Microsoft Windows 8.1: 10 Fast Facts You Need To Know

Today was Microsoft’s turn to rally developers! Here are ten fast facts you need to know from Microsoft Build 2013’s keynote.

1.Windows 8.1 Was The Main Focus


Premiering eight months ago, the computer firm’s software contained a series of bugs that impacted its use. With the reveal of Windows 8.1, Microsoft paid attention to complaints and highlighted it as the top product it has. Windows 8.1 is projected to be released later this year while a few features may become available sooner rather than later. CEO Steve Ballmer declared that this was the computer company’s strategy to begin increasing product release rates. All of the changes they detailed in the keynote prove this company is listening closely to consumers and is beginning to leverage itself against competitors.

2.Start Screen Becomes More Personal


Windows 8’s biggest complaint was that removal of the start button. The icon has been moved to the lower left of the screen where you click and search for apps. The functions are similar to previous versions where users gain more access to the computer like the control panel icon. You can still open up a task manager, do a routine search and other projects. While this not groundbreaking, CNET noted that it was nice touch to bring this back. users can boot straight to the desktop as well without having to suffer through the tiles screen. The background is customizable with personal pictures and can essentially be morphed into a “home”.

3.Xbox Gains A Personality


Microsoft’s own gaming system gained a series of updates as well. Xbox music has morphed into a more intuitive store which allows users to purchase music with just a fingerprint. A radio feature similar to iRadio has been installed as well. The radio lets users create their own artists stations without the need for a subscription of Xbox music pass. To enhance their relationships with developers, the company also unveiled Project Spark. This was mentioned at E3 but Rusty McLellan and Dave McCarthy discussed that this program would let developers build games on all Xbox platforms.

4.3D Printing And Windows 8.1 Support Each Other


A very interesting note was the software giant’s new OS supports the hot new trend of 3D printing. This is one of the few sources that handle this output. Business partners will include Makerbot and Autodesk. The keynote indicated that it would take about 20 seconds for the information to process. Details were still a little sketchy on when we would see the printer’s arrive on the market but this gives Microsoft a great advantage.

5.Size Really Does Matter For Ballmer’s Company


Apps were emphasized as one of the most prominent sources of redesign during the presentation. Scaling and sizing were two tools the firm seemed proud of. With the ability to view multiple apps at the same time, the company lets users scale and resize these programs. ABC reports that you can scale them accordingly or split them in half. Multi-monitoring makes this better with cooperation between tablets and computers. Apps are a crucial part of this new operating system which is why productive people will enjoy this next feature.

6.Windows 8.1 Is A Multitasker’s Dream OS


Another highlight of the presentation was the multitasking capability. On the screen, users can open up four apps at once. The only factor preventing this is the screen resolution. This can be avoided by adjusting the size of the apps as well as have multiple windows open. These adjustments are similar to the new capabilities of Apple. One piece of information that affect this is the scaling of certain screens. Owners of any tablets can scale the screen down as well to incorporate better viewing of programs.

7.Bing Has Become A Better Search


Titled as a smart search function, Microsoft indicated that Bing is now a search hero. The search power is extensive. According to AllThingsD, Bing can now provide a web page with a variety of information including Windows Store data, deep links within your PC apps, etc. The search engine basically proves nothing is sacred online. It gives the most comprehensive information you can find compared to its competitors. All of these functions are possible with easy swipes. Other functions include voice-guided search combined with certain apps as well. They really hope to change Bing into a platform instead of a simplistic search tool.

8.New Tablets And Computers Are Stronger And Faster


Microsoft unveiled their new line of tablets and computers for the new year. A big aspect of each product was that they had remarkable battery life. Windows RT Dell XPS 10 held a whopping 18.5 hour battery life when disconnected while the Samsung ATIV 9+ holds 12. Many of the new computers were ultrabooks and tablets all in one. The Acer Aspire series that were mentioned appeared to be the pride and joy of the product line. With refined intel processors and reasonable prices, these tablets could become a huge sellers when they are sent out into the market.

9.Graphics And Games Have Tiled Resources

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.08.28 PM

Tiled Resources do the work of rendering images. Developers can down-sample details from a graphics card to help create more realistic images in games. This focus gives more room for graphics memory and paints a much more vivid picture. A glider soaring over an ocean was the best example the company had given. The picture seen above displayed every single detail it had. Viewers could see every aspect in high-def from the rotors spinning towards the wings bending under the wind. For games, Microsoft may have just gained an edge with this development of detail creation.

10.Windows Store Recieved A Redesign

WindowsStore copy

The windows store was completely redesigned to help people find developer apps better. They’re goal is to make it easy for people to buy these apps and help get work recognized in order to speed up cash flow. A preferred apps list appears once entering the store. It gives people suggestions on apps to use based on previous purchases as well as a flatter layout. The purpose is to increase the relationship with developers. Microsoft wants to merchandise these creations quickly to show this important community that their work is valued.