Windows 8.1: Looking like a bit of a fail…

1382014383I started this deadly process over the weekend and it took my literally three minutes before the problems started. I’m of course not the only one, Microsoft has annoyed a few million people with the various upgrade rules and methods culminating in the pulling of the 8.1 patch from the Microsoft Store this morning for RT (tablets) as it was causing some users devices to become “bricked”. That is, like a brick, broken, and not operating.

You would think that in this day and age, Cloud computing would provide a clean method of upgrade to 8.1 and for some users this is no doubt the case. However, Microsoft have seemingly made an early leap to Cloud download as mandatory for the bulk of the world’s users and this is causing issues. I.e. Unless you are of a certain size, you are forced to download the 8.1 patch, at 3.5GB, on every device you have. You can’t download a standalone file and then copy to each for a simple upgrade.

This means that if you are running an office with twenty five users then the total bandwidth suck is nearly ninety GB.

“The Windows Store is the only way for consumers (non-enterprise, non-IT Pro) to download and install Windows 8.1. No ISOs will be made available, so each device needs to be updated individually via the Windows Store.” – Source

Now, this method is problematic for another set of users who have a known issue whereby we can’t connect to the Windows Store. Of course, the fix to that problem is no doubt in the 8.1 patch, but given we can’t connect, we can’t get the patch. The default answer to this seems to be “clean install”. Given this is a G rated blog, I’ll restrain from telling you what I think about that.

In fact, even if you can get the 8.1 patch if you had previously installed a preview version you’ll be reinstalling everything bar your settings and user account details, though to be fair, they were warned of this.

Even if you can get through these initial barriers. because everyone is having to download it this way (individually via the Windows Store) Microsoft servers have been swamped. So much for Cloud scaling out.

“Windows 8 began shipping about a year ago but hasn’t wowed the market due to a variety of complaints from consumers and business users alike. Most criticisms have focused on the massively redesigned user interface Microsoft calls Modern. It’s based on tile icons and optimized for touch screens, but many have found it hard to master and clunky to use with mice and keyboards.” – Source


This latest debacle, forcing downloads through the Windows Store and now the bricking of some devices, is just the start of it as this Reddit thread shows.  Once again, the list of complaints is long and this patch is looking somewhat beta.

Given my problem requires a couple of days of work, the old clean install (which is like the uber version of “reboot your machine”), I’m not going to be getting this patch anytime soon. All very depressingly familiar and leaving me considering which OS I move to in the next few months.

Why can’t we just get an ISO? You can deliver it via Cloud if you are so hell-bent on it, but for god’s sake, make it available.


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