Windows 8.1

mubs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Nov 22, 2002
Messages
4,908
Location
Somewhere in time.
Office 2003 can't read and write Office 2007 files
Not true. Compatibility pack for Office 2003 (a free download from MS) has been around for years, and is one of the first things any competent IT group would have installed on users' machines, as was the case in my company. It allows you to open, edit and save back in Office 2007 and 2010 formats. I'm not getting into the "why did they change the format" debate here.

how is it even possible for someone to get it so horribly, stupidly wrong?
MS is legendary for backbiting, back-stabbing, politics that is especially vicious. There are numerous stories of inter-team sabotage, intra-team sabotage, etc. all, to make one's team or oneself look better than the others. In the early days, MS apparently encouraged this as a form of healthy competition. Their "pet" grew into a monster that's ruining the company. They are also probably as bureacratic (or worse) than governments. Witness the number of reorganizations the company goes through; it has become a ritual and a panacea that will fix all ills in the company. There have been suggestions to break up the company (especially during the anti-trust days) into an OS company, Office company, etc. It may be too late now to have much impact.

As long as Bill was around, I think he maintained an iron grip and adjudicated the issues (but ME released under his watch). Methinks Steve B finds Bill's shoes too big to fill. There have been numerous howls from analysts to oust Steve, if you follow that kind of news.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
3,097
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
I'm not getting into the "why did they change the format" debate here.
1. Even MS was struggling with maintaining backwards/forwards compatibility.
2. Governments (particularly EU), wanted an open standard to avoid vendor lock-in for basic documents. MS wanted theirs to be an open ISO standard, but the ODF saw this as a golden opportunity to get something that was open for all, and pushed a lot going forward (hence why Office 2010 can open OpenOffice documents). There's a lot of BS that MS have done in the standard, but that's another topic.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
Also just read that Microsoft is increasing the price of Data Centre editions by 28% (which will hurt corporations who will start to consider Linux or other OS for the enterprise if they haven't already)
There's an extremely compelling argument in favor of Server 2012 R2 Datacenter, which is that even at its higher price, all hosted Windows Server VMs running on that hypervisor included in the datacenter edition license. If you need to run Windows Server guests, you're still coming out ahead on licensing costs. Also, as I understand it Datacenter edition is still cheaper than a full VMware ecosystem.

On the other hand, I suspect that anybody who is paying for systems that need to run on 512GB, 64-thread super-consolidated x86 servers probably isn't going to worry about the difference in a few thousand dollars worth of software licensing.
 

CougTek

Serial computer killer
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
8,692
Location
Québec, Québec
There's an extremely compelling argument in favor of Server 2012 R2 Datacenter, which is that even at its higher price, all hosted Windows Server VMs running on that hypervisor included in the datacenter edition license. If you need to run Windows Server guests, you're still coming out ahead on licensing costs. Also, as I understand it Datacenter edition is still cheaper than a full VMware ecosystem.

On the other hand, I suspect that anybody who is paying for systems that need to run on 512GB, 64-thread super-consolidated x86 servers probably isn't going to worry about the difference in a few thousand dollars worth of software licensing.
I planned to use Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 for the major server upgrade we'll do next month. Are you telling me that if I pay the ~6000$ Microsoft asks for the DataCenter Edition, I won't have to pay for the 9 Windows Server 2012 R2 std licences that we'll run inside VMs on that server?

Each of the servers that we'll use to run the VMs will indeed have 512GB of RAM and two 12-core processors (so it's a 48-thread x86 server). It's not that expensive of a setup overall. The big advantage of an all-Microsoft solution is that the cost are not recurrent. You pay once and then you're good for a while. With VSphere, you have to pay each year. After five years, your operating system will have cost you several times what an MS Server setup would have.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
That's how I read the licensing info.

Server 2012 Licensing FAQ said:
For each server to which you have assigned the required number of software licenses, you may run on the
licensed server, at any one time:
o One instance of the server software in the physical OSE, and
o Any number of instances of the server software in virtual OSEs (only one instance per virtual OSE).
However, the total number of physical processors used by those OSEs cannot exceed the
number of software licenses assigned to that server.
The software or your hardware may limit the number of instances of the server software that
can run in physical or virtual operating system environments on the server.
Also each Windows Server license can be used for two virtual server instances, so you'd only have to buy five copies of Server 2012. You still have to pay for User/Device CALs though, and that's the murderous part.
You'll probably want to verify this with your Software Assurance provider; I know I've gotten different answers out of Microsoft at different times.

You MIGHT want to wait for official release of Server 2012R2 because the improvements to Hyper-V include dynamic RAM allocation, meaning that guests will only take as much RAM as they're actually using instead of the full allocated amount from the moment each guest boots.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
3,097
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,315
Location
Monterey, CA
Making the customer happy:

Give them something that does what they expect it to and don't bug them about anything you don't absolutely need to.

Nobody seems to be getting this right in the PC space. Mac/iThing/Android seems to be doing ok so far.
 

Bozo

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
4,391
Location
Twilight Zone
At work I installed Windows 8.1 on a computer for everyone to play with. We decide to try some utilities that enhance the user experience, like Classic Shell and Ultimate Windows Tweaker. Classic Shell installed fine, but UWT said it needed DotNet 3.5. No problem. I went to Program and Features, selected Windows features then clicked the box for DotNet 3.5. A window opened telling me that it needed to download some files from the internet. But, none of the computers in our department are connected to the internet. No problem, I have the DotNet 3.5 redistributable on a file server that is on our network. Go to the file server, right click on the file, select 'copy' and then right click on an empty folder on Windows 8.1 and select 'Paste'. No go. A window pops up saying "dotnetfx35.exe is only available when you are connected to the internet" WHAT! Tried a couple more times with the same result. Then I loaded the file onto a USB device and then copied it to the Windows 8.1 computer. Fine. Now try to install DotNet 3.5. Nope... " Windows needs some files from the internet ......."
I hope Microsoft chokes on it's own shit.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I'm not sure how offended to be about this. Yes, it's stupid. Frankly, I don't know why .NET assemblies aren't a mandatory part of the OS install in the first place, especially since out-of-order installations can seriously hose them.

But on the other hand, given that a lot of Windows functionality is now bundled up in things like the Store and Games apps, and those are completely internet-based, and that some other OSes also have to obtain all their optional software from an internet-based clearinghouse, I can see how this would be justifiable for an optional Windows component as well. I suspect that all it really wants to do is compare the digital certificate for your downloaded binary to the list of approved versions on Microsoft's web site, to make sure that you're not loading a set of hacked assemblies or something.

Putting that aside, how many Windows 8.1 RC systems are out there that aren't going to be connected to the internet? And at this point you have the opportunity to provide feedback about your experience, which is exactly the point of messing with prerelease software in the first place.
 

CougTek

Serial computer killer
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
8,692
Location
Québec, Québec
So far, both Avira Antivir and Avast are said to be incompatible with Windows 8.1. I installed Avast despite the warning, but my system stopped twice when I left it at idle for a few minutes last morning. I came back and instead of shaking the mouse, I had to boot the system. Waste of my time. Avast have since been uninstalled. I don't have an av program for the moment.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
So far, both Avira Antivir and Avast are said to be incompatible with Windows 8.1. I installed Avast despite the warning, but my system stopped twice when I left it at idle for a few minutes last morning. I came back and instead of shaking the mouse, I had to boot the system. Waste of my time. Avast have since been uninstalled. I don't have an av program for the moment.
Not that it's anyone's favorite product, but Windows Defender is an OS component. So you'll have something to use until the AV vendors get around to validating on Windows 8.1.
 

CougTek

Serial computer killer
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
8,692
Location
Québec, Québec
I've just learn the hard way that the supposedly free upgrade to Windows 8.1 isn't available to Windows 8 Pro installation with a KMS activation. Of course, Microsoft doesn't advertise this as loud as their "get Windows 8.1 free now" campaign. Thank you again Microsft for having wasted my time once again, like so many other times before.

I'll start a plan to get rid of their junk softwares once and for all at work. Renewing our licenses would cost approximately 150K$. With that kind of waste of time being frequent, I see no reason to continue feeding them money. Hopefully, Microsoft will be erased from our servers within three years. I'll start with an Exchange replacement and then I'll attack MS SQL. Hyper-V, which has just been implanted, won't be hard to replace as both Cloustack and Openstack represent solid alternatives.
 

CougTek

Serial computer killer
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
8,692
Location
Québec, Québec
Despite what's written on the troubleshooting page on µsoft web site, it worked after a round of updates. Supporting their products makes you feel like being in a maze. Sometimes, you even cross MS employees, but they appear to know where the exit is more than you do. Incredible.
 

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,315
Location
Monterey, CA
Funny enough, I'm having an issue on my own machine. Win8 Pro that I added Media Center to. It let me do it in the first place, but now it refuses to activate. And when I go online, they say that this configuration isn't supported.
 

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or
My current issue with 8.1 is that HFM.net (A folding application) can't randomly connect to wireless machines. However, I still have access to those machines via network just not from that application. On the good side, I used to have problems seeing my Domain controller (DNS issues) from the network and that seems to have been fixed.

Things I had to do to make Win8.1 work -- I had to upgrade my Nvidia drivers after Win8.1 because the old ones gave Video_scheduler_internal_error BSOD when folding and doing something else video related (like moving my mouse) at the same time. Had to upgrade Start menu (Classic Shell) to its most recent version

I was not happy on how long it took to upgrade a machine without issues (about 18 hours). I was not happy that M$ requires that the machines must include all updates before upgrading. It won't even be listed in the store till you have an upgraded machine Previous SP's included the upgrades which saved time. Don't like the need to use the store to get Win8.1
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
The LONG upgrade process for a single-version upgrade has been common among all versions of Windows since Vista. Vista to 7 usually takes at least four to six hours for a typical PC, and the upgrade time seems to depend a great deal on the amount of user data present, so a ridiculously long install cycle doesn't seem that out of the realm of possibility. I didn't even pay attention to how long my couple 8.1 updates took; they both ran over night and were done in the morning.

Regarding KMS activations, it makes sense that they'd be managed differently from retail/OEM licenses; an organization that's using Enterprise licensing would most likely have a Common Operating Environment and would want the ability to roll out updates on its own time. I can only imagine the havoc that could arise if power users could easily upgrade out of that?
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,268
Location
USA
Don't they test the new releases on prisoners first? I appears there are more problems than there should be one year into the new OS.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
OK, I just ran another 8.1 upgrade on a Thinkpad T510 (i5, 4GB RAM, 120GB SSD, about 80% full). It took about an hour and a half, which is not bad at all. It's a pretty vanilla machine though, with just Office 2010 Standard and Avast on it.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
3,097
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
For those that are running Windows 8 in a VM (VirtualBox), the update to 8.1 may not start due to certain CPU features/instructions not being exported to the VM Guest correctly. (Namely CMPXHCG16B, which is part of SSE2 (MS calls this instruction CompareExchange128 )).

(There was an issue with VirtualBox 4.2.14 not exporting the CPU instruction correctly, however if the VM was created in an earlier version, but are running a later version, the issue still persists as CPU feature export settings are stored in the VM config file as they are defined when the VM is created).

To correct the issue, upgrade Virtual Box to v4.2.16 or v4.3.0, and then run:
Code:
$ VBoxManage setextradata [vmname] VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
Restart the VM, and you should get passed the initial point of the upgrade process complaining about having an unsupported CPU.

I lost about an hour trying to figure this one out... Seriously, WTF does it mean that my CPU isn't supported despite running Windows 8 already!

Oh, also some MSDN subscribers may not get 8.1 via the Store either (as some MSDN keys are being treated the same as KMS/Enterprise keys). The solution for MSDN subscribers is to download the 8.1 ISO from their MSDN portal, and do an in-place upgrade.

PS. The update for me was a 3.6GB download...
 

CougTek

Serial computer killer
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
8,692
Location
Québec, Québec
That's very useful information. I've created several VMs on VirtualBox versions older than 4.2.16. Fortunately, none of them is a Windows 8 needing to be upgraded.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
13,197
Location
USA
I upgraded to 8.1 last night. The process took a little less than an hour to complete including the download. I wasn't seeing the option to upgrade because I was not logging into my setup with my Live account. Once I did that I could see the update. What was annoying was that after the update it defaults to requiring the Live login. After a small amount of searching I was able to revert back to a local account. I haven't played around with the machine much but it seems mostly the same. There are a few differences in the UI menus. Overall the upgrade was mostly painless.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
3,097
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
What was annoying was that after the update it defaults to requiring the Live login.
There is a workaround for that... (assuming the local account is the primary account you used to use prior to the update).

When prompted enter your local account password when displayed. Next it will display the Live login account screen, either, a) Enter incorrect details, or b) disable networking and enter correct details. When the wizard can't verify your login, it will prompt to use the existing local account... (I don't have a Live account associated with my Win8 VM, so was reluctant to setup one). Select "Use Existing" and you'll login with your local account.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
13,197
Location
USA
I was using only the local account on my machine. I do have a live account because of my xbox so connecting using it wasn't a big deal to get going. Had I know prior to the upgrade, I would have done as you suggested. I found another way around it after the upgrade but I like your way better. There was a point where it was asking me for my local password but I do not have a local password set which may have also caused some issue.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I just noticed that Windows 8.1 re-set all my Windows Firewall profiles to Public and won't let me change them from the GUI. I had to do it with powershell. Lame.
 
Top