Developer conference – Microsoft reveal Windows 8.1

Microsoft reveal Windows 8.1 at developer conference in San Francisco

Last week during the Build 2013 conference, held in San Francisco for developers, Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 8.1 at its developer conference.

Following the release of Windows 8 last year, Microsoft faced a lot of criticism due to the graphical user interface changes that were introduced.  The biggest criticism was that the learning curve, with the removal of the start menu and the introduction of the start screen, was too much for consumers.

The biggest change to 8.1 is the reintroduction of the start button.  However, this won’t open the Start menu, but instead the Start Screen from Windows 8.  Further configuration settings can be changed that reduce the user’s interaction with the Start Screen. These include:

  • On start-up, Windows will start on the desktop
  • Change the Start Screen to show all applications instead of the new Live tiles

Minor changes have also been made that refine the user experience which includes improved search integration, lock screen slide shows and built-in cloud storage.

Hopefully, with the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has reduced the barriers that have stopped businesses from adopting the latest version of Windows. Windows 8.1 will be a free update to Windows 8 and will be released later on this year.

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