Formerly known as Windows Blue, Microsoft has now updated its Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Many of the major changes focus on user interface. The Windows 8.1 preview clearly shows that a lot of work has been done on the existing applications, and even some new apps have been introduced.
A Look at the Features
A new alarm app has been added, with all the basic functions intact, with a timer, a stopwatch and the option of setting an alarm to repeat at any day of the week. In the new version of Windows 8, a much advanced and modern type calculator app has also been added. It includes a unit converter that lets users calculate volume, weight, temperature, length, area, time, data, speed, power and energy. When used alongside the desktop, it lets you do your work, without having to mess around with individual window sizes. For people who like to take photographs with tablets, there are some interesting features in the Windows 8.1 camera app. The interface is more user friendly, and there are some new editing options not seen earlier. Microsoft has even made its own food related app, which offers tips, recipes, and articles about food and wine. Users can also create shopping lists, meal plans, create their own recipes and share them with other apps. Even the Xbox Music app has received a major visual redo. The interface of the Photos app has been changed. The Reading List, a relatively simple app lets users save articles for later reading. There is also a new Health and Fitness app which is full of features for staying healthy.
The New IE!
The new Internet explorer 11 also brings some useful changes to Windows 8.1 with an ability to open three Web pages side by side in independent windows. There are some other small modifications also like syncing among all Windows 8.1 devices, saved passwords, reopening a closed tab option and a built in download viewer.
The layout of the Windows Store in Windows 8.1 has been completely revamped. There is now a single column of featured apps on the left hand side of the screen, which is followed by rows of suggestions. Even the categorizations on the main page have been changed slightly.
The operating system now comes with the ability to swipe your hand in front of the webcam in order to browse through pages, and also the ability to wirelessly stream media to a TV through an Xbox game console. The Start button makes a return with the option of booting directly to desktop mode.
The great thing about the new Windows is that it provides users with a full Windows desktop experience on tablets and blurs the line between PC and mobile.
Microsoft has definitely addressed the grievances users had with Windows 8, to make it a much better operating system to use.