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

#1
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: NdMk2o1o
So put it bang smack on the start screen :rolleyes:
I shouldn't have to, it was automatically there on Win7, why is it not in Win8? Why do I have to search for it? Why do I have to search for anything, I never had to search for anything in win7?

Even more annoying, if I use your method of "just start typing" I have to type out almost the whole thing before Win8 realizes I don't want "Device Settings" I want "Devices and Printers". If I type "Devices" it only lists "Device Settings" and "Privacy Settings for other devices", it doesn't give me "Devices and Printers" until I type "Devices and", I can't even efficiently search for what I want.

And why does it automatically expand every folder on the start screen for every app? Why not do it like all other versions of Windows and just show a single folder for each program I have installed and when I click on the folder for the program I want then expand just that folder so I can see what is in it? Why is so much screen space totally wasted by listing 50 different uninstallers? It is like they went

Microsoft Employee 1: "Hey we gave the start area so much more space."
Microsoft Employee 2: "Lets force every single exe program on the computer to be shown. That why they only have to click once instead of twice to run the program they want."
Microsoft Employee 3: "Won't the time savings be negated by the fact that the user has to wade through hundreds of useless help and uninstaller programs that the user will likely never use
Microsoft Employee 4: "But they can just search for the program they want."
Microsoft Employee 3: "But our search algorithm sucks and doesn't give the user what they want until they type the whole thing, which wastes even more time."
Microsoft Employee 1: "But look more screen space for the Start Menu!"
Microsoft Employee 3: "Why don't we just give the user the option to go back to the old way if they wish?"
Steve Balmer: "I'm sorry Microsoft Employee 3 but we have to let you go, you just aren't a team player. Microsoft Employee 1 & 2, you're getting promotions!"
Posted on Reply
#3
Arjai
Bs!

Take a look at the forum and all the answers!

8.1 is a P>O>S!

That press release is a smoke screen, sniff the air. Smell anything? Smells a bit like the smell of a sweaty millionaire in a suit lying. I like to use my computer, not render it useless!

Apparently, Microsoft forgot about this one important rule of usability, make it work!

I must be a fool, the largest Software company in the World would surely change this Win8 thing for the better. So far, not so much better.

Maybe I over-react to this, maybe they will, eventually, get it right, maybe I am still a bit miffed with this whole WIN8...
:banghead:
Rant over.
Posted on Reply
#4
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
Anyone figure out how to use your background of your desktop to be the background of the start screen?
Posted on Reply
#5
Arjai
by: MxPhenom 216
Anyone figure out how to use your background of your desktop to be the background of the start screen?
Better, right? "seamless integration, that makes the Metro more 'personable'"

(too bad one cannot see, or hear, me say that)(It is sarcasm)

:wtf:
Posted on Reply
#6
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
by: Arjai
Better, right? "seamless integration, that makes the Metro more 'personable'"

(too bad one cannot see, or hear, me say that)(It is sarcasm)

:wtf:
I was asking a serious question. If you have no useful information, take your raging somewhere else.
Posted on Reply
#7
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
I have it downloading now and I am installing windows 8 in VMware to test cause I want to see what the differences are without killing my current OS
Posted on Reply
#8
BarbaricSoul
DL'ing it now. I'll give it a chance before passing judgement. Going to install it on my laptop that I barely use.
Posted on Reply
#9
Dos101
by: MxPhenom 216
Anyone figure out how to use your background of your desktop to be the background of the start screen?
Go to the Start screen, bring up the charms bar. Select Settings, then Personalize. One of the background options should be your desktop wallpaper.
Posted on Reply
#10
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
by: Dos101
Go to the Start screen, bring up the charms bar. Select Settings, then Personalize. One of the background options should be your desktop wallpaper.
Yep, sure is!
Posted on Reply
#11
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
My download is going to 2GB and stopping. Its done this twice so maybe its cause people are spamming the server
Posted on Reply
#12
zsolt_93
by: MxPhenom 216
Anyone figure out how to use your background of your desktop to be the background of the start screen?
There is one more option. Right click on taskbar, get to properties, then navigation.. and it should be right under the boot to desktop checkbox.
Posted on Reply
#13
D007
I want to say more.. but all I can think of is.
/Yawn..
Posted on Reply
#14
BarbaricSoul
by: brandonwh64
My download is going to 2GB and stopping. Its done this twice so maybe its cause people are spamming the server
I'm not having a issue. My slow ass DSL isn't the fastest, but it's been steadily DLĂ­ng since I started it. 75% done
Posted on Reply
#15
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
Definitely liking 8.1 (Blue). When I go haswell since I will have to reinstall OS anyways ill upgrade to 8. Been playing on my VM on my file server and messing around with all the new stuff. Desktop background for the background of start screen is awesome. Makes start screen more like an overlay, and then having it boot to Desktop right away like 7 is great too.
Posted on Reply
#16
tacosRcool
I know its gonna be good so I'll wait till the official release
Posted on Reply
#17
Deadlyraver
I'm a musician so instinctively I'm not going anywhere near Windows 8.1 or 8 until they fix their compatibility issues. The company is simply trying to merchandise their ideas by splitting them into multiple platforms until they capitalize the whole market.

Example:

Windows XP/7 - Filled with choices, both recreational and professional. You can do many things under their open ended UI and customize it towards better purposes. Especially suited for dedicated users, gamers, and code monkeys.

Windows 8/8.1 - Filled with clueless retards that have to use Bing (if they manage to find the browser) to solve ongoing confusion one obstacle after another to get a how-to on solving problem "x" to fix problem "y". However, this can be solved if you depend entirely on over-simplified services like Skydrive as long as you let Microsoft brain wash you to use ONLY their apps.

Ubuntu/Mac - They reject other people's reality and substitute their own.


In the simplest sense, they will know they flopped once the professionals start laughing.
Posted on Reply
#18
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
If anyone is interested I can put the ISOs up in torrent for so you don't have to download them from the slow Microsoft site.
Posted on Reply
#19
eidairaman1
no mention of Aero desktop or a Real Start Menu/Taskbar
Posted on Reply
#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: eidairaman1
no mention of Aero desktop or a Real Start Menu/Taskbar
Aero remains the same as Win8, there is no real Start Menu, just a start button back in the lower left corner that leads to the Metro Start Screen.
Posted on Reply
#21
eidairaman1
by: newtekie1
Aero remains the same as Win8, there is no real Start Menu, just a start button back in the lower left corner that leads to the Metro Start Screen.
very pathetic, I really see Linux gaining steam in the Desktop market
Posted on Reply
#22
kenkickr
a nice thing now is when you right-click on the "start" window icon. You actually get things that are useful!!
Posted on Reply
#23
eidairaman1
by: kenkickr
a nice thing now is when you right-click on the "start" window icon. You actually get things that are useful!!
such as?
Posted on Reply
#24
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: eidairaman1
very pathetic, I really see Linux gaining steam in the Desktop market
I don't, Win8 has been out almost 8 months now and Best Buy still doesn't have a single Linux powered desktop or laptop on their showroom floor.

Most people's biggest complain isn't Aero or the Metro Start Screen, it really was the missing start button. You take that away and people just had no idea how to do things. Now that boot to desktop is an option and the start menu is back the complaints of the majority of computer users(AKA people that aren't power users/enthusiasts) are gone.
Posted on Reply
#25
alucasa
by: MxPhenom 216
Anyone figure out how to use your background of your desktop to be the background of the start screen?
I'd like to know this as well. I am okay with the metro screen. Once I got used to it, it feels like a start menu that takes up a whole screen but Windows 8 doesn't let you choose custom wallpaper for the metro screen which sucks.

P.S. I didn't buy windows 8. It came with my new laptop.
Posted on Reply
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