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At the Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston, Texas – Microsoft executives took the stage to discuss the company’s devices and services approach with it partners. Tami Reller, Windows chief marketing officer and chief financial officer, talked about how Windows influences all the other products and technologies the software giant has to offer.

Ms. Reller reiterated that the company has sold around 100 million Windows 8 licenses and revealed that Microsoft now has more than 20 million enterprise evaluations and that Windows 8 has logged 60 billion hours of use. Additionally, she mentioned that new customer activation continues at a consistent pace.

The high-ranking executive of Microsoft also announced that Windows 8.1 RTM [release to manufacturing] will be available for OEM partners in late August. This means OEMs will be able to get the RTM bits and begin preparing devices with Windows 8.1 just in time for the holidays. Windows 8.1 is an update that refines the vision of Windows 8 and makes it more comfortable to use.

Jensen Harris, another Microsoft executive, showed off some new features and functionality, including how Windows 8.1 is optimized to work great on small-form-factor devices and portrait view. He also demoed the Reading List app that lets customers to share articles from the web and content from other apps to read later which roams with you across your Windows devices through the cloud courtesy of SkyDrive. Mr. Harris also demoed for the first time new technology built into Windows 8.1 called Miracast that streams HD video and audio over Wi-Fi to another display like a TV. With Surface Pro, he essentially turned a TV into a whiteboard with the OneNote app.

Among other things, Windows 8.1 returns Start button to the bottom left corner of the desktop. What is important is that when clicked onto, the Start button trigger the new Start screen when clicked, and not the legacy Start menu. Once the button is clicked, it will remain displayed on the desktop going forward; those, who use hardware Start button on keyboards, will get Windows 8 Start screen.


Screenshot originally published by Supersite for Windows

In Windows 8.1, users will be able to substitute the stock Start screen with the All Apps view, a set of tile-like icons for every installed program, but no live updating functionality. Users will also be able to arrange the icons by usage, allowing the most commonly used apps to be first. This view is the closest it is possible to get to the Windows 7 Start Menu, albeit it will be full-screen, not a list.

As expected, Windows 8.1 will allow to boot directly to desktop and skip the Windows 8 Start Screen. 

 
Screenshot originally published by Supersite for Windows

Microsoft Windows 8.1 will be delivered as a free and seamless update to Windows 8 and to Windows RT, which means that customers today who have Windows 8 or who plan to buy a new device will get all the advantages of Windows 8.1.

Microsoft will first demonstrate Windows 8.1 updates at Build conference June 26th in San Francisco. A public preview of Windows 8.1 will be available for anyone to download at that point.

Previously it was reported that Microsoft was to return Start menu and allow skip the Metro UI Start screen with the Windows 8.1 update. In addition, it is projected that the “Blue” updates will improve battery life on new-generations of microprocessors and will possible bring other performance advantages. While the full picture of Blue updates remains generally unfinished, the enhancements of Windows 8.1 over Windows 8 have already been published:

  • New split-screen App options.
  • Improved modern UI PC settings.
  • New tile sizes.
  • New search interface.
  • Enhanced SkyDrive.
  • Internet Explorer 11.
  • Swipe up from Start Screen to access list of apps.
  • More personalization options.
  • Picture frame mode.
  • New gestures.
  • New Apps: Calculator, Alarm, Sound Recorder, Movie Moments (video editing application).

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 8, Blue, Windows, Xbox, Windows RT

Discussion

Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 07/09/13 03:50:32 PM
Latest comment: 08/23/13 12:19:34 AM
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[1-4]

1. 
Windows 8.1 will snoop on users more than any windows before. It will also flood users with ads, and monetize the snooped data. m$ has also been selling bugs to the NSA so they can hack our computers all over the net, and spy on whoever they want.

Die micro$oft!

Oh wait, they are already dead Good riddance.
1 1 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 07/09/13 03:50:32 PM]
Reply
- collapse thread

 
if u talk about NSA then every microsoft software have backdoors for spying........do u know that-
1.if u delete any file in windows via shft+del or removed from recycle bin then it's not deleted just saved to another location which u can't trace, u can trace and open only if u have deep knowledge.that's what security agencies uses when they take any criminals notebook.
2. every keyword u type on google is saved in their server with location,time and ip address.
so yes NSA is spying us but its for our goodness they are not intrested in listning calls to girls,what adult sites people visited they want just one thing NO 9/11 AGAIN AND I HAVE NO ISSUE IF NSA SPYING ME.
0 2 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 07/09/13 09:43:19 PM]
Reply
 
when you delete something from the recycle bin it doesn't go to a secret location on windows lol.

On HDD Deleting a file’s pointer and marking its space as available is an fast operation, but actually erasing a file by overwriting its data takes significantly longer.

SSD's on the other hand don't have to worry about significant long overwrites. All modern SSD's have a feature called TRIM, where deleted files are removed immediately and can’t be recovered. Essentially, data can’t be overwritten onto flash cells to write new data on.
0 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 07/10/13 11:35:10 AM]
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2. 
Just love marketing B/S figures evaluation numbers are meaningless or dose this mean that it has been evaluated 20 million times by business and not implemented 20 million times? If so them this is pushing shit uphill with ones nose.
2 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 07/09/13 04:31:27 PM]
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3. 
I didn't waste my bandwidth downloading the free evaluation copy, so I certainly won't waste my money buying the retail version of Windows Blew.
0 0 [Posted by: phatboye  | Date: 07/09/13 08:03:12 PM]
Reply

4. 
windows 8.1 blue good or bad-
bad things-
1.i personally tested w8.1 with many generation of cpu from ivy-bridge (22nm) to old 65nm dual-core and i found that on older cpu w8.1 is even more leggy and hangs than windows 7 but on newer cpu like sandy-bridge its more fludic than windows 7.
2.Metro-UI is the worst UI i ever seen if u install a software which have many sub-icon program than in metro-ui they don't show together not even alphabetically , that's why we need full coventional start menu.
GOOD THIGS-
1.really improoved performance on newer cpu like sandy-bridge, boots fast response is very good no lags.......very good.
2.for upcoming revolutionary technologies like AMD HSA minimum requirement is W8.1 yes microsoft not give supoort to AMD HSA on windows 7 just to boost sales
3.u can disable metro-UI and switch back to conventional start menu by free softwares.

RESULT- if u have w8 licence then u must upgrade to W8.1 coz 8.1 gives new features,support for upcoming technologies like AMD HSA,intel TSX,DirectX 11.2......if u don't have W8 licence and u have nehelm or older cpu then just stick to windows7.
1 1 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 07/09/13 08:45:32 PM]
Reply
- collapse thread

 
what's nehelm?

As for improved performance on sandy bridge or newer intel cpu's what constitutes better performance on windows 8.1?

as for intel TSX that started with Haswell and only select versions of core i5 and core i7 Haswell cpu's support it. ivy bridge and lower does not have TSX instructions.

Not if ms has there way they want to block all 3rd party start menu's in windows 8.1

and why should people with first gen core I series or core 2 seires stick to windows 7 when they are more then capable enough to handle a os like windows 8.
0 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 07/10/13 06:18:41 PM]
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