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Print 114 comment(s) - last by lexluthermiest.. on Oct 23 at 1:20 AM

It's a free download if you already have Windows 8

Microsoft unleashed its new Windows 8.1 operating system today, which promises deeper customization, updated apps and more. 

Microsoft has made Windows 8.1 available for download starting at 7 a.m. EST today, and it will roll out around the globe over the next 24 hours. The boxed version will be available in retail stores starting tomorrow, as well as brand-new devices that already have the OS pre-installed. 

Those with Windows 8 will see various changes in the move to 8.1, such as greater customization. Windows 8.1 brings new background color options as well as different sizing of live tiles. 

If you've been missing the familiar and ever-beloved Start button in the lower lefthand corner of your taskbar, fear not: Windows 8.1 brought it back. But it doesn't function in the traditional sense -- it just sends you back to the tile-based Windows 8 Start environment. But if you want to avoid the live tiles altogether, Windows 8.1 will let you boot up in Desktop mode instead. 


Microsoft said multitasking is also easier in Windows 8.1, as users can now have up to four apps side by side and adjust the window size of each one to their specifications. 

Other changes include a better-integrated Sky Drive, where smart files can can be created, edited, saved and shared at anytime; the updated Bing Smart Search, which has two new apps called "Food & Drink" and "Health & Fitness"; built-in support for 3D printing; updates to built-in apps like Mail, News, Weather, Finance, Sports and Travel, and a Windows Store redesign (it now has a "New & Rising" section). 

Microsoft is celebrating its new OS with a Twitter contest, if any DT readers would care to join. Simply take a screenshot of your new Start screen in Windows 8.1 after updating, and tweet it with the hashtag "MyStart." Microsoft will choose 810 winners per day for the next eight days, and each winner will receive a $10 promotional Windows Store gift card.

Many say Windows 8.1 is a must if you've already bought Windows 8, as it offers improvements over the original. But if you're still running Windows 7 and previous, and still aren't comfortable with the new UI in the Windows 8 ecosystem, it's still a pretty big shift from the traditional UI. 

The Windows 8.1 download is free if you already have a licensed copy of Windows 8 installed. Otherwise, it'll cost you $120 for the standard version and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro. You can grab the free download here on your Windows 8 device. 

Source: Windows Blog



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RE: Some nice new features
By dgingerich on 10/17/2013 1:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
The start button does have a closer to Win7 functionality than Windows 8, but you have to right click it to get it. It's not quite the old Start menu, but it is closer.


RE: Some nice new features
By dgingerich on 10/17/2013 1:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
There are also a lot of other things you can do with the start menu in Win8.1:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2013...


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 3:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
oh, no poop


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 4:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
Makes me wonder how many features I don't know in the new UI.


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 3:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
It does seems like win8 solves most of the complaints people had.


RE: Some nice new features
By Reclaimer77 on 10/17/2013 4:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It does seems like win8 solves most of the complaints people had.


It solves none.

People hate the "Modern UI", plain and simple. So in 8.1, they add a Start Button, hooray.....

...that takes you right back to the Modern UI. /facepalm

My biggest problem with Windows 8 is Microsoft got incredibly lazy. There is absolutely NO legitimate reason for a UI dichotomy in a desktop OS. The Modern UI could launch from the desktop, in a sizeable window, like EVERYTHING ELSE on Windows has behaved for decades now. That way if you wanted it to be full screen, you have that option. If you want to interact with the Modern UI and NOT loose your focus on your desktop activities, you have that option too.

This is what Windows 8 should have been from the beginning in my opinion

http://retroui.com/


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/17/2013 4:31:34 PM , Rating: 4
Let's be fair. It by no means solves "most" but it definitely does solves "some." They did do a horrible job responding to the criticism of the lack of a start menu, but they did at least add some functionality such as boot to desktop. The start button also, if nothing else, helps in some business/enterprise scenarios while running in remote desktop or a virtual machine where the hot corner is not easily clickable. The start screen has some usability improvements, but it's still not what people asked for.


RE: Some nice new features
By Jeffk464 on 10/17/2013 6:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
You might be locked into the old way of doing. You have to look at the say 10-13 year olds and see which way they prefer. You also have to look primarily at users not system administrator types that get deeper into the OS. I like your idea of desktop mode and tablet mode though, but I'm still ok with the modern UI for launching desktop apps and changing settings and what not.


RE: Some nice new features
By Reclaimer77 on 10/18/2013 7:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have to look at what little kids prefer...what? Can you expand on that please.


RE: Some nice new features
By Mint on 10/18/2013 2:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It solves none.

One of your own biggest gripes with Win8 was splitting results between apps, setting, and files. It's unified again.

quote:
If you want to interact with the Modern UI and NOT loose your focus on your desktop activities, you have that option too.
The Win7 start menu took focus away from the foreground app as well.


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