Print 48 comment(s) - last by inighthawki.. on Apr 9 at 10:20 PM

  (Source: iStock Photo)
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 BRB29 on 4/9/2014 7:27:13 AM , Rating: 0
8% is huge when you're selling computers for over $1k each with profit margins that Windows PC makers wish they had.

Also, Windows computer seems to get tossed much faster than Mac/macbooks. Where I live, most people use macbooks. Schools sell mostly macbooks and about 1 in 4 businesses use macbooks/ipads.

I still prefer PC over Macs but it's apparent that Macs are gaining ground. While the PC industry is in a decline there were only 2 companies that had growth selling computers. Lenovo and Apple netting 16% and 29% growth respectively. The main difference I see between them and other computer makers are the construction quality.

RE: Metrofied start menu
By chripuck on 4/9/2014 8:38:57 AM , Rating: 5
No business worth their salt is running Apple for anything other than content delivery systems in the consumer space.

Getting a Mac to work with Active Directory is a nightmare and it doesn't support even the most basic Group Policy. You can't manage them centrally and don't get me started on the iPad. Why anyone would use one for serious work is beyond me...

Keep in mind I love my iPhone and iPad, but it's because I use it for media consumption and light email browsing, not real work.

RE: Metrofied start menu
By Dug on 4/9/2014 10:09:55 AM , Rating: 2
I agree to an extent, but with so many things being web based now, Office for Mac, Microsoft adding and supporting more apps, it does work for certain user base. We even have users running SAP. Even Cisco VPN is built in.

You can run OSX server if you need management, but we find it unnecessary. As long as the user has an AD account, shares, printers, mail, etc. work fine.

The only users that need a PC are users in accounting, the engineers for PC development, and IT. Sales, marketing, hr, customer support, all use Macs.

RE: Metrofied start menu
By TakinYourPoints on 4/9/2014 4:49:06 PM , Rating: 4
Google has ~50k Macs deployed and use their own custom management. All of my friends who work there and at Facebook use them for coding. A friend of mine who does security for Fortune 500 companies is in the same position, runs his IDE in OS X.

In the film industry I work in its Macs everywhere, from production offices to creative suites. On the topic of iOS devices, we even use them for remote control of DMX systems and remote triggering of motion control rigs. Wired just did an article on this, where it was used to control rain towers instead of the usual DMX lighting boards:

A lot of software development where you don't need a Microsoft IDE like Visual Studio and are working with open standards is done in some form of *nix. This especially applies to development for the web, and of course making mobile operating systems. OS X is the most commercialized version of it, a UNIX OS with good developer support.

An operating system is a tool. You generally aren't going to find Macs deployed in big offices for clerical work, and on the flip side you aren't really going to find Windows machines developing for platforms with open standards. This is a big reason they are so prevalent at Bay Area techs. Use the right tool for the job.

RE: Metrofied start menu
By Capt Caveman on 4/9/2014 10:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. I used to work at one of the largest internet traffic companies in the world and all of our developers use Macs. You couldn't be more wrong.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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