Windows 8.1 previously referred to as Windows Blue have been under development for the past few months. Microsoft promises to fix some of the issues users have reported with the Windows 8 OS and would also be adding a couple of new features too.

Windows 8.1 comes with new small tweaks and fixes with a Start button, more customization options for the start screen and would also include options to disable the hot corners (Charms Bar). There will also be a new option to shutdown your PC more easily and to boot directly into the Windows 8 desktop.
In short, there wont be any stand out features that would come along with Windows 8.1 but rather some essential improvements to nearly every nook in Windows 8 to make it significantly better.

update to Windows 8.1

Set Desktop Wallpaper as the background to the Start Screen with Windows 8.1

There had been a surmisal that there would be a cost involved in getting the new update from Windows, but this is not true.

Here’s what you’d need to know before upgrading to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 or from Windows 8.1 Preview.

  • Windows 8.1 will be released as a major update to the existing Windows 8 & RT users later this year (around October) and will be available via Windows Store as a free update.
  • Windows 8.1 Public Preview will be made available for Windows 8 and RT users during the Microsoft’s Build conference on June 26, 2013.
  • You are advised to grab the update via the Windows update option and this doesn’t require much involvement. You won’t require a clean install to get to Windows 8.1.
  • If you’ve managed to hop into the Windows 8.1 Preview before the general availability, Microsoft alarms that you’d be forced to re-install the Metro apps and desktop Applications that you’ve already installed in your system. This means you might need to wait if you don’t want to end up re-installing all your applications.
  • If you’re using Windows 8 RT you wont be able to restore Windows 8 RT after installing the Windows RT 8.1 Preview. However you could upgrade when the final build of Windows RT 8.1 is released.

Features in Windows 8.1

I love Windows 8 for many reasons and haven’t felt that the start menu was a requisite neither. Though it doesn’t impede my productivity,  there are little annoyances for regular desktop users, like the far away shutdown option, hot corners etc. Windows 8 is still being compared to Vista. This is not a fair comparison at all and Windows have been improved a lot. With the new Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft definitely would be gaining more fan base.

Download Windows 8.1 Preview

Amal Roy is the Founder-Editor of Computing Unleashed. A Technology Enthusiast, Windows Adept and a Proud Geek!