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Windows 8.1 Rolling Out Worldwide

TechCrunch points out that Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out to current Windows 8 users on Thursday at 4 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The update will bring a number of improvements including a variety of tile sizes, an improved Windows Store, the semi-return of the Start button, the ability to boot to desktop (finally), Internet Explorer 11 and more. The launch is an attempt to "reboot" the Windows 8 platform, and lead the way to other platform changes and additions in the near future.

"As I walk down the hallway in my office this week I see a lot of smiles from people on the team who are excited about their hard work finally making it into customers’ hands," states Microsoft's executive vice president of operating systems, Terry Myerson. "This week we’ve got some great things coming for Windows and Windows Phone customers. On Thursday, Windows 8.1 will be globally available, and we also announced the third update to Windows Phone 8, coming soon to Windows Phone customers."

"If you’re already running Windows 8, download 8.1 tomorrow to see the new Windows, which brings you one experience for everything in your life," he adds. "And if you’re in the market for a new device, keep an eye out for the great new Windows devices that will be on store shelves this holiday season: from affordable phones, 8” tablets and touch PCs to high-end devices, there’s a Windows device for you."

The new update will allow customers to turn their Windows 8.1 wireless enabled laptop or tablet into a hotspot, eliminating the need for third-party applications. The update will also make Windows 8 more mouse-friendly as well, a welcome feature given that a lot of Microsoft's customers are still treading along with the old-school mouse and keyboard method. New apps are expected to arrive as well including a Calculator, a Sound Recorder, new Alarm features and more.

"Windows 8.1 with IE 11 introduces support for live tile notifications when you pin your favorite web sites," states Rob Mauceri, group program manager for Internet Explorer. "Your pinned sites can now be alive with activity, pulling data directly from the websites so your Start screen is updated with the latest posts, scores or stocks – information from the Web right on your Start screen. Together with the Start screen team in Windows, we designed the live tile support for sites to enable all the same tile sizes and layouts that apps enjoy."

As TechCrunch points out, tonight marks the calm before the storm. Tomorrow we will find out if Windows 8.1 is heading in the right direction, or will just turn even more customers away. Microsoft has a lot riding on this update – seemingly the fate of the PC market long dominated by Windows. With Android, Chrome OS and Ubuntu crouched in the bushes waiting to strike, Microsoft had better produce a golden egg with Windows 8.1.

For an outline of what's to come tomorrow, check out Pocket-lint's list here.

  • monsta
    About time , hope the update is smooth and makes 8 better
    Reply
  • Aaron Briggs
    It does make windows 8 better, honestly windows 8 isn't as bad as people make it out to be. Its faster, manages resources a lot better, and offers a lot of enhancements in the file system that really makes the OS solid. It runs a lot better on older machines, it revived our old machines at work quite a bit better then windows 7 does. We have been testing 8.1 for awhile now and it brings a lot of great changes especially for free but frankly i think 8.1 should of been what 8 was but at leased they are not charging for the update.
    Reply
  • monsta
    I agree, I do like Windows 8 myself and it is quite quick, I didn't download the preview so I'm looking forward to this update. Good to see MS is taking feedback and has made a few changes.
    Reply
  • belardo
    Here comes the windows 8.1 dribble... is more like it.
    LOL! As usual, the "its not that bad" comments from people who DO LIKE the win doze 8 turd.
    Reply
  • belardo
    I remember when I ran windows 8 on my wife's think pad. (She is a computer novice). I fixed it when I murdered windows and installed LinuxMint. Boots up just as fast... rock solid and neither she or myself have problems using it. Other than a few pc games of course... but no biggie, the PS4 will take care of our gaming needs.
    Reply
  • r3dl1n3
    @belardo.. Congratulations for the first TROLL post of many more to come.. If you hate windows and are so happy with Linux.. why are you reading or posting.. Just move along and play with your hobby OS.. maybe one day it'll be popular enough to run with the big boy's. Until that day.. enjoy your .01% market share.. the funny thing is there are more people using windows RT then Linux mint.. LOL..
    Reply
  • robjen1019
    so glad I switched to Mint linux...ha
    Reply
  • ohim
    8.1 does things to Windows Explorer that i totally hate... why the hell did they touch that ?

    I don`t mind the Start screen, say what you want all the Win8 haters out there, but the Win8 start screen is better than Start Button with columns, it just takes a bit to get used to it, but the rest of the metro apps... totally useless, MS tried to do that to bring App Store to Windows and bring more revenue but it doesn`t happen.
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    ... Windows 7 F.T.W....
    Reply
  • marck1001
    I am using the MSDN full 8.1 version for 2 weeks now. Awesome improvements. Start button for me still makes absolutely no sense at all. I mean, we already had the same thing before, but with no Start button, we just need to mouse over the left lower corner and we would have the same effect. I had hopes that the resurrected start button had more options rather than just going to the start screen.

    Finding new applications is still confusing. Yeah you can go to the All Apps section, but finding the new app you just installed is not intuitive. To avoid that I just type the name of the new app, way better, but for my wife for example, she's used to go through the start menu and find stuff, she's sooooooooo confused.

    Booting directly to desktop makes lots of sense for the Enterprise environment. I really don't mind booting to the start screen. I even kind of like it.
    Reply