Microsoft Teases Return of Start Button in Windows 8.1

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lone_wolf

Still focusing on modern as the only UI......
Sure win 8 is more stable and boots faster then win 7 but it does not diminish the annoyance of having to redo every file connection to real programs instead of apps. Having to clean up the "start menu" after a program is installed since microsoft has forgotten what folders are used for.

The fact that microsoft focus on full screen apps all over the place where the start menu took up 90% less space and let you actually work faster is beyond me.

The new search is better but still miles away from the same functionality i could get out of the start menu.

There should not be a reason for a user to have to fix their OS buy buying third party tweaks.

by using 3 of stardocks programs its a passable OS nothing more. If i could delete the bloatware called Modern UI and all its miserable apps from my windows 8 installation i would do so. For now it takes up unwanted space on my harddrive.

At least windows 8.1 will bring back a native boot to desktop solution so i can get some work done without all the social crap and the ohh so useful cloud.........

the 4 apps limitation is laughable in modern UI and will ensure it cant be useful for productivity for many years to come.

Sure i could use the desktop but since microsoft seems hell bent to make another microsoft bob i can only hope it actually becomes useable in the future.

For the record at work today i had to juggle 6 word documents, 4 excel documents,1 instance of ARS Remedy,1 static remote connection to a server, 6 web applications, my mail and my ip telephone and that is without having to remote to our users to help them with their various problems.

The limitations of the modern UI is simply to much right now for me to see it as anything but bloatware.

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Neufeldt2002

ca.msn.com is a Microsoft web page that yesterday had a question about win 8.1. It asked quite simply if the return of the start button would be enough to make one want to get Windows 8? Over 5,000 people answered a resounding NO, about 500 said YES, and about 300 said they would Think about it. I have to wonder about if this info would make it back to MS as it is an official MS site? Either way it doesn't bode well for MS's hopes for restarting Win 8.

Personally, I hope that MS will finally start listening to the vast majority and separate the desktop from the mobile, but I think they have their collective heads too far up their you know what's to see any light anymore.

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maxeeemum

I couldn't find that but I guess they took it down as fast as possible. Maybe they are finally starting to get it but you never know. What Win8.1 does is just to throw gasoline on a fire. But if what M$ is showing about the Xbox One is true they just don't get it. It isn't coming out till the holidays but it looks like another M$ disaster so far.

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Pulagatha

Please Bring Back The Start Menu. This one optional choice has split people who like Microsoft in two groups that constantly post comments against one another.

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schwendy

I like how people accuse others of "hating" on Microsoft. Just remember, this is a company that has refused time and again to listen to its end-users because it has an effective monopoly on the consumer OS market. Most people are forced to use Windows, they don't choose to. This is also a company that releases a new OS and then refuses to support its previous operating systems with updates in an effort to coerce people into upgrading. I have no respect for Microsoft- none.

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Sirius

How are they refusing to support their previous operating systems? Are you referring to Windows XP's end of life coming up in April of 2014, more than a DECADE after it's release? Vista won't see end of support till 2017, and Windows 7 won't see end of support till 2020. So I'm confused at your comment. Please enlighten us all as to how Microsoft is coercing anyone into a newer operating system by ending support of an operating system that's more than ten years old when they chose to stop supporting it. I think you've got your facts wrong.

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Renegade Knight

I'm still running Win 98 and 95. Heck I even use DOS but am relegated to Dosbox.

I understand they can't directly support legacy operating systems. However they can donate their old OS's to the public domain and create an enthusiast base to offer support. OR they could give them away free. OR they could put their full support base and updates out there for use on either a donated server, or a low bandwidth server of their own.

All of those options let them ignore their old OS while at the same time letting those of us who do have a use for them, have access to the updates and support database that they did (rather than the buggy first release that's on the CD/DVD/Floppy).

That's what Good Guy Microsoft would do.

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Sirius

And not long after Good Guy Microsoft would be held accountable by their shareholders as to why they are performing a function that serves no purpose and makes no profit. Microsoft is a business. And they aren't in the business to support decades old software just because a handful of enthusiasts want to use dilapidated software. Nor are they in the business of continuing to be liable for said ancient code. What you suggest is highly unfeasible. Do you think there's anyone around that's still supporting Slackware Linux 1.0? How about IBM's OS/2? Or Mac System 1? Do you think Apple's going to pop up and start supporting and providing updates for the Lisa? It serves no purpose. What can you do with it? Software isn't like cars or antiques. You can still drive a Ford Model T around town. A century old roll top desk still serves a purpose beyond sitting there collecting dust. The same cannot be said for software. Time to get a reality check and join the real world Knight.

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pastorbob

+1

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pastorbob

"This is also a company that releases a new OS and then refuses to support its previous operating systems with updates in an effort to coerce people into upgrading."

Let's see -

Windows 98 was supported and updated for eight years. Windows XP is still being supported and updated and will until 2014 - fourteen years. Vista is still receiving support and updates - seven years and counting. Windows 7 still getting support and updates and will for several more years.

I believe Ubuntu only provides LTS (long term support) and updates for five years, and short term versions for nine months. How long do you think Intuit, Adobe, Pinnacle and other software companies provide support? Definitley not fourteen years. Some as few as two years.

Just Sayin'

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andrerocha

Oh I love windows 8. windows 8 is perfect. Oh windows 8 is glorious and all.

BS

I don't or ever will like metro. and ms should stop ignoring the voice of the people, and start doing things the way people like.

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davelray

I see yet again the good ol' Win 8 Hate party has begun. I bet MaximumPC loves the attention these articles get. This person's a moron for liking it, that person's a retard for hating it. And what the heck is Warrior doing posting comments in favor of Windows 8? I thought you hated PC's and think that consoles are the way to go? I'm still waiting for Microsoft to publish Office for the Xbox and to drop that yearly subscription for what I can do on my PC for free. There isn't a blessed thing wrong with Windows 8, but guess what, there's not anything wrong with Windows 7 or Linux either. I still think Steve Jobs was Satan incarnate and MacOSX is a portal to Hell though............

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rr17302

I love reading how retarded I am because I don't wish to retrain myself from 20 years of using MS products and don't have a need for a touchscreen interface or 3 monitor desktop.

I am sure the anger and disdain directed at people who have chosen not to upgrade from Win 7 is shared widely at Redmond. After all, a business model that mocks the customers base is the BEST WAY TO GET THEIR business.

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Renegade Knight

Reverse all that.
You are wise to use the tools that you know work. That's the sign of someone who actually does work with a computer. Upgrades are only worth it when they do something better than what you have now.

That viewpoint is closer to "When 8 or 9 or 10 does something I need, I'm in." Which is vastly different than "I hate 8 because...".

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maxeeemum

Looks like we are upsetting the Microsoft Marketing Department!

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Sirius

Probably as much as I love reading how I'm a moron because I like Windows 8. It works both ways you know. But forgive me if I've ever come across in any of my posts that I feel anger or disdain or think your retarded because you like Windows 7 more. Use whatever works best for you. But don't trash me like some others here have done because I choose to use 8.

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andrerocha

At least now I can boot directly to the desktop. Microsoft I won't ever use the metro apps or anything metro related, you play with my emotions... I stop using metro at all. thank you for been so honest with us Microsoft.

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jbitzer

Here's how they could have made a better windows 8 experience:

Make the desktop active. people seem to love widgets, I understand that is the impetus for metro, but you screwed up, people don't want ONLY widgets, they want something they can glance at while doing things to get quick bits of information without opening a complete application. They don't want EVERY widget on a single screen that can only be seen in widget mode, let's make the widgets PART of the desktop background, they can be docked and locked, then you can run stuff over top of them, put them where they are most accessible, and not have them completely take over your application you are using. Hell, the old desktop gadgets were great except most weren't able to be customized, and they were too easy to accidentally click and screw up.

Make it like aero, have the background show the widgets, with a hotkey to pull it to the surface to interact with the tiles or whatever you want to call them, and you'd probably have a winner. Hell, you could even use your trademark "Surface" for the name of the interface, as in: all your tiles are floating beneath the surface of your desktop and real work, until you hit the "breach" key(sounds cool like an attack sub huh?)

Also, if the color scheme didn't look like someone projectile vomited a bag of wild berry skittles all over it, that would be swell.

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Cregan89

Well once they get rid of the Desktop UI and it's just the Modern UI, you'll have exactly what you're describing!

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jbitzer

Except that the desktop UI isn't a piece of shit.

Tell me genius, how is the metro garbage anything like a functional desktop with its 1 window (now 2 YIPPEEE) open at a time piece of fuck interface?

You like single tasking? I don't, I actually use those windows, funny the design that named the operating systems gets dropped so you younger 114 character or less fucking food picture posting retards aren't confused by having access to more than one running program at a time.

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Sirius

Actually, jbitzer, if you would have stopped bitching about it for 15 or so minutes, and actually sat down and learned how to use Windows 8, you would know that currently, you can have two modern UI applications open and on the screen at the same time. Windows 8.1 ups this to four modern UI applications at the same time. And non Modern UI applications like Word, Excel, 123, Notes, Outlook, Photoshop, etc. still work the same as they did in Windows 7 when it comes to multitasking and multi display. I use a triple display set up and multitask just fine in Windows 8. I happen to like the modern UI and look forward to seeing it "grow up" in functionality.

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jbitzer

I can't imagine what it takes to get banned from these forums. as if the apam aholes aren't bad enough, you have riopato - douchebag who is just posting "nyaa nyaa you're too dumb to use it" at the end of every post, and warrior who has clearly demonstrated across his posting history that he comes to a PC site to state how much he hates everything about PCs.

Interesting.

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Ledoubleu

I still use XP at work and for productivity reasons I have highly customized start menus pointing to customer files or specific tasks I do through the course of the week. I have come to realize that Windows 8 start screen is also customizable in many of the same ways but I do think that too many shortcut tiles would get cluttered on the screen. Of course you can easily choose to organize however you like (add in the fact that in the start screen you can type from anywhere to search) but realistically there is only so much screen real estate. It's not a criticism per se', but the start screen does seem to be lacking in that certain productivity aesthetic. I imagine if I were forced to use it professionally I would certainly devise a system that would allow me the flexibility I need in a work day. Hopefully the enhancements MS will be releasing will further allow meaningful and more efficient customizations.

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Mikey109105

Really, MS? Really???? You put the start button back, on Windows 8 Desktop, only to have you get parked right back to the UI experience that no one likes? Just how retarded are you people over at Redmond?!

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steve771

Put lipstick on a pig... it's still a PIG! M$$$$$ really blew this OS.

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pastorbob

Didn't use the Start menu in WIndows 7 or XP so I don't miss it with Windows 8. I have eight applications that total for 99% of my PC usage. There are shortcuts on my taskbar that provide quick access to them.

I boot directly to the desktop so the UI is not an issue. I can shut down or restart my system with two keystrokes and I have access to all of my system resources with another two key sequence. For those apps that I seldom use I have shortcuts on the desktop which provide quick access.

So why in the heck do so many people persist in whining about the lack of a Start Menu? It has always been excess baggage and to add it back in would be a step backward. But I guess that is the direction some people prefer to move.

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maxeeemum

Look's like Stardock employees are all partying over the Win 8.1 unveiling.

I'd like to see some stats on how many downloads of Start8, StartMenu8, Classic Shell, StartisBack, Pokki, StartMenuX, etc. have been done to fix Windows 8.

Window 8.1 is just further proof that Win8 is a tablet OS and Windows 7 is the desktop OS.

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Scatter

I use Startis Back. Once I installed it Windows 8 was fine.

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riopato

Yea, it's a tablet os that runs better than windows 7. Get over the UI (and actually learn it instead of constantly whining about the missing start menu)and the desktop is a hands down fast system.

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maxeeemum

@ riopato

No we won't stop! M$ has to hear our displeasure! It also serves as a warning to the uninformed general public to steer clear of Windows 8. You really don't expect me to listen to delusional Microsoft fanboys/employees/stock holders/developers/etc. that try to convince us that Windows 8 is great. You're in the minority! Win8 is just a striped down version of Win7 that can run on low power devices with an unintuitive UI. Nothing more!

In my opinion anyone who says Windows 8 is a better desktop OS than Windows 7 is either a complete moron who just tweets, goes to facebook & checks e-mail or is really a used car salesman desperately trying to make money from a bad product.

Oh! By the way Win8 is selling worse than Vista and you can't believe M$ figures (used car salesman).

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Renegade Knight

8 actually is a better desktop OS than 7. Provided you like speed, and stability, along with ease of use.

For most folks using 7 who don't have a touch screen or a need for that speed. 8 isn't better enough to upgrade to.

But then that's how an IQ shows up when pondering the new OS instead of sounding like the morons and uniformed that some seem to rant about.

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maxeeemum

"8 actually is a better desktop OS than 7. Provided you like speed, and stability, along with ease of use."

LOL!

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Sirius

@maxeeemum

Don't really care what your opinion is. Just because you think I'm a moron because I prefer 8 over 7, doesn't make it true. You can have the opinion that a grizzly bear is a timid bunny but that won't stop it from tearing your face off if you get too close. Just because you are too mentally challenged to figure out how stuff works in Windows 8, doesn't mean the rest of us share your intellectual setbacks.

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maxeeemum

@ Sirius

Just because you just signed up 9 weeks ago to defend Win8.1 for M$ you employees are still using the same stupid argument. Have you even used it? How come you can't figure it out? Are you mentally challenged? I figured it out in 10 minutes! My 5 year old kid can use it why can't you? My 71 year old mother loves it! Or the latest M$ blunder "Just deal with it!" You guys really need to come up with better tactics! These ridiculous statements only strengthens my resolve!

For your information I am so good at using Windows 8 I could give lessons. I just think it's the dumbest idea M$ has come up with! Just plain primitive! You see I don't blindly follow! How about you?

I haven't meet anyone who thinks it's great at work. The best I've heard is "I'm trying to get use to it" but it isn't too long before they install Start8. LOL! Have a nice day!

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Sirius

@ maxeeemum

Actually I don't "love" Windows 8. It's an operating system. I don't get emotionally involved with software. I don't invite it to a candle lit dinner in the park with violin music. I use it to get work done. And it's more than adequate to the task. And how long ago I signed up to comment on articles on the website is hardly a measurable statistic to prove or disprove how good I am at what I do. Much less a measure of my knowledge of any given subject. Unlike you, I have met people that use it and think it's just fine. For those few who have shown more desire to do it the Windows 7 way, I've been more than happy to help them get back to Windows 7, which works equally as well, albeit not quite as fast. They didn't "hate" Windows 8, they just preferred Windows 7. I've even had two people in the last six months, that liked Windows 8 but only wanted that Start Menu back. For them, the solution was as simple as throwing on Start8 for one and RetroUI for the other. And since options like that are available for those that really want it, why does Microsoft need to hobble it back in? What you will find, out in the real world, is that most people that use something every day and feel it works just fine, or may even be of the opinion that it is great, don't feel the need to go shouting from the rooftops of the Internet about it. But you, along with the rest of your ilk have taken it upon yourselves to denounce, defame, and trash Microsoft and Windows 8 every opportunity you get. You have your opinion that you don't like it. That's fine. I disagree with your opinion. I choose to let others make up their own mind concerning whether to use it or not because there is no defect in Windows 8 that would cause irreparable harm. Now if Windows 8 was buggy as hell and known to crash every few minutes, then I would have to say stay away from it. But as it's stable, and works well, there's no reason for me, or you for that matter, to trash it senselessly. I'll even go you one better. If you think you can do so much better, then do it. Go create your very own operating system. You never know, it might make you billions of dollars and you can be just like Bill Gates. And then I can say, "Hey, see that guy on TV? Yeah, I told him in a forum to go make his own OS and he did it and now he's rich!" But just because you shout the loudest does not make you the majority nor the expert. And while I may certainly be in the minority of those people that actually like Windows 8 (I doubt it,) I can guarantee you that the number of people that don't care one way or the other about it and use it anyway outnumber people like you that feel the need to hate on it in an Internet forum. And for your information, my mother's only 63, my father is the same age, and my son is 10. I haven't had to answer a single how to question to any of them. So let's bring the tally of people I personally know and/or work with using Windows 8 up to more than 40. That's more than the number of people I've seen post Win8Hate comments on MaximumPC. LOL right back at ya!

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maxeeemum

@ Sirius

OK! I see you can be some what reasonable! Let's agree to disagree!

But Win8 will never be a big seller and it's real objective is to sell WP8 and tablets. And it's not working! Win7 will end up being the new XP! Just my opinion!

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Sirius

@ maxeeemum

Thank you.

I'm not really sure that Microsoft expects it to be a big seller. I remember when Windows 95 came out and there were many that disliked it. I think it's more akin to that. It's a lead in to what Windows XP became. Just like Windows XP unified the code base of Windows and WindowsNT, I think Microsoft wants 8 to be the lead in to what eventually unifies the mobile phone, tablet, and desktop platforms. I think Apple has hit them too many times below the belt and they are desperate to close the gap. Apple came into the smartphone arena when arguably there was only BlackBerry and Windows Mobile and blew both away. Then Apple returned with a suckerpunch in the tablet market and made the tablet a huge success were Microsoft was failing. What I think we can both agree on is that Modern UI is only maybe a little more than half baked. I've used the Surface Pro and SurfaceRT tablets. It really does work very well on them. And had those come out just before or at the same time as the iPad, I think they would have ruled the market. Instead, I get the feeling that Microsoft is desperate, and while I don't have a problem with Windows 8 and like it for what it is, I can't believe that it's all they wanted it to be. That's why I look forward to Windows 8.1 and seeing Modern UI "grow up" and increase it's functionality. It's obviously capable of so much more. They probably would have been better served by fleshing it out more before they released it. But as we've seen in other areas of software, especially gaming, it's become commonplace to release what could arguably be called a half finished product then finish it over the course of time by releasing updates / DLC. What I don't want to see is the Windows Platform become a closed shop like iOS is and MacOSX is becoming.

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maxeeemum

@ Sirius

I see we are not that far apart as I agree with most of what you said. I wish that they would have approached it differently with Windows 8. You know sort of like Linux which allows for changing your desktop environment. Or just putting out a PC, PC Touchscreen, Tablet, etc. version. But for some reason M$ doesn't work this way. Pity!

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Blues22475

I've gotten over the UI to an extent, and I have to agree it runs great, but do you really expect the average user who has been used to a certain UI to actually switch to it? Think about it. Not as simple as you and I who can just "get over" something and learn how to use it for job's sake. I keep getting customers (ranging from computer stupid to more technically inclined) who tell me that they hate the UI for Windows 8 and therefore will not really use it.

BTW, I still see no reason to upgrade to Windows 8 due to the UI (and the fact that Windows 7 does everything I need it to do). I am not one of those "dinosaurs" either given I am only 26.

Let's face it: it doesn't matter how well it runs. If the UI is too standoff-ish people won't really take it to fast (or maybe not at all).

I am glad about the fact that you can start to the Desktop with the new projected update; it is a positive note.

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Gezzer

You know I'd consider running Win8 but MS would need to do two things first.
The two major reasons I don't use Win8 is we have to use the "modern" UI by default and all apps run in either full or half screen. Perfect for a tablet or a cell, but for a desktop, plain stupid.
If Win8 did
http://www.stardock.com/products/modernmix/
and
http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/
natively like they should it'd be a good OS and a nice stepping stone to an all touch UI for when we actually need to have one. Instead MS stupidly crams their "vision" down our throats if we like it or not.
And yes if you like Win8 great, me I want a UI that works the way I want it to, not the way MS tells me I have to. I can have any colour as long as it's black MS? Well I'm just sticking with the one I've currently got, it runs fine TYVM.

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riopato

Yes, if only the majority of consumers didn't flock to iDevices and Airproducts, maybe Microsoft wouldn't have follow Apples lead into believeing that consumers want to be forced into using their products the way the company wants them to.
Can't wait to see how magical and amazing the iSlate will be when they show it off. It will have an iOS "Launch Screen" that will also give users access to the mac desktop on it's gesture controlled retina display. It will sell for $1900 for the 256gb fusion drive version and people will be lining around the block twice over just to place a preorder in.

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jbitzer

Maybe if you weren't a dickhead, you'd be able to convince people your point is more than the pathetic posturing of a teenage douchbag.

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Biceps

Maybe they can add a few more hidden menus. That, so far, has been my favorite part about using Windows 8. It is like an Easter egg hunt!

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Renegade Knight

That is a complexly accurate description of 8. Things that were easy in 7 are more of a PITA with 8. Adding a printer for example. 8 has two easy ways that don't work, but with a little searching I can find that 7 way that does work.

Over time I've gotten a lot better at figuring out how to find the 'real' way to get something done.

This is why even though I find 8 more stable and faster than 7 for a lot of my purposes I'm not going to be upgrading anything that isn't already upgraded. Because of MS draconian licensing rules I'm out of the OS upgrade game on a single computer.

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Damnlogin

Waiting for some hacker to post a new virus that turns every Win8 start button into a trollface -.-

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dedgar

or a Balmer face with that stupid grin he usually sports.

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basketcase87

I think that is a trollface...

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John Pombrio

Notice that all the changes in Win8.1 will be to the Start page and apps with hardly anything for the desktop user? Waste of a good upgrade...

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Renegade Knight

Microsoft is showing every sign of abandoning Desktop (aka Windows) for Metro. Metro has the locked in App store that Microsoft is going to be tempted to force us to use since they get 30% of the cut of all software sold.

I'm not following them into that future if they do go there. It means my "legacy" apps that I paid for won't run on Metro. It also means I lose nothing moving to another OS that's more open.

This is exactly how Microsoft lost me when I was a WinMo user.

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Cregan89

I thought it was common knowledge that the Windows Desktop is considered a legacy UI to Microsoft, and all of the future updates to Windows will be with the goal of bringing the Modern UI up to par with the Desktop UI in terms of functionality, at which point the Desktop UI will be removed altogether (probably in Windows 9)...

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