Traditionally, when Microsoft prepares its RTM version there isn’t much changes made for quite a while. Sure, there are updates that offer bug fixes and other minor changes, but that’s it. Breaking longstanding tradition, early Windows 8 users are getting updates made by MS to the client code that bring quite a bit of change.
Is this a good or bad thing so early in the game? Depending on how you look at it. You could say that Microsoft should have had a release so perfect that it didn’t need to be messed with for a long while. On the other hand, this also shows that Microsoft is trying to give users the best possible experience with Windows 8 and if that means pushing out an early update- so be it.
What changes come in the new update? A big part of the focus is about extending the battery life thanks to increased power efficiency. There are also performance improvements for the Start Screen and how new Windows 8 apps work. Video playback and audio also is getting quicker here.
Generally, these kind of code changes arrive in a “Service Pack”. Considering Microsoft hasn’t even released Windows 8 to the general public– this is simply being referred to as an update. New Windows 8 PC owners will likely never even know the difference.
We all know by now that Microsoft is betting big and shooting for the stars with Windows 8. In order to make sure that users are more willing to accept the massive changes brought with the Start Screen, they need to present the cleanest, fastest and most optimized Windows performance we’ve ever seen.
How are they doing so far? Not half bad. Windows 8 is certainly an improvement to Windows 7, even if you don’t like the new UI. Is it worth a full upgrade? That’s still hard to say. With Microsoft pushing out updates like this, it is clear that real focus and commitment is going into this effort. This is not at all “another Vista” as some claim.
Even in the unlikely event that 90% of the users turn to pitchforks and storm Microsoft’s headquarters demanding a start menu, it will still make its way into consumer’s hands and (absolute worst case scenario), Microsoft could always push an update that gives users an option to have the start menu- though I’m 99.9999% sure this will not happen.
Windows 8 is faster and more stable than 7, so the need to ‘downgrade’ like Vista users did to XP shouldn’t be a problem.
I applaud Microsoft for this last minute update, but I have a feeling that the press is going to use this as negative fuel against the OS. I can already hear the headlines, “Microsoft Windows 8 isn’t ready for consumers, they are already frantically releasing updates”.
The way I look at it though, is that the Microsoft of Old would have said to themselves, “Yah, there are issues with Windows right now– but yah, let’s just wait until the first Service Pack”. Being proactive is a good sign about the future of this OS.
What do you think?