Windows 8.1 Preview Airs, Complete With Metro-ish "Start Button"
June 26, 2013 2:46 PM
Is this the start button you're looking for?
Microsoft Corp.'s (
"Release Preview" builds
Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 upgrades aired today. Windows 8.1 represents Microsoft's bid to
revive slumping personal computer sales
make up for the misses of Windows 8
, which led some to
pan the ambitious user interface redesign
The changes in the Release Preview are pretty much along the lines of what was
previously shown in media previews
"Start Button", which switches you to the "Modern UI" Home Page
Color theme customizations
Large and Tiny Live Tiles
Batch Live Tile operations (move, etc.)
Improved knowledge-enabled global, unified search
Side-by-side resizable app panes
Improved Windows Store
Improved SkyDrive support
Camera UI and photo slideshow on lock screen
The first change is the most notable -- and probably the most controversial.
After initially saying that
customers no longer were using the Start Button
and thus it was gone for good, Microsoft took note of the noisy outcry surrounding this topic and changed its mind, allowing the Start Button to make a comeback in Windows 8.1.
...well, sort of. Instead of the traditional Start Button, which pops up a menu of apps (on the same screen) in Desktop Mode, the new "Start Button" yanks you out of Desktop Mode and drops you onto your "Modern UI" (aka "Metro") Home Page.
It's clear that this won't be the Start Button many Windows traditionalists were hoping for. But it does allow faster transitions to the Modern UI, for better or worse.
Microsoft has a full guide on the other new features
, and a Faq on Windows 8.1 Preview
. Microsoft warns that some systems with 32-bit Intel Corp. (
) Atom processors will need to update their drivers before running Windows 8.1.
To get the update itself, go to the
, which will install the necessary updates, then take you to a download link in Windows Store for the main installer.
for developers is kicking off today and runs through June 28.
Microsoft [download link]
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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