Microsoft Shows Off Windows 8.1, Teases Small Tablets at Computex
The public gets a peek at the Windows 8 'Blue' update in action during the tradeshow along with hardware designed to take on the iPad Mini.Microsoft has stopped playing coy when it comes to its big Windows 8 update. In sharp contrast to the tight-lipped stance Microsoft took when details of Windows Blue (now Windows 8.1) first emerged, the company is now demonstrating the software in some high-profile settings. Microsoft picked the Computex tradeshow in Taipei, Taiwan, to give its first public demonstration of Windows 8.1 on June 5. Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president of Windows Program Management, guided attendees through some of the major new features that are set to launch with Windows 8.1 later this year. These include an array of new Start screen personalization features, Internet Explorer 11, improvements to the operating system's search function and integrated SkyDrive cloud storage. Windows 8.1 is also expected to help Microsoft's hardware partners deliver a wider array of tablets and PCs. "Leblond also described how working closely with partners has enabled the creation of richer and more unique experiences with hardware innovation in areas such as smaller form factors, touch pad, wireless networking, larger screens and higher DPI," reported Microsoft in a company statement.
In one example, Leblond described how his team's efforts afford device makers some added flexibility in the design of their products. "We did some work at the device interface level around edge detection and things like that to make it easier to have smaller bezels on these devices so that OEMs and folks who build devices like this could build exactly the kinds of devices they want, and Windows 8.1 will be great on them," he said.