Just after Microsoft released Windows 8.1, rumors have surfaced that they might be releasing fix 8.2 as early as January of 2014. The big changes coming, in 8.2, are said to quell the critics of Windows 8 and their last release of their 8.1 fix.
These changes in 8.2, are Microsoft’s attempt at making the OS a lot more intuitive for the user and acknowledges the changes that users have asked for. The recent release of version 8.1, brought back the familiar Start button that was absent in their first release, but it wasn’t quite enough for most users. The newly added Start button, in 8.1, only took users to the Metro user interface, which required an extra right click to bring up the more familiar Start Menu that users asked for.
Other Start menu options that users asked for are said to be “booting to the desktop” and an option for “shutting down the computer.” Many users, of the first release, found it very frustrating when looking for these options, with many of them ranting about it on popular blogs and social media sites.
The rumors said big changes in their 8.2 release will bring back the more common Libraries in file explorer, which currently do not show by default. Just like the Start button, users didn’t find this option intuitive enough to return to their more familiar UI, as tech support in Redmond was rumored to be inundated with this as a call driver.
In the 8.1 release, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 11, which didn’t contain a noticeable difference from older versions. The newest version of IE is said to increase the speed of page loads. Microsoft has taken much criticism in the past over IE having slower speeds than other popular browsers.
A Microsoft job posting for coders last February, asked if they wished the code they wrote for apps would work on Windows and Windows based phones, and vice-versa. This would suggest that the company has future plans for the Windows Store to unify all of their latest product versions, fixes and apps to be a one-stop-shop. At this point it is anyone’s guess whether this will be possible in the near future, but rumors are that the next update will come from the Windows Store, something that didn’t occur in release 8.1.
Looking past fix 8.2, Windows 9 is said to utilize and involve more cloud integration by using some of the same processing cleverness that Microsoft recently debuted in their Xbox One this week. Although not available at launch time, there are plans for the Xbox One to utilize the cloud for making virtual upgrades to their latest entertainment system.
With these rumors running rampant, it suggests that Microsoft is trying to embrace the old and the new in us all. Satisfying everyone is something that is impossible to do, but Microsoft appears to be listening and addressing some of their critics with these big changes. This may also suggest that they have finally acknowledged that many of the critics wanted a traditional Windows desktop interface and that the majority might not yet own a touch screen.
By Brent Matsalla