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  1. #1
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    Win8.1 Update becomes the new patch 'baseline'




    TOP STORY

    Win8.1 Update becomes the new patch 'baseline'


    By Woody Leonhard

    When Windows 8.1 Update came down the chute last week, Microsoft tossed in a totally unexpected surprise: if you want Windows 8.1 security patches in the future, you have to install Win8.1 Update first.

    The requirement is unlike any other in Windows' history — and it's been made more complicated by semantics and ongoing Win8.1 Update installation problems.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/win8-1-update-becomes-the-new-patch-baseline/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2014-04-23 at 18:27.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Two questions: I have a Surface RT with 8.1 installed. Is the Update also for the tablet?
    When MS 9 comes out, will it be possible to install over the Surface RT 8.1?

    Thanks,
    Howard (songfish)

  3. #3
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    I bought a new desktop with Windows 8 64-bit;
    I see all these forcing hints from MS to "upgrade" to 8.1;
    What I really want, is to downgrade to Windows 7;
    8 and 8.1 are crap for ageing mouse users.

  4. #4
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    Windows 8.2

    After hearing than most of the nation's ATM were using Win XP OS, I can understand a OFV for current windows versions. Funny how all the banks ATM's didn't jump on the Windows 8 'Metro Tiles' band wagon, tailor made for finger users, right?

    Bottom line for me is that MS went down the 'Metro' road using the philosophy that 'consumers need to be told what they want', but having Win 7 for comparison revealed desktop users didn't need 'Metro' windows. Additionally, MS seemed to want to lump all users the same, corporate and personal.

    As I completely bypass the use of anything 'Metro', I really have Win 7.5. Not sure why MS released a point one and the newest 'Update' isn't a 8.2, for me, beside 'security' issues any changes to the OS should elevate the version numbers, (limited to 1 decimal place, please).

    As 'Metro' gets pushed aside, I wonder how Crow tastes?
    Last edited by jyungton; 2014-04-24 at 08:33.

  5. #5
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    @spottyginger - You have an improved Win 7 underneath Win 8, install ClassicShell and bypass the Metro Start screen, you really never have to see or use anything 'metro' if you choose. http://www.classicshell.net/
    Last edited by jyungton; 2014-04-24 at 08:30.

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  7. #6
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    Windows 8.1 Update (that most Users around me know nothing about) real problems:
    I teach Windows (all current versions) for a large computer club and provide support many of the members hardware and software problems. Very few of those who have Windows 8.1, even those who have Windows Update on manual, are even aware of the Windows 8.1 Update or its implications. So far I have had three computers on Automatic Updates that have failed the Windows 8.1 Update KB2919355. The error says corrupt files. In an attempt to correct this, I have tried multiple attempts to reinstall the update manually (redownload with and without the virus program running), Microsoft FIXIT website to correct Windows Update and to repair BITS, chkdsk /f, sfc /scannow, CheckSUR by running at the Commamd Prompt "DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth" (identified there was a problem) then "DISM.exe /Online /Cleanuo-image /Restorehealth" (did NOT fix problem). I finally tried Restore Points back in March, then Windows 8.1 Update installed MANUALLY, not on Automatic, along with the reinstallation of other updates.

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    DrGeneNelson (2014-04-24)

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by songfish View Post
    Two questions: I have a Surface RT with 8.1 installed. Is the Update also for the tablet?
    When MS 9 comes out, will it be possible to install over the Surface RT 8.1?

    Thanks,
    Howard (songfish)
    Yes, Win 8.1 Update is for the tablet. As far as Windows 9 goes, there has been no announcements from Microsoft about Windows 9. You'll just have to wait and see as we all will.

    Joe

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    songfish (2014-04-24)

  11. #8
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    Woody, I was introduced to your writing by the O'Reilly-published "...Annoyances" series (I still have my copies) and have thoroughly enjoyed your wit and insight ever since. I first subscribed to Woody's Lounge, and your series of newsletters on Windows and the Office Suite around that time (mid-1990's). In the intervening years, I've gone from teaching Microsoft Office to working an IT Help Desk, eventually branching out to support for Mac and Windows desktops, to working as a Project Manager is a non-IT field.

    I have to tell you that every time I read one your articles on Windows 8 I want to hug my Mac. No OS is perfect, but in the 11 or so years I have been using Mac OS X on my primary computers at work and home, I have had NONE of the update issues I used to regularly experience with Windows. While I still occasionally use Windows 7 in a VM (current supported version at my workplace), I must say that the ONLY thing I miss about Windows at all are the better written, more full featured versions of the Office suite. The Mac version of Microsoft Office is okay and does what I need done, but it is "poor relations" to its Windows counterpart.

    Thanks for your contributions to my knowledge and understanding of the Microsoft world of products. I have learned so much from your writing over the years and truly, truly owe you my entire IT career. You have my undying gratitude and even though I don't use Windows or Windows-based Office as my primary production tools, what I learned from you about them gave me what I needed to launch a new career. Thank you.

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    DrGeneNelson (2014-04-24)

  13. #9
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    Should have stayed with Windows 8.0. After "trusting" Microsoft, updated 2 identical HP Envy notebooks to 8.1, which only caused minor issues. However "8.1 update" is now preventing both notebooks to have Metro App issues. For instance, Kindle opens and closes immediately and is unusable. And this is not the only app with this "feature." Did some troubleshooting on my own. all to no avail, but discovered if I create a new "Microsoft Account" account on the same computer the apps open fine. So, currently, after having "Microsoft Answer Desk" remotely trouble shoot our problem for nearly 3 hours performing commands I never heard of, I am now awaiting a call from "One of the Support Professionals" on 4/25. I hope to report a fix here...(Oh, I did an 8.0 image on my wife's pc beforehand, but not mine.)
    Last edited by gkellysr; 2014-04-24 at 10:55.

  14. #10
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    A three-track approach for interim dot-version upgrades seems very reasonable. Linux does something like this by having LTS (Long Term Stability) Releases which only need security patches, and Current Releases which are updated frequently and include stability and other non-security updates. I see no reason Windows couldn't go with such an approach.

    The third patching paradigm is borrowed from phones and tablets, where it's one size fits all, everyone is on automatic updates, and everyone takes every patch as it comes along. That's a lot like what has happened with Windows 8.1 Update(s). Very suitable for RT and Mobile, but not so much for production PCs.

    So we might see Mobile, Personal and Stability tracks for future Windows versions. (I don't like the term Old Fogys, since a lot of much younger corporate and hobbyist users also don't like instabilities and forced updates.) You could then choose to be Bleeding Edge, Mainstream or Conservative in your patching approach.

    Linux is already there (except for the Mobile Track -- we Linux users call this track Android). No reason Microsoft can't copy a successful strategy. Linus Torvalds won't sue for patent infringement!

    (Note: I am not saying Android keeps users up to date. Some vendors do, some don't.)
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-04-24 at 10:46.
    -- Bob Primak --

  15. #11
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    I've been a "PC" user since the early 80's, all the way through DOS to Win7. My next computer will be an Apple. Those of us who use computers for intensive graphics work have been tossed off the bus with Win8 et. al. I guess we're enough of a minority that MS is willing--if not eager--to let that happen. I guess that's called the course of progress.

  16. #12
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    I appreciate this very helpful article. I maintain a fleet of machines ranging from Windows XP to Windows 8.1. The only thing that I would have mentioned in the article is that the update file is over 600 MB in length. A user should plan for that file size before downloading.

  17. #13
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    "If the speculation is accurate, there'll be a Metro version, a desktop-first version..."
    Thank goodness! I was wondering how long it would take the current fashion, not just at MS, to wear off. It's happening sooner than I had hoped. One version for all devices, though really mobile-centric, is a really bad engineering idea. I liken it to trying to design a flying car - all you end up with is a crappy car and a crappy plane.

  18. #14
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    Well, I have said so long to MS crap. I still have my 2 XP's 2003 vintage unhooked from the internet. I still use Office 2003 Pro and other windows apps. I have 2 Linux pc's that I use for internet work and I have loaded MS office and some other windows apps using WINE. It works just fine for my purposes. The wonderful thing about Linux is that I can leverage my older hardware. Sorry Microsoft! The days that you were dictating my choices are gone and so is your OS.

  19. #15
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    Regarding "OFV" (Win8.1 Update becomes the new patch 'baseline')

    Woody Leonhard, you said:

    "If the speculation is accurate, there'll be a Metro version, a desktop-first version, and what I like to call the "Old Fogy's" version (OFV).

    "...The Old Fogy's Version (I should trademark that) is meant for companies that don't want to undertake the regular self-flagellation ceremony of updating all PCs every few months. As noted above, OFV will get security patches, but no significant UI 'improvements.'"


    Well, Woody, I have a suggestion for you: Don't downgrade people who prefer to stick with what works. Microsoft is already doing more than well enough at that job. The phrase "old fogy" doesn't imply anything positive about the people who are its targets.

    You go ahead and trademark that brilliant remark. I'll trademark the phrase "Tell Windows Secrets where to stick it."

    I was a fan of this operation for well over a decade. I'm getting less so almost every time I read crap like this. I let my paid subscription lapse quite some time ago because of crap like this, where I was made to feel a backward stranger reading a newsletter I had previously seen as a welcoming friend. I have yet re-subscribe -- despite some impulses to do so -- because I keep seeing crap like this.

    Well, this "old fogy" is going to treat you like the errant child you seem: Treat your elders (albeit it's doubtful I'm any older than you) with some well-earned respect.

    Fred Langa certainly knew better.
    Last edited by pchelp; 2014-04-24 at 14:18.

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