Windows 8.1: A Huge Improvement for Windows 8?

Sales figures of Windows 8 are quite impressive with over 100 million copies being lapped up by the public in a matter of 7 months. However, taking into account the 1 billion computers in existence, the figure is just peanuts. One never knows if the story of Windows ME or Vista is repeating itself again. However, it is a bit too early to pass judgments at this point of time. Microsoft was quick to pull itself out of the quagmire it had got itself into by coming out with Windows XP (which was quite successful) and Windows 7 which was a moderate success.

However, Windows 8.1, which was codenamed Windows Blue earlier, is facing quite a bit of criticism from techies and general users alike. However, most other users swear by this operating system and seem to prefer this to Windows 7 which did not find too many takers. Though there are many who have dual-boot setups and use both Windows 7 and the new Windows 8.1, though the latter could do with a good bit of tweaking.

Windows 8 is not without its woes, like several features that need to be visible are hidden. For instance, “charms” that you find on the right side panel will appear only after you either use the mouse gesture, or touch. Another irritating feature with Windows 8 is the repetition of features where you can see a full screen version that used to be called “Metro” and the “classic” version of Windows 7 with its apps and tools of the desktop version. You will find two Internet Explorers where you need just one, and two Settings interfaces in the place of just one that is required. Even for cloud storage, you will notice two Sky Drive applications, with one being one too many. The reason for this, of course is that Windows 8 wants to serve mobile and desktop at the same time.

One will get a better picture during the Build Conference where Microsoft will be talking about the new features that are to be added to Windows 8.1. It is believed to be a service pack, considering it is a free update. However, experts believe that the interface will be reworked on considerably in order to make it a success. In addition to being a free update, it will run on the very same hardware that the current version runs. The existing Windows Store apps will be found to be compatible with the new version. An important feature will certainly be the bringing back of the start button that most users were so used to. Any Windows operating system without the start button was found to be quite weird by most users. The start button was in existence way back from the days of Windows 95, and was more like a permanent fixture.

The only difference is that the Start button will be christened with a new name and will henceforth be called the Start tip. You’ll find it in the same place on the bottom left corner where you can type in whatever you are searching for. One other feature that could be added is the option to “boot to alternate screens” according to the preview leaks from reliable sources.

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