Microsoft unveiled the new Windows 8.1 Update at the BUILD 2014 conference yesterday and MSDN subscribers can already download it, while everyone else needs to wait until April 8.The company has now published a video on YouTube to provide a quick glimpse at all features included in Windows 8.1 Update, putting the emphasis on the improvements it made to turn the operating system in a platform that better suits a desktop user.
Windows 8.1 Update makes the Start screen easier to use for those still relying on a mouse to access their files, so it now comes with a search box, but also with context menu that enable you to quickly resize tiles.
Metro apps now come with their very own titlebars and minimize and close buttons, so you can control them without the need for touch. At the same time, they can be pinned to the taskbar for quicker launch.
“Since the original introduction of Windows 8 in 2012, we have been continuously refining the experience, and we are making steady progress,” Microsoft said yesterday.
As far as the options that make the modern operating system more appropriate for the classic PC, Redmond explained that keeping the platform familiar for everyone is a priority, so that’s why it now makes some changes to the core Windows 8 launched in October 2012.
“The Windows 8.1 Update delivers a collection of refinements designed to give people a more familiar and convenient experience across touch, keyboard and mouse inputs. It also brings improvements for business customers, really accelerates opportunity for developers, and enables device makers to offer lower cost devices,” it pointed out.
Windows 8.1 Update will be offered free of charge to all those running Windows 8.1 right now, with Microsoft to ship it to users on April 8, together with the other Patch Tuesday fixes prepared for this month.
MSDN developers can download the pack in two different versions, either as MSU installers that perform everything automatically or as a standalone ISO that allows for a clean install. Of course, Windows 8.1 Update has already leaked to the web, so if you know where to look, it’s quite easy to download the original builds uploaded by Microsoft to MSDN.
The company, however, recommends everyone to wait until April 8 when Windows 8.1 Update will land on all Windows 8.1 computers and the process is expected to go very smoothly for everyone.