SOFTWARE REDEVELOPER Microsoft's Windows 8.1 is upon us, launched at midday UK time today and boasting a raft of improvements, including something vaguely resembling the Start Button of yore.
Of course, many of our readers will already be familiar with its wonders, but others will still be struggling like an Apple fanboi on new iOS day. We would love to hear your reports of how you've got on with Windows 8.1 in the comments below.
Our day started at 0820 with the discovery that we could no longer download anything from the Windows 8 Store. Our machine has had the preview version of Windows 8.1 running all summer, and now it seems to be very much out of date. As Microsoft had offered both a public preview edition and a closed RTM, there are likely to be a lot of INQUIRER readers in the same boat.
For anyone else who is upgrading from the preview, Microsoft has some advice. However, prepare for a shock, as your apps and programs will be wiped out, though Microsoft assures us that your personal data will be saved. This does not apply to anyone upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8, just the prerelease versions of Windows 8.1.
And so as midday rolled around, and reports of people who had started the download process hit Twitter, we decided to go for it. But there was nothing. Nada. In fact, the Windows Store was a sea of blank tiles. Recommended content? A picture of a polar bear in the snow.
On a whim, we decided to run the Windows 8 compatibility assistant, which after 10 minutes of dithering told us, "Windows 8 is not available in your country or region." The last time we checked we were in the UK, so we've discredited that theory.
So we persevered. The Microsoft link above assured us that all we had to do was choose the Windows 8.1 download from the Windows Store. But, as you might recall, there was no link in the Windows Store. The Windows Store was empty.
We tried clicking on the blank space and... behold, the Windows 8.1 page appeared. We clicked Install. Our machine thought about it for a minute and then chucked us out. We tried again. Again it chucked us out. We tried a third time. Nothing. We decided to go away for a bit and write an article or something. Then all of a sudden about half an hour later a banner appeared reminding us that we'd have to reinstall our apps. We nervously clicked "OK" and... it chucked us out.
But for those of you dreading the upgrade process, fear not. At 3.35pm, the screen sprung back into life and Windows 8.1 was here. And sure enough, we do have to reinstall all our apps and programs. But that's fine, because it's progress and progress is better than no progress.
So for anyone who is still struggling to get the upgrade, let us assure you despite the complete lack of information, alerts, pop ups or progress bars offered by the Windows Store, eventually, you will get your upgrade. The secret, it seems, is to keep clicking on the blank spaces. µ