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Windows 8.1 Has Arrived

Windows 8.1 Has Arrived

July 10, 2013 10:56 am / Posted by Michael Eric to News
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At a conference in San Francisco, Microsoft acknowledged that a preview version of an update to Windows 8 has been released and made the preview of Windows 8.1 available for free as a download. The update operating system offers numerous tweaks and features, some of which include:

windows 8.1 has arrived

Boot up in Desktop Mode

No longer will you have to boot to Metro as Microsoft will officially allow you to boot to the desktop. There, you'll find a button that resembles the old Start Button. It won't take you to the old Start menu, but to the new "Modern" Windows 8 start screen.

windows 8.1 preview

Disabling Hot Corners

The need to maneuver your mouse into a pesky little corner has been an annoyance for desktop users since launch, especially for those with multi-monitor setups. Windows 8.1 will allow you to disable those pesky hot corners.

Four Metro Apps Simultaneously

Windows 8.1 includes more options to use multiple apps. People will be able to determine how much of the screen each app takes while showing up for four different programs, rather than just two. The update will also offer more integrated search results, showing you previews of websites, apps and documents that are on the device, all at once.

Dynamic Backgrounds with More Color Options

Microsoft has enabled more color and shade selections for the OS with the ability to mirror your desktop background on your Start screen. The company also took a page from Sony's PSP and has enabled dynamic backgrounds that move and shift as you scroll around your Start screen.

High Security

In addition to native drivers for fingerprint readers, Microsoft is including new features such as partial wipes for PCs, better VPN support, and network behavior monitoring via Windows Defender (Microsoft's free anti-virus software).

It seems that Microsoft paid attention to the needs of desktop users with Windows 8.1. Microsoft also said very little about Windows RT. Windows RT has been hamstrung by a lack of applications, since it won't run older Windows programs.

At the conference, Microsoft showed off an Acer tablet with an 8-inch screen – a size that would be a good fit for an RT device – but it ran full-blown Windows 8 instead.

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Current Windows 8 and RT users can check it out now if you are feeling frisky, but be warned this is beta software, so you'll be running a BETA OS. You've been warned.

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