Microsoft Reveals Windows 8.1's New Features

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jesse_n_sf

It's way better to do a clean install with the ISO. I upgraded and it didn't go very well. I had to reinstall many desktop apps and some settings didn't work well.

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hornfire3

Please also add this.
Windows 8.1 (Blue) also allows you to set the Desktop Wallpaper as the Metro Wallpaper, so now if any of you guys accidentally/purposely press the Start button, Windows will appear seamlessly shift to the menu w/o changing the desktop background. it looks great if you combine it with the All Apps Menu.

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Pulagatha

They cleaned it up a little bit, but they still need to merge the Metro and Desktop elements, namely "Recent Apps for Metro" needs to be merged with the "Taskbar." Another thing to mention, "PC Settings" should be disabled for Desktop computers (Maybe it should be called "Tablet Settings"). I'd really like the Metro apps to be windowed and at least have an option to change to the Desktop color scheme (light greys and light blues). This I think would stop a lot of the agitation some people have with Windows 8. And for the windowed mode, they already have a landscape or portrait mode, just choose one as the default for desktop and let us have it windowed.

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Cregan89

A couple other improvements:

Right click the Start Button to get the power user menu and there's now a shut down menu just like the old start menu.

And you can configure the Start Screen to default to the All Apps view, and configure the all apps view to list all desktop apps before Modern UI apps. Mind you, with the extra small tile size you'll probably prefer to just arrange and group your desktop app icons/tiles in a more custom way.

It's not quite the Start Menu but it's pretty close, except for being full screen.

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LatiosXT

Honestly if the only reason why you hate Windows 8 is because of the Start Screen, then there are plenty of programs that bring the Start Menu back.

There's nothing wrong with Windows 8 otherwise. And I'm pretty sure whatever else you complain about you don't really use, care about, or can be ignored.

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hornfire3

+1 i agree :)

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Exarkun1138

I gave Win8 a spin for a few months after it was released, installing it on both Home PC's I have and my Laptop. I did like quite a few features of 8, but over-all I was not very, shall I say, "comfortable" with it, even after 5 months use.

I went back to 7 on all three systems and have been, again, "comfortable" with my experience and like the graphical touches as well.

Win 8 did have some very cool improvements over 7, like that wonderful Task Manager, but all-in-all, I still prefer Win7. I'm an "old school" Windows user, using it since Windows 2.0, and ever since the Start Button was introduced, I have liked that way of navigation more than not having it. Sure, I could get used to the new way, but I just don't feel like it right now. 7 does everything I need, does it with some panache and flare, and everything I use works, including a few legacy apps that don't run or run correctly in 8.

I'll use one of my Home PC's as a test bed for 8.1 and see what they have done. If they really have improved things, then MAYBE I'll switch the rest of my systems over.

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John Pombrio

WARNING! Win8.1 Preview is a COMPLETE REFRESH of Win8 (this not simply a service pack or patch). You will need to install Win8.1 just like Win8 refresh. That means you will end up with a folder called .old that has all of your programs in it. That causes two issues, one is that you will need to REINSTALL all of these programs that have registry settings. The other is that if you have a pretty full SSD, you will NOT have room to install the Win8.1 refresh and will have to do a clean install.
BACK UP YOUR BOOT DRIVE before even touching Win8.1!

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Why wasn't that mentioned in the article?

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John Pombrio

Still trying to verify if this is really the case. There are two versions out there, the Technet version (with serial numbers) and the Windows store version which has no serial numbers. I am using the Technet version so may differ in installation procedures. You can follow the posts on eightforums.com to see what folks are saying about their installs (which have not really been too many yet).
http://www.eightforums.com/windows-8-news/27160-how-correctly-install-windows-8-1-preview-5.html#post248706

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someuid

Several other sites (techreport.com and pcper.com) have reported what you said. If you install the 8.1 beta, you'll have to reload your workstation when the final 8.1 code is released. You will NOT be able to install the final 8.1 code over the 8.1 beta code.

So, either be prepared for a complete reload of Windows 8, or check this out in a VM or on a non-production workstation.

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Ghost XFX

Windows 8- Glammed up chick posing with duck lips...

Windows 7- The hot MILF that gets better with time...

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Chronologist

Except the "glammed up chick" does everything Win7 does and does it better. Have you even tried 8.1? Go ahead. Do it. Disable hot corners and enable boot-to-desktop.

Now come back and explain exactly what's SO much worse about Win 8 over Win 7.

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spokenwordd

Exactly... I don't get all the Win8 hate. It runs everything Win7 does but boots faster and runs a bit faster. It's better optimized out of the box and is more secure. The ribbon interface is a great power tool option for your folder functions, has a better Task Manger, auto defrag for HDs and optimize for SSDs..... Granted that Metro sucks unless you have a touchscreen. So basically you use one of the third party apps to kill Metro and never look back. If M$ had never shoved Metro down PC user's throats we would not be having this discussion, I get that, but people should not throw it under the bus as if it is a bad/buggy OS. This is a NOT Vista or Win ME situation.

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hornfire3

I agree. pretty sure the only thing Win8 Haters are complaining about is that Metro screen replacing start menu and hot corners... the only two features that brings Win8 reputation down.

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eastbayrae

You guys make me laugh. The Start button? LOL Do you not buy cars without a regular ignition to put a key and only have a Start button?

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RomRom

I'll be glad to boot to desktop and disable the hot corners. The Metro Start page is not my favorite, but at least I can make the icons (excuse me, "tiles") smaller, turn off the live crap, and group them according to my needs, so I can live with that.

I have yet to find an app that is worth keeping, so changes to default apps mean little to me since I rely on desktop applications, like Outlook 2013, rather than use the puny Mail app.

Reportedly being able to right-click on the Start Button to bring up the Win+X menu is nice, especially since they added Shutdown commands.

Despite multiple misgivings with Win8, I do like it very much. It handles Office 2013 very well, and my legacy and proprietary applications, too. I hope that MS has gotten the clear message that many users are not willing to relinquish the desktop for a Metro UI.

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warptek2010

This preview is a bit of an improvement but not by a long shot... to log off and power down you probably still need to go back through 2 screens. To kill a running app you probably still need to back out through the Windows key and right click the app on the upper left corner of the screen to turn it off. Boot directly to desktop is cool but why not just make the (formerly known as) Metro THE actual desktop? The tiles are pretty much nothing more than glorified icons, all they needed to do was to place the traditional taskbar directly underneath the tiles and add a friggin Start button filled with shortcuts to aforementioned tiles, control panel and other innards , why was this so friggin hard?

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hornfire3

agree. also how about M$ the ability to at least categorize/organize Metro by types of apps/programs. for example, browsers go into the browsers section, and office processing apps go together in their own category, games/fun programs goes to entertainment... and finally miscellaneous apps/programs.

at last, merge all desktop functionality to the Metro screen, and integrate PC Setting into Control Panel, blah blah blah...
while doing all this, keep all the icons as colorful real desktop icons (metro looks ugly)

then finally FINALLY! the haters will stop hating. Hopefully.

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hornfire3

agree. also how about M$ the ability to at least categorize/organize Metro by types of apps/programs. for example, browsers go into the browsers section, and office processing apps go together in their own category, games/fun programs goes to entertainment... and finally miscellaneous apps/programs.

at last, merge all desktop functionality to the Metro screen, and integrate PC Setting into Control Panel, blah blah blah...
while doing all this, keep all the icons as colorful real desktop icons (metro looks ugly)

then finally FINALLY! the haters will stop hating. Hopefully.

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davelray

Actually, just right click the start button they added back in then use the shutdown that's been added to the power menu that pops up. As mentioned many times before, Alt+F4 works well for shutting down any application.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Who wants a desktop plastered with lame tiles or icons that will never be used?

I much prefer my Windows 7 desktop and will be sticking with that, until Microsoft pulls Steve Ballmer's head out of its ass.

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pastorbob

"to log off and power down you probably still need to go back through 2 screens. To kill a running app you probably still need to back out through the Windows key and right click the app on the upper left corner of the screen to turn it off."

Alt+F4 from the desktop brings up the shutdown window. Press Enter and PRESTO your system shuts down. To close an app press Alt+F4 while in the app and it closes. Or you can move your mouse cursor to the top of the app screen, click-drag to the bottom and it's closed.

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someuid

Dear Microsoft, I have a mouse. I've been using a mouse for 20 or 30 years, so long I can't remember.

Stop making OSes that make the mouse less usable and cumbersome. No, a never ending list of keyboard shortcuts is not an acceptable workaround. If I wanted keyboard shortcuts, I'd still be using Lotus 1-2-3 on DOS.

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pastorbob

I've also been using a mouse for about 30 years but have always used it in combination with the keyboard. And often times keyboard shortcuts are easier, not to mention that I have two hands and can accomplish a lot more in less time if I use both of them.

The bottom line is that it is a matter of personal preference. What works well for me may not work well for you. That said I don't find the mouse being more cumbersome and less usable with WIndows 8.

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Neufeldt2002

The problem here though is that we as power users know most of the short-cuts if not all, but I would guarantee that most of the population has no clue of the short-cuts or even wants to know. I know so many people in my support group that if they can't get to it by mouse they won't use it. They want a big "X" in the corner to close things, and a start button that has a shut down button. If they have to hunt for things they till me they won't use it. I agree things need to change as new and better ways come into being, but to change everything at once just creates user revolt and backlash as MS is finding out. First and foremost though that we have to remember is that we are the exception to the rule when it comes to computers, we can and will figure it out. Regular Joe has no interest in these things, they just want it to work the way they are used to it.

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bautrey

So no start button?

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TheMissingPiece

It's got the button alright, but it just goes to the Start Screen. I'm using it now. Funny how everyone was begging for this (or a moral equivelent), and after using Win8 since Dec. 2012, we finally get it, and I personally don't find it that big of a deal. At least it's moved to where I had my start button before though (top left hand corner).

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cmpmoab

Welcome to the magnanimous capitolistic world according to Microsoft. Offering the new ICON's 2.0.

I wish this were a joke, but Windows 8.* is nothing more then glorified Icon's. For Microsoft to promote this as a new OS that has to be purchased is pathetic.

Why not FIX and Optimize the code so it performs more efficiently, using less power and resources, providing solutions that actually benefit us the purchasing public.

Work more on Voice, Facial and Ocular interfaces. Integrating additional features such as "Swipe" used on SmartPhones, wifi projected virtual keyboards, on and on and on.

Closing some of the barn doors relating to exploits, eliminate the need to learn hacking techniques, because the OS is strong and tight eliminating exploits.

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Granite

I have long held the belief that most people who make sweeping, rhetorical statements usually do so because they speak from a position of ignorance. You support my belief.

Win8 is not the icons. Or, at least, the icons that have you so irritated are just the outward facade that hides the enormous improvements Win8 makes over Win7.

You ask for voice, facial, ocular...etc. These are coming...you can bet on that. But I wonder if you similarly demanded these features from, say, Android six or eight months after it first came out? Do you demand these from Apple? Linux?

Anyone who gives you an ounce of attention...who even considers your viewpoint in passing...is doing themselves a disservice.

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Pulagatha

"Rhetorical statements are ignorant. I support my belief." FTFY. Everyone's entitled to their criticism and it's considerate (not condescending) to listen.

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pastorbob

+1 -> Granite

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pastorbob

"Why not FIX and Optimize the code so it performs more efficiently, using less power and resources, providing solutions that actually benefit us the purchasing public."

It's odd that you say that because after eight months of use all of my tests show that is exactly what they did. My systems boot faster, and are much more responsive in all tasks than with previous versions. Multi-tasking is more efficient as well. Memory management better and I have never had a single system crash among the three systems on which I installed it, something I cannot say about any previous version of Windows or Linux that I have used.

Granted, this is based only my personal experience, but I'm just sayin'.

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dethduck

Wait...
Miracast support?

You mean I'll be able to mirror my Nexus 4's display to my computer?
With my moga controller and this I may actually start to do more gaming on my Nexus4. This intrigues me.

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Neufeldt2002

So if I wanted to search for something on my HDD it now pulls Bing search results as well? NO Thank You. I don't want Ads on my desktop.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

I think Bitlocker is also encrypting your boot drive by default in 8.1

It will be in all future Microsoft operating systems

Tell me, if true, how will you decrypt or read a family members drive if they get sick or die?

Do we need to call the NSA for tech support from now on?

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davelray

Nope, no encryption by default. It's just a feature you can use or not use.

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Renegade Knight

You better hope they gave you the key.

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fung0

ROFL.

Windows 7 still looking mighty good.

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hornfire3

how does THAT have anything to do with Bitlocker?

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markstrelecki

Windows 7 looks better than EVER!

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