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
remixedcat
eidairaman1 said:
such as?


and alucasa: I use Decor8 on Server 2012 and it works well. I even have it cycle my abstracts and I get a new Start screen look every time. LOL.
Posted on Reply
#2
alucasa
I've heard of Decor8, but I was hoping for a solution that doesn't install a 3rd party program. What's with MS and their surreal addiction(or attachment) to metro-everything?
Posted on Reply
#3
Derek12
Bah, Windows 8 with start8/classic shell and Windows 7 widgets support installed is better than anything.
The best of Windows 7 plus the best of Windows 8 all in one.

I only miss Chess Titans.


Deadlyraver said:

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.
The only thing I have to solve on Windows 8 is start menu and W7 widgets as above said, nothing more for the moment. No compatiility issues at the moment*. No crashes. I don't use Skydrive. I don't have a Microsoft account. I don't use Bing. I don't use their apps except Office. Still I like Windows 8, it has amazing features, very understated. The only mistake was removing start menu and use Metro as default without fallback options. Something that can be solved easily by Googling.

*except brightness control and metro apps on my netbook.

By the way, comparing Ubuntu with Mac :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#4
erixx
Just discovered (was it after a restart?) that now we have "staying" search results!!!! That is great.
Not as versatile as the old folder view where you can quickly see dates, file types, rearrange results etc... (so still really a step backwards, but of course nobody uses a big screen PC anymore, this is soooo mobile!!! :-(
Posted on Reply
#5
xorbe
I don't know what I'm doing wrong, since I can see others can install this in VirtualBox just fine, but it's not working for me. Latest VirtualBox in Win7_64. No boot, 32-bit hangs at black screen, and 64-bit gives an error message on the text screen.
Posted on Reply
#6
Prima.Vera
xorbe said:
I don't know what I'm doing wrong, since I can see others can install this in VirtualBox just fine, but it's not working for me. Latest VirtualBox in Win7_64. No boot, 32-bit hangs at black screen, and 64-bit gives an error message on the text screen.
try latest version of VBox, or use VMWare.
Posted on Reply
#7
etayorius
I will skip this version too, they just added a useless Shortcut and named it start menu... no thanks, Win7 is still kicking strong.
Posted on Reply
#8
xorbe
I got it booted in vbox. Seems as though of the earlier iso links in this thread aren't the same as from MS.
Posted on Reply
#9
Naito
Have any of these people whinging actually used Windows 8 for any considerable amount of time? I've been using Win8 since August last year and have yet to come across any compatibility issues, or useability issues that weren't easily solved. The OS is better than Windows 7 on many levels.
Posted on Reply
#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Naito said:
Have any of these people whinging actually used Windows 8 for any considerable amount of time? I've been using Win8 since August last year and have yet to come across any compatibility issues, or useability issues that weren't easily solved. The OS is better than Windows 7 on many levels.
Yes, I have, and while I think Microsoft has made some wrong decisions and implemented somethings that I don't like that hurt the usability of the OS, I do agree that it is actually better than Win7 once I installed Classicshell...
Posted on Reply
#11
Naito
newtekie1 said:
Yes, I have, and while I think Microsoft has made some wrong decisions and implemented somethings that I don't like that hurt the usability of the OS, I do agree that it is actually better than Win7 once I installed Classicshell...
Moving from a list of icons, to a grid of tiles, doesn't seem to hurt usability. The start screen still works in very much the same way as the start menu. I can see how it would be useless for people who don't need or use metro apps, or use apps that display info on tiles (like myself, I use StartIsBack), but I wouldn't go as far as saying it 'hurts' usability. I have many power-user friends that use Windows 8 completely default, and have no problem with it.
Posted on Reply
#12
TheOne
Naito said:
Have any of these people whinging actually used Windows 8 for any considerable amount of time? I've been using Win8 since August last year and have yet to come across any compatibility issues, or useability issues that weren't easily solved. The OS is better than Windows 7 on many levels.
The whining is on both sides.

Windows 8 seems to have issues with BIOS's, after installing it on my laptop I couldn't use my battery until Acer released a BIOS update. There was also an issue with a Windows 8 update killing the USB ports on systems, the only ways to fix it, if you can't use your mouse and keyboard, is to change the legacy option in BIOS (if you have one) or refresh the system, which isn't easy to do thanks to the new hybrid boot.

Windows 8 Pro/Ent x64 not recognize notebook battery

Windows Update KB2756872 kills USB ports

These are two issues I've personally run into on the only Windows 8 systems I have used, my laptop and a Lenovo desktop designed for Windows 8 and used by a business.
Posted on Reply
#13
Naito
TheOne said:
The whining is on both sides.

Windows 8 seems to have issues with BIOS's, after installing it on my laptop I couldn't use my battery until Acer released a BIOS update. There was also an issue with a Windows 8 update killing the USB ports on systems, the only ways to fix it is to change the legacy option in BIOS (if you have one) or refresh the system, which isn't easy to do thanks to the new hybrid boot.

Windows 8 Pro/Ent x64 not recognize notebook battery

Windows Update KB2756872 kills USB ports

These are two issues I've personally run into on the only Windows 8 systems I have used, my laptop and a Lenovo desktop designed for Windows 8 and used by a business.
Interesting. Surely that only happens to a minority, though. Many people I know have had no problems. I've not run into any problems running Windows 8 on my UX31E or my rig.
Posted on Reply
#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Naito said:
Moving from a list of icons, to a grid of tiles, doesn't seem to hurt usability. The start screen still works in very much the same way as the start menu. I can see how it would be useless for people who don't need or use metro apps, or use apps that display info on tiles (like myself, I use StartIsBack), but I wouldn't go as far as saying it 'hurts' usability. I have many power-user friends that use Windows 8 completely default, and have no problem with it.
Doesn't hurt usability? Try watching a video on Win8 and bringing up the start screen. Can you still watch your video?
Posted on Reply
#15
Naito
newtekie1 said:
Doesn't hurt usability? Try watching a video on Win8 and bringing up the start screen. Can you still watch your video?
Good point. However, opening the start menu in Windows 7, still would draw most peoples attention away from the video and, if that doesn't, the program loaded from the menu most likely will. So having a full screen menu pop up for a few seconds, probably isn't going to be much more of an annoyance.
Posted on Reply
#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Naito said:
Good point. However, opening the start menu in Windows 7, still would draw most peoples attention away from the video and, if that doesn't, the program loaded from the menu most likely will. So having a full screen menu pop up for a few seconds, probably isn't going to be much more of an annoyance.
Not in my case, my eyes go back and forth between the video and the start menu while I find what I'm looking for(which is easier on a start menu then the start screen by the way), then the large majority of the programs I use open in a Window that is sized and positions on a different part of the monitor from where I have videos playing.
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