Microsoft officially announces a 'spring' update to Windows 8.1

By on February 23, 2014, 7:04 AM
microsoft, windows, update, spring, windows 8.1, update 1, mwc 2014

During Microsoft's press conference at Mobile World Congress today, the company officially announced that a new update is coming to Windows 8.1 this spring. Joe Belfiore, head of phones, PCs and tablets at Microsoft, said that while "we love touch", the update will focus mostly on improving the user experience for those with a keyboard and mouse.

Of course the update Belfiore is taking about is what has been discussed previously as "Update 1", an internal codename used at Microsoft. The company today confirmed that Update 1 will include a title bar at the top of modern apps, power and search buttons on the Start screen, new right-click mouse UIs and Metro-style apps in the desktop taskbar.

These features were already known to be part of Windows 8.1 Update 1 thanks to a series of leaks, including the release of any early build around three weeks ago. Several other changes seen in leaked builds, including booting to the desktop by default on non-touch systems, weren't confirmed during the press conference.

Belifore says that some of the changes were in response to user feedback surrounding Windows 8.1. "Some of those touch affordances weren’t really tuned as well as we could do for those mouse and keyboard users... We found people weren’t aware of where they should look in the UI. Those are the things we’ve really started to improve for this update coming this spring."

As well as a range of new features and changes, the spring Windows 8.1 update will allow device manufacturers to produce lower-cost products through lower hardware requirements. OEMs now have the flexibility to include just 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, and licenses for Windows itself are now reportedly cheaper.

While Microsoft didn't specify at their press conference when Windows 8.1's spring update will arrive, rumors put the release date around April 8th. More details about the update are expected at the company's BUILD developer event in early April.




User Comments: 12

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tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

They really need to fix the task programs running in the background. On touch you can swipe to it but I would like a object with x allowing me to kill the app. Instead of running task manager that sometimes crashes. They really need an auto clean feature, to remove the windows installer after it installs the update and not lurk around on the HDD. Enough already this need to be address. Auto clean should be smart enough to know if the system is idle and if the HD needs to be defrag or fix for errors. Also to flush out dns and RAM.

I see no reason why these can't be address..

Railman said:

So how is your touch affordances? More proof that MS is out of touch with users. How about some plain English.

Guest said:

They really need to fix the task programs running in the background. On touch you can swipe to it but I would like a object with x allowing me to kill the app. Instead of running task manager that sometimes crashes. They really need an auto clean feature, to remove the windows installer after it installs the update and not lurk around on the HDD. Enough already this need to be address. Auto clean should be smart enough to know if the system is idle and if the HD needs to be defrag or fix for errors. Also to flush out dns and RAM.

I see no reason why these can't be address..

I think the title bar that they're adding to Metro apps should have an 'X' to close the app. But I agree with your comment.

JC713 JC713 said:

Operation Make Windows 8 Not Suck.

psycros psycros said:

Their hopeless. Office is rapidly becoming irrelevant and now their doing their utmost to make Windows irrelevant as well. All it will take is a decent XP/DX9 app support tor for Android and Microsoft will be just another crippled giant who failed to listen to its customers.

Guest said:

Their hopeless. Office is rapidly becoming irrelevant and now their doing their utmost to make Windows irrelevant as well. All it will take is a decent XP/DX9 app support tor for Android and Microsoft will be just another crippled giant who failed to listen to its customers.

The hate is strong with this one. Good. Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you! Let Microsoft rue the day that they crossed you. Don't let the fact that they have millions of others on their side, and will probably go on for decades making obscene amounts of money, distract you from your hate.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Office irrelevant. What are we meant to use, open office or pages?

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Their hopeless. Office is rapidly becoming irrelevant and now their doing their utmost to make Windows irrelevant as well. All it will take is a decent XP/DX9 app support tor for Android and Microsoft will be just another crippled giant who failed to listen to its customers.

[GRAMMARNAZI]

They're*.

[/GRAMMARNAZI]

[SARCASM]

Yes... they are hopeless... our worldwide corporation wants nothing more than to switch windows to linux because microsoft is hopeless and irrelevant, we are also switching from our supported product to free alternatives that are a headache for IT support... yes... yes...

[/SARCASM]

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

Their hopeless. Office is rapidly becoming irrelevant and now their doing their utmost to make Windows irrelevant as well. All it will take is a decent XP/DX9 app support tor for Android and Microsoft will be just another crippled giant who failed to listen to its customers.

Microsoft is not hopeless. They've stumbled with Vista and a bit with Windows 8 but Office has been their big money-maker for several years now. Even Windows 8.1 isn't a total loss; it's not as popular as Windows 7 but it definitely isn't Vista either.

1 person liked this | Railman said:

Their hopeless. Office is rapidly becoming irrelevant and now their doing their utmost to make Windows irrelevant as well. All it will take is a decent XP/DX9 app support tor for Android and Microsoft will be just another crippled giant who failed to listen to its customers.

Microsoft is not hopeless. They've stumbled with Vista and a bit with Windows 8 but Office has been their big money-maker for several years now. Even Windows 8.1 isn't a total loss; it's not as popular as Windows 7 but it definitely isn't Vista either.

Whilst I would agree that MS is still in a strong position being the market leader, history has told us that large corporations can fail. In the early days of PCs Word Perfect and Lotus 123 were the leading applications used by business. Both were overtaken by Word and Excel.

At some stage the same fate will befall MS. The only question will be the timeframe. It might occur in three years time or ten years.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

Whilst I would agree that MS is still in a strong position being the market leader, history has told us that large corporations can fail. In the early days of PCs Word Perfect and Lotus 123 were the leading applications used by business. Both were overtaken by Word and Excel.

At some stage the same fate will befall MS. The only question will be the timeframe. It might occur in three years time or ten years.

I don't think Microsoft is incapable of falling; I just don't think it's likely to happen for reasons most people think. And despite free office suites such as OpenOffice and Libre Office Microsoft's productivity suite remains a serious money-maker. The application comprising aren't the best but they are easy to use for most people and get the job done.

Railman said:

Whilst I would agree that MS is still in a strong position being the market leader, history has told us that large corporations can fail. In the early days of PCs Word Perfect and Lotus 123 were the leading applications used by business. Both were overtaken by Word and Excel.

At some stage the same fate will befall MS. The only question will be the timeframe. It might occur in three years time or ten years.

I don't think Microsoft is incapable of falling; I just don't think it's likely to happen for reasons most people think. And despite free office suites such as OpenOffice and Libre Office Microsoft's productivity suite remains a serious money-maker. The application comprising aren't the best but they are easy to use for most people and get the job done.

MS Office consists of a number programs which were cobbled together. I believe some of the elements were purchased by MS from different suppliers which is why Word and Excel had different layouts until they were unified with the Ribbon.

I can understand why MS has been so successful as it has been the natural choice for commercial organisations. However if open standards could be agreed there would be openings for others to provide competing products.

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