There have been many rumors about the features and improvements that Windows 8.1 update will bring. Today Microsoft has shared a first look at the upcoming Windows 8.1 update in which it describes various changes, improvements and enhancements that this update will bring.Improvements have been made in areas such as built-in apps, Windows Store experience, search, personalization and cloud connectivity. Microsoft has said that it will say more about these features at TechEd North America, which takes place next week.


In Windows 8.1, users will be able to turn their Lock screen in to a slide show of pictures, photos can either be stored on local drive or can be pulled from SkyDrive. Users can now take pictures from the Lock screen itself. There are now more colors and backgrounds for Start screen, even the desktop background can now be chosen as the Start screen background. The Windows 8.1 Start screen features Live tiles of multiple sizes, multiple apps can be selected at once and can be re sized, rearranged or uninstalled.All installed apps can now be viewed by swiping from the bottom, users also get the ability to filter apps by name, most used, category or date installed. All apps that are newly installed won’t automatically be pinned on Start screen, rather they’ll be displayed under apps view from where the user might pin them if necessary.

The Search charm in Windows 8.1 will display global search results in a easy to read view, the search is powered by Bing. It pulls up results from various sources such as apps, files, actions you take, SkyDrive and the internet to provide the best ‘answer’ for any search query. Windows 8.1 allows users to save files directly to SkyDrive, the new SkyDrive app will let users access their files that are on the device or in the cloud. Files will also be accessible when there’s no internet connection.


Microsoft says that they will be releasing new apps in the future, for now they’ve detailed changes that have been made to built-in Photos and Music apps. New editing features have been added to Photos app and Music has been completely redesigned. The Windows Store has also been improved, it now shows more information with detailed lists on new releases and top free apps. Windows 8.1 comes with continuous and variable sizes of snap views, which will allow users to see multiple apps on the screen simultaneously. Apps can be re sized to any size, screen can be shared between two apps and up to three apps can be opened on a screen if multiple displays are connected.


It was rumored for quite some time that Windows 8.1 will bring back the iconic Start button, it does indeed. Moving the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen will bring up the Start ‘tip’ that’s the familiar Windows logo, it will always be visible on the taskbar when on desktop.Windows 8.1 will be available later this year as a free upgrade for Windows 8 users, a preview of this update will be released at the Build conference next month.

Filed in Cellphones >Tablets. Read more about Microsoft and Windows 8.1.

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