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Microsoft Shows Off Windows 8.1 in Video, Talks Outlook RT

By - Source: Microsoft | B 19 comments

It's a video preview of what Microsoft has already talked out in previous blogs, and doesn't even use a mouse.

Microsoft has released a video preview of Windows 8.1, showcasing a number of features the company has already covered in previous blogs. These include new tile sizes in the Modern UI interface, the ability to bring the desktop wallpaper to the Start screen, and adding photographs to the Lock screen. Naturally the demo is conducted on a Surface tablet.

As previously reported, all applications installed on the device will no longer clutter the Start screen by default. Instead, they'll show up in an "app drawer", AKA the All Apps screen, tucked away at the bottom of the screen. Simply swipe up from the bottom, and you're greeted with everything installed locally on the device. Want to pin an app to the Start screen? Simply press and hold, and then choose "pin to Start". It looks rather simple when using a finger, if not extremely familiar.

One of the more interesting features offered in Windows 8.1 is motion accents. The "wallpaper" isn't in constant motion like you'd find on an animated Android wallpaper. Instead, objects in the background move when the Start screen tiles are swiped left and right horizontally. It's a tiny detail, but enough of one to give any Windows 8.1 device a bit more flair than before.

The demo, presented by Jensen Harris from the Windows User Experience team, reveals that Windows 8.1 is powered by the cloud. "An important part of this is SkyDrive which gives you Gigs of space to put all of your files up in the cloud so that they're available on every PC," he explains. "Within every app on the PC, I can see SkyDrive -- which is the cloud -- and "This PC" which lets me put files that I just want to keep on this device in a single place."

The video also goes on to demonstrate the new simplicity in multi-tasking, and searching online and offline when using Windows 8.1.

In related news, Windows CFO and CMO Tami Reller announced during Computex that Outlook 2013 RT will finally make an appearance on Windows RT tablets as part of the "Blue" rollout. That means current and future owners of a Windows RT or Surface RT device will have access to the new app when the free update becomes available. Outlook joins Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote which are already available on the platform.

"We're always listening to our customers and one piece of feedback was that people want the power of Outlook on all their Windows PCs and tablets," Microsoft's Chris Schneider said. "In fact, a Morgan Stanley research study found that 61% of people shopping for tablets consider Microsoft Office to be the single most important software feature.  We're pleased to have Outlook 2013 RT join the other best-in-class Office 2013 RT applications."

First Look At Windows 8.1

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  • 2 Hide
    Parrdacc , June 6, 2013 7:09 AM
    Funny saw this video yesterday. While it is good Microsoft as addressed some of the problems with new interface and gave people more options it still sucks.
  • 3 Hide
    static1120 , June 6, 2013 7:10 AM
    All tough I installed windows 8 and went back to windows 7 because I did not like that there was no start button... I think I might give windows 8 a try once again
  • -5 Hide
    Caffeinecarl , June 6, 2013 7:16 AM
    FAIL.
  • 7 Hide
    javaskull , June 6, 2013 7:16 AM
    I'm still going to cut peoples greasy fingers off with a bolt cutter if they touch my PC screen.
  • -3 Hide
    shafe88 , June 6, 2013 7:26 AM
    "We're always listening to our customers" If your listening to "YOUR" costomers, than where's my start button, and boot straight to desktop. If you where listening to us customers, then people wouldn't be upgrading to windows 7. The only reason microsoft won't bring back the start button and add boot straight to desktop, is to force people to use metro, more metro apps means more $$$.
  • 2 Hide
    p05esto , June 6, 2013 7:35 AM
    That's neat and all....BUT I don't care about the lame start screen. I just want to get to the desktop and starting working with real apps. This might be great on tablets, so? I use a desktop and need and want the traditional experience. I refuse to reach out and touch my monitor, lol....not that it is even touch enabled. Grrrrr
  • -1 Hide
    Firion87 , June 6, 2013 7:35 AM
    What is this? Did they still not got it that NOBODY cares about the Metro UII. I just wasted 4:31 min to see a few seconds that on the desktop is a start button. I am not "gonna" pay for a tablet, or a touchscreen because a big touchscreen is not yet affordable..... This will go on and on till they have ruined the entire pc market. M$ is not going back to a pc user friendly OS, parts manufacturer don't got the technology to make cheap big touchscreens. Good bye pc era. In my opinion if M$ wanted to revolutionize the world they would have put every cent into developing the OS around Kinect and keep the Desktop. As people already say in the comments everybody hates fingerprints on the screen. Even Samsung found out that air gestures are "cool".
  • 1 Hide
    jamesjones_det , June 6, 2013 8:31 AM
    My question is did they address the ability to run a desktop app and a metro app at the same time. For example the store metro app just says Store with my desktop and and won't let me do anything.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , June 6, 2013 8:34 AM
    Firion87, you do not represent "everybody" and the vocal minority are exactly that, minor and usually Apple or Google fanboys
    As far as asking them to devote resources to making Windows a Kinect OS, exactly where do you think the next step of Windows is going? A touch OS can be controlled the same with Kinect as long as you have the correct drivers and it will arrive soon enough
    Oh ye of little faith
  • 1 Hide
    adminwizard , June 6, 2013 8:51 AM
    Sounds like 8.1 should be renamed "stuff we should have thought of in the first place."
  • 0 Hide
    jaber2 , June 6, 2013 8:59 AM
    Still not going to switch until windows 9
  • 1 Hide
    quorthon1204 , June 6, 2013 10:11 AM
    No matter how many bells and whistles you add to a crap, well its still a crap (but with more bells and whistles)
  • 0 Hide
    Firion87 , June 6, 2013 10:19 AM
    Dear Mr. back_by_demand: Yes I'm not a politician (I don't represent everybody) sorry for that, but I didn't met anyone in person who is fine with win8 and believe me there are many people surrounding me. I wasn't saying a word on Android or CrappleOS, I was talking about the implementation of a UI that has nothing to do (for now) with the hardware that most users want to afford (again people I know).
    As you sad making an OS compatible with hardware that can be later attached is one thing than making an OS for hardware that exchanges something that prevailed for decades now (I'm thinking of the old VGA port on GPU's: even if HDMI is the standard today, Vendors know there are tons of old displays using the VGA port). Thank you and a good day!
  • 2 Hide
    WHComp , June 6, 2013 12:32 PM
    This is extremely disappointing. The big question here for me is, how is this suppose to work in a professional environment. I am the IT manager for a small engineering firm. We have about 100 computers running mostly windows 7, a few XP machines still. While I do like a lot of the Win8 features, until they get back to a traditional desktop, there is no way we can implement this in our company. Most of my users are 35-55 year old men who hate computers but know they are a necessary. If I installed Win8 on one of their computers, it would be a catastrophe. I just cannot understand how they expect businesses to adopt this.
  • 4 Hide
    Osmin , June 6, 2013 1:59 PM
    The start button was not the main problem or Metro Apps themselves. It was the inability for Metro apps to run in a resizable window on the desktop with the option for full screen mode. If you want to see the calendar while using Word, you would need to either flip flop to a full screen app or waste a chunk of your display to show a single app on the desktop instead of having a small apps showing constantly anywhere on the desktop. As long as people could not tell the difference between a desktop and a Metro app, then adapting to Metro would not have been an issue. They took the unobtrusive widgets away, which saved space on the desktop, which helped avoid small useful apps from clogging the open windows.
  • -1 Hide
    marcolorenzo , June 6, 2013 3:41 PM
    Quote:
    "We're always listening to our customers" If your listening to "YOUR" costomers, than where's my start button, and boot straight to desktop. If you where listening to us customers, then people wouldn't be upgrading to windows 7. The only reason microsoft won't bring back the start button and add boot straight to desktop, is to force people to use metro, more metro apps means more $$$.


    What the heck are you talking about? I'm living mainly on the desktop (i refuse to call it a "mode") and only launch the Start screen when I need to launch an app that I don't have pinned to my task bar...JUST AS I WOULD IF I HAD A START BUTTON. Open your mind just a little. It's nice out here.
  • -1 Hide
    hannibal , June 7, 2013 4:57 AM
    Quote:
    This is extremely disappointing. The big question here for me is, how is this suppose to work in a professional environment. I am the IT manager for a small engineering firm. We have about 100 computers running mostly windows 7, a few XP machines still. While I do like a lot of the Win8 features, until they get back to a traditional desktop, there is no way we can implement this in our company. Most of my users are 35-55 year old men who hate computers but know they are a necessary. If I installed Win8 on one of their computers, it would be a catastrophe. I just cannot understand how they expect businesses to adopt this.


    Just buy them Windows phones or Windows tablets and after one or two years they are ready to use win8 or win9 in their desktop... Most propably before that. For normal user a UI that has big buttons to start their aplications durectly form desktop is the easiest way of doing it. The "problem" is/are people who use multible open windows at the same time, and that is most likely somebody else that those 35-55 years old man or women you just want to start their Excell, or Word...
    There are some thing that still need polishing. UI-scaling (dirrerent resolutions, including 4K), multiple open programs and some more, but most of them has nothing to do with average computer user. My 7-8 years old students constantly try to touch the screen when they use computer, so they allready are in that touchscreen era and feel it antigue to use mouse... I am in that dinosaurus gategory, but it is easy to see that touch based controlling devises are the future... I just hope that we will get good tablet type controlling devises that we don't have to actually touch the desktop sceen... A cheap tabletop controll device that mirorrors the computer screen to touch based controlling device would be ideal for most users.
  • 0 Hide
    phync , June 8, 2013 7:08 PM
    All of this should of been in at day 1. Plus multitasking isn't a feature its a basic requirement. For everything except tablets 8.1 is still a joke, and I'd take android on my tablet with hesitation.
  • 0 Hide
    phync , June 8, 2013 7:12 PM
    All of this should of been in at day 1. Plus multitasking isn't a feature its a basic requirement. For everything except tablets 8.1 is still a joke, and I'd take android on my tablet with hesitation.