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7/3/2013
04:49 PM
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Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes

First update, coming fast on heels of OS introduction as promised, includes minor fixes and an unpopular change to Photos app.

10 Hidden Benefits of Windows 8.1
10 Hidden Benefits of Windows 8.1
(click image for larger view)
That didn't take long.

Microsoft last week rolled out its first round of bug fixes for Windows 8.1. The first update came less than a week after the new operating system debuted as a public preview and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer touted the company's commitment to quick releases. The company's quick strike seems to signal that Ballmer's plan, central to his larger "devices and services" vision, is rounding into shape.

Ongoing rumors of an imminent shake-up, further fueled by the departure of Xbox head Don Mattrick, suggest the CEO is charging forward, in any case.

Windows 8.1 has been relatively well-received. Several analysts have said that it has made the changes necessary to satisfy enterprise users. But as curious users dig into the Windows 8.1 preview, new concerns are already afoot. As much as Windows 8 is changing, it seems one thing might stay the same: Microsoft can't win for losing.

[ On the prowl for inexpensive Windows 8 software? See our slideshow, 8 Free, Must-Have Windows 8 Apps. ]

The company issued six updates to Windows 8.1. Two were designated "important" and the others were rated "recommended." One of the higher-priority updates installs a virus definition for Windows Defender, Win8's native security program. The other improves support for third-party programs such as AutoCAD and Parallels Desktop.

The "recommended" fixes address crashing Windows store apps, improve file downloads in Internet Explorer 11, expand app support for Google accounts, and enhance file stability. Preview users who have enabled automatic updates will not need to take any action. Otherwise, users can access the updates via the Updated & Recovery section of PC settings.

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Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Strategist
7/9/2013 | 6:17:26 PM
re: Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes
The condemnation comes because this is a major loss in functionality of a key app. Especially taken in context with the similar loss of functionality of the music app shows that this is not evolving due to consumer demand, it is just Microsoft making it more and more difficult to use anything but their solution - and that is newsworthy.
Tronist
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Tronist,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/9/2013 | 12:02:07 PM
re: Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes
The best fix for Windows 8.1 is Windows 7.
TubaOrNotTuba
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TubaOrNotTuba,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2013 | 11:34:09 PM
re: Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes
It's a junk app anyway. Picasa is a far superior program. I have almost 1TB of digital photos and there's no way I'm paying to store them in Skydrive or on any other Internet company's servers. As such, it'll get uninstalled just as fast as all the other preinstalled junk in Metro.
TubaOrNotTuba
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TubaOrNotTuba,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2013 | 11:08:47 PM
re: Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes
Why is this news? 8.1 is in beta and I would expect to see updates for it, in fact I would expect to see a LOT of updates for it before ships. Updates for a beta product are not news at all.
Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Strategist
7/8/2013 | 7:33:19 PM
re: Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes
The photo app change is not a surprise and I would expect similar changes to the other metro/modern apps from Microsoft. They are removing most functionality that is not skydrive-centric. No more libraries - i.e. no support for folders other than where MS tells you to store things, no more nas devices, no more remote computer folders, no more 3rd-party website support....its all skydrive all the time, for anything else - well, you just need to get someone to write an app for that!
MemphisITDude
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MemphisITDude,
User Rank: Strategist
7/8/2013 | 6:38:47 PM
re: Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes
It boggles the mind that even after all the uproar, the start menu will not return as an option in 8.1. Where do the power users with multiple (non-touch) monitors fit within Steve's "devices and services vision"?

Maybe "power users" are not a huge segment of the market, but they are the source of advice, support, and perceptions for the many other Windows users.
stoneyh
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stoneyh,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2013 | 6:09:11 PM
re: Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes
Its a preview. Does that not by definition mean there would be ongoing change/updates/patches? Seems MS's inability to when stems as much from "analysts" that can't make up their minds. If MS stands pat "they don't care about their users" and if MS makes changes to please end users "they lack direction".
Windows 8 is a disruptive product and Windows 8.1 seems like an attempt by MS to evolve the product with some respect for consumer demand. I don't really see how that is something to condemn.
midmachine
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midmachine,
User Rank: Strategist
7/8/2013 | 4:51:11 PM
re: Microsoft Releases First Windows 8.1 Fixes
This is good, not a problem. Appears that the quick turnaround target is taking hold. All in all good fixes and updates, although I wouldn't have included the definition update under bug fixes, that's a normal type of update. Regarding the photo app; I think it makes sense since there will be a Facebook app that that wasn't part of the new photo app. Also, it likely reflects concessions that MS had to make to Facebook in order for them to develop/support an app for Win 8? Possible?
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