Anyone who reads technology news will know by now that Microsoft Windows 8 has been less than a stellar performer for Microsoft and for most users. A new update preview is expected in late June as a forerunner for changes to be released when Microsoft offers a public release later this year.
There is a lot of speculation about what will be included in the update, but probably the most focus is on the potential for a relaunch of the Windows Start Button which disappeared with the launch of Windows 8. In a recent article, Computer Dealer News offered a slideshow that outlines what they think may be coming and one of those items is a form of start button. Other new features are shown as well to be included in what they think will be Windows 8.1 a running update.
Of course if you are a Windows 8 user and are missing the start button waiting for a potential in a release which is several months away may not be enough. There are several third party developers who have taken the matter into their own hands and released solutions to the challenge.
One such App is available here. There are many others available which you can search out with a general internet search. Of course all of the cautions around checking the source for these kinds of downloads to sure they are legitimate sources are even more important here since the software will change the ways you interface with a primary OS. I have yet to test the Pokki product on the link personally, but it is offered only as a general guide to the kinds of solutions out there for those who want to look.
Software development has changed
What does this say about the state of software development? I think it shows that users are not going to be patient any more waiting for the primary developer of various software packages to correct what are seen as errors or to build new capabilities.
Since the advent of the App market for mobile OSs and its growth into support for the tablet market, desktop and quasi desktop (that's what I would call Windows 8 since it is for a touch and a desktop environment combined), end users are given options on how to change the utility of their OS.
This has opened up a massive market for third party developers to build small incremental tools which bring more capability to software in a way that was never done for the traditional desktop until recently. One of the key features of these softwares is the limited functionality they often bring, targeted at one or two small items in the flow. This has provided a market with a very long price point. The sales model is usually a limited capability trial or lite version with a more robust pro version being available for a small purchase cost.
A revolution is now well established
At one time users were forced to live with what the primary OS developer delivered. Updates, improvements etc. only came with the incremental changes that developer offered. This is no longer the case. Substantial new functionality can be gained by adding in various plugins , addons, apps to give you a more customized capability for your use.
Of course if you are operating in a more locked IT environment getting the ability to have these changes may be more difficult. For legitimate reasons, most businesses do not permit the willy nilly addition of apps and other software on their user's workstations. Getting the IT department to test and approve the apps or other addons you want will be a needed step if the gain is important to you. Of course the IT department will be challenged to respond to these kinds of requests especially if they come in large numbers for user specific desires.
How to handle this will be a continuing challenge for end users and for IT administrators combined.
Late Breaking News Just Released:
Computer Dealer News just released another article today with the official word that Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 as a free upgrade for Windows 8 users. Heres the link.
Are there things you would like to be able to do with your computer you can't? Are they OS related? How does your company deal with them?
Share your thoughts....