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August Windows 8.1 Update Due Out August 12


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#1
NoelC

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It's supposed to be available starting the 12th.  Sources claim it is supposed to be anti-climactic...

 

http://www.cnet.com/...r-improvements/

 

I'll be interested to hear from others what it breaks.

 

-Noel




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#2
NoelC

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Yep, they're available...

 

WinUpdate_08_12_2014.png

 

Step one for me:  Determine what's in the updates, to get an idea of what to expect.

 

Observations:

 

  1. Total of all available updates is stated as 399.0 MB.  Depending on what system you look at, there are something like 14 or 15 important updates and one optional one.
     
    WinUpdate_08_12_2014_Important.png
     
     
  2. As happened back in July, the KB articles referred-to in several of the Important updates and in the Optional update point to as of yet non-existent web pages.  Example.

    http://support.micro....com/kb/2975719
     
    Last month it took a few hours before the KB data appeared at the given link.  Seems kind of stupid to me to publish the update before publishing the info on it.
     
    Last time around the Optional Update was the update that rolled up a whole lot of bugfixes.  I'm hoping that's the case again this time.  It's 171.1 MB, almost half of the total, so this is not insignificant.  And, this update must be manually checked or you don't get it.
     
    WinUpdate_08_12_2014_Optional.png
     
     
  3. As usual, there are a number of security updates amongst the Important ones.  Looking them over in detail it's basically motherhood and apple pie...  Vulnerabilities in IE, Flash Player, .Net, the installer, etc.  Doesn't look like anything one wouldn't want.

 

Step two for me is to install the updates on a Win 8.1 virtual machine to make sure they hang together.  I made a pre-update snapshot and went for it...  The downloads are not starting quickly - I assume because Microsoft's servers were heavily loaded.

 

My findings when it's done!

 

-Noel


Edited by NoelC, 12 August 2014 - 04:20 PM.


#3
NoelC

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Well, the VM took all the updates smoothly and successfully rebooted.

 

It looks like BigMuscle's Aero Glass for Win 8.1 and ClassicShell still work fine.

 

If I don't find or hear anything bad in a day or so my next step will be to update my workstation.

 

-Noel



#4
jaclaz

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I don't know :unsure:, either the update has no actual "contents" :w00t: or the "blogging team" (or whoever) have difficulties in understanding the meaning of the word "relevant" :ph34r:

I mean if they managed to -having to choose among the most relevant "new features and improvements"- highlight these three ones: 

http://blogs.windows...server-2012-r2/

 

 

Following are some of the new features and improvements included in the August 12th Update Tuesday:

  • Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
  • Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

I mean, WOW ;)

 

I can understand how the 1.31% of Windows 8/8.1 users, which have it on a notebook without touchscreen and the whole 0.01% that have it on a desktop where the mouse has been replaced by a touchpad will be excited by these whole lot of (all three of them) new features. :yes:

 

I am also sure that the large majority  of developers of Miracast related hardware and software (all five of them) will be delighted.

 

I am a bit perplexed at the impact of the simplification in Sharepoint Online on the vast numbers of customers that use it on a daily basis, for the first time if they check "Keep me signed in" they will need not to type in again their login credentials (an entirely new usage paradigm) and it may work fine for a few days until their "IT guys" will consider it a "security hole" and will disable the feature on Server side or via Group Policy (or whatever). :whistle:

And - at face value - that seems to me as a new feature or improvement to Sharepoint Online (and not to the WIndows 8.1 OS)....

 

Hopefully NoelC, as an "early adopter", will be able to provide a quick list of thw actually relevant new features he will notice.

 

jaclaz



#5
NoelC

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Nothing new or ugly has raised its head so far in my VM.

 

I see Microsoft finally published the detail of what's in the optional update.  Apparently it contains some of the fantastic new features Jaclaz mentioned (e.g., "Precision touchpad improvements").  Seems odd indeed that Microsoft would consider flagship new features optional.

 

As usual after every IE update it asked if I want to switch to default settings (I don't; those I use are MUCH more secure).

 

In no particular order...  Tweaks and additional things I've found that are not broken by the updates...

 

  • Changes to disable full row select (e.g. via Folder Options X) are still functional.
  • Playing music (e.g., from the Pandora web site) still works fine.
  • Windows Networking still seems to work on my LAN.
  • The same Windows version appears to be reported to applications when they ask.
  • Adobe software (e.g., Photoshop) still runs okay.
  • IE still downloads things from the network okay (I downloaded Visual Studio Update 3).
  • Avast Antivirus works okay with it.
  • WizMouse works okay with it.
  • ShellFolderFix works okay with it.

 

I think I'll go ahead and update my workstation.

 

More as I learn it.

 

-Noel



#6
NoelC

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Main workstation updated and rebooted.  Everything's smooth and zero problems so far.  Windows 8.1 with the fall update still seems to like ATI Catalyst 14.4.

 

I forgot to do a performance benchmark.  The Visual Studio install update install going in now may require a reboot; if so I'll do one after and report on whether the Windows Updates have helped or hindered performance.

 

I just noticed a new process running that I have to investigate...  The "IE ETW Collector Service" (ieetwcollector.exe).  I wonder what ETW means...

 

-Noel



#7
NoelC

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Never mind, I had an IE window with the F12 developer tools and network trace running.  The "IE ETW Collector Service" seems to be involved with that.  I closed that window and the ieetwcollector.exe exited.

 

-Noel



#8
NoelC

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Last night's backups completed successfully.

 

I'd say the August Windows Update is sound (though it doesn't actually fix any of the Windows 8 design problems; we'll have to wait for Windows 9 for that I guess).

 

-Noel



#9
jaclaz

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Well, almost 400 Mb should contain *something* (besides the "fluff" :whistle:), it is very likely that it is simply a collection of a zillion small bug fixes that the final user would never be able to appreciate.

 

But, wait a minute :unsure:, if it doesn't offer any *meaningful* or *visible* new features and/or improvements, would that mean that a system before August Update had a zillion small bugs? :w00t: :ph34r:

 

:lol:

 

Naah, unlikely, what would explain nicely why it is considered an optional update, could be that the zillion little bugs are so little or rare that only few users will have an actual advantage from the fixes, and the good engineering guys at MS worked hard all this time but (probably because what was actually included in the update was chosen by the good marketing peeps, which limited or removed the contents that could have revamped the Windows 8 usage paradigm, holding these "new things" for the "Threshold" release ) what they ended up with is a 400 Mb of "nothing that changes anything that the average end user will be able to notice/appreciate".

 

jaclaz



#10
NoelC

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To be honest, at first blush I couldn't imagine how 400 MB of updates could be needed to make a system that was perfectly functional and stable for me before remain that way, and have the same performance. 

 

On reflection I can only guess a majority of the zillion bugs were in the Metro/Modern UI, since I don't use it, and in other parts of the system that I don't use much if at all.  Windows certainly contains MUCH more complexity than any one user could possibly be involved with in one lifetime.

 

A hint of what's in the "list of zillion" can be found here: 

 

http://social.msdn.m...=w8itprogeneral

 

Looking over that list, I really don't use much of what's affected.  That's most likely because I've always found the "core functionality" stable and consistent.  By "core functionality" I mean stuff that's been around for quite a few major versions, while I shun the not only the newest fangled Metro/Modern stuff but also the somewhat new like "jump lists" and "libraries".  For a serious computer user who keeps a system organized and knows what a "disk" and "directory" are, they don't hold the promise of providing anything new or useful over the tried and true (e.g., a file folder, the start menu, and icons on the desktop) and they are generally buggy.  

 

Given all that, not surprisingly I wasn't hitting a lot of bugs before, and I'm not hitting a lot now.

 

-Noel


Edited by NoelC, 13 August 2014 - 06:40 AM.


#11
DosProbie

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I see no real need for this Summer update with 400 MB of more fluff and not really knowing what the heck MS is installing on my machine, No Thank You, Will keep with my Spring update for now.

~DP :whistle:



#12
jaclaz

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A hint of what's in the "list of zillion" can be found here: 

 

http://social.msdn.m...=w8itprogeneral

 

Looking over that list, I really don't use much of what's affected.  

And - at first sight - a huge number of them are seemingly primarily directed at Server 2012 R2 (or however to functionalities that are more likely to be used in an "enterprise" environment).

This on one side is good as it means that the "single user/consumer" OS is not affected by serious bugs, on the other hands it means that the Server version (which in theory should be a "rock") is more shaky than expected.

 

All in all unless something relevant comes out it seems like the classification of "optional" was not so casual.

 

jaclaz



#13
DosProbie

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For those that want to check out the update..

~DP :whistle:

 

Summer Update 2 rollup"
Info: http://support.micro....com/kb/2975719

Downloads:
x64
http://api.viglink.c....2990532_64.zip

x86
http://api.viglink.c....2990532_32.zip



#14
DosProbie

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Seems update 2 insist on putting back in the 6 folders to "This PC" that I had removed.

Here is the .reg file to remove them.

~DP :whistle:

; Remove ALL Folders From "This PC"
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641}]



#15
NoelC

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How special of them.  I hadn't noticed that before.  Off to re-delete keys...

 

-Noel



#16
shae

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Once the start menu reintroduction was no longer planned for this update, why expect earth shattering changes? Just another monthly update.

 

Regarding the "highlight" features, I wouldn't mind a good native touchpad driver. But this isn't it. And Miracast could be nice, but I'm more interested in sending than receiving. :)



#17
NoelC

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I dunno, with the new and improved "release whatever's building in the trunk at the moment" philosophy at Microsoft, I thought maybe we'd see substantive new features come out from time to time.  All we're getting are bugfixes.  Perhaps with all the focus on the pipeline itself, they didn't actually put anyone on projects that were set to finish this year.

 

Plainly, the accelerated release schedule initiative has failed.  There's a certain minimum time it takes to do some things, and all the executives in the world can't make that baby come out in less.

 

Not that I mind an OS that stays stable.  Someone somewhere said the 3 year release cycle was "bad".  I never thought so.  Releasing software that's taken a few years to engineer and another to test isn't a bad thing.  You get substantial work that way.  Not whatever someone could whip up in a few months.  Is anyone really scratching their head about why there's nothing truly fresh or new in Windows?  Or why the documentation has fallen into disrepair?  Short term thinking doesn't work with something this complex.

 

-Noel



#18
shae

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But you can add substantial features in shorter release cycles, since most of the "OS" is actually a bunch of unrelated pieces of software, utilities, subsystems that may have global effects but are still well-defined subparts with well-defined interfaces (say, font rendering), and so on. I wouldn't mind "rapid releases" as long as it doesn't break stuff, remove features, or radically change things without a good reason or a way to keep on using the old stuff.

 

Though I do hate the rapid release style of Firefox and Chrome. Or actually, their versioning. It's impossible to tell quickly when a release has major implications, so since they started with their inflated version numbers I update much less often.


Edited by shae, 13 August 2014 - 04:46 PM.


#19
NoelC

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Imagine the rejoicing if, during one of these milestone updates, Microsoft were to do nothing more than adjust the desktop theme element colors (e.g., darken scrollbar thumbs a little or - God forbid - add some style elements back) to make it slightly easier to use again.  People would hold parades for the new leadership.

 

-Noel



#20
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They could call it Windows 8.2.



#21
jaclaz

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Imagine the rejoicing if, during one of these milestone updates, Microsoft were to do nothing more than adjust the desktop theme element colors (e.g., darken scrollbar thumbs a little or - God forbid - add some style elements back) to make it slightly easier to use again.  People would hold parades for the new leadership.

 

-Noel

 

... and - actually - it wouldn't take 400 Mb of updates .....  more like 1 or 2 Mb of stuff ;)

 

jaclaz



#22
NoelC

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I once ran across a compiler where the author was getting complaints that the compiled executables were too small - people were discounting the products because, well, they just couldn't be substantial and functional if they were only hundreds of kB or maybe a few MB in size.  So they added a #BLOAT metastatement and users were happy.  True story.

 

-Noel



#23
jaclaz

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I once ran across a compiler where the author was getting complaints that the compiled executables were too small - people were discounting the products because, well, they just couldn't be substantial and functional if they were only hundreds of kB or maybe a few MB in size.  So they added a #BLOAT metastatement and users were happy.  True story.
 
-Noel

Yeah, sure, nice one! :yes:.
 
Just to show you how I personally think it differently ;):
http://reboot.pro/to...or-a-challenge/
http://reboot.pro/to...ge/#entry175985
 
For the record the minimum theoretical size of 97 bytes was reached by joakim :thumbup: (though with quite a few caveats):
http://reboot.pro/to...lenge/?p=176346
but I still stand by "my" 148 bytes version which is a tadbit more "universal":
http://reboot.pro/to...lenge/?p=176408
 
And how the good MS guys are not particularly attentive to size of what they provide :whistle:
http://www.msfn.org/...ize-of-bootsdi/
and, to cite again myself :w00t: :
http://www.msfn.org/...otsdi/?p=933421
 
 

Good. smile.gif

Now it comes to mind a question:
if a single guy in a few days of his spare time can take a "random" item and reduce it's size tenfold what could do the full-time MS guys if they wanted to? unsure.gif

;)

As a dinosaur, in my simplicity I continue thinking that smaller things are faster, no matter how faster is your hardware, managing less bytes it will make it faster! :thumbup

 
 
jaclaz

#24
xpclient

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Comment deleted. Maybe I was drunk. :blushing:


Edited by xpclient, 15 August 2014 - 10:08 AM.

Impossible to run NT6 without third party fixes.


#25
ralcool

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I have oft wondered if an entire OS could live inside the enormous caches inside todays CPUs.

Several megabytes depending on yer machine.

 

When I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I came across this tiny OS that fits on a floppy.

http://www.menuetos.net/

 

Yay for real tight programming. Well beyond my abilities. But just shows what can be done on Modern HW.

 

Remember the original Macs and Ataris had their entire OS inside 128-512k ROMs, Full GUI.

Limited technology sure, but that was the standard of the day.. But they were even Pretty, while functional!

Bitmapped graphics are almost limitless.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean.


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