Thursday, October 17th 2013

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Is Now Available

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the global availability of Windows 8.1, a feature-rich update to its popular Windows 8 operating system, enabling customers to create experiences that keep pace with their lives - at work, at home or on the go. Beginning 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.

Windows 8.1 evolves the Windows vision for highly personalized computing while showcasing Microsoft's continued commitment to rapid and responsive development. It marks a wave of new, innovative devices coming for consumers and businesses - from the convenience and mobility of tablets and 2-in-1s to the productive experience expected from laptops, all-in-ones and specialized industry devices. Many of these new devices are touch-enabled and will deliver advancements in processing power, battery life and design, across a range of price points.

Windows 8.1 offers a host of increased customization refinements and functional improvements, including the following:
  • Highly personal. An improved and more customizable Start screen offers variable tile sizes, more background designs and colors so each Windows device looks unique and personal to the individual. In addition, customers can choose how to start their Windows experience - at the Start screen or directly in the familiar Windows desktop - while all their Windows devices stay in sync with their Microsoft account.
  • More familiar and easy to navigate. As an iconic part of the Windows experience, Windows 8.1 brings back the Start button as a 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.
  • Enhanced search. The new Bing Smart Search provides the easiest way to find what users need 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, a song from Xbox Music or a website.
  • Wide range of apps and services from the Start. Windows 8.1 is the most complete out-of-the-box experience. It 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, watching movies and TV shows on Xbox Video, finding new recipes with the Bing Food & Drink app, or listening to free streaming music via Xbox Music. Windows 8.1 also comes with the new Internet Explorer 11, which is fast, fluid and perfect for touch. 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.
  • The best for multitasking and productivity. 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 multimonitor 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 beautifully redesigned Windows Store. The new design of the Windows Store improves how great apps are showcased and makes it easier for customers to get the apps they want. 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. And with Windows 8.1, 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 Windows Store, including Evernote, Facebook for Windows 8.1, Hulu Plus, Adobe Photoshop Express, eBay, Netflix and NOOK.
Customers can go to http://www.windows.com/shop 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.
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229 Comments on Microsoft Windows 8.1 Is Now Available

#1
VulkanBros
by: erixx
A WARNING DURING INSTALLATION: you will have to reinstall your software!!!
Just finished upgrading from Win 8 Pro x64 to 8.1....
All my applications, games, printers and you name it - all things are working just fine
Posted on Reply
#2
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: VulkanBros
Just finished upgrading from Win 8 Pro x64 to 8.1....
All my applications, games, printers and you name it - all things are working just fine
Yeah a friend of mine just upgraded and everything works fine also. He said he gained 13gb. Ill have to check it out tonight.
Posted on Reply
#3
VulkanBros
by: TheMailMan78
Yeah a friend of mine just upgraded and everything works fine also. He said he gained 13gb. Ill have to check it out tonight.
I gained about 4 - 4.5 GB - still good, SSD space is still expensive :)

Remember to run the cleanmgr.exe command afterwards - to delete the old Win installation...
Posted on Reply
#4
Ravenas
by: Easy Rhino
The changes in 8.1 are a step in the right direction but not enough to make businesses pay for windows 8 to "upgrade" from 7. We still need a proper desktop!
It's easier to find the desired program you want on Windows 8 vs. any Windows version before it. I'm sick of hearing this start menu argument. Oh it's not business acceptable because the start menu doesn't appear as prior. Lol what a joke... Surface tablets are going to be the best choice for businesses and they run Windows 8 Pro and RT. You would do best to get used to it and quit living in the past because Windows isn't leaving enterprise for the foreseeable future.
Posted on Reply
#5
Mathragh
Upgrade went fine and smooth on all 5 systems here, nothing I needed to reinstall. I do have a windows.old now, but it's "only" 4,3GB's. I suppose I can just delete it anyway. Furthermore, it took quite a while on my GF's surface RT lol, but that's just that slow tegra 3 being the bottleneck I suppose.

The only downside I now have is the obligatory start button. I don't need it, and can't delete it without using 3rd party programs and eventhough I'm not exactly short on task bar space, the fact that its obligated while from a functional point of view its totally irrelevant is quite a good reason to atleast give the user a choice i'd say!

Ohwell.
Posted on Reply
#6
VulkanBros
by: Mathragh
Upgrade went fine and smooth on all 5 systems here, nothing I needed to reinstall. I do have a windows.old now, but it's "only" 4,3GB's. I suppose I can just delete it anyway. Furthermore, it took quite a while on my GF's surface RT lol, but that's just that slow tegra 3 being the bottleneck I suppose.

The only downside I now have is the obligatory start button. I don't need it, and can't delete it without using 3rd party programs and eventhough I'm not exactly short on task bar space, the fact that its obligated while from a functional point of view its totally irrelevant is quite a good reason to atleast give the user a choice i'd say!

Ohwell.
run the cleanmgr.exe (and click "Remove systemfiles") - it will remove all clutter from the upgrade - and it will be more than 4.3 GB...
Posted on Reply
#7
manofthem
I left it to download the update when I left for work today, but I'm not excited about having a start menu back in there, as I've become very used to being without it. I suppose I shall see later tonight
Posted on Reply
#8
Mathragh
by: VulkanBros
run the cleanmgr.exe (and click "Remove systemfiles") - it will remove all clutter from the upgrade - and it will be more than 4.3 GB...
Thnx, and it really is only 4,3GB. I double checked, and since I only have a small 120GB SSD I would've noticed if it was more I'd suppose.

Edit: Also another really annoying point I just came across: to complete the setup procedure I apparently MUST first login using an email/password combo :S. After I logged in with my usual login/password it only gives me the option to also login with an email/password combo. Really crappy. the next time around I might give Linux an even bigger chance(or get some server variant of windows). This is on pro btw.

Edit2: regarding obligatory email linking with local account: If you click " I'm not *stated account*" it'll skip everything and just go to the standard windows login which you can use without having to put in an email.
This is still quite lame though.
Posted on Reply
#9
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: Ravenas
It's easier to find the desired program you want on Windows 8 vs. any Windows version before it. I'm sick of hearing this start menu argument. Oh it's not business acceptable because the start menu doesn't appear as prior. Lol what a joke... Surface tablets are going to be the best choice for businesses and they run Windows 8 Pro and RT. You would do best to get used to it and quit living in the past because Windows isn't leaving enterprise for the foreseeable future.
i invite you to visit my workplace. there well over 300 employees who have a desktop in their office running windows 7. if you were to upgrade to window 8 i guarantee 80% of them would be completely lost. it would be a nightmare for our User Services department. we are not alone. the interface change is the #1 reason why businesses are not switching to windows 8.
Posted on Reply
#10
erixx
so sorry for upsetting some, but I started to update my 8.1 Preview computer. Later, when updating the stock win 8 I noticed that all programs stood in place.
One less issue for some! :)
Posted on Reply
#11
xvi
I've clicked the upgrade link and while the Windows Store does launch, it just sits on the main screen. Anyone else getting this?
Posted on Reply
#12
manofthem
by: xvi
I've clicked the upgrade link and while the Windows Store does launch, it just sits on the main screen. Anyone else getting this?
Any chance your user account control is set to off? I had to turn it back on in order for it to start.
Posted on Reply
#13
VulkanBros
Crap - just found out that the Citrix Receiver is not working...at least not with IE....but works with Pale Moon....odd Citrix is owned by Microsoft as far as I know...
Maybe an update to the receiver will help...

Yes - updated the receiver from 4.0..... to 4.0.1.4 - then it works.....
Posted on Reply
#14
Dos101
by: RejZoR
Where can i bloody buy Win8.1 online, download ISO image and install the thing with USB drive? Want to go legit, but their webpages are so ridiculously confusing it's crazy. No wonder people prefer war_ez if they can't make one big red button with BUY written on it that would lead you to a purchasing process. Totally moronic.
Windows 8.1 general availability through retail is available tomorrow (Oct. 18). Today it is only available as an update for existing Windows 8 users.

by: xvi
I've clicked the upgrade link and while the Windows Store does launch, it just sits on the main screen. Anyone else getting this?
Give it time, Microsoft's servers are getting hammered right now.
Posted on Reply
#15
Ravenas
by: Easy Rhino
i invite you to visit my workplace. there well over 300 employees who have a desktop in their office running windows 7. if you were to upgrade to window 8 i guarantee 80% of them would be completely lost. it would be a nightmare for our User Services department. we are not alone. the interface change is the #1 reason why businesses are not switching to windows 8.
Lol. Businesses don't just upgrade whenever a new OS is released. You're talking about an OS (and interface for that manner) that is barely in its life cycle. Businesses upgrade based on other factors. Your company isn't just going to upgrade to 8 because Windows 8 is the newest and coolest thing. That's not how it works in enterprise.
Posted on Reply
#16
erocker
Does Start8 work with 8.1?
Posted on Reply
#17
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: RejZoR
Where can i bloody buy Win8.1 online, download ISO image and install the thing with USB drive? Want to go legit, but their webpages are so ridiculously confusing it's crazy. No wonder people prefer war_ez if they can't make one big red button with BUY written on it that would lead you to a purchasing process. Totally moronic.
You know what makes it even stupider? Just look at how Amazon does it. The answer is right there.

Beautifully designed website makes it a breeze to shop at. Couple that with superb customer service and you have a very efficient wallet emptying machine. I should know. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#18
VulkanBros
by: erocker
Does Start8 work with 8.1?
Yes version 1.30 does
Posted on Reply
#19
rtwjunkie
by: erocker
Does Start8 work with 8.1?
Yes, it does. They put out an update about 6 weeks ago that was ugraded specifically for 8.1!


EDIT: Sorry, Vulcan! I answered before getting to the end of the thread to see if anyone else answered.
Posted on Reply
#20
animal007uk
Well it all seemed to go well untill i tryed to play some music and realise i have no bloody sound and i can't seem to fix it. Back to windows 7 for me as i cant be arsed with 8 anymore had enough of it.

And yes i have tryed uninstalling drivers and reinstalling and also letting my card use the windows driver to but nothing works and i refuse to use my shity onboard sound chip.
Posted on Reply
#21
TheOne
My laptop upgraded from Windows 8.1 Preview (UAC off) to Windows 8.1 Pro without a problem, only took about 20-30 minutes to download and 10-20 minutes to install the update, all of my programs were removed of course, don't really use 'Apps'.

Haven't bothered to actually activate it since I'm hoping Valve is going to release SteamOS next week when they begin giving out the Beta 'Steam Machines', and I intend to use my laptop to test it like I have Windows 8 and 8.1, though mainly the streaming function.

by: Mathragh
The only downside I now have is the obligatory start button. I don't need it, and can't delete it without using 3rd party programs and eventhough I'm not exactly short on task bar space, the fact that its obligated while from a functional point of view its totally irrelevant is quite a good reason to atleast give the user a choice i'd say!

Ohwell.
You know traditional Windows supporters say the samething about the start menu, guess now the Windows 8 fans and the traditional Windows fans have something in common, they both have to use a mod to make Windows 8.1 like they want it or stick with the older versions, Windows 7 and 8. :laugh: Of course this could be avoided if Microsoft would just do the one thing their customers want and make Windows 8/8.1 more customizable so Windows users can set it up how they want, whether it is a more classic style or a more mobile style or a mix.
Posted on Reply
#22
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: Ravenas
Lol. Businesses don't just upgrade whenever a new OS is released. You're talking about an OS (and interface for that manner) that is barely in its life cycle. Businesses upgrade based on other factors. Your company isn't just going to upgrade to 8 because Windows 8 is the newest and coolest thing. That's not how it works in enterprise.
uh, when did i say businesses upgrade whenever a new OS is released? if windows 8 continues to utilize the metro interface even years down the road you won't see businesses upgrading. you will in fact see them skip windows 8 and wait for a much more business friendly windows 9 which is already in heavy development.:nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#23
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
by: erocker
Does Start8 work with 8.1?
Just installed the 8.1 upgrade and it saved all my apps and my start8 still works like a charm. I suggest the upgrade if you have non legacy equipment.

Should I delete windows.old?
Posted on Reply
#24
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: brandonwh64
Just installed the 8.1 upgrade and it saved all my apps and my start8 still works like a charm. I suggest the upgrade if you have non legacy equipment.

Should I delete windows.old?
delete windows.*
Posted on Reply
#25
rtwjunkie
by: brandonwh64
I suggest the upgrade if you have non legacy equipment
what do you mean by "non legacy equipment"?
Posted on Reply
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