If you have Windows 8 installed on your computer or Windows 8 RT installed on devices, then you are in for a treat. By now your Windows store will be featuring the Windows 8.1 update, which can be downloaded and installed to update your operating System to Windows 8.1 for free.
With Windows 8.1, Microsoft has introduced many advancements and new features compared to Windows 8.
Most importantly, the Start button is back. The Start button acts as a gateway to switch between the desktop and the Windows 8.1 Start screen. Although it does not bring back the traditional Windows Start Menu, one can simply right-click on the Start button to get a menu of options similar to the traditional Start menu.
Another functionality that has changed from Windows 8 is the ability to start your computer and boot directly in to the traditional desktop rather than the new Windows start screen. This can be configured by just ticking a check box.
The new Windows 8.1 Start screen can be personalised so that it can either have your desktop wallpaper or you can select a suitable background, colour and accent colour to make the Start screen look the way you want. Furthermore, in Windows 8.1, depending on the screen resolution, one can have up to four apps open on a screen at a time compared to two apps in Windows 8. The new update will offer four different tile sizes for the users to select from to get the most out of the live tiles.
The lock screen can be configured as a photo slide show, so that when one locks the computer or the computer locks out, it will show a photo slide show of the pictures you selected. The pictures can be chosen from your computer or those the pictures stored in SkyDrive.
The search in Windows 8.1 uses Bing Smart Search, so one can search the computer, the web, and SkyDrive, plus some apps and the Windows Store. One can search once to get results from everywhere, and can go back to the search results without having to search again. There are many other notable new as well as improved features from Windows 8 in Windows 8.1, such as the ability to configure automatic app updates from Windows Store; the new Internet Explorer 11 with many improvements especially on security and performance; and improvements in the PC Settings, app are to name a few.
These are some of the reasons on why one should consider updating to Windows 8.1.