Wednesday, June 26th 2013

Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available

Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of the Windows 8.1 Preview, the next update of the Windows operating system, at the company's developer-focused Build conference. As part of the conference's keynote speech, the company outlined the reach, design and economic opportunities for developers to build differentiated, touch-based apps for the Windows platform, including new developer tools and increased support. Company executives also highlighted new top apps coming to Windows, including Facebook, Flipboard and NFL - clear evidence of the steady app momentum for Windows, which is experiencing the fastest growth across any platform.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was joined on stage by Julie Larson-Green, corporate vice president of Windows, and other company executives to demo the Windows 8.1 Preview, focusing on key areas of personalization, search powered by Bing, increased functionality for businesses, new in-the-box apps and more. "With Windows 8 we built a new Windows, reimagined from the chipset to the experience. It was an ambitious vision, and with Windows 8.1 we refine it," Larson-Green said. "Windows 8.1 will support the widest range of tablets and PCs and demonstrates how responsive we can be for customers. The preview we are releasing today is an important step for partners around the world that are building the next generation of Windows devices and apps."

DOWNLOAD: Windows 8.1 Preview

Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president of Windows Program Management, also took the stage to outline how Windows 8.1 provides additional opportunity for developers to design, build and market their Windows Store apps. He reinforced the best-in-class economics - developers keep 80 percent of the revenue for the lifetime of the app once it crosses the $25,000 revenue threshold. He also highlighted new updates, including the following:
  • Redesigned Windows Store. The Windows Store has been completely redesigned in Windows 8.1 to reach engaged customers and connect them more effectively and quickly to the apps they want. This includes increased merchandising opportunities for apps and better discoverability based on an individual's preferences, as well as new search controls from Bing in the user interface. App listings have a new layout with refined navigation and more related content.
  • More monetization opportunities. Windows 8.1 delivers new opportunities for developers to build and monetize apps and engage users. Leblond introduced Windows Store gift cards, an easy way for consumers to purchase apps, books, games and content. Customers will be able to load their Microsoft Account with stored value in their local currency and make purchases online from the Windows Store. For developers in China, the Windows Store will support Alipay, meaning local developers will have new options to generate additional revenue.
  • Leading experiences. Windows 8.1 offers developers a canvas to present and develop compelling app designs. Windows 8.1 apps can work together to share data, share the screen and deliver richer customer experiences across a range of devices, including new 8-inch-and-below form factors.
Beyond Windows 8.1, Microsoft showcased how developers can take advantage of tools and resources across the company to build differentiated experiences for their customers across Microsoft devices and services, including the following:
  • Bing as a platform. The new Bing platform builds upon the large investments Microsoft has made in the core technologies behind Bing.com to be embedded as intelligent services into Microsoft devices, Microsoft services and third-party apps that people use every day. In addition to providing the Search experience in Windows 8.1, Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Office, Bing Developer Services are now available that enable third-party developers to leverage Bing technology to create amazing experiences in their own services and Windows and Windows Phone applications. More information is available here.
  • Releases of Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET 4.5.1 Preview. Timed to the next wave of Windows, Visual Studio 2013 offers the ideal toolset for building rich modern applications that run on Windows 8.1. With a range of new features, Visual Studio 2013 makes it easier and faster for developers to create applications and services using modern lifecycle practices that span mobile devices and the cloud. Microsoft also announced a preview of .NET 4.5.1, enabling developers to build next-generation applications for devices and services while innovating their existing core business applications. Visual Studio 2013 and .NET 4.5.1 previews are now available for download here. More on Visual Studio can be found here.
  • Windows Phone developer opportunity. Microsoft today announced that shipments of Windows Phone grew six times faster than the rest of the smartphone market over the past year. Sprint also announced plans to add Windows Phone 8 to its 4G LTE network this summer with the HTC 8XT and the Samsung ATIV S Neo. With the release of Windows Phone 8, customers are now downloading more than 200 million apps per month and generating more than twice the daily app revenue. To help give developers the best return on their investments, the next release of Windows Phone will be designed to run the same apps that developers are building today and support the same familiar tools and skills. For a limited time, developers can register with Windows Phone Dev Center for only $19.
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66 Comments on Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available

#2
tigger
I'm the only one
No .iso downloads yet, so I am waiting for that.
Posted on Reply
#3
riffraffy
by: qwerty_lesh
how extremely lackluster
With Microsoft Windows 8 developed with touch base platform and Intel's Haswell not giving many benefits on desktops and talk about CPUs soldered onto boards is the beloved tower PC the new dodo.
Posted on Reply
#4
Zubasa
More monetization opportunities.
At lease they are honest about it :nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#5
jmcslob
sub'd/ not sure I care but I might try it out anyways...
Posted on Reply
#6
birdie
by: tigger
No .iso downloads yet, so I am waiting for that.
TechNet and MSDN subscribers already have them :(
Posted on Reply
#7
birdie
You can download the ISOs right now from here.

Cheers!

code:
Windows 8.1 Preview (x64) - DVD (English)
File Name: en_windows_8.1_preview_x64_dvd_2358761.iso
Languages: English
SHA1: D8076E029292FBC933792D215793045031255FF6

Windows 8.1 Preview (x86) - DVD (English)
File Name: en_windows_8.1_preview_x86_dvd_2358833.iso
Languages: English
SHA1: 447CCD24EB3DC6CFD9A42E62A5F6418B578E3CBF
Posted on Reply
#8
zsolt_93
Oh no.... they broke Gadget8 and Startisback. So if you use them i don't advise you to update. I updated to try it out as next week a full reinstall is in order along with some new parts and i am not installing this until the above program don't work properly.
Posted on Reply
#9
Initialised
Great to see Microsoft catering to all the lazy users that couldn't be bothered to learn the new hot-keys or understand using a start screen rather than a start button :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#10
zsolt_93
I had no problem with the UI, but my parents found it hard to find certain things such as finding the devices and printers dialog that is well hidden opposed to being in the start menu previously, and that is the place from where the scanner software can be accessed for our device. Gadgets were something that i was accustomed to.. having wheather, cpu info on my desktop always without rainmeter or other fancy resource hogs.
An other thing... Start screen is a rainbow with Windows choosing a background color for each tile based on the predominant color in the shortcut.User folders now appear on the main window when you enter "This pc" something along the lines of win XP just not grouped by user.Taskbar shortcut that opened library before now opens the This pc window(My Computer previously).
Some minor changes As Computer=>This Pc or the removal of the useless experience index(in this version at least) exist apart from the important changes. Boot to desktop is hidden in the taskbar settings BTW and not where i would have placed it, in power options or system settings.
Posted on Reply
#11
kenkickr
It's still not your traditional start button. All this new "start button" does is instead of having to hover in the left corner to make the "Metro" start panel show you now just have to click the window icon where the traditional start button has been to get to the "Metro" start menu.
Posted on Reply
#12
nickbaldwin86
more trouble then it was worth... Microshaft you have done it again :slap:
Posted on Reply
#14
Derek12
It doesn't install I've downloaded the msu file and I get a update not applicable. Bummer
Posted on Reply
#15
NdMk2o1o
by: zsolt_93
but my parents found it hard to find certain things such as finding the devices and printers dialog that is well hidden opposed to being in the start menu previously
Well hidden? you do the same thing as Win7 hit Windows key and start typing and voila! just because you see start screen instead of start menu it has pretty much the functionality if not more.
Posted on Reply
#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: NdMk2o1o
Well hidden? you do the same thing as Win7 hit Windows key and start typing and voila! just because you see start screen instead of start menu it has pretty much the functionality if not more.
In Windows 7 there is no typing required, it is smack dab in your face when you click the start button. That is the point, you now have to search for everything that used to be in convenient to find places.
Posted on Reply
#17
remixedcat
by: Derek12
It doesn't install I've downloaded the msu file and I get a update not applicable. Bummer
On Server 2012?
Posted on Reply
#18
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
Trying to install one of the ISOs to a VM, and having some trouble. Don't think my VHDs are setup right.
Posted on Reply
#19
Derek12
by: remixedcat
On Server 2012?
No on Windows 8 Pro 64 with English US language, I will try the ISOs if/when they are available
Posted on Reply
#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Just installed a copy of this fresh...and I can't use a local account anymore I have to use my Microsoft account...seriously?! F That!

Edit: Figured out how to use a local account. Enter bullshit in for the Microsoft account and password and hit next. It will say it failed to connect to the microsoft account and then give you the option to set up a local account. Tricky Microsoft, why not give me the option to use a local account right away?

by: zsolt_93
Oh no.... they broke Gadget8 and Startisback. So if you use them i don't advise you to update. I updated to try it out as next week a full reinstall is in order along with some new parts and i am not installing this until the above program don't work properly.
ClassicShell still works, which gives the start menu and Gadget8 is working fine for me.
Posted on Reply
#21
Ravenas
Now all the people who complained about not having a start button at the bottom don't have to move their hand a millimeter further.
Posted on Reply
#22
tigger
I'm the only one
by: newtekie1
Just installed a copy of this fresh...and I can't use a local account anymore I have to use my Microsoft account...seriously?! F That!

Edit: Figured out how to use a local account. Enter bullshit in for the Microsoft account and password and hit next. It will say it failed to connect to the microsoft account and then give you the option to set up a local account. Tricky Microsoft, why not give me the option to use a local account right away?



ClassicShell still works, which gives the start menu and Gadget8 is working fine for me.
I use startisback
Posted on Reply
#23
zsolt_93
by: newtekie1

ClassicShell still works, which gives the start menu and Gadget8 is working fine for me.
Probably i need a reinstall then. I just let it update the original 8 install with the progs already installed.
Posted on Reply
#24
NdMk2o1o
by: newtekie1
In Windows 7 there is no typing required, it is smack dab in your face when you click the start button. That is the point, you now have to search for everything that used to be in convenient to find places.
So put it bang smack on the start screen :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#25
Derek12
Meh it force me to reinstall everything so I will wait to the final release
Posted on Reply
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