Windows 8.1 enters extended support: What can you expect?
View gallery – 9 images If you’re currently running Windows 7 and want to upgrade to Windows 8. However, there are a few things you need to know before going ahead with the upgrade. The main thing to know is that, unlike upgrading Windows 8 to 8. Here’s a look at what you need to know, and the steps to take to make the process as easy and seamless as possible. Before you begin On word:
I can’t afford to upgrade my Vista PC. What can I do?
History[ edit ] Windows 8. In particular, the report detailed that Microsoft was planning to shift to a more “continuous” development model, which would see major revisions to its main software platforms released on a consistent yearly cycle to keep up with market demands. Lending credibility to the reports, Foley noted that a Microsoft staff member had listed experience with “Windows Blue” on his LinkedIn profile, and listed it as a separate operating system from 8.
The build, which was believed to be of “Windows Blue”, revealed a number of enhancements across Windows 8’s interface, including additional size options for tiles, expanded color options on the Start screen, the expansion of PC Settings to include more options that were previously exclusive to the desktop Control Panel , the ability for apps to snap to half of the screen, the ability to take screenshots from the Share charm, additional stock apps, increased SkyDrive integration such as automatic device backups and Internet Explorer Shaw officially acknowledged the “Blue” project, stating that continuous development would be “the new normal” at Microsoft, and that “our product groups are also taking a unified planning approach so people get what they want—all of their devices, apps and services working together wherever they are and for whatever they are doing.
Following a keynote presentation focusing on this version, the public beta of Windows 8. The company released recovery media and instructions which could be used to repair the device, and restored access to Windows RT 8.
Human Revolution , Hitman: Absolution , and Metro Microsoft released a patch to fix the bug on certain games in November , and acknowledged that it was caused by “changes to mouse-input processing for low-latency interaction scenarios”. Myerson stated that these changes would occur in a future update, but did not elaborate further. Microsoft also unveiled a concept known as ” Universal Windows apps “, in which a Windows Runtime app can be ported to Windows Phone 8.
While it does not entirely unify Windows’ app ecosystem with that of Windows Phone, it will allow developers to synchronize data between versions of their app on each platform, and bundle access to Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One versions of an app in a single purchase. The ability to deploy Windows 8. It is part of Windows 8’s support lifecycle, and upgrading to Windows 8. This requires a Windows 8. Unlike the traditional Windows service packs, the standalone installer, which could be downloaded once and installed as many times as needed, requires a Windows 8.
Retail copies of Windows 8. Microsoft stated that the change was in response to customer feedback, and to allow more flexibility for users. Pricing for the retail copies of Windows 8. It is subsidized by Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which is set as the default within Internet Explorer and cannot be changed by OEMs.
However, this restriction does not apply to end-users, who can still change the default search engine freely. It is otherwise and functionally identical to the base version of Windows 8. Additional customization options were also added, such as expanded color options, new backgrounds some of which incorporate animated elements , and the ability for the Start screen to use the desktop background instead. Applications are no longer added to the Start screen automatically when installed, and all applications now have colored tiles desktop programs were previously shown in a single color.
The app snapping system has also been extended; up to four apps can be snapped onto a single display depending on screen size, apps can be snapped to fill half the screen, and can also be used on any display in a multi-monitor configuration. Apps can also launch other apps in a snapped view to display content; for example, the Mail app can open a photo attachment in a picture viewer snapped to another half of the screen.
Improved support is also provided by apps for using devices in a portrait vertical orientation. The lock screen offers the ability to use a photo slideshow as its backdrop, and a shortcut to the Camera app by swiping up.
The on-screen keyboard has an improved autocomplete mechanism which displays multiple word suggestions, and allows users to select from them by sliding on the spacebar.
The autocomplete dictionary is also automatically updated using data from Bing , allowing it to recognize and suggest words relating to current trends and events. Users can also modify certain user interface behaviors, such as disabling the upper hot corners for using the charms and recent apps list, going to the desktop instead of the Start screen on login or after closing all apps on a screen, automatically opening the “All Apps” view on the Start screen when opened, and prioritizing desktop programs on the “Category” sort mode on “All Apps”.
When a mouse is in use, the Desktop is shown on startup by default, the Start screen uses context menus instead of a toolbar across the bottom of the screen for manipulating tiles, an autohiding title bar with minimize and close buttons is displayed within apps at the top of the screen, the taskbar can display and pin apps alongside desktop programs and be accessed from within apps, and visible search and power buttons are added to the Start screen.
In non-touch environments, the default image viewer and media player programs were changed back to Windows Photo Viewer and Windows Media Player in lieu of the Xbox Video and Photos apps. However, it does not support data loss protection, Group Policy , Lync integration, or creating emails with information rights management. OneDrive formerly SkyDrive  is integrated at the system level to sync user settings and files.
Files are automatically downloaded in the background when they are accessed from the user’s OneDrive folder, unless they are marked to be available offline. By default, only file metadata and thumbnails are stored locally, and reparse points are used to give the appearance of a normal directory structure to provide backwards compatibility. The OneDrive app was updated to include a local file manager. OneDrive use on Windows 8.
Full-screen “hero” displays aggregate news articles, Wikipedia entries, multimedia, and other content related to a search query; for instance, searching for a music performer would return photos of the performer, a biography, and their available songs and albums on Xbox Music. The Metro-style version of IE 11 also adds tab syncing, the ability to open an unlimited number of tabs, and Reading List integration.
Encryption begins as soon as a user begins using the system; the recovery key is stored to either the user’s Microsoft account or an Active Directory login, allowing it to be retrieved from any computer.
While device encryption is offered on all versions of Windows 8. A new kiosk mode known as “Assigned Access” was also added, allowing a device to be configured to use a single app in a restricted environment.
Additionally, Windows Defender includes an intrusion detection system which can scan network activity for signs of malware. Windows 8. Remote Data Control can be used to remotely wipe specific “corporate” data from Windows 8. A Microsoft spokesperson noted that the change primarily affects systems with older AMD bit processors, and that “the number of affected processors are extremely small, since this instruction has been supported for greater than 10 years.
These changes do not affect the bit version of Windows 8. List of features removed in Windows 8 Backup and Restore , the backup component of Windows that had been deprecated but was available in Windows 8 through a Control Panel applet called “Windows 7 File Recovery”, is removed. Instead, each service provider is expected to create its own app; The Messaging app, which was interoperable with Windows Live Messenger and Facebook Chat, is deprecated in favour of a Skype app that is not compatible with Facebook Chat; The Calendar app can only connect to Microsoft services such as Outlook.
Beginning in October , all future updates will become cumulative as with Windows 10 ; as such, downloading and installing updates that address individual problems would not be possible. Instead, upon installing Windows, users need only download a handful of updates as opposed to hundreds.
Tom Warren of The Verge still considered the platform to be a “work in progress” due to the number of apps available, the impaired level of capabilities that apps have in comparison to desktop programs, and because he felt that mouse and keyboard navigation was still “awkward”.
However, he touted many of the major changes on Windows 8. He concluded that “Microsoft has achieved a lot within 12 months, even a lot of the additions feel like they should have been there from the very start with Windows 8. Although praising the more flexible snapping system, he still pointed out flaws, such as an inability to maintain snap configurations in certain situations.
However, he felt that the transition between the desktop and apps “still tends to feel a bit disjointed and disconnected” even though the option to use the desktop wallpaper on the Start screen made it feel more integrated with the desktop interface rather than dissimilar , and that the restoration of the Start button made the two interfaces feel even more inconsistent because of how different it operates between the desktop and apps.
In his review of Windows 8. Leonhard considered this to be ironic, given that Microsoft had criticized Google ‘s use of similar tactics with its ” Scroogled ” advertising campaign. Please improve the article or discuss the issue. December Learn how and when to remove this template message Steve Kleynhans from Gartner urged enterprises to avoid migrating to Windows 8.
In his report, he indicated that as Windows 7 support will be provided until , enterprises should directly migrate to Windows 10 after it is released. Furthermore, he recommended to downgrade devices installed with Windows 8.
Computers How to upgrade to Windows 8. Here’s how to get it. By July 15, Windows XP has officially been put out to pasture , while Windows Vista users are no longer receiving mainstream support free patches and fixes. The company warned recently that mainstream support for Windows 7 will be coming to an end early next year. Microsoft is hoping to have all of its users migrate to Windows 8.
VIDEO: Turn off or Disable Automatic App Updates in Windows 8.1
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