Build 2014 – Microsoft Announcements for Windows 8.1

Photo Credit: Tim Andersen

Microsoft announced a lot of new updates and features during Day 1 of the //build conference. From new hardware to Windows 8.1 Update 1 to Cortana, there is a lot to be excited about.

The Windows 8.1 Update delivers a collection of refinements designed to give people a more familiar and convenient experience across touch, keyboard and mouse inputs. It also brings improvements for business customers, really accelerates opportunity for developers, and enables device makers to offer lower cost devices.

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Windows 8.1 Update 1

  • On “select” devices, the Start Screen will now include a power button icon and search icon in the upper right hand side.
  • Booting directly to the desktop will be the default on select devices as well.
  • Desktop and Windows Store apps will both have the ability to be pinned to the Start Screen. Favorite websites will be able to be pinned as well.
  • All apps can be pinned to the Taskbar.
  • Speaking of Taskbar, if you are using a mouse on the Start Screen you can move towards the bottom the the screen and it will appear.
  • Moving the mouse to the top of apps will bring a minimize and close button.
  • Right-click on Start Screen apps will bring up more options for the app.
  • Store app will be added to Taskbar
  • Notifications will appear regarding how many “new” apps are installed in the lower left
  • Internet Explorer gets an update with the “Tabs” responding to the size or type of device you are using when browsing the web.
  • Enterprise you are not forgotten, Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE) enabled IE8 compatability mode within IE11. Existing web-based apps will work on Windows 8.1 devices.
  • Extended Mobile Device Management adds additional policy settings that can be managed with WHATEVER MDM solution it uses. Whitelisting por Blacklisting Windows Store apps and websites
  • More info on Windows for your Business Blog that discusses these in greater detail and a post on the Springboard Series Blog on deployment guidance for the Windows 8.1 Update.
  • The Windows 8.1 Update available today for MSDN subscribers, and will begin to roll it out for free to Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 customers via Windows Update next Tuesday April 8th. For the majority of folks, they will receive the update automatically. If you are still on Windows 8, you can get the Windows 8.1 Update via the Windows Store on April 8th as well.