A moment of silence please. Windows XP is dead. Please pull a sad face …
Anyway, Windows 8.1 Update 1 is here! So, here is my top 10 things you need to know, about the new update.
1. Its free. For Windows 8.1 users, you can download it from here http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/download-shop
2. Booting to the desktop (its not new) is now easier! If you are using a PC without a touch screen you can now boot to your desktop by default! Finally right? But if you have touch screen what then? Well Microsoft now makes it easier (somewhat) to boot straight to your desktop via the Taskbar and Navigation properties. (Right click on your taskbar and select properties)
3. The Power and Search buttons are finally visible! Like many others, it took me a while to get to grips with where to find things at first, mainly … how to turn off my PC … These are now displayed on the Start menu, top right! Also, if your going from Windows 8 to 8.1, you can also right click on the Start button to shutdown, restart or go to sleep.
4. Columns have been greatly widened so you can see and read the full application names. They are also nicely alphabetized, so you can also view your apps by name, date installed, most used and by category. Overall, it makes it easier to find apps, you can also type name of the application you need from start screen or via search.
5. One issue was always the integration between conventional apps and Windows Store apps. When you previously launched Windows Store apps, you were forced to navigate these in a “full screen” mode. And when you returned to your desktop, there was no evidence the that the Windows Store app was running, so if you wanted to change a song, you needed to navigate back to the full screen app or run them side by side with a split screen. You can now interact with modern apps straight from your desktops taskbar
6. Now, staying with the apps, some of us didn’t mind the Windows Store apps running in the background, are we now forced to fill the taskbar with modern apps as well as all our conventional apps? No, you can select whether or not you want to see these in the taskbar. Good hey!? With Windows 8.1 Update 1 you can un-tick this option from the Taskbar and Navigation properties.
7. Now not all of us use a touch screen right? So if I dont have a touch screen, why should I need to drag apps in order to close them? Well those days are gone! Windows 8.1 Update 1, has taken a massive step in the right direction for mouse and keyboard users, you can now interact with modern apps in a more familiar way, by minimizing and closing them as you would with a normal application. You can also select the direction of the “split”. So if you want to snap your app to the left, simply right click on the top of the app and select the direction!
8. Another moment of silence please, SkyDrive has also died. OneDrive is has take its place. Well, that’s a lie. Just the name has changed and you’ll see this reflected in your Start Menu.
9. The Modern User Interface has also slightly changed, there is now another way to view disk space, but more importantly whats taking up your disk space.
10. Finally, interacting with applications has become a breeze, you can right click your Windows Store apps and do more than just re-size the tile, you can now turn them off and open a contextual menu, very handy for administrators or power users.
Overall these changes are a step in the right direction and includes conventional users as well as the modern user that operates a touch screen device. Its slowly but surely sinking in that some of the changes with Windows 8 were maybe a step to far for some, however there is a long way to go before we can call this Windows 7’s biggest rival …