What? Windows 8 was just released..
It was just the other day that Windows 8 was released. It was a dramatic change from the old Windows XP/Vista/7 start button to a more touch screen orientated operating system. It certainly had it's haters and lovers but now that the dust has settled Microsoft decided to fix and improve certain key features of Windows and release the next version dubbed Windows 8.1.
So what's changed?
Windows 8.1 has a few subtle changes;
- You can boot directly into Desktop mode instead of the tile-based Metro user interface
- The Start button is back for anybody that missed it
- It appears to handle multitasking of windows better
- SkyDrive storage can now be search by using the Windows Charm option
What's the difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
- Windows 8.1 now runs is an operating system that runs on desktops and tablets with backward compatibility with most older Windows software Programs and games that were designed to run on Windows 7, Vista, and XP can now be run easier on Windows 8.1.
- Mobility and VPN enhancements have been added, i.e. improved Biometrics algorithms etc
- Connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software on your Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between your device and the printer.
- and many more new features
What will it cost me?
For existing Windows 8 users, Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade. Just go the app store if you're a Windows 8 user, and start downloading.
If you're coming from Windows 7 (or an even earlier version of Windows), it can be bought here for $119 (AUD$).
Should I upgrade?
If you're an existing Windows 8 user, the update is free and largely seamless, and adds some useful new tweaks and features. You should upgrade as soon as possible.
If you're a Windows 7 user thinking of upgrading your legacy hardware, consider keeping with Windows 7 until it's time for a new PC; those touch-optimized Windows 8 and 8.1 elements won't do much for you anyway, and Windows 7 still works well with all sorts of applications.
Either way, you'll probably have to get used to Windows 8 eventually, since it's Microsoft's PC operating system now. It's really, however, more of a finishing touch for Windows 8-optimized machines.
The best way to get Windows 8.1? Wait to buy a new PC with Windows 8 or 8.1 installed: it'll run the software better, and it won't cost anything extra.