What’s new in Windows 8.1: return to the start button
The return to the start button has been the most talked about novelty for months of the new Windows 8.1. And is not for less. For those who were lost with the new Modern UI interface, especially now that there are still not many applications or computers have touch screens in all cases to make the most of it, it will be very useful.
That button is placed in the lower left corner and takes us to the home screen of the Metro interface, so you have to forget about the traditional start menu. If we press with the right button we will activate a mini-menu, with some more settings and shortcuts to turn off and restart the computer.
At the interface level, there are new tile sizes that give us more flexibility when managing our desktop. Now, by the way, it is possible to start the system and that the first thing we see is the classic Windows desktop.
Multitasking also improves in Windows 8.1, and we can have up to four applications on the same screen, also choosing the size of each of them, all if our screen resolution allows it. At least we have to be 500 pixels wide per application.
The use of multiple screens with Windows 8.1 has also been improved, and we will be able to have Modern UI applications on multiple screens.
Searches are also advancing, now including Skydrive files (which gains integration with the system and will no longer need an exclusive application for it), the hard disk, or results of applications integrated into the system.
More apps and new store
With the new version of Windows 8 a wave of new applications has also arrived. We have, for example, FlipBoard and Facebook, with applications that aspire to be the best on the market but of which there is no planned launch date for now.
A very important development related to applications is the new store. Its most interesting novelties have to do with a redesign of the interface, easier navigation through application lists and without a doubt the great novelty: automatic update of the applications.
Another good news is that there will be a version of Office adapted to Modern UI, but it will not arrive until 2014.
And Microsoft also surprised us with the new version of Xbox Music, the streaming music service from Redmond, which however comes with less news than expected, and almost all of them focus on the interface design.
Windows 8.1 also on small diagonal tablets
No trace of Windows RT in Microsoft’s presentation. Not at least directly. If we add that Microsoft extends the support of Windows 8.1 to tablets with 7 and 8-inch screens, white and bottled.
With the support for screens with a resolution of at least 1024×768 pixels, Microsoft opens its most important system to tablet models that may be very popular in the coming years for two main reasons: convenience due to the format and more adjusted price.
The only downside to this new resolution is that you lose the ability to split the screen to have two or more applications on a split screen. But you can not have everything.
You can now download Windows 8.1 Preview
If you are a developer or want to start tasting the news that Windows 8.1 brings us, you can now download the Preview version for free. As they tell us in news about Windows, there are two options to do it: Update from the store. Be careful because this is more direct but it implies having to reinstall the applications again. ISO to test the new system without altering the one you are currently using.