Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers yesterday, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. Right clicking on the start button in Windows 8.1 will now give you the option to shutdown the machine: Source: Robert McLaws Image Credits: Robert McLaws ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers today, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. IE11 scores 351/500 + 2 bonus point, and 25/25 for WebGL. Since this is a server build, the score may be a little higher than IE11 on Win 8.1, but this confirms WebGL for IE11.  IE11 WebGL Conformance Test Results: 14,748 of 20,509 tests pass (71.9%). Many things seen in the Server 2012 R2 preview will also show up in the Windows 8.1 preview. Most of this information comes via Robert McLaws, a MSDN subscriber and .NET developer: IE11 About Dialog Start Menu/Taskbar Options; Includes options to shut down from Start button and disable hot ...

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MyDigitalLife forum member FaiKee has posted a great thread full of lots of Windows 8.1 information.  He detailed some information regarding how the integrated Skydrive will work in Windows 8.1, changes to uninstalling apps, and changes to the Windows Store. SkyDrive does not automatically sync all your SkyDrive files to the PC. Instead it downloads placeholder files for all of your files on SkyDrive. Placeholder files are shown in the app and in the SkyDrive folder in File Explorer. These small files look like the full file, and have thumbnails and metadata, but they take a tiny fraction of the disk space of the full file. When you open a placeholder, the SkyDrive engine downloads the full file in the background. When you open a file this way, SkyDrive also marks the file as Available offline, so that the files you use will be kept in sync on this PC. ...

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Microsoft is offering what it calls a ‘Bounty Program’ to finding exploits and vulnerabilities for Windows 8.1.  Google has had a similar program for its Chrome web browser for quite some time now, though not offering as much money.  This programs is a win-win for Microsoft and consumers, as exploits do not get out into the wild and Microsoft has a more secure OS and browser. Microsoft is now offering direct cash payments in exchange for reporting certain types of vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques. In 2002, we pioneered the Trustworthy Computing initiative to emphasize our commitment to doing what we believe best helps improve our customers’ computing experience. In the years since, we introduced the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) process to build more secure technologies. We also championed Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD), formed industry collaboration programs such as MAPP and MSVR, and created the BlueHat Prize to encourage research into ...

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With the upcoming Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft is planning to update the Windows Store with completely new design. The new Windows Store has a new simple layout that lets you to browse through all the apps in the store. When you open the store, you will be greeted by a huge staff pick app on the left and ‘Picks for you’ section on the right of it. From there, you will be able to dig into the Store based on categories, search, etc,. Also you can see the new Windows Store in action from one of the leaked Windows 8.1 builds in the video above. Another major change you will notice is the new individual app page which you can see below. It also now features related app section and more. via:  Bavo ...

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Microsoft has been relaying tons of information regarding Windows 8.1 at TechEd 2013 in New Orleans.  Among this is native fingerprint support for Windows 8.1.  A presentation by Microsoft’s Chris Hallum goes over fingerprint support in more detail. A build of Windows 8.1 is expected to be made public later this month at the BUILD conference in San Francisco.  Windows 8.1 is expected to be finalized for holiday season 2013. via WinBeta ...

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One of the frequently requested feature to Microsoft regarding web browsing experience is a bookmarking feature. Microsoft has responded to it with the new Windows 8.1 Reading List feature. It allows you to save all the interesting things you find online or any other app to access it later. When you want to save it for later, go to Share button in the Charms Bar and select the Reading List option. These items will be synced across Windows devices including Windows Phones. It’s a beautiful app and you can see it action from the photos below. Source: WinChina ...

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Microsoft today confirmed that they will be releasing Windows 8.1 preview on June 26th during BUILD conference. If you are planning to upgrade from your current Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 preview, you need to be careful. Because, you will have to re-install all the apps you have installed on your PC after upgrading Windows 8.1 to final version which will be released later this year. When the Windows 8.1 preview is made available, Windows 8 and Windows RT users will receive a Windows Update notification. Users can go to Windows Store, read the description and choose whether to install or not. Here is the procedure from upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 RTM, Even if testers opt instead to roll their devices back to Windows 8 after installing the preview bits, they still will have to reinstall their apps once they move to the RTM version of Windows 8.1. On ...

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You’ll be able to get your hands on the official Windows 8.1 Preview build in less than a month.  But in the mean time, our good friend Tom Warren has posted a video of the start button in action in build 9410. Of course the functionality could change, but nothing too dramatic really. Why do we need a Start Button again? via Tom Waren ...

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Microsoft has supported fingerprint readers and other biometric devices since the mid-90s through various third party software and drivers to log into Windows. With Windows 8.1 Microsoft hopes to improve this support more natively and will add the ability to lockdown down individual folders via fingerprint. For years Microsoft has been trying to make it easier to log into Windows in ways other than a password. The ‘picture password’ and ‘pin’ were added with Windows 8. With the Kinect coming to Windows within a year, facial recognition and retinal scans may soon be possible. In the mean time, Microsoft is working with OEMs to take biometrics more mainstream. According to the The Verge, “Swiping or touching a finger on a reader will allow Windows 8.1 to authenticate a finger against a Microsoft Account. Users will also be able to purchase applications using a fingerprint reader or login to apps.” Michael ...

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Microsoft has been talking about new features in Windows 8.1 at TechEd New Orleans 2013.  Some new features include NFC tap-to-pair printing – Tap your Windows 8.1 device against an enterprise NFC-enabled printer and you’re all set to print. No more hunting on your network for the correct printer and no need to buy a special printer; just attach a NFC tag to your existing machines. And you don’t need to buy new printers to take advantage of this; you can simply put an NFC tag on your existing printers to enable this functionality. Wi-Fi Direct printing – Connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software on your Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between your device and the printer. Broadband tethering – Turn your Windows 8.1 mobile broadband-enabled PC or tablet into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing other devices to connect and access the internet. ...

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We previously reported Windows 8.1′s enterprise features, among these is native support for wireless format Miracast. This gives users an easy way to mirror their screens on supported devices.  Miracast was designed as an open alternative to Apple’s AirPlay.  This technology may also pop up in the Xbox.  An equivalent Airplay technology for Windows has been a much requested feature for quite some time, it’s looks like its finally here.     ...

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For those keeping track, a leaked screenshot from build 9418 shows a new way to transfer settings and other data from a Windows 8.1 PC to another Windows 8.1 PC.  It appears that a wizard will helps you transfer settings from Skydrive.  This will include app settings, specific info from apps, other devices connect to your PC, and other PC settings that do not sync between PCs. Hopefully this makes it easier for those who need to transfer their settings to a new PC.  See the full screenshot below. Source: WinBeta via Weibo ...

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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 ...

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As Windows team took the wraps of their upcoming Windows 8.1 update, Search was one of the big feature that will be part of the update. Microsoft Bing powers the experience behind it. Microsoft Bing team today blogged about the new experience they developed along with Windows team that will change the way we think about Search. The 10 blue links concept is gone!  You can just find  whether it’s a document on your PC, a photo album in the cloud, an app, PC setting or a website with one single search and  in just a tap or a click you can play, view, launch, or browse items. How cool is that? We think your digital world should be accessible without having to actually ‘go to search’. Just like few people say they are going to ‘go online’, we want to make ‘searching’ something that’s just there when you need it.  So ...

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