Windows 8.1 is Microsoft’s upgrade for Windows 8 which was released last October to less than stellar reviews. The update is free via the Windows Store to all current Windows 8 users. This update fixes a lot of what was wrong with the first version, and brings back the beloved Start button, which should make the modern UI less of a shock to those who are moving from Windows 7.
A stand-alone retail version is also available to purchase. The prices are $119 for 8.1 Basic, $199 for 8.1 Pro. As with Windows 8, if you want the Windows Media Center pack you’ll need to shell out an additional $9.99 and you’ll need to be running the Pro version. To makes things a bit more confusing, if you purchase the Basic version of 8.1 and want to upgrade to the Pro version, it will cost $99.
Microsoft is moving quickly on its releases of the new OS, and that means you can expect shorter times for support of the lifecycle. Windows 8 users will have two years of support only.
According to a post on the Windows Support site:
Windows 8 customers will have two years to move to Windows 8.1 after the General Availability of the Windows 8.1 update to continue to remain supported under the Windows 8 life-cycle.
Getting Started with Windows 8.1
I’ve been using the final version of Windows 8.1 for several weeks already and have a few groovy articles you can check out for getting started with the update:
- Skip the Modern Start Screen and Boot Straight to the Desktop
- How to Shutdown from the Start Button
- Keep the Modern UI Out of Your Way on a Traditional Desktop Computer
- Uninstall Multiple Apps at Once
- How to Manage Windows Update in the New Windows
- Create a Photo Slideshow on Lock Screen
- Bring Back Libraries in File Explorer
- Sync IE 11 Tabs Across Multiple 8.1 Devices
- How to Create a System Image
Here’s a look at one of the new features in Windows 8.1 called Bing Smart Search:
Are you updating your Windows box to 8.1 today or sometime soon? Leave us a comment and tell us about it.