Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 which includes a number of revised features that will improve user experience, after concerns over the original version of Windows 8. More specifically, users will now see the start button and the traditional desktop interface restored. A lot of effort has been made to make the new Windows version something easier and more familiar to users. So, Microsoft tried to bridge the gap between touchscreen devices such as tablets or smartphones, and more traditional machines like laptops and desktop.
The changes in a nutshell:
Although the well-known start button is back, don’t expect to see the Windows Start Menu here. Tapping once on this will bring you the tiled interface while a long press will open up system controls.
Windows 8.1 will give you more personalisation options. You can choose from built-in backgrounds that move and animate as you swipe or change the colour pattern with a colour picker. There is also a great option that enables you to set the desktop wallpaper as the background of the Start Screen.
What is really remarkable on the new version is the option to arrange Windows 8-style apps in snapped views. So if you click a link from an app, you will come across a 50/50 view with your existing app and the one you’re opening.
Search in Windows 8.1 has become more universal. It is now an app in its own right which incorporates Bing web engine to find results. The search app gathers documents and data or even web results stored locally or even in SkyDrive, system settings.
The ability to store all your files and apps in SkyDrive gives you the flexibility to log in to any other Windows 8.1 PC and start loading apps and documents as if it was your own device.
The Mail app has been adjusted to enhance both touch and mouse use. Dragging and dropping messages and selecting multiple checkboxes and messages or filtering emails has become far easier.
The new app called the Reading List runs with Internet Explorer as well as along with other reading material like the Big news or Sports apps, and allows you to save content that you want to read later. Using Reading List, you can design an actual reading list and retrieve your saved articles at any time.
Microsoft has done a lot of readjustments to Windows 8.1 to meet its marketing ends. With sales of PCs shrinking for six quarters in a row, according to research firm Gartner, Microsoft hopes to gain a significant competitive advantage over Apple. A recent study by the American Customer Satisfaction index showed that Apple outperform Microsoft in terms of the overall customer satisfaction with PCs, tablets, laptops, etc,