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Microsoft unveils new features of Windows 8.1 Update 1

The classic Start Menu will make a return in the upcoming update.

By Mir Ubaid | Published 03 Apr 2014 18:46 IST
  • The classic Start Menu will make a return in the upcoming update.

Microsoft unveils new features of Windows 8.1 Update 1

Microsoft has announced some new details about the latest Windows 8.1 Update 1. The new update will bring in some significant changes to the UI apart from the regular performance and security patches. It will be released for Windows 8 users for free on April 8. The software giant announced the new changes at its annual Microsoft Build 2014 Conference. One of the most anticipated changes includes the return of the classic Start Button. Here are all the changes that Microsoft unveiled at the Build Conference:

  • Boot straight to Desktop: Currently Windows 8.1 boots users to its default tile-based metro home screen. The new Update 1 will allow users to land up on the classic desktop screen bypassing the tiled interface. Most likely, Microsoft has been listening to user-complaints regarding the new tile-based UI which hasn't been as popular as the company expected.
  • Taskbar: Microsoft will bring new changes to the desktop taskbar which will allow users to access the Windows Store without going into the tile-based app screen. A new button will be introduced to make the task easier. On the tile-based home screen, the taskbar, which wasn't earlier accessible on the mentioned screen, will be available to users. Moving the mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen will highlight the taskbar.
  • Tile-based UI: New tweaks will be introduced to the Modern UI Start Screen as well, which include a dedicated Power and Search buttons. Users will now be able to shut down their machines right from the tile-based screen without needing to open the Charms menu. Also, newly installed apps will be labeled as "New" which wasn't available in the previous version of Windows 8.

Apart from these UI changes, Microsoft says that the Update 1 will drop the minimum system requirements to 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. This will enable the latest Windows to run on low-end PCs.

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