Good to know. But I wonder:
1. While the tiles on the Start menu can be useful, like checking the weather quickly or if there are any new e-mails, I want the option to also have quick access buttons like the current Start menu has. If they allow customization of the right part of the Start menu, just like they allow with Windows 7, then having buttons for Control Panel, Administrative Tools, etc, should make most people happy. Depending on how many buttons you have there, you could just do without one tile, for example, while retaining the functionality of having all the others. Or just basically disable tiles altogether and use it as a standard Start menu just like now, or heck, if you want more tiles, just allow for the Start menu to expand. This would also be great as the Start menu resides on the desktop, meaning no context switch would be required versus the current solution;
2. If these updates are coming to Windows 8.1 later this year what will Windows 9 bring to the table ? I always thought Microsoft was going to try and monetize Windows 9 with this kind of things (Start menu and Modern apps on the desktop). Will Aero on window borders, the option to have a 3D look instead of the current flat one, plus a new Modern theme that actually looks good, do the trick for Windows 9 ?
3. Are they going to make an ISO available with 8.1 + Update + Update 2 (or whatever this will be named) later this year ? And so that people with Windows 8 licenses can install them straight away with the Windows 8 key (for support purposes 8.1 is regarded as a Service Pack) ? It's just that as of now Windows 8 has become even more fragmented to install than Windows 7. Someone who bought Windows 8 has to install the OS, install a bunch of updates before 8.1 (a 3 GB+ update) is available through the Store, install that, then install a bunch of updates until the Update (formerly known as Update 1) is available to install, then install that, this time through Windows update, and then later this year more functionality updates with this new pack.
The best security practices would dictate that having to wait hours updating a system from 2012 with the known vulnerabilities discovered since then, connected to the Internet, is not the best way to do a fresh install, as automated vulnerability scanners are most probably scanning systems for this kind of thing every hour of the day globally. This applies to all OSes, both Windows 7, which is still in mainstream support until early next year and still hasn't had a second Service Pack to collect all the updates since 2011's SP1, as well as Windows 8, which is now a fragmented mess that needs hours of updating. As much as this update sounds good, until Microsoft takes basic security more seriously, I'm not installing Windows 8, it's just too much work and ironically, for a system that brags it's more secure than Windows 7, presents more of a security risk making a fresh install than keeping a current Windows 7 one.
Edited by tpi2007 - 4/2/14 at 12:47pm