Microsoft has seen some pretty interesting shake-ups lately. From the announcement of Steve Ballmer’s retirement, to the announcement of the rather expensive acquisition of Nokia, it seems the tech giant is trying to quickly catch up, and in some ways, lead the charge in the future of technology. I just recently upgraded to the latest OS available – Windows 8 – and I am pretty excited about it. While I appreciate that the OS is a bit of a learning curve, I am just excited by all the cool features and the performance and speed of Windows 8. Now that I am getting used to this version, however, Microsoft is hard at work to implement patch fixes for the bugs found in 8.1 for an October release. So, what can you expect from Windows 8.1? Read on to find out!

More Personalization, Made Easier

settings windows 8You can easily personalize your Start menu now with just a few clicks. You also can use the same custom photo on your desktop screen on your Start screen. To do this – you can just either swipe or move your mouse pointer to the right of the screen to bring up settings and go to personalize, instead of having to do all this from PC settings (which is a different screen altogether).  You can also do things like change the size of the icons on the Start screen to small, medium and large.

New and Updated Appsfacebook

Other things to look forward to in the new OS are all the new updates for Windows 8 apps. An anticipated app that will be coming out with 8.1 is Facebook for Windows – the official app for the social networking platform instead of using the current, non-official apps in the Windows Marketplace. Speaking of which – the Marketplace is also refreshed with a new, easier to navigate UI. Another pretty cool feature of 8.1 is that when you download a new app from the Marketplace, the app doesn’t just get added to the Start screen by default. This screen is meant to be a holding place for those apps that you use the most, so you can customize your Start screen to be the most beneficial to you.

An Easy (Start) Button

1_win8startbuttonThe biggest change to 8.1 like I said before is the Start button. The Start button will be available on the desktop screen. However, for anyone thinking they are going to get the Start menu back like in Windows 7 or before, they will be sorely disappointed because it isn’t quite the same. It does, however allow you to shut down or sleep mode the computer which I think I will find the most useful. The start screen is probably the biggest change from Windows 8.0 to 8.1. It seems many people were a little put off by the whole no start button thing, so Microsoft is taking a bit of a step back. Essentially, what Microsoft is attempting to do is train all of us to take the plunge into the future of computing, which is likely to be all touch screen based. Windows 8 is amazing for those with either a Microsoft Surface tablet or a laptop with a touch interface. It isn’t as easy of a switch for those of us that are rather addicted to our mouse. However, like anything new and innovative, it will just take people getting used to it and in five years, no one will even care what the Start menu was for anyway!