Friday, May 31, 2013

Microsoft Windows 8.1 New Features Analysis

Microsoft Windows 8.1 At A Glance

Microsoft showed a first look at what’s new in Windows 8.1.This update is not a patch, instead it's a major upgrade with substantial changes to the GUI and new surface features, not only fix vulnerabilities and bugs, as we said in our last Windows 8.1 article.

Interface Customization

It's not only the return of the 'Start' button (not the start menu), this button now takes you to the new Start
Screen. Many people is still missing the old Start Menu and I'm sure Microsoft will never give it back to us.
The new Start 'tip' appears anytime you move the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen, and is always visible on the taskbar when we are on the desktop.
There are some other interesting features like the option to boot the system bypassing the Modern UI Start Screen, and going directly to the desktop or some other locations.
Now you can port your desktop background over to the modern interface, giving a more unified feeling to the system, also new backgrounds, colors and animated things were added to the Start Screen customization options. We also have the option to use a picture slideshow as the Lock Screen background, so when you're not using your PC/Surface it acts as a nice digital picture frame, pictures can be on your hard drive or loaded from the cloud in SkyDrive. All these new features are really enhancements for the Windows 8.1 modern UI.
The Touch Keyboard is now enhanced by an auto suggest service which is updated continually by an online service. In addition to suggesting words that match the one you’re typing, the new feature also tries to predict the next word you’ll type.

Apps and Snap View

Windows 8.1 will include significant updates to all of the built-in Metro-style apps.

Now Windows 8.1 has variable, continuous size of snap views. You'll no longer be locked into the two applications Snap limitations of Windows 8. Now you can see up to four applications on the screen at the same time and resize them to any size you want. This snap view enhancement also applies for multiple windows of the same app snapped together. You can also have different applications running on all the displays (if you have more than one monitor connected) at the same time and the Start Screen can stay open on one monitor.

Every new app installed from the Windows Store will appear now under the 'New' filter in the 'All Apps' view, from which you can pin your desired app to the Start screen. Newly installed apps will no more be plopped on your Start screen.

The Windows Store and the pre-installed Microsoft apps were also overhauled, the Search charm will provide global search results powered by Bing in a rich, simple-to-read, aggregated view of many content sources (the web, apps, files, SkyDrive, actions you can take) to provide the best “answer” for your query.

The 'Help & Tips' app will be pinned to the Start screen by default and will offer a tutorial covering five or so of the most common things a new user needs to know about Windows 8 interface.

The Windows 8.1 New Music App looks completely different from the confusing Windows 8 old Music App. The three main links on home page allow you to quickly play music from your collection (local or cloud) or play streaming music by tapping the Radio link. The third link, 'Explore', takes you to the Xbox Store, where you can search and buy.

The Windows 8.1 Camera app gets a few new controls, including a real-time implementation of Microsoft’s PhotoSynth technology that lets you create and stitch together 360º panoramas. New upcoming 7"/8" Windows 8.1 devices will take advantage of that new feature as smaller devices are better for photography.
The Photos app will also be updated with some photo editing features.

New apps are added. Calculator is one of them, it includes the standard and scientific views. Alarms is another checklist item, with timer, stopwatch, and countdown functions. Reading List is another addition. Reading List can consist of links to web pages, email messages, snippets from the Finance and Travel apps, tweets, and so on. Health and Fitness aggregates information about diet and exercise. Food and Drink brings recipes and cooking. It have an innovative hands-free mode that lets you use a tablet in the kitchen without putting your greasy hands on the screen. In this app you can flip pages by making a swiping gesture in front of the device camera.

Skydrive Integration

In the new Windows 8.1, files can be saved directly to your SkyDrive cloud storageThis way you will have always your data available anywhere in the world.
The navigation bar on the left side of File Explorer also has changes, instead the 'Computer' node is a new link titled 'This PC'. Here you’ll find shortcuts to your personal folders, local hard drives and a dedicated link for your SkyDrive files.
The new SkyDrive app synchronizes all your online data so you can access it even offline.

PC Settings

Now there's no need to go to the Control Panel to access all your settings on your device. Access screen resolution, power options, System information, PC model, change the product key, Windows Update, etc, directly from PC Settings. Manage your SkyDrive directly from PC Settings, you can monitor your free storage space and buy more if you desire.

Internet Explorer 11

This main update of the Microsoft Browser brings faster page loading time and it's optimized for touch screens. You can set IE11 to always show the address bar and have as many open tabs as you like.There's also an option to sync it across your other Windows 8.1 devices and show your open tabs, Start Screen apps and settings on your other PC's or surfacesTabs have been moved to the bottom of the screen, just above the Internet Explorer address bar.

We will be able to check out these improvements with a Developer Preview of Windows 8.1 that will be released on June 26 in the Microsoft BUILD conference.

Source: Blogging Windows | PCWorld

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