Windows 8.1: What's New, Video, and Screenshots

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Help and Support' started by Mike, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Hello, as an update to be discussed and dissected over time, here is what we know about the changes in Windows 8.1, formerly referred to as the "Windows Blue" update.

    Pricing

    Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 as a free update sometime this year for all Windows 8 and Windows 8 Professional license holders.

    New Functionality

    The desktop Start Button will be available, like in Windows 7, and may be customized to go to the Start Screen "Apps" view. How much further customization will take place, and whether or not the Start Menu will make a return to the operating system not known. It may actually just be a button that sends you to the Start Screen.

    You will be able to boot to desktop instead of the Start Screen.

    On the Start Screen, you will be able to select multiple tiles at once to move them, resize them, uninstall them, or rename them.

    There is an "All Apps" screen to get Apps off of the tile menu on the general Start Screen.

    You hold down right-click to select multiple pieces of content on the Start Screen.

    New apps will appear under the Apps view, by default, and not the Start Screen itself.

    Renaming tile categories is easier.

    You can take pictures from the lock screen without having to log-in.

    You can launch Skype calls and perform other functions from the lock screen.

    Windows 8.1 will feature an overhauled and aggregated search feature, operated by Microsoft's search engine Bing. When you search for a file, metadata, or other content, a search will be performed through the web, SkyDrive, your files, e-mail, apps, and other locations to try to aggregate the best results. For example, if you search on a celebrity, you can side-scroll through all of the aggregate data that is collected for this search term.

    Support for Miracast via blutooth, NFC, and wireless, for screen sharing and projection.

    Support for WiFi direct printing, which requires no printer drivers on compatible devices. Additional support for NFC-enabled printers, which will allow you to print using NFC on your tablet or phone.

    Support for mobile broadband tethering, which will allow you to form a wireless hotspot with your device and allow multiple devices to share the mobile Internet connection.

    The built-in apps created by Microsoft and bundled with Windows 8 are being updated:

    The Music app is slated to receive a major redesign and overhaul due to lackluster consumer feedback and usage. It will likely be replaced with the XBOX Music App.

    The Photos app will have new editing features for macro-stylizing pictures, much like Instagram. Bring together pictures from your PC, SkyDrive, and phone.

    There will be new Microsoft-published apps, like an Alarm Clock.

    Improvements in the usage of apps when multiple apps are open.

    You can now display up to three apps at once on the same monitor.

    Click on an image in an app like Mail, and it will try to open it in the Photos app using a 50/50 split screen.

    The SkyDrive app will be updated to let you save files directly and access files offline, like the desktop version has since it was published.

    Most of the features in the desktop Control Panel may now actually appear in PC Customization under the Start Screen.

    Internet Explorer 11 will allow you to sync webpages across multiple devices like Google Chrome and Firefox have for the last several years.

    You will be able to choose directly where the Start Screen goes when it is opened.

    You can "change what the corners do". Maybe they are talking about the Charms functionality, which appears whenever you touch or move your mouse to the corner of the screen.

    More support for mouse and keyboard (but not specified directly).
    Eyecandy

    The Start Screen will offer more backgrounds, colors, shades, and backgrounds that contain motion visuals. The lock screen background will also be customizable.

    The Start Screen is updated to contain new multi-size tiles.

    Newly installed apps will be flagged as "new".

    The Windows Store has been redesigned.

    In addition to the lock-screen, there may be a "kiosk" mode, that allows for limited access to the device while showing off more eyecandy. This may have been a joke or rumor.

    Picture frame feature will allow you to turn your computer into an electronic picture frame.

    Security

    There may be security updates, but no one knows what they are until release notes are made available.

    Bugfix

    There is actually a bug where, if you do not restart your computer for Windows Updates, and Windows forces the computer to restart, it warns you not to "unplug your tablet". No word yet if that will ever be fixed, or if we are all just assumed to be tablet users now.

    Release Date

    Microsoft has announced the public preview, scheduled June 26th, 2013 and a general release on October 17th, 2013.

    Video





    Screenshots

    Windows 8.1 screenshots leaked, redesigns showcased | Windows Phone Central

    All of this, just so you don't have to use a precision stylus! Do you have any comments? Be sure to comment on your thoughts regarding Windows 8.1, or whether or not you have become aware of new updates.
     
    #1 Mike, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  2. Drew

    Drew Banned

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  3. PhyllisColeman

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    quite a good review this one is have filled in me new facts indifferent form its previous version which I'm currently using .. though this one is not that bad as there is a similar buzz so will must go for an upgrade through the 8.1..
     
  4. Orphydian

    Orphydian Well-Known Member

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    will Oblytile, the custom tile maker, work on it?
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    Go to its manufacturers site or to its own web site, to see what OSs are supported. Look under Support (there) for Drivers & Software. Update if need be.

    Cheers,
    Drew
    Win8Logo (2013_02_06 10_30_24 UTC). .1
     
    #5 Drew, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2013
  6. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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  7. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    I am now running Windows 8.1 as a VM. No, nobody got the old (Windows 7) start menu (back). But, there are a few things people did want that they probably will like, well maybe they will... some are hard to please.

    1. Can be told to boot to Desktop.
    2. Can toggle between Start & All Applications screens
    3. Can make the Applications display by Name.
    4. Can have applications show (1st) instead of Start.
    5. Shutdown & Restart can be found on the Power Users menu
    6. Some of the navigation may be felt to be generally more appealing.
    7. Having consistent background across all screens is nice.
    8. A start button on the Taskbar.
    9. Not a slew of Tiles on Start; things, instead, can, still, be told to be there.
    10. 4 digit PIN to sign-in.
    11. Open APPs on the Switcher Bar are labeled

    Cheers,
    Drew
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    It seems, from some of what I read, this needs be mentioned, again...

    Right now we have Windows 8.1 Preview available. IT IS A BETA!

    Once it goes RTM, it will be pushed out to Users who, already, have Windows 8 via Windows Updates later this summer. Until then...

    DO NOT upgrade (or overwrite) your Windows 8 w/ the 8.1 Preview. DO NOT replace your Windows 8 w/ Windows 8.1 Preview.

    Only install Windows 8.1 Preview on a spare box, as a dual-boot or as a virtual machine in Hyper-V on your Windows 8 host machine.

    Cheers,
    Drew
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    Personally, even w/ the ability to use the Windows button on the Taskbar to go to All Applications

    I, still, prefer to have an Applications window on the Taskbar. I like having an 'old fashioned' alphabetical listing and, still, like not having to change screens (from Desktop). I use this approach in Windows 8, always have and I, actually, am going to still use it even in Windows 8.

    Cheers,
    Drew
    [​IMG].1
     
  10. PhyllisColeman

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    even this is free to get it updated for the license holders of the win 8 .. this is another smart move form Microsoft to maintain its users remain sticked with the Win OS by this way
     
  11. Gary McPherson

    Gary McPherson Active Member

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    I have to be honest, this is the sort of thing Microsoft is driving me, and a lot of users, crazy with. Honestly, we don't want, nor need, to hear about devices, we just want to see the actual OS actually function. 1.5 Billion of us run Windows on a desktop or laptop. Odds are around 99.9 percent if we are replacing that device it will be with another device that is just like it. Most of us also own mobile devices, phones and likely at least one tablet. Our mobile devices do not replace our traditional platforms, nor do we want them to.

    The stuff Microsoft is putting out sounds like they are communicating to people that don't know what a mobile device is for. They should be trying to explain why their mobile environment is better than those of their competitors that have been out for the last 5 years or so. Not to mention the application gap between the three mobile environments.

    Don't get me wrong, I loved my WindowsRT Surface, and then returned it in 5 days for lack of applications compared with what I use on my Android Tablet. Microsoft actually has a golden egg in in the mobile space, but for heaven's sake, they need to remember their actual core. The desktop OS is also pretty amazing. The problem is everything you read is either mobile centric (touch) or it's so focused on "the right device" that it's totally useless to the billion plus users that really want this environment to succeed for themselves.
     
  12. PhyllisColeman

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    and why not there is some solid marketing also in demand to spread a buzz and create a speculations around... and there is no harm if the same practices turn for good ..
     
  13. Saeed Iranzad

    Saeed Iranzad New Member

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    Hi
    I am content with the Start screen and I have got used to it, but I missed the Gadgets.
    The way to install Gadgets on windows 8 doesn't work flawlessly on 8.1.
    I need to see an analog clock and if it's possible network traffic on my desktop.
    I tried some little softwares, but they are old and are made for XP.
     
  14. Mitchell_A

    Mitchell_A Excellent Member

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    I would beg to differ. While the average user has a desktop/laptop and a mobile device (all of which they use), Microsoft no longer sees the future that way. They don't see the need for a user to have two or three devices that all serve a different purpose. They think the average user should be able to do everything on one or two devices at the max. That's why they're taking a gamble with WP8, W8 and WinRT. to give users the choice to use whatever combination they want while keeping the experience familiar. What the average person has yet to realize is that they don't need a desktop computer and a laptop, they could survive perfectly fine with a tablet and a smartphone. Obviously Windows RT may not be for everyone, but x86 is available for tablets. Some users will need a workstation with power for editing this or doing that, but the average person just doesn't.

    And you were disappointed by the availability of apps on Windows RT? You would have been with Android too when it was less than a year old. food for thought.
     
  15. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    I'm just reiterating what others, and myself as well have said.
    Why does Microsoft think that everyone with a PC is going to switch to a pad, or phone?

    I have one of each and they can't do what I do on my PC.

    It's going to be a long time, if ever that businesses will rely on pads for office work.
    Graphic Designers are not going to run Photoshop and Indesign, or Illustrator on a pad.

    Gamers aren't going to play MMOs on a pad until you don't have to type to communicate.
    And a touch pad isn't a good game controller.

    I suppose they assume, probably correctly that most people will not upgrade their PC to Windows 8 from 7.
    And people who only use email and a browser are buying pads and phones, but users who really need to run software still have to have an OS to do it on.

    I can live with Windows 8, what worries me is where do they go from here?

    Mike
     
  16. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Indeed, this is my commentary on Microsoft right now as well.
     
  17. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    "Why does Microsoft think that everyone with a PC is going to switch to a pad, or phone?"

    But they didn't (imo) They provided the old, well loved, legacy mouse desktop built in. Just forgot to tell the user world about it.
     
  18. Mitchell_A

    Mitchell_A Excellent Member

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    +1 as I stated, the AVERAGE user does not need all these devices capable of running Adobe CS, etc. They need a device for running some applications but mostly web browsing, etc. There are no desktop features missing from W8 aside from the traditional start menu. Which has been replaced by a more efficient interface if I dare to say.
     
  19. Gary McPherson

    Gary McPherson Active Member

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    I would say you are 70% correct. I have run across a couple of games that do not work with the Windows 8 desktop. Not to mention, desktop applications that prompt for user input, but are never seen in Windows 8 because it wants to stick the PC user in the ridiculous modern UI with it's underwhelming applications. Windows 8.0 fails as a user friendly desktop platform compared with the Windows 7 UI.

    That said, the testing I have done with the Windows 8.1 beta actually does deliver on a better desktop environment. First, because you can default to the desktop on boot, second the start screen really does act as a start menu replacement allowing you to add only the apps you want and the tiles in sizes that make sense, and finally the all apps screen improvements give the user yet another start menu replacement.

    Windows 8.0 is a pig of a UI for the desktop and the market bears this out with it's lack of sales and Microsoft's worst quarterly showing ever. However, Windows 8.1 truly will be the environment that will at least begin to gain some momentum.
     
    Mitchell_A likes this.
  20. Mitchell_A

    Mitchell_A Excellent Member

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    I'm all game for the 8.1 changes except for the 2 hour reduction in battery life on my Surface RT
     

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