As expected, Microsoft today released their first major update for Windows 8 named Windows 8.1. The Windows 8.1 update is now available for download from Windows Store. The update is free for anyone with Windows 8 OS installed and it is applicable for Windows RT users too.
Apart from the under the hood and UX improvements, Windows 8.1 will have the following features.
- Bing Smart Search: A single search now brings you results from your PC, your apps, and the web. See results in a clean, graphic view that lets you take immediate action and launch apps. Search, click, do. Find a song and start playing it, or find a video and watch it right away. Powered by Bing.
- New Apps in Windows Store: You’ll notice that the Windows Store has a new look which makes it easier to discover and download new apps. And the apps that are included with Windows 8.1 Preview let you do a bunch of cool things. For example, with Reading List you can save articles and stories across apps and devices, and the updated Photos app gives you fast and fun editing.
- Lockscreen Slideshows: Set up a slide show on your lock screen by picking your favorite pictures. Arrange the stuff on your Start screen so it’s just the way you want it. Choose from more tile sizes, more colors, and more backgrounds—including animated backgrounds.
- Built-in SkyDrive: SkyDrive is now the default location for saving documents. So you always have your files wherever you go, even when you’re offline. And with the included SkyDrive app, you can manage both local files and SkyDrive files in one place.
- Updated IE11: When you get Windows 8.1 Preview, you also get to check out the new Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 11 Preview is built for touch, with faster load times, a full-screen experience that includes side-by-side browsing of your sites, and real-time info delivered on your Start screen through live tiles for your favorite sites.
If you don’t own a Windows 8 PC for free upgrade to Windows 8.1, then you can order Windows 8.1 here from Amazon. It is a full version of Windows 8.1 OS and you can install it on your desired PC you already own.
If you are a consumer with a Windows 8 device, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store*. Please visit Windows.com for everything you need to know including how to get the update for your Windows 8 device. If you are a consumer on a device running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or the Windows 8.1 Preview – this page on Windows.com will detect your OS and provide you with all the information you need in order to get Windows 8.1 on your device. I also highly recommend reading our FAQ which answers many of the most common questions about getting Windows 8.1.