusing chapter of its history well behind.

    [edit] One item I failed to include above is consumer perception. You see, to you and me, we are talking about Win 8.1, but to the average consumer it is Windows Blue, a new chapter, a departure from these recent troubles and uncertainties, a new beginning. I’m suggesting the perception is more important than the product in this case.

    The Telenator

    Announced in the last 24 hours, details and statements from Microsoft still very dodgy. One thing for certain is it is NOT a Windows 9. As druid and I were discussing above here, it will be more like a Windows 8.1, containing various fixes and changes that users have either been requesting or have been having trouble with on 8.

    Sure, it might be great if we end up with a Start Menu on the screen again, but our concern should be about another important issue that has surfaced recently. You won’t find much at all about it in the PC trades magazines and blogs, but DAW and VST users have been reporting in with problems regarding mainly DPC (deferred procedure calls). I won’t go into detailed explanations here for the very many who have remained happily oblivious to this potential problem. Any search will provide you with plenty and, while there, do look up ISR as well. These issues are what has been the Number One problem in choosing a PC that is good for digital recording and has made PC choice for recording a virtual minefield.

    What I am saying here is that I SO HOPE any MS upgrade to Windows will address the audio needs so many users have — in particular DPC/ISR problems. Returning to the matter of Windows 8 in general, here are a couple of links to the most recent news:



    I’ll be getting some money later this week, and when I do, I’m going to the computer shop and asking if they can do me a new Windows 7 system. I just don’t want to deal with Windows 8. I certainly don’t want to have to upgrade my OS every year.

    With the way technology is now, I don’t think the yearly upgrades are sustainable. Tech companies will have to come to terms with the fact that Moore’s Law is coming to an end.

    The Telenator

    I have been following Microsoft’s latest and largest news story, this pending Windows Blue, and I’m afraid I have mainly bad news to report, with the inclusion of only a very little that is good.

    The good news first? As reported rather universally, this Windows Blue, which is intended to arrive looking much like a giant service pack, like SP1 only much bigger for those of you familiar with that one, will indeed come with a few helps and solutions for downplaying the whole ‘Metro’ bit in Windows 8 and probably helping the user to more easily boot straight to the desktop and once again have access to the precious and widely desired Start Menu of the previous Windows 7. But Blue won’t be getting rid of Metro by any means, and this might be considered the first of the bad news.

    Despite huge customer disapproval and continuing loss of market share — particularly in business where in a recent good survey it showed no more than 15% of businesses have accepted Win8, Microsoft is arrogantly pushing on with an OS that is becoming known throughout the computer world as the ‘OS that Nobody Wants’. You see, Win8 has been a double or triple fail of a notion — those who don’t like touch screens or even have the option don’t like hauling their mouses all over kingdom come on-screen, don’t like fiddling with hidden ‘charm bars’ just to sign off, gamers hate Metro and how Win8 subtly at most times and seriously at others SLOWS DOWN their software and hardware, businesses saw the need to retrain employees for Win8 an unacceptable expense and have opted OUT, and making the OS of Win8 more in line and similar-looking to the Windows Phone (which fewer than 5% use) and the Windows Surface tablet (which has stagnated even after the huge and snooty promo adverts) clearly showed that customers just aren’t that caring about having all their various gadgets look and operate identically.

    I’ll give the biggest bad news here, so I won’t bury it in other comments: Gamers are our friends. Although their graphic requirements far exceed our audio requirements, they experience the same horrors when OS latency problems arise, such as DPC, ISR, and hard page faults. Where our audio may only drop out, pop and glitch, they get this but also have to deal with their commandos and other screen characters freezing up and taking a bullet that they could not move to avoid.

    The gamers are the leaders in the entire field, largely because their numbers and advocacy are far greater than ours in audio. Computer builders are much more apt to listen to them, and they DO but apparently not enough sometimes. The word on the street is that Windows 8 just does NOT CUT IT for demanding software and hardware processing needs, something I myself can now verify. So, stay away from Windows 8 until we see what else this Blue may address and fix, and I fully agree — Windows 7, with a good and lean setup is far better suited to our audio needs. In fact, it is the best PC OS yet offered for pro audio, not discussing any one of the several Mac systems (which vary greatly here in their adequacy).

    Windows Blue may indeed end up being the reason to rename Windows 8 as 8.1, but we should be far less concerned with titles than in what this odd step backwards for MS actually DOES. Details are sketchy, but some are starting to leak. While MS has shown that it is not completely obtuse and unconcerned to multimedia user needs, there is no indication whatsoever yet that Windows Blue will address anything that might help us or our gamer friends.

    Note also that the companies that offer us specialised PCs and laptops for recording almost ALL still offer any build you would like with Windows 7 installed instead. Note also that some of their entry-level models are not priced very much higher than any good PC you might find at Best Buy, Target, online firms, or wherever else you like to shop. Another choice, of course, is to purchase your own Win7 disk and install this on your new unit, if it is no longer available from the factory with 7.

    Remember that when MS boasts that it has sold some 100 million licenses for Win8 in the last 2 quarters that there were another 100+ million PC/IBM-type computers sold during this time — proof in numbers that the Win8 is not the must-have OS they make it out to be. The other PCs are running something OTHER!

    Before, I said it might be best to wait this Win8 fiasco out and hope for a better future after subsequent fixes and ‘service packs’. As of now, I am saying, Forget Win8 completely. Some XP owners have kept with that older OS for as many as 12 years now. Windows 7 works better than either XP or 8 and might continue to serve your audio needs very well for another 20 years. As we all know, new is not always best!



    Hey Telenator, one thing I’d like to correct you on, having worked (admittedly relatively briefly) in I.T. before, and reading plenty online (on both sides of course).

    Businesses are not particularly likely to pick up Windows 8 regardless. Your comments about it not being wanted is mostly true, but not just because they don’t like WIndows 8. Imagine companies upgrading every iteration of Windows, indeed even before the first service pack. Can you imagine it? No, no way. Way too much money.

    Windows Vista was also skipped. Even after the first, even second, service packs. Why? Because they’d invested in XP and it still worked.

    As XP’s support period was nearing, however, corporations decided to jump on Windows 7. It makes sense because XP was starting to finally age and become less secure. Of course, there was the pending cessation of security patching of Microsoft (I believe it ends next year totally). But it’s also because it was a stable version of the big jump Microsoft made from XP.

    I would never expect businesses to take up Windows 8 on a large scale, purely because they’ve pretty much all upgraded to 7 only “recently” (in business terms) and there’s plenty of support for 7 left. Of course, being able to avoid that new interface with Win8 is icing on the cake. 😛

    Of course, with their new plans for a different release schedule, I don’t know what will happen now. But I don’t think it’s fair to claim businesses are avoiding purely because they don’t like the software. It’s really not economically viable anyway, and those patterns have already been in place before MS were even starting work on Win8.

    Now if I may also add my own view to this… Er, in a specific context I mean. I’ve read quite a few people who were on the fence about Win8 for the general populace (but saw potential in it themselves, like me, and wanted to get into it). Win8.1 some of them feel will resolve many issues they had, and they believe it will be a lot more ready for the general populace.

    I really do have to disagree with that one. For ME, Win8.1 will solve quite a few issues (seriously, search should have ALWAYS just had one list of results, what’s with this switching between search areas? Ugh). But it will do next to nothing to bridge the division that the new Windows has created.

    Only time will tell really what this really means. MS may find a way, given way more time than should be needed (typical MS), to fit business needs in to how they want to portray their new Windows, and people may adapt. Or, it may not and MS may find they have to cede much headway.

    Or maybe everyone will move to Linux! (That was a joke. Not Linux, but the idea everyone would actually bother trying to do so.)

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