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Windows 8.1

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Explore Windows 8.1 features and delve into a unique experience with an exquisite design and a reliable platform

Windows 8.1 is the latest version of the Windows operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on desktop computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablets and home theater PCs. Windows 8.1 introduces significant enhancements to the operating system platform, specifically aimed at improving the user interface on handheld devices like laptops to compete with other desktop operating systems (such as Android and iOS), taking advantage of new and emerging technologies such as USB 3.0, UEFI hardware, near-field networking, cloud storage, and low-power ARM design. New security improvements such as malware identification, built-in antivirus apps along with stable boot support, and a notorious UEFI feature that enables digitally signed operating systems to prevent malware from infecting the boot process, are included in Windows 8.1 with other updates and performance upgrades.
Indeed, Microsoft has significantly enhanced the look and sound of Windows and made the future of computers a daring game. Nowadays, touch mode is almost everything, and virtually everything in Windows 8 has been designed to be used in an environment without laptops or handheld computers.

Percentage of the use of Microsoft's Operating Systems in Australia

Percentage of the use of Microsoft's Operating Systems in Australia

What's New in Windows 8.1 Update ?

Perhaps the clearest sign of Microsoft's dedication to smartphone and laptop users is that the software now reacts when it's running on a touch-capable device, however, when it is not, it will move to a desktop monitor that looks more like a Windows 7 interface. The updated Windows 8.1 OS adapts to the needs of keyboard and mouse users in a variety of other ways, as can be seen later in this review. This automatic screen boot to non-touch PC devices is considered to be the biggest upgrade for certain applications. Windows 8.1 users will also be able to adjust the setup for booting to the desktop, so that when the Update detects the System type, the desktop display returns to normal automatically. Some of the new developments follow the same strategy: the way the operating system transforms to fit the user's screen or mouse or keyboard configuration.

Top features of Windows 8.1

In its aim to maintain its advanced programs, Microsoft never ceases to include new features in its newest releases. Below is a quick look at the top new updates of Windows 8.1:

  • Improved Mail app.
  • Loads of included apps and utilities.
  • Fastest startup of any Windows 8.1 version
  • Better integration of tiled Start screen and desktop.
  • Boot to desktop by default on laptops and desktops.
  • Better mouse and keyboard usability and Auto Predict
  • Better integration of modern and "classic" Windows apps
Windows 8.1 Top features

What are the major changes and features in the new Windows 8.1 Operating System ?

Animated and colorful tiles windows 8.1

Animated and colorful tiles

When you first turn to Windows 8.1 PC, you won't notice many changes from Windows 8. The boot process is still fast, and the Live Tiles still welcome you when you log in. However, as you continue to walk through, subtle improvements are becoming more and more noticeable. The Tile command in the graphical user interface squares all open windows and displays them in row and column order. The Windows Store screen is also now animated, providing regular device reviews. While most of the Start Screen updates are based on current Windows 8-style applications, Microsoft is now allowing traditional mobile apps to use dynamic tiles instead of only system icons, which will make the Start Screen look a little better. Swiping up on the Start screen will open the All Apps screen, which includes a list of all installed apps on your device. You can also set it as the primary view when you launch the Start Screen, one of the enhancements designed to make Windows 8.1 more accessible to anyone who knows how to use the system drawer. Moreover, adjusting the parameters to delete the Start Screen requires diving into screen mode.

Start button and Snap views windows 8.1

Start button and Snap views

The very first time you open a laptop with Windows 8.1, you can note the return of an ultra-family Start Button which serves as a gateway to flip between the desktop and the Start Screen Spaces, and can only appear on the Start Screen if you use the mouse to move to the lower left corner. This will strip Microsoft's odd square tip from Windows 8.1, and others will act as a gentle reminder of how to use Windows. Windows 8.1 provides a lot of versatility across the board. You can also choose from the built-in backgrounds that turn and transform when you press, and you can also change the color theme with a color picker that is much more flexible. Yet the real star of the show is the ability to use wallpaper as a background for the Start Display. It seems simple, but it's an easy way to get across the otherwise complicated transition from screen to Start Screen. You can also continue to click on the Windows 8 Continue List. You can also scan the Charms for buttons that appear when you push the cursor to one of the right corners with the mouse or the buttons on the touch screen from the top. Windows 8.1 Update adds an optional magnifying glass icon to make search features easier. It offers a flexible discovery feature for the OS that can find not only applications and files, but also online content and downloadable songs. Before this update, the power button was pretty much covered. Users were supposed to go to Settings Charm, simply select Control, and then shut down.

Side-By-Side Apps are more useful

Side-By-Side Apps are more useful

One of Windows 8.1 main updates is the opportunity to set up Windows 8.1-style apps in screenshots, for instance, if you pick a switch from a website, you will be thrown into the 50/50 view of your current app and the one you're opening, when you open a picture from an email or somewhere else, the view gives a little more space for the photo itself. Any app can have multiple windows and can be distributed around multiple screens. If you've ever had apps snapped and you're waiting to open a new one, Windows 8.1 will ask you to use a single floating tile to select the place where the program will be snapped. The shifting tile bounces from one side to the other to demonstrate that you can put it on. These new views allow Windows 8.1 users to select how much of the system makes up a snapped part of the entire screen, including a step to make several applications snap alongside each other. Small tablets can only be split equally, but a 27-inch panel can handle up to four devices side-by-side. You can also drag and drop devices between devices using Miracast-compatible displays. Windows 8.1 style apps are much more accessible in this mode, particularly when you combine them with traditional mobile apps. When you're a big smartphone user, this makes Windows 8.1-style apps more easy to use with other features.

Pin Modern Apps to the Taskbar

Pin Modern Apps to the Taskbar

Windows 8.1 Store software is now being introduced to the taskbar by default, so it makes perfect sense for all devices that can now boot to the desktop screen. Users may also connect any of the store devices to the smartphone taskbar at the moment. Luckily, those who don't really like modernity can disable the feature in the Taskbar Properties pane. A similar new taskbar function is that this device can now appear when a desktop or laptop user pushes the cursor to the bottom of the screen, even when in a modern app. Some of the main goals of the redesign is to bring two cultures together; the old world and the new one, and nothing could be more delightful than seeing a modern app's button on. The Upgrade attaches the Store button to the taskbar, to expand a fusion of the two device styles, which is something that will satisfy the Store device creators. However, that may have the effect of confounding mobile users who may assume that the Taskbar button would open the desktop app, when it's just shunting them into the current app environment. Trying to compensate for this is another update in Update: the Taskbar will now appear if you move the mouse to the bottom of the screen in a modern device. It involves the Start screen itself. This is a good task-switching option, but additional buttons will make for a cluttered screen and often run into the app's own user controls. In the case of Start, it's All Apps button politely slides away after a pause.

Bing smart Search

Bing smart Search

Bing Smart Search was planned for Windows 8.1 from the ground up and is a different way to locate encounters. Just click or type from the Start screen and Intelligent Search will find what you need, whether it's a folder on your Mac, a cloud-based photo archive, your favorite laptop, or a website. Intelligent Search is the first completely customized software for all types of users. The web displays allow you to view at-a-glance what the web page is like behind and on the hunt, and a quick finger swipe allows the app to be searched as much as possible. You will see a rich visual summary of the most relevant information from across the web and popular search applications, making Smart Search the perfect companion for your new Windows phone. Enhancements include doing more natural searching, for examples, if you don't know where to go to find new Windows applications, you can check for "get windows apps" where Smart Search will be highlighting the Windows Store. Bing Search has taken over some of the most common roles users do in Windows 8.1 to get Smart Search results focused over knowing the natural language. Bing also did some work to enhance common spelling errors in the Smart Search bar and to demonstrate more applications that may be relevant to your search.

The powerful OneDrive Sync and Internet Explorer

The powerful OneDrive Sync and Internet Explorer

Microsoft ties the architectural updates and functionality to a new range of built-in app upgrades, based more than ever on OneDrive. Microsoft's cloud-based operating network is still running Windows 8.1 this time around. The sync system is integrated directly as Microsoft has made some clever changes to the way files are linked to Windows 8.1 PCs. Instead of dragging the entire OneDrive storage to a local PC, the icons are loaded, and only basic information is needed to define the file. When you open the tab, it will be downloaded on-site. You can also set up directories and files to be entirely copied so that they are accessible offline, or even set up a whole OneDrive instance to live offline on your Desktop. The end result is that all of your preferences, files, and software are saved in OneDrive. This makes it extremely easy to sign in to every other Windows 8.1 PC and start loading applications and documents as though it is your own phone. Microsoft is now using its cloud-sync platform to boost Internet Explorer that allows limitless tabs and transfers them to the edge to make them easy to access on a smaller Windows 8.1 tablet. It's a lot quicker and more natural, and you can even share tabs between Windows 8.1 devices alongside preferences and history. Microsoft has now allowed WebGL compatibility for Internet Explorer, enabling developers to target a web browser for strong web-based games. The Reading View alternative increases the readability of the sites and helps you to save them for later viewing. The ability of Internet Explorer to identify contact information helps you to easily dial from web sites using applications like Skype. Some of these updates are perfect for the touch-friendly Internet Explorer.

Useful apps for communication

Useful apps for communication

Quality has also changed significantly, with draft emails only showing on the right rather than taking up the entire page. Users of Outlook obviously had the best experience. Microsoft introduced a highlighted email feature to support favourites and independent filters for updates and social communications. Indeed, Microsoft has now introduced mail in Windows 8.1 to the new browser, enabling you to snap messages side by side. Combined with the latest Calendar update, which comes with a redesigned and a modern "what's next" display, enhancements to the common feature, and some keyboard changes for fast number entry, the built-in Mail interface is light years ahead of what was available in Windows 8. Microsoft is now using Skype as part of its Windows 8.1 messaging update, scrapping its restricted Messenger feature in favour of the built-in version of Skype. While it's also a standalone program that functions exactly as it would on Windows 8, Microsoft has now expanded Skype 's capabilities to the lock screen; you can also take calls without needing to access your Computer. Skype's chat interface also needs some major changes, but convergence functions through Users and Mail applications to make it easy for you to press on contacts.

Mouse movement responses windows 8.1

Smarter Mouse movement responses

Microsoft has made mousing around the Windows 8.1 upgrade easier and more comfortable. The golden rule for getting around Windows 8 and 8.1 has long been "tap tops, button corners." Such activities bring up OS functions such as the Charms menu or the device list running. Now, however, whether you push the cursor quickly to the corner of the window either to touch the top-right X icon, or to the top-left back icon of the screen, you won't see these OS functions until you stop the cursor. Yet another time-honoured tribute to mouse power users, right-clicking on the Start button activates a context menu above the cursor rather than the device bar at the bottom of the page. A source of annoyance for many laptop Computer users in Windows 8.1 has been the unwelcome loading of new applications when they double-click files on the screen. The best example of this was the image program: opening the File Explorer window and double-clicking the JPG entry would immediately launch the modern Images app. Although this feature has become even more powerful in Windows 8.1, Microsoft is now taking a more sensible approach to displaying the screen-clicked picture in the web photo display.

Modern windows 8.1

Modern Wallpaper and slideshows

Window 8.1 wallpapers have consistently been a fantastic source of inspiration and the perfect way to brighten up your boring workspace. Generally, with every new edition of its Windows Operating System, Microsoft Windows involves some really great and cool wallpapers that are based on the Windows edition by default. An impressive, landscape abstract artwork illustrating the Windows 8.1 style, incorporated in the wallpapers that definitely look stunning on your desktop. Windows 8.1 Microsoft has introduced even more configuration options. In your Start home screens you can now have the same history just go to Menu Charms, click Settings, and select Customize. You can alter the background design and color here; one of the choices you'll notice is the background you've got on your desktop. Another great aspect is the opportunity to make a slideshow which will be running on the lock screen of your device. It can be accessed by pressing on the "Change PC settings" option, going to the Charms menu, selecting Settings and. First, open the Computer & Tools, and turn from off to on the slideshow. Your computer background may be a different image set for each particular monitor, a single image set for all screens, or a slide show trying to play randomly selected images on all screens.

Lots of improvements, but hopefully there's still more to come

Lots of improvements, but hopefully there's still more to come

Returning the Start button is the most clear concession that Microsoft has gone a bit too far with its wide Windows 8 ambitions, but it's still an simple way to make it sound a little more familiar to Windows users. Microsoft has done a lot in 12 months, even though a lot of add-ons sound like they should have been there from the very start of Windows 8. Smart OneDrive functionality, along with a stunning and efficient built-in quest, are the best examples of Microsoft's rapid work on developing Windows 8 with this 8.1 update. Microsoft also also shows the company 's pledge of a collaborative Environment that works together to develop Windows and other services. Let's hope that a potential upgrade will allow you to bring Windows 8.1 type apps out of a window that runs through all desktops. Windows 8 users will definitely accept updates to Windows 8.1 which will help clear up the uncertainty in some places. Whether Microsoft is willing to keep up that pace and merge its devices and services ever further into Windows 8.1 in the future, there will be a lot to look forward to.

Our favourite features of Window 8.1

Quick Camera Access from the Lock Screen

Quick Camera Access from the Lock Screen

Microsoft noticed Windows 8.1 users displaying photos of their loved ones on their Lock screens, so they figured, why stop at one photo? In Windows 8.1 users can turn their Lock screen into a slideshow of photos that they've taken straight from their device or from OneDrive. Or users can take photos right from the Lock screen with the built-in camera.The new lock screen doesn't just pull in your photos, it also displays images taken within the year from that day's date.

Xbox Radio Music

Xbox Radio Music

The Xbox Radio Music app allows you to create new radio stations centered on your music collection. Microsoft bundles this app for free without requiring a subscription, and the app integrates with other applications such as Internet Explorer. This means if you visit a website for a music festival or concert, Xbox Music will automatically match artists and songs to those listed on the website and create a playlist for you.

Bing Smart Search

Bing Smart Search

A revamped search function known as Bing Smart Search combines Web search results with information stored on your PC. For example, typing in a query will pull up relevant apps such as Wikipedia, related searches, and search results that provide a preview of what the Web page will look like before following the link. Swiping to the right will reveal thumbnail views of each search result.

Bing Food & Drink

Bing Food & Drink

Bing Food & Drink is Microsoft’s comprehensive cooking guide. In addition to letting users browse recipes, the app helps you pair wine and cocktails with your dishes and explore tips from world renowned chefs. If you’re consulting Bing Food & Drink while whipping something up in the kitchen, Microsoft says you can use Hands Free Mode to navigate through recipes using gesture controls.

Multi-Window Mode

Multi-Window Mode

Microsoft has included a new feature in Windows 8.1 to enable easier multitasking, allowing users to run apps side-by-side on a single screen. The ability to run multiple apps simultaneously will also improve, with snap views so you can see more than two apps on your screen and resize those apps, rather than having one main and one docked app as in Windows 8. That way, you can literally build your interface to look exactly how you like. Plus, users can have the same app running on multiple windows, such as Internet Explorer, for improved multitasking capabilities.

Bing Health & Fitness

Bing Health & Fitness

Microsoft’s new fitness app not only comes with more than 1,000 exercises, but it also features a built-in search engine for pinpointing symptoms when you're not feeling well. The app encompasses various aspects of improving general health, from tracking your diet through its food journal to learning more about the human anatomy through its 3D Body Maps. Great!, isn’t it?

OneDrive Saving and New PC Settings Menu

OneDrive Saving and New PC Settings Menu

Files will be saved directly to OneDrive, and you can access them even when you're offline. Plus, if you log into your device using your Outlook.com account, all your settings and apps will sync. In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has consolidated all settings into one easy-to-navigate menu. This includes everything from managing Bluetooth and display preferences to tweaking OneDrive settings.

Keyboard Gestures and Auto Predict

Keyboard Gestures and Auto Predict

Microsoft has made some improvements to the touch screen keyboard in Windows 8.1, such as a revamped auto predict feature. When typing on screen, suggestions automatically appear directly under where the user is typing. Rather than selecting a suggestion by tapping it, users can swipe along the space bar to navigate between suggestions and hit the spacebar to make a decision.

Conclusion

Windows 8.1 brings intense competition, and has been very popular as it incorporates advanced new ideas. Windows 8.1 offers excellent usability on big screens and on a decent palm-sized smartphone. Flexibility and accessibility are included to make the devices well organized. The desktop computers are very powerful and have reached great speed and have already seen a range of revolutionary features. The Start screen is quite creative and the Start menu is certainly new compared to previous models. We would assume that after the launch, other secret features like zooming and multimedia control will be even more popularized. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and be on the track by using the Windows 8.1 most popular Operating System.