Washington, October 19, 2013:
Microsoft has now officially announced the release of Windows 8.1 (codenamed “Blue”), an update to the Windows 8 operating system. Users can now download or upgrade the latest version from Windows Store.
Microsoft had earlier announced the update to Windows 8 operating system on May, 2013. Later a preview version was available to download from Microsoft’s website. The license for the preview version will expire before January 2014, hence Microsoft has advised the preview users to upgrade to the final version and avoid interruptions.
Here are the main features available in Windows 8.1
Return of the Start Button:
Microsoft responded to the call of it’s users by giving them back the Start Button. The button features the Windows 8 logo and changes color per the theme set. Clicking the button will trigger the Start screen. The user is also given an option to display a list of all programs installed on device, when the button is clicked.
When we power up a Windows 8 PC, we are first taken to the lock screen, then to the start screen, and then to the desktop. Users who are tired of this process may skip the steps and land directly to the desktop.
New tile re-size options:
In Windows 8 there are two tile re-size options, one large rectangular size and second small square size tile. In the updated version two more sizes are available. One is the large square size and the second is the tiny square size.
Customizable tile background:
Users can now personalize their Start/App screen in various colors and themes. You can also set the desktop wallpaper as the tile background.
Updated Windows Store:
Many Windows 8 users face a problem with the Windows Store. The app downloads are often stuck and will not install. Windows Blue comes with an updated Store which has many advanced features. Also new app categories are added in the new store.has
Bing Smart Search:
This is one of the better features which Microsoft-Bing has provided. Users can enter a keyword on the start screen and see an advanced set of result. For example, when user enters ‘Paris’ as a keyword, the search returns photos, Wikipedia link, Travel Accommodations, Weather and videos related to Paris.
Current Windows 8 users can update to the new version for free via Windows Store while the new users can purchase Windows 8.1 from Microsoft’s website. The basic version is priced $120 while the pro version is available for $200.
Photo Credits: Microsoft