Hello, as an update to be discussed and dissected over time, here is what we know about the changes in Windows 8.1, formerly
referred to as the "Windows Blue" update.
Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 as a free update
sometime this year for all Windows 8 and Windows 8 Professional license holders.
desktop Start Button will be available, like in Windows 7, and may be customized to go to the Start Screen "Apps" view. How
much further customization will take place, and whether or not the Start Menu will make a return to the operating system not
known. It may actually just be a button that sends you to the Start Screen.
You will be able to boot to desktop
instead of the Start Screen.
On the Start Screen, you will be able to select multiple tiles at once to move them,
resize them, uninstall them, or rename them.
There is an "All Apps" screen to get Apps off of the tile menu on the
general Start Screen.
You hold down right-click to select multiple pieces of content on the Start Screen.
New apps will appear under the Apps view, by default, and not the Start Screen itself.
Renaming tile categories
You can take pictures from the lock screen without having to log-in.
You can launch Skype
calls and perform other functions from the lock screen.
Windows 8.1 will feature an overhauled and aggregated
search feature, operated by Microsoft's search engine Bing. When you search for a file, metadata, or other content, a search
will be performed through the web, SkyDrive, your files, e-mail, apps, and other locations to try to aggregate the best
results. For example, if you search on a celebrity, you can side-scroll through all of the aggregate data that is collected
for this search term.
Support for Miracast via blutooth, NFC, and wireless, for screen sharing and projection.
Support for WiFi direct printing, which requires no printer drivers on compatible devices. Additional support for
NFC-enabled printers, which will allow you to print using NFC on your tablet or phone.
Support for mobile
broadband tethering, which will allow you to form a wireless hotspot with your device and allow multiple devices to share the
mobile Internet connection.
The built-in apps created by Microsoft and bundled with Windows 8 are being
The Music app is slated to receive a major redesign and overhaul due to lackluster consumer feedback and
usage. It will likely be replaced with the XBOX Music App.
The Photos app will have new editing features for
macro-stylizing pictures, much like Instagram. Bring together pictures from your PC, SkyDrive, and phone.
will be new Microsoft-published apps, like an Alarm Clock.
Improvements in the usage of apps when multiple apps
You can now display up to three apps at once on the same monitor.
Click on an image in an app
like Mail, and it will try to open it in the Photos app using a 50/50 split screen.
The SkyDrive app will be
updated to let you save files directly and access files offline, like the desktop version has since it was published.
Most of the features in the desktop Control Panel may now actually appear in PC Customization under the Start
Internet Explorer 11 will allow you to sync webpages across multiple devices like Google Chrome and
Firefox have for the last several years.
You will be able to choose directly where the Start Screen goes when it
You can "change what the corners do". Maybe they are talking about the Charms functionality, which
appears whenever you touch or move your mouse to the corner of the screen.
More support for mouse and keyboard
(but not specified directly).
The Start Screen will offer more backgrounds, colors, shades,
and backgrounds that contain motion visuals. The lock screen background will also be customizable.
Screen is updated to contain new multi-size tiles.
Newly installed apps will be flagged as "new".
Windows Store has been redesigned.
In addition to the lock-screen, there may be a "kiosk" mode, that allows for
limited access to the device while showing off more eyecandy. This may have been a joke or rumor.
feature will allow you to turn your computer into an electronic picture frame.
There may be
security updates, but no one knows what they are until release notes are made available.
is actually a bug where, if you do not restart your computer for Windows Updates, and Windows forces the computer to restart,
it warns you not to "unplug your tablet". No word yet if that will ever be fixed, or if we are all just assumed to be tablet
Microsoft has announced the public preview, scheduled June 26th, 2013 and a
general release by the end of the year.
Windows 8.1 screenshots leaked,
redesigns showcased | Windows Phone Central
All of this, just so you don't have to use a precision stylus! Do you
have any comments? Be sure to comment on your thoughts regarding Windows 8.1, or whether or not you have become aware of new