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Microsoft coughs to Windows 8.1 RTM bugs

Microsoft coughs to Windows 8.1 RTM bugs

Microsoft's Windows 8.1, previously known as Windows Blue, has an embarrassing list of known bugs despite hitting Release To Manufacturing status.

Microsoft has admitted that the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8.1 has a few outstanding issues that will have to be resolved in a post-release patch.

Initially, Microsoft had announced that it would not be providing developers with access to the Windows 8.1 RTM, asking them to instead wait until its retail release to test and target the updated operating system previously known as Windows Blue. Following an entirely predictable outcry, the company relented - but in releasing the software to developers, it has had to make an embarrassing admission that it isn't quite finished despite its RTM status.

In a release notes document distributed to developers, Microsoft has coughed to a few glitches that will be present in the software on release. While not show-stoppers, the flaws will need to be patched with a post-release update - meaning those who buy Windows 8.1 at retail on disc will be receiving the flaws, although the company may modify its download versions once the flaws have been fixed.

The majority of issues centre around Internet Explorer 11, Windows 8.1's bundled web browser, and its interactions with Adobe Flash content. For international users, the news that the Modern UI version of IE11 fails to support non-Latin characters when running Flash will be annoying; for others, the fact that Flash-based content running in either version of IE11 fails to display Play To end-points in the Devices charm menu will be even more annoying.

The final IE11 glitch comes courtesy of a multitasking failure: when viewing Flash content in IE11 for the Modern UI, then switching to the traditional Desktop version and back again, the Flash content will have disappeared - necessitating a reload of the page.

All these issues, to be fair, can be fairly described as minor - although one additional problem, relating to the Work Folders feature of the OS, could cause headaches in enterprises: both the server and client must be running the same milestone release of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 respectively or the Work Folders functionality will fail in a worryingly unspecified manner.

For Windows Server 2012 R2, which is based on the same core as Windows 8.1, there are a few additional issues: installation on a virtual machine will fail if there is less than 800MB of RAM, despite the OS officially only requiring 512MB; the Add/Remove Features Wizard contains text referring to the previous version of Windows Server 2012; and the Essentials Experience feature will only work in a single-domain environment with no read-only domain controllers and will fail if installed with no network connectivity. These issues are in addition to those listed for Windows 8.1, which Windows Server 2012 R2 shares.

Thus far, Microsoft has not indicated when patches for the above issues will be ready - but with the operating system due to hit shop shelves in October, the company will have to work fast to get the problems fixed in time.

21 Comments

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ChaosDefinesOrder 11th September 2013, 11:39 Quote
isn't this precisely why there is such a huge gap between RTM and general release?
Gareth Halfacree 11th September 2013, 11:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
isn't this precisely why there is such a huge gap between RTM and general release?
No. Traditionally, the gap between RTM and release is to manufacture and distribute stock; obviously, in these days of digital distribution, that's less of a concern - but there will still need to be discs pressed, boxes and documentation printed, and units shipped to retailers ahead of the launch.

RTM is supposed to be "right, we're done. Ship it." Back in the day, you couldn't easily patch a product once it had been manufactured - we didn't have near-ubiquitous internet access. If your software had a flaw on floppy disk two, you needed to physically send a replacement floppy disk two to all of your customers - an expensive nightmare. If you were making console games, it was even worse - how the heck do you patch a game on a ROM cartridge on a console with no network connectivity and no local storage?

While it's certainly easier to patch a product nowadays, you're still supposed to wait until you've fixed the known bugs before you actually press the discs - otherwise why even bother with betas? Just go straight from alpha to ship, and let the punters pay for the privilege of finding bugs.
liratheal 11th September 2013, 11:46 Quote
Gareth: Because everyone wants everything now not delayed by six weeks.

Apparently bending to consumer impatience has taken precedence over releasing a well tested, well patched, release.
Snips 11th September 2013, 11:49 Quote
Sounds like it's a pretty easy fix and instant download for updates when upgrading. Doesn't it do that anyway when anything Microsoft is installed, it always asks "Do you want to go to Microsoft updates?" or whatever it's called during or at the end of installation?
edzieba 11th September 2013, 11:58 Quote
Hasn't this generally been the case with service packs? Previous fixes are bundled up into one installer, a few new features are added, and there's a handful of bugs that crop up between the RTM hold for manufacturing date and the release date.
Paradigm Shifter 11th September 2013, 12:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
While it's certainly easier to patch a product nowadays, you're still supposed to wait until you've fixed the known bugs before you actually press the discs - otherwise why even bother with betas? Just go straight from alpha to ship, and let the punters pay for the privilege of finding bugs.

I thought that was what most companies did anyway now...?

Certainly seems that way with the amount of "new program/game release!" swiftly followed by, "day one patch to fix xyz!"
Corky42 11th September 2013, 12:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
I thought that was what most companies did anyway now...?

QFT ;)
More OT im starting to wounder if the techs at Microsoft are being over worked, what with all the problems with failed patches, and bugs in 8.1

It seems quality is being sacrificed for this new faster release schedule, and the cracks are starting to show.
lysaer 11th September 2013, 12:43 Quote
The issues really don't sound that bad tbh

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
Cthippo 11th September 2013, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Apparently bending to consumer impatience has taken precedence over releasing a well tested, well patched, release.

Since when has MS ever released a well tested, patched product?
GoodBytes 11th September 2013, 13:54 Quote
Already when you install any Windows at release, you already have day 1 updates found on Windows Update. So I don't think it will be a concern.
- It's not like companies will switch to 8.1, many companies are still in their transition of Windows 7, if we are perfectly honest.

- Let's assume it the update will be 2 weeks later. The time anyone actually notices these bugs, the update will be released. IT will be busy checking out 8.1, learning it, let alone test company used software, let alone start reading up on the new features that interest them, to actually know about them, and test.
jon 11th September 2013, 15:11 Quote
Aren't all of the issues listed avoided by simply not using IE11?? :)
DC74 11th September 2013, 15:31 Quote
Microsoft's board might as well go out back put a gun to their heads and pull the trigger. This is a massive issue. Over the past year they have repeatedly released patches that either created new issues or damaged the OS so badly it necessitated a re-install. Do they even bother testing stuff anymore? clearly not. To have some minor bugs is one thing but to produce Disc's with a lot of them in is another. Are they MAD! come back Bill Gates all is forgiven.
Gareth Halfacree 11th September 2013, 15:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jon
Aren't all of the issues listed avoided by simply not using IE11?? :)
No.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
All these issues, to be fair, can be fairly described as minor - although one additional problem, relating to the Work Folders feature of the OS, could cause headaches in enterprises: both the server and client must be running the same milestone release of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 respectively or the Work Folders functionality will fail in a worryingly unspecified manner.

For Windows Server 2012 R2, which is based on the same core as Windows 8.1, there are a few additional issues: installation on a virtual machine will fail if there is less than 800MB of RAM, despite the OS officially only requiring 512MB; the Add/Remove Features Wizard contains text referring to the previous version of Windows Server 2012; and the Essentials Experience feature will only work in a single-domain environment with no read-only domain controllers and will fail if installed with no network connectivity. These issues are in addition to those listed for Windows 8.1, which Windows Server 2012 R2 shares.
:p
GoodBytes 11th September 2013, 16:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC74
Microsoft's board might as well go out back put a gun to their heads and pull the trigger. This is a massive issue. Over the past year they have repeatedly released patches that either created new issues or damaged the OS so badly it necessitated a re-install. Do they even bother testing stuff anymore? clearly not. To have some minor bugs is one thing but to produce Disc's with a lot of them in is another. Are they MAD! come back Bill Gates all is forgiven.

If they didn't test, Microsoft would not mention it :)
- The deadline is a year after Windows 8 was released.
- Microsoft is still working on Windows 8.1. All the online stuff is not ready yet.
- It's actually very minor issues.
- If in 2013 you don't have the internet to download "day 1" update (pretty much), then well what can I say.
liratheal 11th September 2013, 16:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Apparently bending to consumer impatience has taken precedence over releasing a well tested, well patched, release.

Since when has MS ever released a well tested, patched product?

Arguably never, but it's not just MS doing it sadly.
Star*Dagger 12th September 2013, 05:05 Quote
If you are using IE, you are en UTTER idiot and deserve what you get, period.
lysaer 12th September 2013, 06:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC74
Microsoft's board might as well go out back put a gun to their heads and pull the trigger. This is a massive issue. Over the past year they have repeatedly released patches that either created new issues or damaged the OS so badly it necessitated a re-install. Do they even bother testing stuff anymore? clearly not. To have some minor bugs is one thing but to produce Disc's with a lot of them in is another. Are they MAD! come back Bill Gates all is forgiven.

Which bugs made you have to reinstall the whole OS last year?

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk 4
fluxtatic 12th September 2013, 07:50 Quote
MS broke the hell out of "the internet" (users' words, not mine) when they pushed out IE10 for Win7. Suddenly everything sucks again, and all I heard from every site was how frickin fantastic IE10 is...fantastic for downloading Firefox version 185 until they increment up to 186 ten minutes from now...and yet, nothing's broken in FF.

I'm not even crazy about FF. I don't trust Chrome, and Opera's a little too esoteric for the users I support. With FF, everything works and people leave me alone, so FF it is.
Gareth Halfacree 12th September 2013, 09:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysaer
Which bugs made you have to reinstall the whole OS last year?
If you installed MS13-036/2823324 before it was withdrawn and re-issued, then a reinstall was the only sure way to fix the constant crashing it caused - Microsoft's own recommendation of uninstalling the patch reportedly failing to work for many, even assuming the system stayed up long enough for them to try. That's from April 2013.

Sadly, my mention that people will be watching to see if Microsoft can have a trouble-free Patch Tuesday has proved prescient: seeing reports of five (up from the three I'd had word of this morning) patches that aren't doing what they're supposed to. See this story.
Cthippo 12th September 2013, 14:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic
Opera's a little too esoteric for the users I support.

Seems like this is getting worse, not better. I feel like fewer things are functional in opera than used to be. Yahoo mail is one that is iffy at best under Opera, and from what I hear so are a lot of Facebook bits. I don't blame Opera for this, but rather developers who are too lazy to realize that they need to support more than two browsers in the modern era. OK, I understand that Opera is fairly niche, but IE, FF, Chrome, and Safari are an absolute minimum that all applications should work under, and I don't think Opera should be asking too much.
Beasteh 12th September 2013, 22:10 Quote
Oh, Microsoft. You never change, do you? You're still the same software company we know and love. Or at least know.

Opera's been relegated to Facebook and Bit-Tech duty for me. I've had to make the switch from Opera to FF since it was just getting ridiculous; either sites were broken, or full of ads. Ads are getting more and more obnoxious, particularly on YouTube.

FF + ABP + FlashBlock + Ghostery + NoScript = No worries. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't do this sooner!
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