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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 Zaranthos on 10/18/2013 2:38:05 AM , Rating: 3
I keep reading posts by people claiming Windows 8 is faster. The truth is for what most people do on a desktop it is not faster. Gaming and internet browsing are virtually identical between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Windows 8 does have a lower footprint which makes it faster on weaker hardware and a lot of that is due to the butt ugly UI "improvements" that sacrifice quality for speed. But hey that's important on tablets and phones right.

On a good desktop computer you'll notice next to no difference in speed for most of what you do especially if that is gaming and web browsing. Hibernate and boot may be faster but what do I care? With my fast desktop both are exceedingly fast on Windows 7. So the speed claims for Windows 8 are mostly marketing and BS.


RE: Some nice new features
By arazok on 10/18/2013 8:56:52 AM , Rating: 4
Your absolutely right. If you ignore all the parts that are faster, there’s nothing about Win 8 that’s faster.


RE: Some nice new features
By IronFusion on 10/18/2013 6:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
And so you are happy with Windows 7?
What, did you complete the upgrade from XP within the last year?


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/18/2013 11:04:27 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
and a lot of that is due to the butt ugly UI "improvements" that sacrifice quality for speed.


Quite right! The new UI is visually unpleasant and I'm not got to sacrifice the ease of use and pretty of Windows 7 for a few slight improvements in the core of the OS. If microsoft fails to bring back the aero desktop, start MENU and configurability of the UI[IE the modern UI needs to go bye bye] for Windows 9, I might just upgrade. If not Windows 7 will be my last piece of ms software...


RE: Some nice new features
By lexluthermiester on 10/20/2013 2:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
I said;

quote:
If microsoft fails to bring back the aero desktop, start MENU and configurability of the UI[IE the modern UI needs to go bye bye] for Windows 9, I might just upgrade.


U meant to say;

If microsoft brings back the aero desktop, start MENU and configurability of the UI[IE the modern UI needs to go bye bye] for Windows 9, I might just upgrade.


RE: Some nice new features
By tamalero on 10/21/2013 11:19:34 PM , Rating: 2
the booting up to the login screen is way faster in windows 8 with a SSD to windows 7.
around 5 to 10 seconds shaved id say.
I see no change on loading AFTER the login.

so I suppose they just tweaked what they seen in windows 7 and removed bloated stuff during boot time to speed things up.

as for games, I see no difference.
I only noticed that retail windows 8 is goddamn awful for business and professional environments. the GUI just slowdowns me a lot. I had to install a lot of third party stuff to make windows 8 useable.
like Classic Shell.


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