May 2014: The new Windows is here! Again. But this time Microsoft has updated its touch-friendly operating system by focusing on – non-touch.
The new Windows is here! Again. This time the “update” to touch-friendly Windows 8.1 (which was released last year) is decidedly non-touch.
Here are top highlights, how you can upgrade and links to in-depth reviews:
Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update are both available to install now. Please see the end of the article for installation requirements and the upgrading process regarding the Windows operating system you’re currently using.
What Windows 8.1 Update Does:
- When you’re using a device without a touchscreen, it automatically boots to the desktop instead of the tiled Modern User Interface (Modern UI)
- Includes Power and Search buttons in the upper right-hand corner of the Start screen
- Places all open and pinned apps — both desktop apps and Windows Store (Modern UI) apps — in the taskbar
- Allows you to access the taskbar when you pull your mouse down to the bottom of the screen from anywhere in the operating system
- Adds a right-click on tiles to open context menus
- Lets you minimize and close from the title bar
- Delays hot corners so it’s less likely you’ll trigger shortcuts accidentally
- Places a Message on the Start screen that tells you which new apps you’ve installed
What Windows 8.1 Update Doesn’t Do:
- Have a Start menu (rumors suggest it will be in the next release)
- Allow you to make the clock, battery level and Wi-Fi status icons visible at all times
- Allow you to make the taskbar visible at all times
Who Must Install Windows 8.1 Update:
- Windows 8.1 users: You must upgrade to continue to receive security patches starting this month, May 2014. Here’s how to install the update.
- Windows 8 users: You will continue to receive security patches until January 2016. If you want to upgrade now, you will need to first upgrade to Windows 8.1 and then install Windows 8.1 Update. Microsoft is expected to release Windows 8.2 (or at least Windows 8.1 Update 2) sometime this fall.
- Windows 7 users: If you’ve been waiting for a Windows 8 version that makes sense for people who use a keyboard and mouse, it looks like it’s here! Many of your complaints have been addressed and you can leap into Windows 8 and still know what you’re doing. Start here for an overview of the process.
- Windows XP and Vista holdouts: It’s time to make the switch — XP users, you need to hurry because your PC is exposed to hackers. Start here and make sure to review the requirements.
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