Thursday, 29 August 2013

Windows 8.1 is near, is everyone happy?


A couple of weeks ago Microsoft announced the release date of Windows 8.1, the highly anticipated update to its latest operating system, Windows 8. The new version, previously known as Windows Blue will be available at no cost for existing W8 users from 17th October, while new customers can purchase it from 18th October.

Two days ago, the company issued another statement, namely that it was readying Windows 8.1 for release. According to Microsoft’s official blog the 8.1 version is a significant update thanks to customer feedback and of course the product teams. 

As of Tuesday 27th August, Microsoft has “started releasing Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 to their hardware partners.” However, there is one major difference. Microsoft changed the pattern of the release. Unlike in case of the previous updates, this time only original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are given early access, but developers and IT professionals, as well as MSDN and TechNet subscribers are all forced to wait until the general release in October.

Ed Bott in his report for recently wrote that although, he has sympathy for subscribers of MSDN and TechNet, releasing Windows 8.1 to them would almost be the equivalent of releasing it to the public. However, he couldn’t see why developers and IT pros were not granted access. Thus, he asked a Microsoft spokesperson, who replied as follows:

“Only sharing RTM code with OEMs is really about optimizing the overall experience for our customers—putting our hardware partners in a position to prepare the variety of new and innovative devices consumers and businesses can expect later this Fall just in time for holiday. While our partners prepare their exciting new devices, we’ll stay close to them and continue to refine Windows 8.1 to ensure a quality experience at general availability for customers on October 18th. This includes commercial customers with or without volume licensing agreements, our broad partner ecosystem, subscribers to MSDN and TechNet as well as consumers.”

With the reasons remaining unclear and developers bitter, all we can do is wait and see how Windows 8.1 will do once it’s released to the public. 

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.