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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 freedom4556 on 10/17/2013 5:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
New "start button" but it goes to the same place or to the apps page.
Here's my thing about the button that a lot of people don't seem to mention or understand. Hot corners suck . If you're trying to use the hot corner for Start on shared monitor edge of a dual monitor setup, it's annoying. If you are RDPed into a VM of a server 2012 machine with mouse integration, hitting that hot corner is virtually impossible. And guess what happens with you press the windows key in a VM or remote desktop? THE HOST COMPUTER CATCHES IT! It can be very tedious to try to get to the start screen when it can only be invoked with a hot corner (guess how you bring up charms to get at the old software start button? A hot corner.) This is much better and very appreciated.


RE: Some nice new features
By Reclaimer77 on 10/17/2013 5:16:35 PM , Rating: 5
Hot Corners, Charms Bars, and other hidden UI elements are quite possibly the dumbest ideas to come to a desktop OS.


RE: Some nice new features
By coburn_c on 10/17/2013 7:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
hot corners work fine with multiple monitors under 8

and anyone RDPd into a windows server 2012 system should know to press alt-home


RE: Some nice new features
By freedom4556 on 10/18/2013 4:26:23 AM , Rating: 2
Home is on the right-hand side of the keyboard, so that shortcut means taking a hand off the mouse (for a right-handed person). And, no, I didn't know about alt-home (who says my host PC won't catch that shortcut too), but I shouldn't need a shortcut to replace a 20x20 pixel icon that they had no reason to remove.


RE: Some nice new features
By MrBungle123 on 10/18/2013 11:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
hot corners work fine with multiple monitors under 8

and anyone RDPd into a windows server 2012 system should know to press alt-home


You do realize that entire point of GUI is to NOT have to remember obscure keyboard commands and shortcuts for every possible operation you might want to do on a computer right?


RE: Some nice new features
By inighthawki on 10/18/2013 12:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and anyone RDPd into a windows server 2012 system should know to press alt-home

Why would someone know this? That's about as intuitive as ctrl+alt+del to someone who's never used a computer. This coming from some who uses remote desktop all the time to get into my computer at home (running windows 8).


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