After months of testing and public previewing Microsoft has officially announced the availability of the latest version of Windows dubbed the Windows 8.1. Users with existing Windows 8 devices will get automatic update to the newer version of the operating system or can download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store. Indian users can start updating their Windows 8 machines starting from today (October 17th, 2013) 4:30 PM.

Microsoft has brought a bunch of improvements and enhancements in key areas of the updated Windows 8.1 like personalization, search, the built-in apps, Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity. One of the major improvement is the return of the ‘Start Button‘ which earlier Microsoft ditched in favor of Start screen.

Windows 8.1 lands up for Public Release - Check out What’s New

What’s new with Windows 8.1 –

  • Start Button – Microsoft has brought back the famous Start Button for Windows. But it lacks the basic functionality as on older Windows, if you hit the start button it just brings back to the Start screen. Anyway you can now directly boot to desktop, by skipping the start screen.
  • Start screen – The Start screen in Windows 8.1 is more customizable than ever with new tile sizes, new background designs and colors – allowing users to make the Start screen on their device unique and personal to them.
  • You can turn your PC or tablet into a picture frame by making your Lock screen a slide show of your pictures – either locally on the device or photos from the cloud in SkyDrive.
  • In start screen, you can now select multiple apps all at once, resize them, uninstall them, or rearrange them. New ability to filter your apps by name, date installed, most used, or by category.
  • Bing deeply integrates to Windows – the global search results powered by Bing bring in a rich, simple-to-read, aggregated view of many content sources (the web, apps, files, SkyDrive, actions you can take) on your query.
  • Improved all built-in apps that come with Windows, like Music app has been completely redesigned to help pick and play music from your collection.
  • Multi-tasking– Windows 8.1 brings variable, continuous size of snap views, helping you to see multiple apps on the screen at the same time. You can resize apps to any size you want, share the screen between two apps, or have up to four apps on-screen.
  • Improved Windows Store in Windows 8, with app listing becoming more descriptive and informative and includes an area for related apps to help with app discovery.
  • Updated PC Settings in Windows 8.1 gives you access to all your settings on your device without having to go to the Control Panel on the desktop.
  • Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) – It will offer better touch performance, faster page load times and several other new features.

Starting from October 18th all new devices running Windows will come with the updated Windows 8.1 out of the box and will also be available as packaged DVD product at retail stores around the world.

For those who need help in updating to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 head over to Windows Support section where you will also get all basic details required for updating.

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