InfoWorld's Leonhard wasn't nearly so sanguine about the future of Windows 8.1 after getting his hands on a leaked build of the operating system this week. While "relieved" because there were no huge changes from "the preview version that you've no doubt come to know, admire, and/or loathe," he did find "a couple of the new features that are decidedly anticonsumer." For starters Windows 8.1 enables by default Smart Search, which collects "every single search term that you use on your machine. ... reaching into Windows itself and pulling out local search terms."
Then there's the way Windows 8.1 hides Windows libraries:
I had a hard time understanding why Microsoft would do something so bone-headed. Then a good friend reminded me: Microsoft doesn't make any money on libraries. It makes a ton on SkyDrive. ... Microsoft is now designating the SkyDrive Documents folder as the default save location for the Documents library. So if you drag a file into your Documents library in Windows 8.1, it ends up on SkyDrive. Ka-ching.
That would be the same SkyDrive that went down this week along with Outlook.com, which was still experiencing problems syncing email with mobile devices as of Thursday afternoon.
In yet another debacle for the tech giant, Microsoft's Automatic Update chute on Tuesday accidentally released a few bombs — six bad patches in all that the company was forced to acknowledge just 48 hours later. Leonhard writes:
Microsoft has had no end of problems with patches lately, with at least four botched patches just last month. For a change, this time the company is fessing up to it — quickly and as best I can tell accurately, and the mea culpas are posted where they're supposed to be posted. That's a start.
Perhaps it's a start, Microsoft must be hoping, to better times ahead.
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