Praise be, it’s Windows 8.1

Tomorrow at 11am GMT Windows 8.1 optional update to Windows XP will roll out. While it’s got a load of new usability promised and is rumored to be more service rich (not the good kind the kind that crashes things unfortunately!) the main positive is the return of the ‘start’ bar. A mainstay since Windows 95 this bar was removed in Windows 8 to make way for the ‘start screen’ the single worst decision aesthetically I’ve seen from Microsoft in many a year. Brought in apparently as a move to touch screen interaction (how this is true given that Server 2012 looks the same and I’ve yet to ever see a server with touch screen) it alienated entire generations of office workers who use PC’s from 9-5 and forced IT providers and departments to maintain Windows 7 as the OS of choice.

Question is will it be the change that allows us to deploy into offices with less resistance or will the extra services bring the reliability down to the point where Windows 7 cements itself as the new Windows XP and in 10 years we’ll be getting retirement notices for the Seven.

Expect the update to start becoming available from 11am tomorrow but it’ll be a staged roll out so you may have to be patient and wait a while to get the opportunity to install.

Update: false alarm, start button was nearly as disappointing as Indy 4. My vote stays with Windows 7 for most business uses.

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