Microsoft shows us a preview of Windows 8.1

7 Jun


Yesterday, James Harris, one of the members Windows User Experience team, released a video giving us the first look at some of the feature we will get in the Windows 8.1 upgrade. Most of the feature he shows off in the video are quite impressive but will they be enough to satisfy the critics that wanted a more traditional feel to the operating system.

The first of the new look of windows is the lock screen that will allow you to take pictures for all of your windows devices including the sky drive cloud server. You can then place one or more on your screen to create your own personal photo album. While you are in the lock screen mode you take photos with your camera, if you PC is so equipped, and take Skype calls without having to unlock your computer.

Once you unlock your desktop, laptop or tablet it looks as though you will still be taken to the start screen. There are a few change just make that more appealing to users with more customizable features. Currently, when you right-click on one of the apps on the start screen you can either make it large or small but in Windows 8.1 that changes to four sizes. Currently, to move apps around on the start screen you must move them one at a time. With Windows 8.1 you can now select an entire group of apps and move them where you want. Some of the other things you will be able to do to customize your start screen is that you will be able to use all of you desktop backgrounds, motion images and custom colors.

On the video Mr. Harris shows that you can simply use a finger swipe to go from the start screen to the all apps screen. This is great if you have a touch screen but I imagine for most of us, that don’t have a touch screen, will still need to right-click at the bottom of the start scree and select all apps. Once on the all apps screen there are a few new tricks there. The first of these new tricks is that now it is easier pin your app to the start screen. Once again the demonstration on the video is for touch screen devices meaning that for many of us that is is still the same right-click and select pin-to start. Some of the other improvements on the all apps screen are the category sort and both the Internet and all apps search functions.



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