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On October 17, Microsoft publicly released the Windows 8.1 update. It is the first major update for Windows 8 and Windows RT. The Windows 8.1 update was designed to confront some of the usability issues that Windows 8 PC users have encountered since the release of the OS, last year.It’s no secret the Microsoft took its shots for the new metro-style user interface, but with more computing than ever being done on mobile devices, such as the new Microsoft Surface Pro 2, the interface is here to stay. While optimized nicely for touchscreen devices, traditional PC users have found the tile-based interface to be confusing and hard to learn. With the Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft has tried to turn these complaints into solutions that will make their software better for the end-user. The update includes the following improvements to the OS:

  • Reintroduced the Start button.
  • Introduced a Power User menu.
  • Improved peripheral interaction with touchscreen devices.
  • Incorporated a Top Settings option that displays the settings you adjust most frequently.
  • Repaired the toggling issues users were having between the new UI and the classic desktop UI.
  • Enhanced Windows Store usability with user-specific app suggestions.
  • Provides users to direct boot into the classic desktop UI.
  • Updated to a superior search algorithm that includes results from your PC, your peripherals, and the Internet.

With these improvements in tow, and the XP end-of-support date rapidly approaching in April 2014, upgrading to Windows 8 has never been so attractive for business owners and IT professionals. With its enhanced security features and improved peripheral device management capabilities, Windows 8.1 presents an enhanced user experience for an interface that is gaining momentum for PC mobile device users alike.

If you are a user that has already switched to Windows 8, the 8.1 upgrade is free and is available now. If you are a user looking to upgrade to Windows 8 from another OS, a Setton Consulting technician can help you determine what it would cost you to upgrade your company’s PCs to Windows 8.

If you would like more information about Microsoft products, such as Windows 8, and how to implement the latest versions of Microsoft software on your company’s computing infrastructure, contact us today at 212-796-6061.