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Update is mostly geared at offering a better experience for mouse & keyboard users and Desktop denizens

After its April 2, 2014 announcement at the BUILD 2014 conference, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) today has made the Windows 8.1 Update 1 available to the masses via Windows Update.

The latest patch to Windows is largely geared at improving the experience for mouse and keyboard users, and also to add new amenities for those who spend most of their time in Desktop Mode.

Here's what's new:
  • Desktop Mode
    • Taskbar -- Windows Store Modern UI apps
      • Now all running Modern UI apps appear in task bar

        Windows 8.1 Update 1
         
      • Can be run in Desktop Mode
      • Close, minimize buttons for Modern UI apps in both modes for mouse  and keyboard use

        click to close
         
      • Are pinnable to the Desktop taskbar
      • Show previews when hovered over on the taskbar
      • Can have miniature controls on hover over (e.g. pause music, etc.)
  • Modern UI Mode
    • "PC Settings" Live Tile (no more need to swipe)
    • power + search buttons (top right hand corner

      power and search buttons
       
    • New Modern UI mouse actions
      • Right click -- gives tile properties

        Windows 8.1 click to install
         
      • Ctrl + drag to select...
        • Then Right Click on selection -- bulk tile change
        • Then Left Click on selection and drag -- drag tiles in bulk around the Modern UI menu
    • Bing Smart Search now offers Windows Store app suggestions
    • App install reminders
      • In "All Apps" listing newly installed apps are now highlighted so you can remember what's new and pin them faster.
      • Reminder clickable message in bottom left hand corner of Modern UI menu

        reminder message
The update should be appearing shortly on your Windows 8 machines via Windows Update, if it hasn't already (the official live launch time was 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST).

Here's a video going over all the updates in graphical form.



The next major update to Windows -- potentially titled Windows 8.1 Update 2, Windows 8.2, or Windows 9 -- will feature a new Metrofied start menu, allowing Desktop traditionalists to stay in their "safe place".

Microsoft's Windows VP Joey Belfiore confirms that contrary to its expectations, Microsoft's remote analytics reveal that with the recent changes (Boot to Desktop, etc.) many users are spending most of their time in Desktop Mode, particularly on non-touch devices.

Microsoft also recently announced Windows Phone 8.1, and its decision to offer both Windows Phone and Windows (RT/8.1) for tablets for free.

Source: Microsoft [press release]



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RE: Metrofied start menu
By Mitch101 on 4/8/2014 2:33:14 PM , Rating: 1
Makes no difference to me. I like Metro now that 8.1 had small icons and didn't put every icon in the start menu. I just leave it up sometimes on my 3rd monitor. If you think of it as a desktop full of icons with RSS feeds then it makes sense. If I were single monitor then just where my least used programs live. Right click start takes care of all my control panel options.

This was my only headache with 8.1 Metro apps.
Close, minimize buttons for Modern UI apps in both modes for mouse and keyboard use
Im a power user and well aware of ALT+F4 but there are times you just want to X it out with the mouse.

The rest is nice little enhancements like the option on metro apps are available now via right click sub menu as apposed to the options appearing at the bottom of the screen.

When 8.1 Update 2 comes along there are plenty of reasons for people to use it over Windows 7. Faster, Direct X, Right Click Start, Pause Copy/Move, ISO Mounting, Smart Search.

I look forward to 3D Printer support when $500 3D Printers start hitting soon and Miracast (Have not set up yet).


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