Just short of the one year after the release (October 26, 2012) of the Windows 8 operating system Redmond-based Microsoft released (October 17, 2013) their Windows 8.1 update. The update was created in response to millions of Windows users saying they were dissatisfied with the radically redesigned operating system. The main complaint was that Windows 8's elimination of the start button and the new metro ui (user interface) made it too confusing for the majority of traditional Windows users. The main questions are: Does Windows 8.1 go far enough to make users want to get the latest operating system? Should current Windows 8 users upgrade to Windows 8.1?
The idea behind Windows 8 was that given the growing number of mobile users the new operating system would give them more of a clean transition from their desktops and laptops to their tablets and smartphones. What Microsoft didn't count on that there were several traditional PC users didn't use either tablets or smartphones and liked the look and feel of Windows XP & 7. Many of those people didn't use terms like apps and didn't like the idea of having to use an operating system that used oversized icons and was hard to navigate with a non-touch screened PC.
The Windows 8. 1 upgrade brings back the start button in the form of a downward pointing arrow in a circle at the bottom right-hand corner of the start screen. Instead of opening up the traditional start menu the way the start button did on older versions of Windows, pressing the arrow will take the user to the all apps screen. Before on Windows 8 you would have to use the shortcut of going to a blank spot on the start screen and right-click your mouse to open up a context menu at the bottom of the screen that you would then click to go to the all apps screen.
For those that are already Windows 8 users that want to be able to better customize their operating system, better search functions and the capable of having automatic cloud storage for all you personal information then Windows 8.1 is the way to go. Simply open the Windows store where you will see an upgrade to Windows 8.1 button. Click on the button to download the file. Once the download is complete open the file to start the upgrade. Depending on your connection speed be prepare to spend a few hours to complete the process.
In part two of this article we will go into the features in more depth.