What’s new in the Windows 8.1.1 update?

Microsoft have released an update for Windows 8.1 which becomes the second major update to the operating system since its launch less than 18 months ago. If you are running Windows 8 on a conventional PC there are a number of changes that will make 8.1 more user friendly and replace some of the lost functionality you were used to in Windows 7. To get the update you will first need to make sure you are running Windows 8.1 and the update is then available through Windows Update. Future security patches will not be available unless your machine has Update 1 installed so all the more reason to install this as soon as possible.

Easier access to your favorite apps and key controls
  • Power and Search buttons on the Start screen. These buttons appear in the upper-right corner of the Start screen next to your account picture. You’ll be able to quickly and easily shut down your PC or search for things right from Start. (Some types of PCs don’t have the Power button on Start. You can shut down your PC using the Power button in the Settings charm instead.) For more info, see Shut down (turn off), sleep, or hibernate your PC and How to search.
  • All open and pinned apps appear in the taskbar. If you like using the desktop, you’ll see both desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store in your taskbar when they’re running. You can also pin any app to the taskbar so you can quickly open or switch between apps from the desktop. For more info, see How to use the taskbar.
  • Access the taskbar from anywhere. When you’re using a mouse, you can see the taskbar from any screen, including Start or a Windows Store app. Move your mouse pointer below the bottom edge of the screen to show the taskbar and then click an app to open or switch to it.
  • Go to the desktop when you sign in, instead of Start. If you spend more time in the desktop, you can sign in (boot) directly to the desktop instead of the Start screen. And if you want to sign in to Start instead, you can change this setting at any time. For more info, see Desktop.
More familiar mouse and keyboard options
  • The Minimize button, Close button, and taskbar are more available with your mouse. Your mouse works more consistently anywhere in Windows. Move your mouse to the top of the screen to see Close and Minimize buttons in any app. Move your mouse down to the bottom of the screen to see the taskbar from anywhere in Windows. For more info, seeHow do I close an app? and How to use the taskbar.
  • Right-click an app tile to see more options. If you’re using a mouse and you right-click a tile on Start, you’ll see a context menu next to the tile that shows what you can do with the tile.
Simpler to find new apps
  • Discover apps in new ways. The Windows Store is pinned to Start and to your taskbar by default, so you can easily discover new apps. When you use the Search charm, Bing Smart Search includes apps in the suggestions and the search results.
  • Remember what apps you recently installed. After you install new apps, Start includes a message in the lower-left corner of the screen, pointing you to the Apps view so you can see what you recently installed.

The changes found in Update 1 should make using Windows 8.1 more intuitive for mouse and keyboard users. Even for those used to running Windows 8 on a touchscreen device, these changes should still be advantageous.

If you are interested in deploying Windows 8.1 in your organisation and would like some assistance please get in touch on 01522 718248, we would love to hear from you!