Microsoft Releases Windows 8.1 Spring Update
Windows XP may be gone, but its shadow still looms over the new keyboard- and mouse-friendly update for Windows 8.1.For Microsoft, this week not only marks a big break from its past but also a return to it, of sorts. On April 8, the software giant finally pulled the plug on one of its most successful and long-lived products, Windows XP, while simultaneously releasing the Windows 8.1 Update to the general public. The new code is being gradually rolled out to customers via Windows Update. (MSDN subscribers were granted access to the update on April 2 during the Build conference.) The update to Windows 8.1 includes—or restores, some would argue—features that make using the touch-enabled operating system more intuitive for keyboard and mouse users. As a result, users who transition from Windows XP to the latest version of 8.1 should find it easier to navigate the OS. And Microsoft has reason to get Windows XP users to upgrade, apart from an expected spike in malware that the company warns will put users of the unsupported platform and their data at risk. The 12-year-old OS accounts for more than 27 percent of the desktop OS market, according to Internet analytics firm New Applications. Windows 8.x has only managed to claim 11 percent of the market, while Windows 7 rides high at nearly 48 percent.
A return to Windows' tried-and-true past may help the company draw XP holdouts to its latest OS.