Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 8.1 Preview
Article by George Norman
On 27 Jun 2013
A preview version of Windows 8.1 has been released to the public. Go get it and experience new ways to personalize your PC, new apps, and new services.


Windows 8.1 is scheduled to be released to the public later this year. To give you a taste of things to come, Microsoft has made Windows 8.1 Preview available to the general public. Go get this free update for Windows 8 (you can do so by following this link) and you’ll get to enjoy the new personalization methods 8.1 has to offer as well as the new apps and services it puts at your disposal.

Windows 8.1 Preview has the following to offer (the bits I found to be most interesting):
  • The ability to sync customizations, apps and files across all your Windows 8.1 devices.
  • The Start button that many Windows 8 adopters complained about is back.
  • Shutdown and Restart options have been added to the Start menu.
  • Dynamic Start screen backgrounds and new tile resizing and sorting options.
  • The All apps screen is easier to access.
  • The Snap feature is no longer limited to 2 apps; you can Snap as many apps as your display can accommodate.
  • Windows Store apps can be Snapped across multiple monitors.
  • A preview version of Internet Explorer 11 is included.
  • A completely redesigned Windows Store.
  • Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET 4.5.1 Preview.
  • Bing is positioned as a development platform.
  • SkyDrive is integrated into the OS.
  • Several built-in Metro-style apps have been updated.
  • There are also a few new apps and new utility apps.
  • Business-oriented features: NFC tap-to-pair printing, Wi-Fi Direct printing, Miracast wireless display, broadband tethering, improved VPN capabilities.

“With Windows 8 we built a new Windows, reimagined from the chipset to the experience. It was an ambitious vision, and with Windows 8.1 we refine it,” said Larson-Green, corporate vice president of Windows. “Windows 8.1 will support the widest range of tablets and PCs and demonstrates how responsive we can be for customers. The preview we are releasing today is an important step for partners around the world that are building the next generation of Windows devices and apps.”

For a more complete look at all the features in Windows 8.1, check out this Product Guide (PDF format).

If you have any questions about Windows 8.1 Preview, check out this FAQ.

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc posted instructions on how to install Windows 8.1 Preview here.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Preview, update
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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