Windows 8 Changes Coming Your Way
Microsoft made huge news last year with the greatly anticipated introduction of Windows 8, the newest operating system from the software giant. Following months of hype, along with six months of a special introductory price, Win8 has received mixed reviews from users since the beginning of the year. Now, in answer to the critics, Microsoft is bringing us Windows 8.1, with a preview available by the end of June 2013, and full release of the FREE update scheduled by the end of the year.
What’s new in Windows 8.1?
The “Start” button is making a comeback! That’s right, of all the things users had to say about Windows 8, the loss of the Start button was perhaps the most upsetting. In Windows 8.1 Microsoft proves their willingness to listen by bringing back the button at the bottom left of the screen. The Windows logo will appear any time the cursor is laid in the bottom left corner of the screen, and will always be visible on the taskbar when in desktop mode.
While it may not seem like much at first glance, the missing Start button was easily the number one complaint received about Win8…Go figure.
New Start Screen and Tile Sizes
Perhaps the signature change to Windows when the new OS became available last year, the tile-based Start Screen, designed for touch-screen systems, was the most obvious. While the tiles were an effort to make the new OS more user-friendly, they were not received with open arms by traditional users; those with keyboard and mouse.
With four tile sizes available in Windows 8.1, rather than just two in Win8, not only does the update make the Start Screen more attractive, it has also become easier to find and use your apps. Plus, users can now select multiple apps at once, resize them, uninstall them, or rearrange them to fit your needs. In other words, the Start Screen has been made fully customizable in Win8.1; a vast improvement over Win8 for desktop users.
Further, tiles can be easily rearranged for your convenience, using the new Press & Hold feature for touch-screens in Win8.1.
With Windows 8.1, the new Start Screen is also a smart screen.
What else is new in the Windows 8.1 update?
While it is not possible to outline every change to the Windows OS that will be made available with the Win8.1 update coming later this year, here are a few of the important changes that must be mentioned:
- New Lock Screen – The Lock Screen has become a slideshow, including images collected from your PC, laptop, or tablet, as well as SkyDrive and your phone.
- New All Apps Screen –With a simple upward swipe of your touch-screen device, every app on your device is displayed for your perusal. You can also pin your most-used apps to the Start Screen with the new Press & Hold feature for touch-screens.
- New Aggregate Search Results – No longer a simple type and list feature, Windows 8.1 presents users with Aggregated Search results; bringing together Bing web results, SkyDrive results, your own stored files, and any other information related to your search term. Microsoft calls these “curated” results and, truly, the search feature must be seen to be believed. (Watch the video here to see how Search is used in Win8.1, at approx. 2:10 into the video.)
- Customize your Start Screen – With multiple new backgrounds and wallpapers, as well as motion sensitive graphics available, you can make your Start Screen your own, like never before.
- Complete SkyDrive Integration – According to Microsoft, Windows 8.1 now lives “in the cloud” with enhanced integration with their online storage app, SkyDrive.
- Improved Multi-view Feature – With so many users multi-tasking on screen, the new multi-view enhancement to Win8.1 will please many users, where Win8 frustrated them.
These are just a few of the many improvements to the operating system Microsoft has confirmed available with the update to Windows 8.1. Not only will the update be available for all devices currently running Win8, but users of the Windows RT OS, on Surface RT for example, will also receive the free update; as will Windows Phone users and users of SkyDrive and Outlook.com.
While it certainly is not our goal to confuse you with TMI (too much information), we also know that many of our visitors will want even more info after reading this introduction. For you, we’ve listed some links to great information on the update that is on the way from Microsoft:
While it is often not popular to complement the Washington-based software giant, it must be said that Microsoft has responded well to users of Windows 8, using the Windows 8.1 update to clean up and enhancing the user experience made available with the introduction of their latest operating system.