If you are having the problem running Octave on Windows 8 machines, please do this:
Add the text "-i --line-editing" to the end of the desktop shortcut Target field.
Assuming you installed Octave in the default location (“C:\Software\Octave-3.6.4\”), the complete Target line will be as follows:
C:\Software\Octave-3.6.4\bin\octave-3.6.4.exe -i –line-editing
The bug is caused by gnulib Windows 8 compatibility issues.
Hope it helps!