Windows 8 certainly had consumers using touch oriented devices happy. However, it failed to make an impact on devices featuring a keyboard and mouse interface, which is the lion’s share of devices using Windows 8. As a result, many were unhappy with the not-so-friendly interface for keyboard and mouse. All apart, Windows 8 is certainly a much more lighter and fluid OS than the Windows 7, not to mention the faster boot time.
Let us scan through the major changes bought about in Windows 8.1
The Savior, the Start Menu
The absence of a start menu is one of the biggest nemesis present in Windows 8. The new version that is Windows 8, comes with what you may call a satisfactory substitute for a start menu placed at the lower left corner of the screen. A left click on it will cause a start menu to pop up, you can run or search applications by typing there. It is not the same start menu we saw in Windows 7. Right clicking on it will lead to shortcuts to the Control Panel, Search, Task Manager and other system tools.
Boot directly to Desktop
Another irritating aspect of Windows 8 is booting leads you to the metro tiled menu but not to your desktop. What user did not like is pressing the windows key every time to switch to desktop. Windows 8.1 has the solution, with an ability to boot directly to desktop.
Xbox Music Redesigned
Xbox Music gets a more refined interface. The left panel allows you to surf different artists and play songs from your playlist and the right panel lets you stream content, watch videos etc.
Snap View function
Now run more apps simultaneously on the same screen. Run up to 4 apps at once provided you have enough screen resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels). You can even connect another monitor to run around 8 apps at once.
Upgraded Search Bar
The search bar has been spiced up with new features. Now get universal results from files, SkyDrive, apps and web. You can also play music directly from the search bar. On searching artists, it provides all their albums on the right panel and a large photo of the artist on the left.
Now personalize the Start Screen and Lock screen through a variety of colours and themes available. This basically let’s you customize your desktop to your liking.
Improved Camera App
Now, the camera app is not the same bogus app that was used just to crop pictures, it now comes loaded with photo editing tools too.
New Windows Store App
The market looks much more pleasing than before with precisely spaced tiles.
Overall, the Windows 8.1 may not be a giant leap from the previous version, but it is definitely a step closer to making user experience better on non touch devices.