Windows 8.1 and the return of the start button

Windows 8.1 Start Screen

At last, the long awaited Windows 8.1 update is here! Windows users can now get back to using the familiar ‘Start Button’ we are all used to.

Before I get into the new features of Windows 8.1 both ascetically and behind the scenes, I’d like to talk about the install time and process. For starters, the install time isn’t exactly speedy, and instead of telling the user what is being updated, Microsoft has chosen to to use phrases like ‘Getting Ready’ , ‘Setting up a Few More Things’, and ‘Taking Care of a few Things’. Once the install is complete, the user is forced to either enter in a Microsoft account email, or create a new one. After you sit through verifying email addresses, and entering verification numbers, you are ready to begin. Right? Wrong. There is another 5 minutes of ‘Taking Care of a few Things’.

Once the user is finally able to log in, the first ascetic difference is a colorization of the home screen.

The second and probably most noteworthy addition to Windows 8 is the reincarnation of the ‘Start Menu’ button. If you recall, initial complaints from the original release was the lack of this button.

Clicking this button brings you to the new ‘Start’ screen (Shown Above).

As far as behind the scenes goes, a bunch of handy new features have been implemented:

  • Workplace Join
  • Work Folders
  • Open MDM
  • Mobile Device Management
  • Web Application Proxy
  • RDS Enhancements
  • NFC Tap-to-pair Printing
  • Wi-Fi Direct Printing
  • Native Miracast Wireless Display
  • VPN
  • Mobile Broadband
  • Windows To Go
  • Broadband Tethering
  • Auto-triggered VPN
  • Remote Business Data Removal
  • Improved Biometrics
  • Pervasive Device Encryption
  • Improved Internet Explorer
  • Malware Resistance
  • Device Lockdown

For a full breakdown of all the new features of Windows 8.1 visit http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dn140266.aspx.

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