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  (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 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: http://www.motionvfx.com/mblog/noah_by_darren_aron...

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.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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