The worldwide roll out for the free Windows 8.1 update for devices with existing Windows 8.0 began Oct. 17. Consumers with a Windows 8 device in more than 230 markets and 37 languages can download the free update via the online Windows Store.
Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as boxed software starting Oct. 18 at retail locations around the world.
The introduction of Windows 8 marked the drastic change in the PC operating system that is pressured to adapt to the changing computing landscape dominated today by touch-enabled, data and communication capable mobile devices.
A complete overhaul from the old Windows, Windows 8 features a new touch user interface populated by tiles representing applications. The platform not only works for PCs, but across a host of mobile devices that include tablets and smartphones, and two-in-one mobile devices.
“With Windows 8, we introduced innovation for an era of highly mobile, touch-enabled, and always-connected computing,” said Mae Moreno, Windows Client Business Lead at Microsoft Philippines.
“Windows 8.1 evolves this vision and brings together everything people do across all their devices whether at home, at work or on the go. Windows is delivering the most personal computing experience out there, making your device a unique extension of you and offering more ways to create an experience that is personal, expressive and keeps pace with your life.”
What’s new with Windows 8.1:
• An improved and more customizable Start screen offers variable tile sizes, more background designs and colors (for more options for personalization). You can also choose how to start the Windows experience–at the Start screen or directly in the familiar Windows desktop.
• The “Start” button returns, which was primarily the clamor of many Windows users. The Start button remains the familiar point of navigation. An updated apps view lets users see all their apps at once for easy access and new clicks and cues, as well as a Help + Tips app that gets them up to speed quickly.
• Bing Search becomes smarter. The new Bing Smart Search provides the easiest way to find what’s needed on the device or on the Web in one beautiful and easy consolidated view that’s built for touch. Simply swipe or type from the Start screen and Smart Search will find it– whether it’s a document on a PC, a photo album on SkyDrive, a favorite app, or a website.
• Windows 8.1 offers a range of apps and services from the Start screen, allowing customers to quickly and easily do the things they love on Windows, such as catching up with friends and family via Skype, emailing effortlessly in the Mail app, finding new recipes with the Bing Food & Drink app, or listening to free streaming music.
• The new Internet Explorer 11 brings enhanced touch performance, speed boosts, and synchronized browsing history, favorites and settings across all Windows 8.1 devices.
• Windows 8.1 also provides native support for 3-D printing, meaning it will have plug-and-play support for 3-D printers, enable apps to seamlessly print 3-D jobs and understand 3-D file formats.
• Windows 8.1 includes the display and use of up to four apps side by side, flexible windows sizing for each app on the screen, the ability for one app to launch another app, and improved multi-monitor support so users can view the desktop or apps from the Windows Store on any or all monitors.
• Deep cloud integration with SkyDrive. Windows 8.1 makes it easier than ever to work from anywhere and know that files are always accessible — across devices and locations. With SkyDrive, users can create, edit, save and share files anywhere, anytime, on whatever device they’re using.
• A redesigned Windows Store. Fresh layouts and categories, such as New & Rising, make it easier to stay up to date on the hottest new entries to explore. Personalized recommendations use the Bing advanced recommendation and relevance system to help find new favorites.
• Apps are updated automatically by default, so users always have the newest and best version of any app, such as Fresh Paint, which now includes watercolor, a new graphite pencil set and a new clean, modern user interface for the latest painting or drawing creations. New and updated apps are also continually being delivered to the Store including Facebook, Adobe PhotoShop Express and eBay.
Customers can go to http://www.windows.com.ph to learn about the wide variety of new Windows devices available now and throughout the holiday season to find the one that best fits their needs and budgets. More information about Windows 8.1 is at http://blogs.windows.com and http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news.