According to the Associated Press, Windows 8.1 is free to those who already own Windows 8 and is meant to fix some of the problems that Windows 8 users had with the operating system. Microsoft has made some big changes to the operating system, but one thing that will remain the same is the start menu being represented in the tile format used in Windows 8 to try and bridge the gap between PCs and mobile devices. Here’s a few things to keep in mind about Windows 8.1.
- Windows 8.1 will bring back the Start button that was missing when Microsoft launched Windows 8. While the button will be back, it won’t take you to a classic version of the Start menu, but instead to the current tiled Start menu.
- The new update to Windows 8 will allow users to boot straight to their desktops. This will remove the potential frustrations of navigating the tiled Start menu without a touchscreen for at least a little while.
- Touchscreen users will have access to numbers or punctuation marks on the virtual keyboard without having to switch between the different modes. This is accomplished by simple finger swipes on certain keys.
- Apps in Windows 8.1 will now update automatically, which saves users the trouble of having to go to the Windows Store every time they need to update an app.
- Windows 8.1 will allow the Internet Explorer app to handle an unlimited number of webpages. Previously, the app only allowed for 10 tabs to be open at a time and would close older tabs without asking if a user tried to open an 11th tab.
The Windows 8.1 update is a little over 2.8GB. This could take hours to download for people with slower connections. Those with slow connections should look to download the update at a public place with free wi-fi, such as a library or restaurant, to decrease the download time.