I saw this coming when I heard about Windows 8.1 development, MS is just moving to the same development/release model the rest of the industry uses. Look at OS X and any other Unix/Unix Like operating system, they do regular six month to one year releases and typically only support the release for 18 months to 24 months. All this development is far more extensive then a service pack or an update, feels more like a upgrade to me which makes me wonder if starting with Windows 8.2 if MS will start charging for updates.
I think the only thing that is bothering me is the broken compatibility of Windows 8.1,I get it since it is an attempt to hint at us to buy new computer which makes sense with PC sales as low as they are right now. Honestly though if MS is going to try and stay competitive in the market it helps to make sure upgrades don't break driver and system config compatibility. Does not look good for them when OEM are looking into other operating systems to promote from Chrome OS to Ubuntu now on Dell and Asus, Intel and Samsung working with Tizen Linux for mobile and desktop development.
A friend of mine had a similar problem unfortunately. He's still considering reverting to Windows 7.
By the way, has there been a more clear explanation from MS on how they want to treat the support for Windows 8?
I'd like to know exactly how Microsoft deals with Windows 8.1:
- If it's a service pack, then the system requirements shouldn't have changed from the ones of Windows 8 but MS have the right to stop supporting Windows 8 in a 24 months time.
- If it's a new OS, I see a reason to rewrite the requirements, but then Windows 8 should have several years of support and not just 24 months.
It's just that Microsoft shouldn't be able to have the best of the two worlds, even if they're trying to.
8.0 to 8.1 is more than just a service pack. Its a new OS as the kernel version changes, it goes to 6.3. 8.0 is version 6.2, or NT 6.2 if you like.
Thanks for it: if 8.1 has to be considered a new OS, then having new system requirements makes sense.
Also, sorry for reviving an old thread but I came across the same problem with a friend of mine's PC and stumbled upon this.
So in the sense of support from Microsoft, it's treated like a Service Pack to Windows 8, regardless of the changes to the kernel etc.
Edit: I just found this on this FAQ page.
(Although this last statement is of course incorrect, see earlier in the thread.)Why are you requiring Windows 8 customers move to Windows 8.1 two years after the General Availability?
Historically, we’ve had a similar support approach related to Windows service packs; when a Windows service pack is released, Microsoft provides customers 24 months of support for the prior service pack or original RTM version. Unlike service packs that are typically just a collection of fixes, Windows 8.1 has new features and enhancements. We designed Windows 8.1 to give customers an ability to deploy this update in a manner that is similar to how customers deploy service packs, therefore we are applying the existing service pack support policy to Windows 8.1.
Windows 8.1 does not change any hardware requirements compared with Windows 8 or Windows 7
Well, not all the HW requirements are changed, I have run into only one, support for my video card, the rest is happy with Win8 drivers and even some for Win7.
MS can only change requirements for driver workings, it's up to parts manufacturers to make drivers for their HW and that's where we can usually get stuck. If AMD didn't write new drivers for my GPU, for Win 8.1 (couple of weeks later) I would be stuck with last version of windows (in this case W8). There may lie a bit of NS's fault if they changed something and did not tell AMD, or they (AMD) did not act on time. In any case it was a surprise (not nice I might ad).
Is it coming back to the old "Don't buy anything v 1.0" ?
I should have said but I was referring to the CPU requirements. I do believe that's what's catching some people out when trying to upgrade to 8.1. Yes drivers are up to the original hardware manufacturers.