Windows 8.1 is the start of something new for Microsoft. It's a dynamic shift in strategy for its core OS and it is also a refinement to Windows 8, one that will likely shift the tide in terms of user perception.

Prior to this release, Windows 8 had been a toss-up between a dramatic separation from the traditional Windows platform, and a push in creating a new user experience that is touch-friendly. The result was that Windows 8 was a hybrid OS - and consumer reaction to this was mixed, to say the least - but there were some glimmers of real innovation tucked inside the OS.

Windows 8.1 builds upon Windows 8 and includes many new features that were requested by consumers. The most obvious change is the return of the Start button, but not the Start menu, and the ability to boot directly to the desktop.

Even with the new features, will Windows 8.1 be enough to convince the crowd that stuck with Windows 7 that 8.1 offers big enough improvements to make the jump? Read the full review below to see what's new with Windows 8.1.

Read the rest of the review.

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