This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
One year after Windows 8, a major update arrives to cement Microsoft’s position as the leading operating system developer and fix user concerns
Windows 8.1 will improve the Start screen, return the missed Start button, add Internet Explorer 11, integrate a richer Bing Search into the operating system and apps, add multi-tasking and embed SkyDrive for the cloud everywhere.
Terry Myerson, EVP, Operating Systems at Microsoft reflected on the “Windows everywhere” theme on The Windows Blog.
“As I walk down the hallway in my office this week I see a lot of smiles from people on the team who are excited about their hard work finally making it into customers’ hands.
This week we’ve got some great things coming for Windows and Windows Phone customers. On Thursday, Windows 8.1 will be globally available, and we also announced the third update to Windows Phone 8, coming soon to Windows Phone customers.
Windows Everywhere – Windows 8.1 will give the same user experience on the desktop, tablet and smart phone (Photo Microsoft)
From SkyDrive to Bing to Internet Explorer to Skype and more, devices running Windows and Windows Phone make it easy to arrange it all around you – be all work, all play, or both at the same time.
Quickly get to your favorite apps and content with Live Tiles.
Take pictures on your Windows Phone and show them to your friends and family on a Windows device or Xbox with SkyDrive integration. With Bing, it’s easier than ever to find what you need, from a document on your laptop to text within a photo taken on your Windows Phone. Use Skype to IM or video call out of the box on any device. Take your music collection with you from your living room to your office to the gym with Xbox Music. Use your phone or tablet to control your Xboxwith SmartGlass.
If you’re already running Windows 8, download 8.1 tomorrow to see the new Windows, which brings you one experience for everything in your life.
And if you’re in the market for a new device, keep an eye out for the great new Windows devices that will be on store shelves this holiday season: from affordable phones, 8” tablets and touch PCs to high-end devices, there’s a Windows device for you.”
Windows 8.1 free upgrade
Windows 8.1 is a free update for Windows 8 users, available on the Windows Store starting October 18, 2013. Users of Windows 7 and earlier versions can buy Microsoft Windows 8.1 – Full Version for $120, available on pre-order from Amazon.com.
Here’s a tip. If you don’t already have Windows 8.0, you can save some money by finding a discounted copy of Windows 8.0 upgrade and get the update free. Amazon.com still has Microsoft Windows 8 Pro – Upgrade for $85.
By Stephen Pate, Aquilium Group Inc.