Microsoft Talks About How Windows 8.1 Preview Will Work

With the public preview of Windows 8.1 gearing up to launch on June 26, Microsoft is now talking about how this "demo" will work for current Windows 8 customers. The process was actually covered in a session during TechEd North America on June 4 entitled "Windows RT in the Enterprise", and relayed by ZDNet.

Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Michael Niehaus explained that when the preview becomes available, Windows 8 and Windows RT users will receive a Windows Update notification. Once the preview OS is installed, new related apps will appear in the Windows Store, allowing potential testers to read the description and choose to install or not install.

When the final RTM versions of Windows 8.1 and RT 8.1 are finally launched, customers who already downloaded and installed the preview will get the same Windows Update plus a Windows Store notification. Data and accounts will be preserved if and when customers choose to install the final, free 8.1 release. However the "preview" apps must be reinstalled with the RTM versions.

Niehaus added that customers who decide to roll their devices back to Windows 8 after installing the preview will still need to reinstall the apps once they move to Windows 8.1 RTM. The apps in question depend on the version of Windows 8 (x86 vs ARM). For Windows RT devices, the Windows Store/Metro-Style preview apps will need to be replaced. On x86-based Windows systems, both Windows Store/Metro-Style and Desktop apps will need to be reinstalled.

A Microsoft official added that customers who do not participate in the public preview – those that opt to wait until Windows 8.1 and RT 8.1 are released – will not be required to reinstall their apps, as all data, settings and apps will carry over to the updated platform. There's also no deadline in updating to the next version either, meaning customers can do so at launch, later down the road, or not at all.

Microsoft has reportedly been working on the overall footprint size of Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 8, removing old components, temporary files and improving NTFS compression to free up disk space. The preview build will require 4 GB of free space to install, and will not replace the recovery partition of Windows 8, even if it has been deleted.

  • TheBigTroll
    if it didnt work, it wouldnt be news
  • Usersname
    Not a peep about PRISM on Tom's?
  • ssdpro
    10928414 said:
    Not a peep about PRISM on Tom's?

    If you want to read about that I recommend strapping on your tin foil hat and tuning in for some Glenn Beck this morning. You will find him somewhere on the AM dial.

  • cats_Paw
    Cool, ill still be rocking Win7 until MS can make something i consider "an upgrade".
  • Osmin
    Microsoft still doesn't get it that the start button was not the main problem or Metro Apps themselves. The start button was a target to hit with the mouse so you did not constantly throw off the mouse gradually over time and the start button made it simple for many users. The Windows 7 start menu made it quick and easy to start your most recent programs with the most recent files and in Windows 8 you are either scrolling and hunting or typing to find an app. Windows 8 is like having the Windows 98 start menu with all folders open making it cluttered and harder to find the program you are looking for. 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 app 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 more space on the desktop, which helped avoid small useful apps from clogging the open windows.
  • DarkSable
    Not having to reinstall apps is good, but is it like the "refresh" of windows 8, that claims you don't have to reinstall apps, but wipes anything not installed from the windows 8 store?

    (EDIT: in response to the poster above:)

    Osmin, I agree with you that the start menu should be much more customizable. However, I disagree that it's slower - people seem to not realize that they can take items off the start screen quite easily. The way I look at it is that the start screen is a less-customizable taskbar, but as a start menu, it's far, far faster - typing is always going to be faster than using a mouse to hunt through folders, and all I have to do if I want to start a program that I don't have pinned somewhere is press the windows button and start typing.

    I'm personally a fan; while I dislike how little one can customize and tweak the way the new interface looks and acts, it is faster, and windows 8 has a lot of nice / improved features. The trick to appreciating it is to spend five minutes working within the settings, not relying on windows store apps, and teaching yourself to use the windows key more often.
  • maharana
    i think this windows should contain essential softwares, utilities, best anti-virus and some other studying material like latest microsoft office and latest Microsoft Encarta and desktop, log on screen should be very interactive like revolving of planets, formation of DNA along with information provide on right side or down side of screen. If this happens then Most of schools,student,parents would prefer it. During installation there should be 2 options 1> FOR BUSINESS and FOR EDUCATION and it further divided into KIDS and STUDENT and moreover command prompt have all right and it should be beyond of all security, authoring permission. Face recognition and voice recognition software for security.