Microsoft to Release Windows Blue/8.1, the New Version of Windows 8

Start screen wallpaper

If you use of Windows 8, Microsoft is bringing a next level of experience to you soon. The company has announced officially that the next up, Windows 8.1 aka Windows Blue, is coming as an extended version of Windows 8. If you like Windows 8, you are surely going to love Windows Blue. However, if you like the traditional desktop-based computer that does not support touch or work like a smartphone, the new OS does not guarantee to impress you. Well, it is all up to your choice; from a general point of view of today’s advanced world, the OS might pull attention of a large number of users.

Windows 8.1 is expected to receive better feedback than Windows 8 with the added functionality and features; for example, better touch experience. Moreover, Windows 8.1 is designed with improvements and betterment in the areas like inbuilt apps, cloud connectivity, personalization, and search feature. Continue reading to know the detailing about Windows Blue.

According to Microsoft, the free downloadable version will be available by the end of this year. As you know that Microsoft has been releasing service packs for its operating systems, this time they will be issuing new version as they are already doing with Windows phones.

The new version of Windows 8 is aimed at offering better experience with great features and functionality. The major features of Windows 8.1 are described in the next sections; figure out what better you will be provided with in this release.


Windows 8.1 Interface

Img Credit: NBC News

It is needless to mention that the major attraction of Windows 8 was its metro style interface, which created stir amid users. If you like metro side, Windows Blue offers the full version 2.0 of Metro environment.  Windows 8 offers tiles in single/double-wide sizes, while its next version will bring two additional sizes: quadruple and quarter.

Personalization Options and Apps

Start screen wallpaper

Img Credit: WinSuperSite

According to the information that is out to date, Windows 8.1 has the ability to be personalized more. You can easily set the Start screen background as that of the conventional Desktop. Moreover, the lock screen of the system is able to start a slideshow of the photos that are stored in your system or in SkyDrive. More color schemes and backgrounds for Start screen will be available in the new release. As more tile sizes are available, you are enabled to select multiple apps at a time and rearrange, resize or uninstall them.

You may also choose to store installed apps by date, frequently used apps, and category, depending on your choice. In addition, Win8.1 makes it quite easy to organize or name the tiles’ groups. However, installing Desktop programs is the same as you did in Windows 8.

Moreover, when an app is installed from Windows Store, the new version does not support putting a tile for the installed app on Metro Start screen rather you need to go to apps list, find the app, and bring it to the screen manually.

According to Microsoft, the Windows 8 pre-loaded apps will introduce improvements that also include Music and Photos. Moreover, Windows 8.1 is also expected to offer new apps that have not been announced yet and you will be able to resize apps through Snap Views that also allows multitasking by having three apps on screen simultaneously. Microsoft also inked that users can have multiple windows of one app together, for instance, two IE windows.

Search Charm


Img Credit: WinBeta

The Search charm in Windows 8 does not only dig into your computer to search files, but includes SkyDrive also. Windows 8.1 also looks for name and description of the program and uses a web-based Bing Search or you can say it performs a global search (In Win8.1, when you start a search, it also considers looking for files outside your computer using Microsoft’s Bing service), however, the Search charm will not consider searching Mail as Windows 8. Moreover, if you want to watch a video or play a song, it is instantly done by the quick actions. Another point to note is Win8.1 does not allow you to give a voice input. You can conveniently access the results from settings, local files, and apps by scrolling the screen to the left.

When you go to PC Settings, and then SkyDrive section, there is a submenu named ‘Files’, which is a file-syncing option in the upcoming Windows 8.1. The SkyDrive allows you to save files offline or to the cloud directly.

Mouse and Keyboard Options

In this era of technology, people demand for advancement, for instance, touch devices that are today’s best and the most convenient way to interact with devices. However, non-touch devices are still heavily in use, particularly in corporate environment. Microsoft offered both the experiences with Windows 8, however, with the new OS, the firm has made navigation improvements that are beneficial for the users who use keyboard and mouse. When you navigate to the Start menu with mouse, the Windows logo will appear in place of Start ‘tip’ and will pop up when you point the mouse to the bottom-left corner; the logo will be shown in Desktop mode as well. You are also provided with the option to change what corners do.

Besides, other enhancements and improvements include PC settings that you can access without the need of control panel. In addition, the default browser, Internet Explorer 11 is aimed at offering greater performance with the added functionality.

It is all about the new developments Microsoft has decided to put before its users this year. Moreover, the firm is expecting to draw more users than Windows 8 due to the improvements and functioning that Win8 lagged. Well, time will tell whether the OS will take all the lime light or just be rated as an average system. Whatever be the response, users have started the countdown to get their hands on Windows 8.1.

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