The Windows 8.1 update that is the first major release related to Windows 8 after its initial release has finally been released for public and is now available for download. The update is not like usual Windows updates from Microsoft as it brings several new features and visible enhancements to the operating system. The changes Microsoft has introduced in Windows 8.1 make it worthy of upgrading to.
If you are having second thoughts about upgrading your laptop or computer to the latest version of Windows 8 then these best Windows 8.1 features will most probably change your mind.
Resizing option while running multiple apps
Windows 8 for the first time ever brought the ability for users to use multiple apps at once by splitting their screen in two. That feature was useful but it had its limitations since there was no way to resize the area apps could use and to make matters worse the second app was forced to run in a narrow sidebar window. Windows 8.1 fixes that issue as it adds styling options for windowing apps. In Windows 8.1 users can horizontally resize the app windows according to their needs provided the app has been updated to support this feature.
Apart from resizing Microsoft has also added the ability to use more than to apps at once and now allows up to four apps provided your display resolution is sufficient for this purpose. If you are using more than one monitors than you can use four apps on each, which looks pretty cool.
Return of the Start button
The biggest change Windows 8 brought over Windows 7 or previous versions was removal of the start button that made many users upset. Users were just getting used to of not having the start button but Microsoft decided to bring the iconic feature back in the latest update. The new start button is nothing like the old one though as now whenever you click on the start button the metro-UI rich start screen is launched.
Direct boot to desktop
One of the best features of Windows 8.1 includes the ability to boot directly to the desktop. Users can configure from options whether they want this feature or not. Enabling it makes getting to the desktop faster since you are not presented with the ‘start screen’ every time you log in.
Merging of desktop background with metro background
Previously the start screen that constitutes the metro UI part of Windows 8 had a different background than the desktop. This made it look like a separate OS within the Windows 8 OS and made the interface confusing. In the latest Windows 8.1 update Microsoft has fixed this problem by making the metro background same as the desktop background.
OmniSearch to search content on the computer and the internet
Windows 8 included a search that made it easier for users to find different types of files on their computer. Windows 8.1 takes the search feature one step further by adding omnisearch to Windows, which not only lets users search stuff stored in their computer but also the web. The Windows 8.1 omnisearch is a search engine built right into the metro UI that searches both the internet and the computer at once. The new search not only displays simple results but takes it even further by showing weather reports, tourist attractions for locations and more. Same goes for other queries such as artists.
Other noteworthy features of Windows 8.1
- New look for store
- Work Folders
- WiFi Direct printing
- Improved Biometrics
- Improved apps
- …and more