Windows 8.1 is the latest version of the world’s most popular operating system. And what is especially valuable, this update is distributed absolutely free. Microsoft has taken into account the wishes of users and added new features. As before, the main focus is on touch devices, in particular tablets, especially mini-tablets. But first things first.
The computer world has changed a lot lately, and Microsoft has to change with it. Mobile devices have not only become popular, they are already beginning to dominate. Smartphones, tablets and related products are sold in millions of copies. At the same time, the popularity of traditional computers is rapidly declining. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s step into the mobile future. The new version 8.1 improves and complements what we started without changing the overall course.
You have to understand that Windows has been the most popular operating system for decades. Now this OS is used by more than 1.2 billion people worldwide. Therefore, any abrupt changes will inevitably cause a negative reaction, which is what happened with the G8. Patch 8.1 brings back the Start button and brings a number of other modifications requested by users, business customers, and developers. In addition, the functionality has been significantly improved, especially with regard to Bing search in all its variations.
According to our research on audience preferences and market sales statistics, so-called mini-tablets with 7-8 “screens have a great future. They are smaller and cheaper than standard tablets, so they are very popular, and it is very important that Windows 8.1 focuses on similar models. Basically, you can carry around a very mobile device that runs full Windows with support for the entire software base over the past two decades. Agree, this is a very tempting prospect.
As you can see, Windows 8 Pro potentially has a very good chance in the tablet and mini-tablet market. The secret is simple: if Android and iOS are created for consuming content, then on Windows it can be fully created, and the most specific tasks are available due to the wide software base. The functionality of Windows is head and shoulders above other systems, in particular in multitasking and business capabilities.
So far, implementation raises questions. The fact is that Windows tablets are computers not only in functionality, but in everything else, and this imposes certain restrictions and results in compromises. In turn, there are trade-offs for ordinary computer users who may find the new tiled interface unusual. Let’s see what we managed to solve in the new version.
Windows 8.1 Optimization for mini tablets
Starting this year, Microsoft has finally turned its attention to mini tablets, and rightly so. After the success of similar solutions from Google and Apple , as well as the popularity of numerous Chinese products, this segment cannot be ignored. But the most important thing is that Windows has been ported to small diagonals with almost no loss of functionality. There is compatibility with all software, Microsoft Office and all the advantages of the system such as full-fledged multitasking. To optimize space, icons of new sizes have been added and the keyboard has been improved.
There are, of course, some downsides, they mainly relate to the Desktop mode. The fact is that the software on small diagonals, which is not optimized for the tiled interface, has the appropriate size of the elements, which means that it has become even less convenient to manage it. On the other hand, this should encourage developers to look more actively towards the Windows Store. In any case, users got a great alternative to the Nexus 7 and iPad mini if they need more functionality than just content consumption.
New in the interface
Windows 8’s interface has caused a lot of controversy. The fact is that it is mainly focused on touch screens, but on ordinary computers, many were new to users. In the 8.1 update, Microsoft tried to take into account the main comments, but still you should not expect a return to the old concept of Windows 7. Before us is the same tiled interface with all its pros and cons. True, there are now four options for the size of icons on the home screen. Larger icons display more information. You can also select multiple icons and then move, delete, or resize them. The Start button is back and can be configured to go to the All Apps view. However, this is cunning on the part of Microsoft, because you will not see the menu you are used to in previous versions of Windows, it is just a shortcut to the start screen.
Among the new features, I will note the synchronization of the Start screen – files, elements of the Start screen, applications and their settings, as well as other settings, are automatically synchronized on all devices running Windows 8.1. Thus, if you customize the Start screen on your laptop, the exact same Start screen appears on your tablet or home workstation.
One of the features of Windows 8.1 is the ability to display multiple applications on the screen more flexibly. If you click on an email attachment, the file will automatically open in a new window, so you can view it and send a response right away. Or, you can open a browser window nearby in addition to an already open window. Basically, this is the functionality of a computer in your tablet, and it’s impressive. Using this on a touch screen is quite intuitive and ergonomic, but with ordinary computers, everything is much more complicated. Microsoft’s main idea is to keep the system consistent across devices, but this concept has both pros and cons.
One of the important innovations is a new lock screen with a slideshow function. This will be especially appreciated by the owners of home computers, in particular monoblocks. It turns out a beautiful photo frame with different effects. It is noteworthy that not only the aesthetic part of the lock screen has been expanded.