Posts Tagged ‘Windows 8’

Microsoft: YES Windows 8.1 is finished, but NO you can’t have it

Microsoft says it has already begun seeding the final code of Windows 8.1 to its manufacturing partners, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get your hands on the update any sooner.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Windows corporate VP Antoine Leblond said that while hardware makers are being given time to incorporate Windows 8.1 support into their latest devices, the public release date for the Windows 8.1 update remains October 18.

“In the past, the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use,” Leblond wrote. “However, it’s clear that times have changed, with shifts to greater mobility and touch as well as the blurring of work and personal lives.”

Read More By Neil McAllister

More than half of Windows 8 users just treat it like Windows 7


Almost nobody using Windows Store apps, survey finds

For all Microsoft’s hype about The Interface Formerly Known As Metro (TIFKAM), more than half of all Windows 8 users ignore the new Start Screen and treat the OS as if it were Windows 7, according to a study by PC management firm Soluto.

Soluto chart tracking Windows Store app useHow many Windows 8 users launch a Windows Store app less than once per day? Most of them (Source: Soluto)

Soluto surveyed 10,848 Windows 8 PCs for an average of 27.4 days per device and found that 61 per cent of desktop PC users launched a TIFKAM app less than once per day. The same was true for 60 per cent of laptop users.

You might think those numbers would be dramatically different for touchscreen devices, but no. Tablet and touchscreen laptop users did launch TIFKAM apps more often, but 58 per cent of touchscreen laptop owners still did so less than once per day. Same for 44 per cent of tablet owners.

Taken all together, tablet users launched a TIFKAM app 2.71 times per day, on average – which is pathetic, when you consider that tablet owners are meant to be doing absolutely everything with touch.

Touch laptop owners launched a TIFKAM app an average of 2.22 times per day, and the numbers only go down from there, with desktop PC users only launching a TIFKAM app 1.41 times per day.

Put bluntly, it would be fair to say that most desktop PC users never use Microsoft’s vaunted new UI at all – or they only do so when they absolutely have to.

Soluto chart showing how often Windows 8 apps are usedThose who do use Windows Store apps don’t use them many times per day, either (Source: Soluto)

Soluto’s numbers on the apps front were none too rosy, either. Microsoft is desperate to get developers building TIFKAM apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT, but it looks like there are few real incentives for them to do so.

The “most engaging” TIFKAM app was Yahoo! Mail, and its users launched it an average of 26.91 times per week. The next two most frequently launched apps were social networking apps that come preinstalled on Acer Windows 8 PCs, which also got used often. But by the time you get to the fifth most-launched app – Microsoft’s own Communications Apps – users were launching it less than once per day.

On average, users launched most of the apps on the “most engaging” list twice per week or less – which by our reckoning doesn’t sound like they were particularly engaged.

None of these results came as any surprise to the Windows 8 users here at Vulture Annex, the consensus among them being that they avoid the Start Screen like a leper wearing a loud shirt. But Soluto’s figures should be especially worrying to Microsoft, which has already spent mega-millions on marketing Windows 8’s new UI, apparently to little effect.

Redmond is planning to offer a preview of a Windows 8.1 update toward the end of June, which many industry-watchers are hoping will help to rectify some of Windows 8’s more obvious deficiencies. We’ve heard various rumors about changes it might bring, ranging from restoring the Start button to allowing users to skip the Start Screen altogether.

Hopefully Microsoft hasn’t spent too much effort polishing up its bundled TIFKAM apps, though – because, honestly, no one will notice. ®

Enjoy the weekend, sysadmins: Next Tues fixes 33 Microsoft bugs

Including IE8 remote code execution hole that pwned US nuke lab

Microsoft has promised to fix a high-profile vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8, among other holes, in this month’s Patch Tuesday rollout of security updates.

In all, next week’s bucket of upgrades will address 33 bugs in a range of Redmond software. The flaws have been grouped into 10 sets of holes: two marked critical and eight important.

The critical updates kill off vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer that allow miscreants to remotely execute malicious code on victims’ machines: one will paper over flaws uncovered during the Pwn2Own hacking competition at CanSecWest in March. This update affects all versions of the web browser from IE6 to IE10 on all Windows operating systems from XP to Win8, including RT.

The other critical update fixes a vulnerability specific to Internet Explorer 8. It is believed computers used by the nuclear weapons research teams at the US Department of Labor were compromised by websites exploiting this browser hole on 1 May. The attack code has since surfaced elsewhere on the web and bundled into the infosec Swiss army knife Metasploit.

Read More By John Leyden

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