Ed Bott from ZDNet went to San Francisco yesterday to meet with Microsoft’s Jensen Harris and Antoine Leblond for a two hour preview of Windows 8.1. He shared some exclusive information and important clarifications in a blog post.
- Synchronization capabilities between SkyDrive and Windows 8.1 are built directly into the operating system, where you can choose which cloud-based files or folders to sync with a local device. That’s a major change from Windows 8, which requires you to install and configure a separate utility to handle those tasks.
- Clicking the Search charm no longer displays a long list of search scopes for you to go through one at a time. Instead, you get a single search box, and the unified results list includes apps, files, settings, and content from the Web and from installed apps like Wikipedia.
- In Windows 8.1 you’ll be able to replace the lock screen background with a collection of photos in the local Pictures folder or on SkyDrive. Those photos appear in a shifting slide show, with some full-screen images and some as part of a collage.
- According to Harris, this PC Settings was “about 10 percent complete in Windows 8, but it’s functionally complete now.” For the first time in the history of Windows that all Control Panel options and settings have been systematically refreshed to reflect a new design. Apparently a very large spreadsheet was involved in this undertaking.
- And one of the most important elements of the desktop environment, File Explorer, is getting a significant change.
- All these Windows 8.1 features are also coming Windows RT devices such as Microsoft Surface.
Read Ed Bott’s full blog post full of great Windows 8.1 information.
More read more about Windows 8.1 here.