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Windows 8.1 coming soon: Here’s what you need to know

Windows 8

Microsoft’s rather ambitious revamp of its Windows operating system – Windows 8 – has been out for a while now, and it has been one of the most polarizing topics in the world of technology ever since.

Now, Microsoft has lined up a major update to it that’s being dubbed Windows 8.1. Read on to know more about it!

The Start button is back (kind of)
Windows has been synonymous with the Start button throughout its existence, and Microsoft’s controversial decision to do away with it made it incur the wrath of plenty of desktop users. The button is now a tip on the bottom left corner that will always hover above all apps (except Metro ones)

Direct boot to desktop
MSFT’s dogmatic and tablet centric approach to Windows 8 led to the tiled Metro Start Screen being the default screen on booting up a Windows 8 device. This was suboptimal for businesses and the like, and has now been made optional.

Start Screen wallpapers
The Start Screen had little by the way of customizability so far, save for the odd funky color and texture combination. Now, you can choose a wallpaper for it, just like you would for a desktop.

UI changes
Like the new Windows Phone 8 UI, Windows 8.1 will allow multiple sized tiles in the Start Screen, as opposed to the fixed sizes seen in Windows 8. Auto pinning of apps has been disabled, which will go a long way in preventing clogged up Start Screens. The lock screen sees a number of improvements as well.

Snap View is available for low res screens as well
Using Metro apps on older low res screens has been a massive issue as it almost completely does away with one of Windows’ greatest strengths – its easy multi-window UI. So far, Snap View was an option for resolutions higher than 1366×768 only, and this has been expanded to allow cheaper/older screens get Snap View as well.

Internet Explorer 11
There’s a new version of the Internet Explorer browser to be seen in Windows 8.1: IE 11. Now, tabs can be arranged at the bottom of the screen, with no limitations on either them or bookmarks. Microsoft has also lifted Chrome’s syncing feature, as there will be tab synchronization across Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.

Windows 8.1 is expected to release at the end of next month, and it will be a free download for existing Windows 8 users. There’s a lot to look forward to in it, so don’t miss the update!

Release ID: 148

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