Various news sites are reporting that, according to “Microsoft sources,” Windows 8.1 Update will receive a minor update in August.
Some sites are referring to the August Update. It is interesting to note those unnamed Microsoft sources didn’t tell their public media voices what changes this update will bring. Most sites are talking about “minor UI changes.”
Well, maybe the Start Menu button will get a new design that resembles the one in Windows XP. That way, users who consider changing their OS every 15 years or so won’t be so afraid of this huge Start Menu that we now call the Start Screen. Of course, this is mere speculation. I can’t proudly refer of any Microsoft sources.
I find it quite amazing that the market share of Windows 7 is growing faster than that of Windows 8.x. This doesn’t make any sense from a rational point of view. Windows 7 is a nice OS, but it’s no match for Windows 8.x. And no, I won’t explain now why Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 7. Technically, they are worlds apart.
I wouldn’t convince anybody who has already decided to switch to Windows 7, anyway. Those people simply want as little change as possible. For them, the most important feature of Windows 7 is that it resembles Windows XP. They want to stick with what they know and want to avoid any kind of progress as long as possible.
I think this is Microsoft’s biggest challenge for the years to come. On the one hand, Microsoft has to compete with Google and Apple, whose customers are hungry for innovations; on the other hand, Microsoft can’t scare off those longstanding customers who see computers only as a necessary evil.
In my view, we won’t see any major UI changes until Windows 9. And, no matter what those unnamed sources bloggers are saying, at this time nobody really knows when the next Windows version will be available. My guess is that an intense discussion is going on in Redmond about how to master this balancing act between its progressive and regressive customer base. A tiny Start Screen (Start Menu), or a huge Start Screen? This existential question has yet to be answered.
If you are wondering when is the best time to upgrade the Windows machines in your network, you are better off with always updating when a new Windows version is available. The longer you wait, the bigger the changes are for your users, and the more trouble the naysayers among them will make. Frequent and smooth transitions are always better than infrequent, disruptive ones. You are conditioning your users to accept necessary changes that improve productivity in your organization without rocking their world with several huge changes at once.