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Interesting Windows 8 malaises surface

Windows guru Paul Thurrot has posted an interesting and disturbing story about some problems he’s encountered recently with Windows 8 Release Preview. It’s entitled “Broken Windows? Two Serious Issues That Make Windows 8 Release Preview Almost Unusable (For Me).” In that story he recounts issues with:

  • Hard Crashes — or what I would call freeze-ups — of the Windows 8 runtime environment. Anybody who’s worked on Windows for any length of time is familiar with this phenomenon, where for some reason, Windows simply stops responding to input. Sometimes, you can move the cursor around for a while but the system won’t respond to anything, not even CTL-ALT-DEL or CTRL-ALT-ESC. The only fix is to cycle the power on your PC and perform what Reliability Monitor calls an “abnormal” or “unexpected” shutdown. I’ve experienced this phenomenon many times myself, including once or twice on the Windows 8 Release Preview on my desktop test machine (but never on my Lenovo X200 Tablet).
  • Networking failure: Thurrott reports an issue with large file transfers where the file copy window never closes or indicates copy complete (though the copy does conclude successfully), followed by network issues for the affected PC. It can’t access web sites, transfer other files, or access the network properly. The problem remains active even after resetting the network connection, switching cables, resetting local routers, and even after rebooting. After a while the problem goes away, but then recurs intermittently afterward. Weird. Disturbing. Scary, even. And Thurrott reports that several hundred other users have responded to his article with reports of similar experiences themselves. Thank heaven I’ve never experienced this issue as he describes it (though I have seen large file transfers seemingly stall for a while, they’ve never been followed by the litany of symptoms he describes in his story, and has had confirmed by fellow sufferers).
Though we’ve all gotten used to occasional Windows weirdness, I agree with Thurrott that both of these problems are disturbing and upsetting. For those of use who make our livings from our PCs, it’s simply not acceptable to have them “go away” occasionally, for no good reason, and then to have to try to carry on despite any trepidation we might have about recurrences. I sure hope MS can get to the bottom of this and fix it before the OEM release goes out next month. Who need such “features” in a production  (or any kind of) OS?

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