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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: Modern ui, less and less relevant
By Mint on 4/9/2014 8:25:15 AM , Rating: 1
Honestly, I don't think this is backpedaling. I think Microsoft planned it from the start.

Only by making devs think this was being forced on the hundreds of millions of desktop/notebook consumers would they bother with Win8 apps. Now that all the major companies have Win8 versions of their apps, they're happy to let everything just be an option again.


By TakinYourPoints on 4/9/2014 4:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think they were that intelligently nefarious. They tried something radically different and it failed. At least they're correcting their course.

I finally installed 8.1 on my desktop a couple weeks ago and it isn't as terrible as it used to be. Win8 is slowly but surely getting there. Not having a Start Menu is still a downside, but I launch so much from Steam anyway that it hasn't had as big an effect as I was thinking.


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