Windows 8.1 Preview Shows Fixes to Features Users Hated Most
NEWS ANALYSIS: Windows 8.1 is an improvement over Windows 8, but it remains to be seen whether the upgrade will change users' poor first impressions.The good news is that you can see the future of Windows 8 now. It’s available as a download from Microsoft and you can install it on your existing Windows 8 machine apparently without disturbing what’s already there. But there’s more good news. Windows 8.1 now allows you to boot directly into the Windows Desktop instead of the much maligned Start Screen with its tiled interface. The new version also brings back the Start Button and adds some significant usefulness to Windows 8. But the Start Button isn’t exactly what you got used to in Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows. You have a choice of how you want to perform a Windows 8.1 upgrade. The easiest way is to use the Windows Store from an existing Windows 8 computer. The upgrade process acts like any other software update, although the download takes a while. You’ll need to sign in to your Microsoft account while you do this, and you’ll need to implement Microsoft’s two-factor authentication, so have your cell phone handy. You can also download the ISO file from Microsoft and upgrade a machine running an earlier version of Windows. Windows 8 upgrades maintain your existing apps, settings and personal information. With earlier versions you may have to perform a clean install.
Once Windows 8.1 is up and operational, it will look like Windows 8 with one obvious exception. In the lower left corner of the screen there’s the new Windows logo, which is the Start Button. Click on that and you switch between the desktop and the Start Screen. But when you right-click on the Start Button, you get a whole new menu of choices.