2Device Lockdown: An Important New Feature for Tablets
Although it’s available to any Windows 8.1 user, Device Lockdown appears to be ideal for Microsoft’s tablet customers. New to Windows 8.1, the feature lets users access only a single special-purpose app. Microsoft rightly sees the feature working well with educational apps in schools or in public-use apps in the corporate world. Nothing else on the tablet is accessible to anyone but administrators.
3It Includes Better Security Features
Overall, it’s hard to not be happy with the improvements Microsoft made to Windows 8.1’s security. The company has updated Windows Defender to provide improved antivirus and anti-spyware protection. It also has finally delivered device encryption across its entire software line, not just its mobile platforms. Windows 8.1 will even work with enhanced biometrics—a feature that enterprise buyers eagerly desire.
4Significantly Improved Search Function
One of the big complaints in Windows 8 was the operating system’s relatively poor search function. In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has enhanced search functions by allowing its single search bar to be used for everything from Web searching to finding files on the hard drive. The search pane also includes the ability to launch apps and Websites from within the operating system.
5A Useful Start Screen Is Back in the OS
Many of those who were using Windows 8 with a track-pad or mouse considered Microsoft’s Start screen useless. In Windows 8.1, that has been addressed by allowing for different size tiles and support for higher resolutions. The result? Mouse and track-pad users don’t need to swing their cursors so far to open apps. While Windows 8 was a touch-first OS, Microsoft is trying to fix that in Windows 8.1.
6Welcome Back the Start Button
7Windows 8.1 Improves Upon Multitasking
Windows 8.1’s multitasking has gotten much better, allowing users to switch quickly between apps. Microsoft has also added the ability to view two apps in a 50-50 layout on displays, unlike the one-big, one-small layout in Windows 8. And since more tiles can be added to the Start screen, more can be done from within that single pane.
8Microsoft Is Actually Doing the Teaching
Microsoft realized that all the major changes in Windows 8 were an educational nightmare for the enterprise. Now, Windows 8.1 is packed with tips on how to use certain features. From starting applications to changing settings, the OS provides plenty of guidelines to help users get accustomed to the new version.
9Pick Your Style and Stick With It
Microsoft is no longer locking its users into the Metro-style interface. With Windows 8.1, users who are comfortable with the completely tile-based design can stick with it. Those who want a more traditional desktop experience, however, can have that, as well. Windows 8.1 allows for as much user interface customization as most people would need.
10Finally–Windows Provides Improved File-Sifting Opportunities
11Windows 8.1 Will Arrive With Useful Built-In Apps
Microsoft wants to keep Windows 8.1 users occupied with its own built-in applications, such as Mail, which has been overhauled. Mail comes with a new “pin” feature that gives users easy access to folders. Skype also includes a range of improvements such as the ability to connect to Facebook. Internet Explorer 11 comes with the ability to view tabs that are open on another instance of Internet Explorer 11 running on another device if you are logged into your Microsoft cloud account. The search engine can do this because IE 11 backs up your tabs to the cloud, allowing you to pull them down to other devices at will.