The Internet rumor mill is buzzing with noise ever since Microsoft announced that it would release an update for Windows 8 this year. Windows Blue, or Windows 8.1, is not a service pack according to Microsoft but a feature upgrade for the operating system. Windows 8 has been heavily criticized ever since first public versions were made available by Microsoft for testing purposes.
Yesterday news leaked about a start menu button that Microsoft would add to the system again (after having removed it in Windows 8) and a desktop background that you could now also display on the operating system's start screen and not only the desktop.
Microsoft revealed additional details and information about Windows 8.1 on a new blog post on the official Windows blog today.
It is clear from the post that Microsoft will continue on the path that it has decided on. While this won't satisfy die hard critics of the operating system, it may please others who have not as many reservations. Microsoft confirmed that it listened to customer feedback and will introduce changes to the operating system as a response to the feedback.
The blog post covers seven areas. Below is a short summary of the changes and additions announced in the blog post.
3. Apps and Windows Store
4. Cloud connectivity
5. PC Settings
6. Internet Explorer
7. Mouse and Keyboard options
The majority of improvements that Microsoft announced today improve how you work with Windows 8. While it changes some of the shortcomings and features that have been heavily criticized, it does not touch others at all. The new start button for instance does not really do anything that you cannot achieve with a tap on the Windows-key and is not what many users expected Microsoft to add.
It is interesting that Internet Explorer 11 will launch this year with Windows 8.1 as it usually takes Microsoft a lot longer to develop and publish a new version of the Internet browser.
Several features that Windows 8.1 introduces make a lot of sense. I'm particularly interested in the new tile sizes, the global wallpaper, better app handling and the Windows Store improvements that Microsoft has planned.
If you had hopes that Microsoft would restore the Windows 7 start menu then this is certainly disappointing news.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.