What Needs To Be In Windows 8.2 To Convince You To Upgrade?

What Needs To Be In Windows 8.2 To Convince You To Upgrade?

At TechEd North America 2013, Microsoft revealed additional details about Windows 8.1 (AKA the impending update for its sometimes controversial operating system). While the additional tools and features are nothing to sniff at, they’re probably not going to convince many Windows 8 critics to give the OS a try. So let’s look towards the next update — as a Windows 7/XP user, what does Microsoft need to add that would make you a Win8 convert?

Microsoft’s keynote address at TechEd 2013 kicked off with an overview of Windows 8 and its impending upgrade. The tone was decidedly humble – almost apologetic.

“We’re going to improve our business over time,” Microsoft’s director of program management Iain McDonald told a crowd of IT professionals and journalists – many of whom have been dragging their feet when it comes to upgrading from 7 and XP.

“Unless you’ve been living under rock for the past year you’d know a lot of people were angry we took things out [of Windows 7]. And now some people are angry that we’re putting things back in.”

Windows 8.1, which will be available in preview form on 26 June, ushers in a host of new tools and features including a pseudo-Start button which has been reinstated due to popular demand. Other noteworthy improvements include aggregated search across multiple content sources, customisable snap views for onscreen apps, quicker access to all installed apps and a fresh software update to the built-in Music and Photos apps.

The update also boasts a handful of business enhancements including the ability to lock down start screens with pre-defined layouts, Miracast support, the ability to tether up to eight Windows devices to a mobile phone and improved VPN implementation. (You can read a more thorough overview of the new enterprise features in Windows 8.1 here.)

“Are we happy with it? Yeah, we’re happy with it. There’s a lot of stuff going on,” McDonald said.

Whether the crowd was equally happy was difficult to gauge – of all the keynote announcements Windows 8.1 probably received the least applause.

If you’re a Windows enthusiast who has yet to upgrade, the improvements introduced in this minor update probably haven’t swayed you; especially if your primary beef is with the touch-centric UI.

Let us know in the comments section what you’d personally like to see in Windows 8.2 that would tempt you to make the switch. Is there one killer feature that you’re holding out for or will it take an entire OS overhaul to ween you off Windows XP/7? Share your thoughts below.

Visit Lifehacker’s World of Servers Newsroom for all the latest news from TechEd North America 2013. And don’t forget: TechEd is coming to Australia in September. Click here for more information.


  • For Desktop PCs, we need back complete control of window sizing, number and placement ala
    the older versions of Windows. Until it is done, Windows 8 is a joke for using on the desktop.
    Until it is done, I will remain on Windows 7, or move to Apple if it is never done.

      • For Win 8.0 metro-style apps you didn’t have any real control.. you can dock a few next to the one in use but they weren’t very useable until they had focus.

        Win 8.1 you can dock two metro-style apps next to each other and have some control over how much real estate each uses, (apparently you can dock four on large screens).

        Though this point isn’t very relevant seeing as instead of Metro, you can just use the Desktop when you want a Desktop experience.

        • I know.. I fail to see this guy’s point about the desktop experience when that part hasn’t actually changed all that drastically.

    • It’s called “Desktop”, and looks and feels just like Win7 including those fancy resizeable windows. If that’s all that was keeping you away, time to upgrade! 😛

  • I just don’t see much point in forking out the money, for what seems to be mostly small tweeks and a UI overhaul.
    I can’t see any reason to need to upgrade, and having no windows touch devices I see no benefit in the UI.
    Unless someone can inform me on the benefits of Win8 that I couldn’t live without?

        • You should have updated for $14 like the rest of us did…

          And don’t give me that “but it was only for new PC’s bought before blah blah blah…” because that was a super easy restriction to bypass.

          • My PC was new at the time, I was eligible, so no excuse there. But even at $14 I found no real reason to upgrade.
            Win7 does what I need just fine, and Win8 did not seem to benefit me. I’m just interested to know if I’ve been missing out on something exclusive to Win8, because so far my brief experience with the system suggests I’m not missing out on anything I can or would use.

            Sure $14 isn’t much, but there’s not much point if it’s just the same as what I have now (in the sense of how I use it).

          • I bought one copy to test it out, and the added speed alone was enough to upgrade, and secure myself another copy.

            I also saw the $14 as securing that incremental step to Win9 or whatever it might be, making the next jump cheaper.

            Mind you, at only $59 to upgrade now, you’re at no great loss.

      • Unless I’m mistaken, the ‘no-cost’ Win8.1 only applies to users who’ve already got Win8.
        Those who still have Win7 would have to pay to upgrade to Win8, but then can go to Win8.1 for no cost.
        I assume that’s the situation Jacrench is describing. (EDIT: Yes, I see that it is)

    • Speed is the big thing.
      8 is faster than 7.
      All the nice features and better task manager and whatnot are just the icing.

      • Quite a bit really, personally Im seeing an improvement in most games framerate, basic things like Office and even my antivirus seems to be moving along a lot faster too. Im using an SSD so granted it goes faster than a plate drive, but still Im seeing seriously good speeds with an SSD compared to win7. My old boot time was 11 seconds from cold with win7, Im down to 7 seconds now with win8 from cold.

  • The ability to side-by-side more than two apps would be neat. Would love to watch a video, take notes and browse the internet at the same time.

    But it’s no biggie. VLC on the desktop does that while I have Evernote snapped to the side.

    • That’s in 8.1, I think they said you’ll be able to have up to four apps side by side, per monitor.

  • I’ve mentioned it before but maybe I should rephrase it. Are there ‘any’ Windows Metro Apps that are actually useful on a full non touch PC..?

    • This to me is the issue too.

      The OOTB microsoft ones are ok with touch and mouse, but except for music, I don’t really care. And you can *tell* that music is still more touch oriented.

      Then again, desktop is 99% of my life on the laptop anyway.

  • For those of us who have our W7 computers customized, there is probably no way that we will consider going to any version of W8.X. I am extremely happy with my current computer and thankfully am not in the market for a new one. I have a W7 Lenovo i7 processor with 8 gig of ram. I can easily and quickly reach anything that I want to with this set up, and besides W8 costing me money, it might make the way the I use a computer more difficult. W7 is the Acme of Windows Operating systems, and W8 is not the logical follow on. If anything, if this one finally gives out, I will likely move to an Android system. I have a Nexus 10 right now, and in a couple of years, there should be some really powerful Android Tablets out there that will fill the bill. My computers still have cables connecting some things, but my Nexus Tablet can operate just fine without any cables. It is also portable, and with the Nexus 10, I can connect it to a large screen external monitor with the HDMI Port. I use a 27″ monitor right now. To keep power consumption down, they have kept the ram count down to 1 or 2 gig. If they find a way to kick that up to 4 gig or more, they will have a real barn burner. The Processor available today seem to be adequate, but more ram would certain be an improvement. I am using 3.2 gig of ram right now on my W7 Desktop, but since I have 8 gig it is not a problem. For Business, Windows Operating systems may be the best solution, but for consumers, Android Tablets, Laptops or Desktops may be a better solution. The simplicity of Android over Windows is very noticeable. i OS is too locked in, so the game is Google/Android’s to lose. I think that the majority of computer users will be glad to move along.

    • I agree with most of what you wrote, Ronald, except the part about moving entirely to Android. While I have one Windows app that I use every day that only runs under Windows, I would have to wait till Android had a stable Windows emulator. I think W7 is an excellent OS, not perfect but pretty good compared to everything else out there, and I’ve tried Linux, Apple, and Android systems.

      If MS were to consider adding the ability to disable all the W8 desktop & Metro features, I might consider it, but unless there were some new features that I really needed then I wouldn’t bother.


    I’m not saying get rid of metro. I’m just so sick of the schizophrenia: I want using metro UI and desktop UI to work together, smoothly, intuitively. I hate how using a metro app feels like leaving the desktop to use a different windows and vice-versa. Give me the best of metro and the best of desktop and let my programs use that power at full capacity.

    • Yep, I agree. I reckon they should have integrated all the metro stuff into the task bar so that, when you mouse over it, it expands (maybe even to full screen) to give you all the extra info, apps, launchers etc.

  • I don’t mind a full screen start menu replacement, but it needs to integrate better with the desktop. Having the taskbar visible in the start screen would go a long way towards doing this.

    I’d also prefer it if the start screen would scroll vertically instead of horizontally.

    The Aesthetic of the desktop – taskbar, window chrome, etc needs to be updated to bring it closer to a metro look and feel as well.

  • Honestly, the only thing that will get me to Win8 will be the complete excision of the Metro UI.

    That’s really what I want. Win7 style complete end to end desktop experience without even a hint of Metro around (and no, haters, you can’t really totally remove metro from Win8 as it is now, even after purchasing 3rd party addons, which should NEVER be necessary to just make your PC functional.) But I still want all the “under the hood” improvements that Win8 has to offer.

    Basically like the “Windows Red” suggestion that infoworld came up with. That would be AWESOME and I would jump to Win8 so fast you would hear the sonic boom around the world.

  • Windows 8 and it’s follow-up versions are a sinking ship. Microsoft dropped the ball big time on this, and its only hope is to start LISTENING to its consumers and giving them what they want.

    Making metro and the start screen optional (disabled by default on desktop systems and enabled by default on touch systems like the surface) would be the only way to save it, but Microsoft in its multi billion dollar arrogance isn’t going to do that. They’re going to force us in the direction they want us to go regardless of what we ask for.

    Microsoft is NOT APPLE and for the love of all that is right in this world I hope they start figuring that out soon – with Ballmer out of the picture maybe they’ll be able to turn around. Only time will tell.

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