Microsoft pulls Windows 8.1 following major OS glitches

For some chief information officers, any hope that they may have felt in anticipation of Windows RT 8.1 has been put into question – for now, anyway.

According to Computerworld, Microsoft recently announced that would be temporarily pulling its latest update in order to work out some kinks. This development comes as a major disappointment to IT professionals who had been eyeing this interface upgrade for some time now, believing it to be the answer to their IT prayers.

Raw emotions
At this moment in time, any tech users browsing through the Windows Store, on the hunt for its RT 8.1 program, will find their efforts unsuccessful. Even though this platform had only been released for one day, it was taken off of the site because individuals who were downloading it were already encountering technical difficulties.

“Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1. As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store,” a company representative wrote on an IT support forum.

The news source reports that some tech professionals who had purchased the operating system update from the app store were faced with the infamous ”Blue Screen of Death” message. It appears that the new version of Windows has been messing with devices’ boot configuration data. With this information corrupted, IT personnel have been left with hardware that is reportedly unable to function.

Given the variability among devices that are Windows-ready, this occurrence is understandable to some extent. It is challenging for Microsoft to develop programs that could be compatible with a diverse range of hardware. However, possibly the worst part of this 8.1 upgrade debacle is that the OS managed to brick even the most basic of devices, such as the company’s Surface RT tablets.

Some IT professionals have posted solutions to handle the data corruption caused by the Microsoft 8.1 upgrades and circumvent the BSOD error. With that said, these recovery methods are complicated, requiring tech users to take an extensive amount of time and effort to restore their devices back to normal.

For this reason, there has been a fair amount of public outcry throughout the IT community in response to this Microsoft decision. Emotions are running particularly high among those who have recently made investments by purchasing Surface RT mobile devices.

“Just tell me how to return my Surface RT for full refund,” posted one disgruntled Windows customer on the support forum, according to Computerworld. “I am fed up with it. It is still on warranty, and half the time it will not start up and now it will not upgrade to 8.1, so I just want to return it.”

Before IT professionals become too infuriated about these Windows RT 8.1 failures, they should bear in mind that there are always glitches that need to be sorted out following the release of any new operating system. In fact, PC World explains that there are some CIOs and tech staff members who had the foresight to avoid the latest version of Microsoft’s OS.

Some outright avoiding 8.1 update
Because the support for the Windows XP operating system will be coming to an end in the spring, chief information officers and their IT departments have been exploring alternatives to their current programs. By now, seasoned tech professionals know exactly what to expect when it comes to emerging technological innovations. No product is ever released on the market and found to be absolutely flawless the first time around.

For this reason, some CIOs accurately anticipated the fact that Windows 8.1 would present a number of bugs. Instead of going with this most recent OS version, these professionals seem to be favoring Windows 7 as their XP replacement.

IT departments often have the tendency of waiting anywhere from 6 months to 2 years before they decide to implement a specific system. By allowing a period of time to pass, tech professionals hope to give software companies the chance to completely resolve any initial problems with their interfaces.

In this particular case, the tech professionals are faced with an especially tricky conflict, as they have no choice but to make a Microsoft upgrade – and soon. Come April 2014, PC World states that Microsoft will no longer be offering security updates for their XP systems. This will make any information belonging to IT departments still holding on to this outdated OS susceptible to cyberthieves. As CIOs can imagine, this would be a significant risk to their departments’ operations and it would be an act of negligence on their part.

Consequently, chief information officers are starting to feel the pressure. They know that they cannot possibly stick with their current operating systems, and yet they are not ready to brave the problems presented by Windows 8.1. Unless Microsoft overhauls its program before re-releasing it on the app store, tech executives may be more inclined to go with Windows 7 to avoid any mishaps.

Marie Larsen
Marie is a writer for CIOs.com. She has an educational background in languages and literature. She covers IT trends and executive technology management topics for the company.