Windows 8.1 Blue – the latest and updated OS version of Windows 8 may hit the market by end of June 2013. This is not another patch or Service Pack update from Microsoft, it’s like a new OS. Windows 8.1 (codenamed as ‘Blue’) will be arriving with some of the features which were missed by users very much in Windows 8. Let’s see here what’s new in Windows 8.1 and will it be enough for home and business users to convince an upgrade?
Even though the latest OS will be arriving without any killer features, but the minor new features will satisfy home and business users. There are some leaked screenshots of 8.1 available on the internet, and few confirmations from Microsoft staff too.
Windows start button (not the exact one) is back in Windows 8.1. Also, you can directly boot into desktop mode, rather than going to tiles start screen and clicking desktop tile.
Microsoft has released a video about what’s new in Windows 8.1, which was embedded below.
Should be Happy With Start Button
As of current confirmation, this is not the exact Microsoft’s default start button like in earlier Operating Systems. A new Microsoft Windows logo will appear on the bottom left-hand corner of the desktop. We need to customize it to get most of the start button icons.
Sysprobs earlier published a guide about how to get start button/menu in Windows 8/2012 by third-party tools.
Start Directly into Desktop Mode
Yes, latest Windows 8.1 supports direct boot to desktop mode and you can avoid first tiles based start screen. I rarely use tiles based start screen in my Windows 8 desktop computer, I always click on the desktop tile to get into usual desktop screen after system boot up. So, with this new feature, I can directly get the usual desktop screen, which will be loved by most of the users.
More Changes in Interface
The latest version might have some interesting changes in the interface, desktop, tiles, wallpaper, and search.
1) You have more and easy control in changing wallpaper from start screen itself. You can change the appearance of the start menu, desktop, colors, and even add animated wallpapers.
The lock screen also can be customized.
2) Current Windows 8 supports only 2 tile sizes, but with Windows 8.1, you can have 4 tile sizes. So, you have more options to manage the program tiles on the start screen. For example, you can set a larger size for most frequent and important programs/files or smaller size for non-important icons. See the above screenshot as an example.
3) Equally sized split screen for apps
If you could remember, in current Windows 8 you can split the screen into two portions to run programs, but not equally. One split screen will be almost a full-screen size and another one will be very small. Now Windows 8.1 will allow you to have the equally sized split screen to have easy access and view of programs.
4) Change in showing search results
Search results will be displayed in the different and good way. All the results will be listed together no matter whether it’s app, files or settings, also in the new window.
IE 11 & SkyDrive Integration
The latest Internet Explorer (IE) 11 comes with this version. SkyDrive, the cloud storage from Microsoft has been integrated more with Windows 8.1.
What’s New in Windows 8.1 for Business Users
Some of the interesting features added to target business users, of course, it’s applicable for home users too.
Now you can connect and print with enterprise wireless printers without installing actual drivers by using NFC pairing. That’s cool.
Also, Windows 8.1 mobile devices can act as the WiFi hotspot to share the internet connection (like internet tethering)
There are few more features added in networking, VPN and to ease system administration.
You can find out all possible what’s new features for business users in Windows 8.1 here at ZDNet.
Is It Enough?
In my personal opinion, these new features will not change much on the users who are already hating Windows 8. If you are already using or planned to use Windows 8, then these new features will make your life easy and excite.
At the end, these all are not the ‘wow..’ factor changes or features. You already must love Windows 8 to accept or like these changes.
I’m a Windows lover, and Windows 8 user, so definitely I will be liking these features. How about you?