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Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows RT 8.1 update

A fine example of RT imitating life
Mon Oct 21 2013, 11:04
Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 in purple

AS SOCIAL NETWORKS BUZZED over the weekend with reports of the dreaded Blue Screen of Death for attempted upgraders to Windows 8.1, Microsoft quietly withdrew the Windows 8.1 service pack for Surface RT users.

For the unfamiliar - and given the overwhelming lack of sales of Surface RT tablets, that's most people - Windows RT is a low power consumption version of Windows 8 designed for mobile devices and people who don't mind finding that 20 years of Windows applications programs are suddenly incompatible with their new machines.

When Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 update on Thursday, many Surface RT users complained that their devices were bricked by the update.

A bulletin on the Microsoft website reads, "Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1. As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience. We will provide updates as they become available."

The news is particularly embarrassing for Microsoft as it releases the Surface 2 tablet, which has been met with cautious optimism, while the main criticism of the ARM processor powered Surface tablets has been the strangled format of Windows RT.

For Windows PC users, the Windows 8.1 update has had a mixed reception by those who have successfully updated, the hot topic being the disappointing "Start Button" of the user interface. µ


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