On October 18th, Windows 8.1 will be ready for download. Windows 8.1 is the first major update since Window 8’s release on October 26th, 2012. With the new OS update comes new features such as the ability to additionally customize the start screen and countless default Application updates. The new update is expected to improve the widely criticized Windows 8.
Surprisingly, Microsoft has taken suggestions for its latest operating system seriously as reflected by its accommodation of a more customization interface. To expand, there are far more customization features on the Start Screen of Windows 8.1 than in its predecessors. By just holding them down, you are now able to readjust tile sizes and move around tiles to organize your cluttered screen. Another feature is the ability to set images as your start screen background picture which gives a more soothing and refined feel to the interface. Also, transitioning from Desktop mode to “Metro” is definitely smoother and there are now options to boot applications to desktop from the start screen instead of opening them in full screen. The Start button makes a return, which resolves the numerous usability complaints about Windows 8. Now, you can just right click the button to shutdown, restart, or set your computer to sleep/hibernate. Hot corners have also been given the ability to be disabled, giving people the option to disregard “Metro” completely without the use of third party applications.
Many of Windows 8’s default applications are being vamped including Internet Explorer (IE),and Microsoft Office. Internet Explorer 11 has been announced and with it comes some changes from Internet Explorer 10, the original Windows 8 Web browser. Though the interface looks extremely similar to its predecessor, there are some changes such as the tab bar being moved to the bottom of the screen, and tab syncability with mobile devices though the Metro and Desktop IEs tabs are not linked yet. On the other hand, due to the fact that the new Microsoft Office is still in early development, Microsoft only previewed the new PowerPoint in a recent presentation, Microsoft has stated that the new Microsoft Office should be ready to be released by the release of Windows 8.1.
The new Windows 8.1 seems to be an improvement from its predecessor even though there is still much time left till release date. Its brand-new customization properties and revamped applications will definitely be looked forward to in the next couple months until its release.=