Windows 8.1 Has Landed…
At least the preview version for now. Everything I’ve seen second hand leads me to believe that Microsoft have improved on the excellent Windows 8 tenfold.
So for now, I’ve garnished screenshots, reviews and videos online to get an idea of what Windows 8.1 delivers.
Windows 8.1 delivers a preview of what we can expect. If precedent is anything to go by we will still see some changes in the Release version. That said Windows 8.1 is expected to be available via the Store to download as an update to the existing OS; if you have Windows 8/RT you should be able to get this free.
So what else?
- Start button: this is not the classical Start Button of Windows days of old but delivers a solution to those who simply couldn’t get their head around the missing button.
- An improved, better Store
- In store / In App monetization improvements. I’ve stated in a post on Windows Phone that a big key to success or failure is enticing developers to invest in the OS and the same is true here.
- Single search: results from the web, on the PC and Apps
- More popular Apps delivered or in the pipeline e.g. improved Twitter and an official Facebook App is coming
- New Bing (based) Apps: with the announcement that Bing is a platform, APIs and all come new Apps e.g. Bing Food & Drink, Bing Health & Fitness and updated Bing Maps. Hit the link and read about how Food & Drink is designed for kitchen use and looks to be an outstanding, killer app.
- Internet Explorer 11 preview: given the incredible experience using IE10 I’m excited to see how Microsoft have improved on an already great UX
- Support for multiple device sizes, types and resolutions
- Support for 3D Printing: having built in support for 3D Printing is a huge inroad into one of the hottest technologies. Plug and play drivers makes this accessible to everyone and means that if you 3D Print Windows 8.1 is your OS of choice out of the box! (Microsoft may have just stolen the whole marketshare on Personal Computer to 3D Printing with this.)
- All this and more.
I started using this word recently to refer to those online whose overwhelming dislike for Microsoft and especially Windows 8 is so pervasive that they just can’t help themselves. Case in point today many self-proclaimed “pro” tech bloggers who are clearly H8ters had such little integrity or self-restraint that they began slamming Windows 8.1 before they had even seen it.
In an age of multi-boot PCs, tablets that run Android and Windows and Macs that can run Windows as a VM the consumer no longer has to pick one platform and commit whole-heartedly to it. This may be the biggest progress we have seen in the personal computing arena in the last few years and it makes redundant the simplistic and frankly immature OS Trolling we have come to expect from certain quarters.
“Hi I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” is dead.
Today the mantra is “Hi I’m a Mac and a PC too” or “Hi I’m an Android and a PC too”
With thanks to Youtube user Lukepuuk
The Warptest POV
Microsoft have evolved and put the age of Vista behind them. Redmond has learnt from past experiences and if Windows 8.1 and Xbox One show us nothing else, it’s that they are capable of responding to constructive consumer criticism and improving products and limitations to answer those needs. This behavior could herald a golden age of Redmond Renaissance.
The H8ters aren’t going to change their tune but hopefully the consumers who were fearful of making the leap to Windows 8 as the countdown on Windows XP ticks away will feel more confident and join the Windows 8 revolution.
My advice to consumers is don’t rely on the H8ters but get out to the stores and go hands-on for yourself, especially on the touch enabled devices. Most of these are still going to be Windows 8 but Windows 8.1 is coming. So are you ready and willing?