Windows news roundup

Anyone buying a new HP PC these days will be steered towards Windows 7 instead of the more current – but flawed – Windows 8. It’s not entirely clear what prompted HP to stop selling their computers with Windows 8, but the lack of user acceptance of that O/S clearly played a part. It’s also likely that HP’s support costs have increased markedly for PCs shipped with Windows 8, with common questions being “where the &@*#%$ is my Start Menu” and “how do I find anything in this crappy operating system”.

Meanwhile, it looks like Microsoft might try to turn the tide of Windows 8’s failure by actually bringing back the Start menu in the upcoming Update 1 for Windows 8.1. You may recall that Windows 8.1 saw the return of the Start button, which for some reason was just a button with no useful menu attached, making it basically useless. Will this make a difference to Windows 8.x sales? Maybe. But I’m holding out for Update 2, where – and this is pure speculation, mind you – Microsoft may provide a method for disabling the “Metro” interface altogether.

And the rumours about Windows 9, the next major version of the O/S, are starting to make the rounds. At this point the pattern is clear: every other version of Windows is to be avoided. Perhaps Microsoft has realized this themselves, because Windows 9 is already under development. Code-named “Threshold”, it will supposedly meld the good bits from Windows 7 and 8. Sounds promising. And if the pattern holds, it might actually be a good O/S.

About jrivett

Jeff Rivett has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s. His first computer was an Apple II+, built by his father and heavily customized. Jeff's writing appeared in Computist Magazine in the 1980s, and he created and sold a game utility (Ultimaker 2, reviewed in the December 1983 Washington Apple Pi Journal) to international markets during the same period. Proceeds from writing, software sales, and contract programming gigs paid his way through university, earning him a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree at UWO. Jeff went on to work as a programmer, sysadmin, and manager in various industries. There's more on the About page, and on the Jeff Rivett Consulting site.

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