Starting today, users all around the world will begin to gain access to Windows 8.1 Update. This is the first major update to the Windows 8.1 system, a re-structuring of what was originally offered in the touch-friendly Windows 8. This update will be accessible through Windows Update primarily, a system which you can access by moving your cursor to the bottom-right of your display or by pulling in from the right of your display if you have a touchscreen PC or tablet.
Microsoft brought on well over two hours of content to the public this week on the first day of BUILD 2014, the company’s developer conference. Here we learned about Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Phone 8.1, and Universal Windows Apps. We also got our first glimpse of Microsoft’s natural language personal assistant, Cortana.
Live tiles are one of the interesting tweaks for Windows Phone, and it seems they’re coming to the desktop as well. Microsoft’s Terry Myerson announced that live tiles would be coming to traditional Windows 8.1 desktops, and would even make an appearance in the start menu. That’s right, the start menu is coming back.
At this year’s Microsoft BUILD conference we’re likely to see the following device appear for the first time. Taking on many of the newest specifications outlined at MWC 2014 for Windows Phone devices, the Nokia Lumia 630 arrives with a 4.5-inch display with WVGA resolution and a quad-core Snapdragon 400 under the hood. This device will also appear with a chassis that’s thinner than the Lumia 920 while sitting at a height that’s essentially equal to the older phone.
We already know that an update for the Windows 8.1 operating system is coming. That update was tipped to land on April 8 not too long ago. April 8 is the same day that the end of support for Windows XP happens. Microsoft has now completed the development process for the update according to sources.
Microsoft is reportedly preparing a "Windows 8.1 with Bing" version of its desktop OS that would supposedly be offered free of licensing fees, as the company experiments with different monetization options and weighs the value of dropping Windows and Windows Phone licensing or purchase costs altogether. The project, said to be not yet finalized with Microsoft execs still unclear on whether it will see the light of day, comes as Microsoft targets sub-$250 PCs to better challenge Google Chromebooks and other low-cost options.
There are still a large number of computer users out there who are running Windows XP on their machines. Microsoft has been working hard to get these users to upgrade their OS, but some holdouts remain. The end of support date for Windows XP is April 8, which is right around the corner.
Nokia HERE Maps for Windows 8.1 has arrived for download in the Windows Store, bringing the mapping and navigation app to any Windows tablet, notebook, or PC running Microsoft's latest OS version. The software, the broad arrival of which had been heralded late last week, includes 3D city guidance, offline maps support, and public transportation details.