New Win-Win for Windows 8.1 Users: Ads!!!

“Last week, the software giant launched a preview of Window 8.1, a planned update of its latest computer operating system. It will offer a feature called Smart Search that allows users to conduct a search in Windows that will look for information on the Web, their device, apps, and a company cloud…Today, Microsoft said its advertisers will be able to target users not just on Web search results pages but directly inside Windows Smart Search…The goal, Pann says, is to give advertisers access to consumers across a broader variety of their daily activities, not just when they’re overtly conducting a search.

Isn’t this exciting news? And there have been all those nay-sayers here who don’t see good reasons to switch to Windows 8.1.

I’m really excited. Mostly because I use linux for all of my home internet stuff these days and when things like this forces more users to linux out of frustration with Microsoft it increases our user base and encourages folks to make more apps for us.

Go Microsoft!

I’m not sure moving from Windows to Linux is a net reduction in frustration.

I’m sure there will be numerous free third-party fixes for it.

But seriously Microsoft? First the XBone boner, now this?

The avalanche has begun. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

The concept that it’s okay to drive ads at consumers from any direction and using any pipeline is all but permanently codified. The rest is just details.

You know, after the initial X-box fiasco, I was figuring that when I needed to move on from Seven, I’d make the jump to Linux. When Microsoft’s duplicity with CDPR came to light, that pretty much confirmed it. Now I’m starting to wonder if I should wait.

Guess it’s time to start doing my research.

It was for me, but I’m a computer geek who has written linux device drivers.

You make a very valid point. Linux is based on Unix and there’s the old joke that Unix is very user friendly, it’s just particular about who its friends are. That said, linux has come a long way and many of the distributions will install fairly painlessly on most PCs.

But yeah, linux comes with its own quirks and I do rely on an XP machine and a windows 7 machine for other non-internet stuff.

That’s it, I am scratching “upgrade to Windows 8” off my to-do list!

Hmm. Looks like it wasn’t on there anyway. I’ll just add a little note, then:

Note: do not add “upgrade to Windows 8” to this list.

If I were a malware writer I’d be taking full advantage of this exciting new functionality.

In your scenario those users will probably install Ubuntu that has a similar search function.

there isn’t anything particular about “Unix” that is user-unfriendly; Apple has managed to make OS X user-friendly as well as Google has with Android. It all comes down to the developer’s philosophy. If you have reasonably mainstream hardware, then installing Linux is fairly painless. That is, unless you had to poor taste to actually want to use your GPU for something, and a “software update” to the kernel breaks your proprietary graphics driver. For the average user, as long as Linux is working, you’re fine. When it stops working, you’re fucked.

I like Windows 8, but this sounds not so nice. Hopefully it’ll be a feature that’s optional - I really don’t see the point of trying to search the local machine and the internet at the same time (didn’t Google Desktop do something like this, badly, way back?).

In fact, Bing search is big bag of shite. I don’t want to use it to search anything.

I find nothing at all surprising in this announcement. In fact, the only surprise involved, as far as I’m concerned, is that they didn’t have this “feature” in at launch. I attribute that to them being unable to get it working in time.

I was issued a new computer at work today with Windows 7 on it (at least we haven’t gone to 8). It took over 10 minutes to boot for the first time–at least in part because of extra junk my company insists on loading it down with, admittedly–and had nothing set up the way I wanted it.

Less than half an hour later, it was running Linux with all my stuff in place, including all the specialized stuff I use for work. Granted, I’m a geek (even if I don’t put it in my name like engineer_comp_geek), but seriously, Linux is not that hard anymore. In fact, it would be less of a transition for most people than going from previous versions of Windows to Windows Hate.

Bitcoining ?
I’ve never had to use my GPU for anything other than displaying graphics.

Never had this happen. In fact, never had a ‘software update’ to the kernel — although I’ve had plenty of kernel updates. Occasionally, these or say, graphics drivers updates don’t take; in which case one looks up the problem or works it out ( and I’m not remotely expert ) and it starts next time.

There are only two types of graphics cards when it comes down to it, AMD and Nvidia. For each there are either their own drivers or some hobbyist written drivers. Nvidia’s own drivers don’t work perfectly in my set-up; but I use them since they do most of it fine — and I gave no reason to believe my graphics would be any better under Windows ( whilst everything else would be worse for me. I do run virtual machines with Windows for a few applications, so it’s not as if I can’t see the difference ).
This compares to Windows where you have check and hunt down driver updates separately for everything: from chipsets, to codecs to applications. Unless you are the sort of sad person who allows automatic updates; in which case there is no hope for you, no hope at all…

And in any case, more people should use the slash/burn technique when things go wrong: simply reinstall the whole damn thing unstead of spending hours or days trying to figure out what’s wrong. Modern hardware is resilient, and modern software is too complicated to understand, and life is short. Your data and profiles are still there: and if at the last, they are not, you made back-ups, right ?

As distinct from when Windows or Macs stop working ?

Can I still buy a Win7 box?

Why not Linux? Well, aside from the fact that I never figured out how to use it, I cannot run the only text editor I have been using for 29 years and, at my age, I cannot bring myself to change.

Actually, I would prefer XP to everything that has come along since.

Yes you can still buy a Win7 box, although you may have to buy it online instead of a retail store.
I just looked at Amazon; it has thousands of possibilities.

Linux is a lot easier to install than it used to be. More than 10 years ago I tried to get it running with the popular Slackware distribution. I think I got it installed after considerable effort, but quit when I couldn’t get it connected to the internet. Back then unsophisticated users had all kinds of problems with Linux drivers. A month ago I tried to install the Linuxmint distribution and easily installed it–although there were some problems.

As to your word processor you might be able to run it under WINE:

I, too, am still using XP as my primary OS and am looking at alternatives.

You say that now, but it’s obscurity that protects Linux from viruses.

I use Mint Linux a lot. It has its issues, yes, but it’s definitely user friendly. Honestly, its biggest “issue” is that it’s common for things to have no implementation (or an abandoned, out of date implementation) on it because it’s uncommon. That would go away if it became more popular.

They’re difficult to find in chains, but mom’n’pop stores do offer them.