Top Ten New Features of Windows 8.1

The Microsoft Windows operating system has been in existence now for almost thirty years, having had its first inception at the end of 1985. Its newest version, Windows 8, was released at the very end of 2012, and in July 2013 Microsoft announced that the formation of Windows 8.1, to be released on October 18 of that year. In this article we will list and describe the top ten features of that version.

1) Camera access from the lock screen

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Image via
The lock screen proved to be so popular as a place for displaying photos that the people at Microsoft decided to enable users to make a photo “slide show” out of it. All photographs remain on display until a year to the day they were shot.

2) Hero Search

hero search windows 8
Image via Windows 8.1 Preview Product Guide
This is an ingenious invention of the Microsoft company. Simply put, it combines the results of your Web queries with the information stored on your computer to create a view of what a website will look like before you follow the link. You can also get a thumbnail view of each search result.

3) An improved form of Windows Store

windows store
Image via Windows 8.1 Preview Product Guide
Windows Store will now be based on Google Play and the app store on the Apple website. Like both of these, it will feature a list of new and free apps and most popular picks. The user will also be given more information about each app than before so that he or she can decide more readily weather to buy it or not.

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4) Xbox radio music

Image via Wikipedia
Microsoft introduced this video gaming brand in 2001, including the console of the same name, which can be used for streaming services and applications. Windows 8.1 will include a free version of the Xbox app that will enable users to set up their own radio stations based on their music collections. The app can even create a playlist based on the websites that you visit for the purpose of finding out about concerts!

5) Keyboard gestures: Auto-predict

keyboard windows 8
The virtual keyboards of tablets and smartphones have an auto-suggest feature that gives a set of predictions for what will be typed next. This speeds up the typing process; it even seems like the machine does your thinking for you. On Windows 8.1, auto-prediction will be taken to even greater heights: Suggestions will appear immediately below what you are typing and you can get to and select the one you want by using the space bar.

6) SkyDrive saving

Windows 8.1 will introduce something called SkyDrive, which is to serve two main purposes: It will save files so that they can be accessed offline, and it will sync settings and apps to the user’s Outlook account if he is logged on thereby.

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7) Multi-window mode

Image via Windows 8.1 Preview Product Guide
For over a decade now computers have been set up so that users can “multitask” with them by having more than one program or function running at a time. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft will vastly improve on that capacity by enabling several apps to be open on a single screen. The user will thus, for instance, be able to open a web page alongside the mail app by clicking on a picture within an email. Snap views will also be introduced so that you can resize apps and no longer have to have “main” and “docked” apps as required by Windows 8.

8) Return of the start button

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Image via
Previous versions of Windows have eliminated the start button, but now it is back, and easier to use than it was before. The start screen is more closely integrated with the desktop so there will be less “jarring” between them.

9) A new menu for PC settings

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This will be a single menu onto which all of your settings will be consolidated so you can manage Bluetooth preferences and tweak your SkyDrive settings from one place.

10) Boot to desktop

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Image via Windows 8.1 Preview Product Guide
On hearing that this feature would be implemented, many people applauded. On booting up the machine, the user will be able to get past the start screen directly to the desktop.

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Author Bio
Cassandra Rolland is a gadget enthusiast who is always looking for gadget news from Gadget Gnome tech blog so she does not miss a beat!

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