A look at the black underbelly of Windows 8.1 'Blue'

Pieces of Windows 8 inexplicably didn't survive jump to Windows 8.1, and new feature allows Microsoft to track your local searches

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Microsoft hasn't responded officially to the burgeoning complaints, although a person who identified herself as Microsoft employee CarmenZ posted this in response:

In Windows 8, we wanted to provide a way for folks to view their photos on other services knowing there would be few (if any) apps in the store at launch that would do so.  Now there are many apps in the store that offer ways to view photos on other services and soon there will even be a Facebook app from Facebook. We’re confident Facebook will offer great ways to view and engage socially with photos on Facebook.  We welcome Flickr to do the same. In addition, the People app still offers the ability to socially engage with your friends and even your own photos.

Undeterred, Bowman fired back:

This morning I was sending a tweet in a Windows 8[.1] App and when I used the image button, the Photos App opened (and not Windows Explorer, which is what happens on RTM W8) and was able to attach a file from a networked computer. This is more evidence that the Photos App is part of the OS and not an app ... Since the navigation is there, as evidenced by my experience, the question remains as to why there is no support for network folders in the Photos app itself. Microsoft has responded on the Facebook issue on the original thread, but has pointedly not answered the other questions.

If I were to speculate, I'd say that Microsoft ripped out the Facebook and Flickr parts of Metro Photos and, in a hurry, took out SkyDrive and network folder support. It's inconceivable to me that Microsoft would release a Metro Photos app without copious connections to SkyDrive -- if only to sell more SkyDrive space.

About the same time this observation hit the fan, Microsoft announced, quite unexpectedly, that Facebook would finally build a Metro Facebook app.

I think we're seeing a quid pro quo in action -- Facebook finally agrees to join the Windows Store and, in exchange, Microsoft agrees to drop Facebook integration from Metro Photos. If true, might other Microsoft Metro apps follow suit? And where's the Metro Flickr app?

Times really have changed if Facebook can arm-wrestle Microsoft into submission.

(Thanks for the heads-up, AR.)

This story, "A look at the black underbelly of Windows 8.1 'Blue'," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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