Are you planning to try out the features of Windows 8.1? Well, before you start off, it is advisable to have an insight into some attributes and features of this new and upgraded version of Windows 8. This new version of Windows from the house of Microsoft is all set to create new benchmarks and provide users with enhanced features and functionality.
What You Need To Know
The preview version of this update to Windows 8.1 was launched on June 26, 2013. It was released for Windows RT and Windows 8. If everything goes off well, then the final version of Windows 8.1 should be ready for release and manufacturing in the upcoming month of August. This effectively means that consumers can buy the windows 8.1 in the holiday season of 2013—about twelve months after the release of windows 8.
This also happens to be the first launch in Microsoft’s “rapid cadence” cycle for updating Windows. Microsoft is now accelerating the pace of Windows development and looking at yearly releases to replace their 2-3 cycle for their desktop clients.
Windows 8.1 Preview comes with its own home page. Microsoft has also launched a well equipped FAQ which provides factual details along with some marketing talk for the windows 8.1. The company has also created a Windows 8.1 forum for technical support and help at its community site.
Additions and changes in Windows 8.1
It cannot be rated as simple service pack. Some of the major additions and changes in this version of Windows are:
Start screen options for customization are more accessible and flexible.
Windows 8.1 boasts of various new and first party apps.
The Windows Store is redesigned to offer newer features.
It boasts of a tighter integration with the applications offered by SkyDrive.
The desktop now contains a Start hint on the task bar -exactly where the Windows 7 Start button is present.
Users can access the desktop directly, without going to the Start screen.
It has many options and features for arranging the modern (Metro) applications alongside.
The OS boasts of better and novel capabilities for third party apps compatible with Windows 8.1.
It offers support for a wide range of smaller tablets.
Windows 8.1 is compatible with and comes packaged with Internet Explorer 11 (which has improved security features and tab handling facilities).
The modules for PC settings are more enhanced and duplicate the “Control Panel” on the desktop.
There are new features for touch devices and on screen keyboards.
It is important to note that some features which are awaiting release in the final version of Windows 8.1 are absent in the Preview. These include significant update facilities to the Mail client—which have been released in the demos but fail to appear in the preview release.
System requirements for installing Windows 8.1
All devices capable of running on Windows 8 should be compatible with the Windows 8.1 Preview. Windows RT 8.1 Preview requires prior installation of Windows RT and a minimum of 10 GB of storage area which is free. The updates to Windows 8.1 support 14 different languages which include German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, French, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Spanish and so forth.
It remains to be seen whether Windows 8.1 can match the popularity and utility quotient of its predecessors.