The Windows 8.1 release date for retail sale has been confirmed to be October 18. Users who own a Windows 8 license will get the update for free. Microsoft will be bringing some intuitive changes and upgrades to the operating system.
Microsoft will be putting in the finishing touches to the Windows 8.1 before the final release. Features like the Bing search and Bing apps will be getting an upgrade.
The new Bing search for instance allows users to search local files, settings and apps from a single centralised view. The top five features of Windows 8.1 are as follows.
Microsoft calls it "Photo Loop" but the feature is similar to the "Photo Rewind" found in the BlackBerry 10. The feature allows the user to rewind a picture to solve problems like someone blinking or looking away at the wrong moment.
But for the feature to work, the hardware on the device will need to support it. Devices like the Surface 2 tablets, which have the supporting hardware, will only be shipped by Oct 22.
Lock Screen Photos:
The lock screen on a tablet or a PC can now sport a photo slideshow; the photos can be accessed from the hard drive of the device or from the cloud based SkyDrive. A tablet can look like photo frame, using this feature.
Users will also be able to answer a phone call or access the camera without having to unlock the device with a password. This feature can be particularly useful if the device is a phablet.
Move Tiles Around:
Many users prefer to customise their screens by arranging the tiles in a particular group, Windows 8.1 makes it easier to move the tiles more purposefully and not by accident. Users will now need to press and hold a tile in order to move it; the right click can also be used to move the tiles.
A new large tile and a small tile options are available. Any new app downloaded, will directly go to the apps view and users can choose which apps will appear on the start screen.
Users will now be able to multitask better with a new snap view, allowing the users to view two or three apps at the same time. The apps can also be resized according to the needs of the user.
Directly Save in SkyDrive:
Files can be directly saved into the cloud based SkyDrive, as the feature has been integrated into the Windows 8.1. The SkyDrive allows users additional storage options, users can store music, eBooks and movies, and others.
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