ONCE AGAIN CLAIMING that it knows what's best for its customers, Microsoft has announced the end of support for the initial release of Windows 8.1.
No, that's not a misprint, and this in spite of the fact that, according to the March figures from Net Applications, more users are using Windows 8 than Windows 8.1.
Only last week we reported that many users, particularly in enterprise environments, were having problems with the update to Windows 8.1 due to a bug that prevents all future updates from being applied.
However, Microsoft was undeterred, and in a blog pos on Monday it announced that, following the long awaited update to Windows 8.1, users will be forced to apply the update or forego future security updates.
In a somewhat passive-aggressive post, Steve Thomas said, "Microsoft has been listening to customer feedback. Much of this feedback has been received and some of the results are being given back to our users of Windows 8.1 in the form of updates.... Windows 8.1 users' devices without the update installed will no longer receive security updates."
Which sounds grudgingly like, "There. We did what you wanted. Now use it, or else."
Although users who elect to receive automatic updates will have already received the latest version, anyone who elects to update manually will have 30 days notice, starting from May's Patch Tuesday. After that time, any further security updates will be considered "not applicable".
Although we can see what Microsoft is trying to achieve with this policy decision - one only has to look at the fragmentation battle that Google continues to wage in Android to see why - the decision to drop support for unpatched Windows 8.1 machines has been so emphatic, so fast, and so bluntly announced that The INQUIRER suspects that some noses are going to be put out of joint. µ