10 major updates of Windows 8.1
Last night, the 2013 Microsoft Build Developer Conference started in San Francisco. The highlight of the first day is Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the release of Windows 8.1 Preview . The final version will be released in November and he also mentioned that there would be over 300 updates on the new OS.
Now let's summarize 10 major updates of the new OS.
1. Classical desktop mode
After getting a lot of feedback from users, Microsoft adds a new setting. Users can choose to start in classical desktop mode instead of the touch screen like in Windows 8 when the computer boots up.
2. Apps auto update
Now the apps downloaded from the Windows Store can be automatically updated to the latest version. Windows Store will no longer provide download progress notification. All updates will happen automatically. Microsoft spokesman said they would try to give apps more permissions but they might violate some privacy policies. We still need to wait for the final version of Windows 8.1 to see the change.
There is a complete new design of Xbox Music in Windows 8.1, it not only can store your favorite music but also provides a new Radio. The Xbox Music app can interact with websites which have music playlist in the future. For example, if you see one music playlist on one website, then you can choose to use Xbox Music to play the music in that list.
Windows 8.1 integrates a new Smart Search and it provides a Search Hero interface. It will combine all search results in one interface including files on your local disk and contents from the Internet. Also different contents in Search Hero can be opened in different apps such as IE, Xbox Music etc.
5. Multi-column design
According to many years user behavior statistic and analysis, Microsoft find that users are used to manage their app windows in three ways: 1). Full screen;2). 50:50 arrangement;3). One big window and some small windows. All the above three covers 95% users behaviors. So the screen can be split into maximum 4 columns, users can put their app windows in these columns to better manage these windows.
6. Reading list
Now you can share content to Reading List. The contents can be synchronized with the cloud, you only need to have one account across different devices. For example, when reading a webpage, you can share it on cloud and read it later on another device.
7. Hands free mode
There is one app named Food and Drink. As many people are learning to cook with the help of tablets. So Windows 8.1 has the hands free mode which enables user to navigate the contents on the app with the help of front camera. The oil on your hand will not be on the tablet by doing this. Also there is one count down clock which can help you monitor the time of cooking.
8. Halo on Windows 8.1
In Windows Store, there are many games which are only available on Microsoft devices including the Halo. Now they can be played on Windows 8.1
9. New lock screen
There is a big change on the Windows 8.1 lock screen. The pictures on lock screen can be played like PPT, the pictures can be from local disk or SkyDrive.
10. Return of Start button
The Start button is coming back to the desktop mode on Windows 8.1.