Microsoft Windows 8.1 Software Review

What is Windows 8.1?

This is a prolonged awaited refurbish to arguably Microsoft’s many desirous and argumentative handling complement to date, Windows 8. In prior generations it would’ve been referred to as a Service Pack, yet these days a trend is for decimalisation.

Its charge is arguably as formidable as a initial plea of building Windows 8: combine dual away excellent yet differing OSes, a normal desktop and ‘Modern UI’ for touch. 8.1 also needs to fill gaps in a finger accessible ‘Modern UI’ that forced we behind to a desktop and take a corner off some of a desktop’s some-more individualist elements. Yes Start button, we’re looking during you.

SEE ALSO: Everything we need to know about Windows 9

Windows 8 Modern UI

Windows 8.1 – Setup

The days of Windows Update are prolonged left as Microsoft has orderly folded OS updates into a Windows Store and users are automatically stirred to update. The download routine (clocking in during a vast 3.4GB for a 64-bit chronicle and 2.1GB for a RT edition) thankfully takes place in a background, usually interlude we from operative when it is time to install.

Windows 8 setup

This is a extensive routine (a span of laptops and a high powered desktop took between 20 and 40 mins to complete) yet for Windows 8 users it is seamless returning we to all as we left it. If, like us, we have been regulating a Windows 8.1 Preview, however,  you’re in for a nasty surprise. You will be sensitive your ‘apps’ contingency be reinstalled after a update, a problem being this is ‘apps’ in a post-Apple App Store world.

What Microsoft unequivocally means is your Modern UI apps will need to be redownloaded, yet what we have will be remembered and this is a teenager inconvenience. More crucially all desktop program and a preferences will be private for beta testers so you’ll need to go by a routine of reinstalling all from Chrome to Spotify. All a third-party drivers did continue to work, yet it is value remembering beta contrast scarcely always carries a price.


During a ascent routine a desktop designation failed, yet safely reverted to Windows 8. The laptops encountered no problems and a desktop commissioned yet a problem during a second attempt. We haven’t seen widespread reports of ascent problems so we’ll assume this was a singular occurrence until we hear differently. Let us know your experiences.

Once adult and regulating we are treated as if you’re regulating a OS for a initial time and, given a changes made, this is no bad thing. You will be asked to select your colour intrigue (a wider operation is now available), login and re-verify your Microsoft comment around email or SMS (you don’t need an Outlook address) and setup SkyDrive. Users are afterwards put by a navigation sorceress to explain pattern modifications and elementary navigation including how prohibited corners work. If we get stranded there is also a new ‘Help Tips’ app, yet some-more on that later.

Windows 8.1 – Modern UI changes

Of a pattern changes, a biggest come to a Modern UI. Your initial foot will take we to a quarrelsome start shade (though we can now select to go directly to desktop) and it is value indicating out foot times are only as fast, if not faster than Windows 8. Machines with an SSD will get there in 10 to 20 seconds and anyone regulating Windows 7 need not fear their appurtenance will delayed down with an upgrade. If anything it is expected to speed up.


Once into a start shade a initial thing we will notice is it is some-more like Windows Phone than ever. This is essentially due to a introduction of dual new tile sizes ‘small’ and ‘large’ that are combined to ‘medium’ and ‘wide’. You can fit no reduction than 16 tiny tiles into a distance of a vast tile permitting for some-more artistic layouts and improved fits with both tablets and additional vast monitors and multi-monitor setups.

The tiles themselves also demeanour better. The Windows Store tile is charcterised to yield app recommendations, a Weather tile can arrangement adult to 3 days of foresee and a Calendar app will uncover your schedule. For a initial time tiles for desktop apps can also be animated, that in time should serve urge aesthetics. Another good hold is a introduction of charcterised backgrounds that take their visible cues from Android’s shifting homescreens.

Windows 8 apps view

The subsequent vital change is a introduction of a ‘All apps’ view. This drawer lives adult a name by display all commissioned on your mechanism or inscription with a elementary appropriate adult on a Start Screen. Those yet a touchscreen can call it adult regulating Ctrl Tab. Again, Android and Windows Phone are a apparent inspirations here as mobile OSes continue to change PC platforms distant some-more than clamp versa.

Windows 8 Help Tips

For anyone still confused by a changes, Microsoft has introduced a useful ‘Helps Tips’ app. This breaks down into 6 available sections: Start and Apps, Getting Around, Basic Actions, Your Account and Files, Settings and What’s New. It is well-designed and utterly honestly something that should’ve been in Windows 8 when a radical changes from Windows 7 were during their many confusing. We’ll give Microsoft credit for editing a mistake, yet a mistake it was.

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