Feeds

Microsoft video preview shows Windows 8.1 tablet UI options

Tiny tiles and pretty personalization tools

High performance access to file storage

Video Microsoft has had a lot to say about the forthcoming Windows 8.1 update, both in its blogs and at conferences like TechEd and Computex, and now it's gone ahead and posted a five-minute video tour so that we can see some of the new features in action.

The video, which we've embedded below, is hosted by Jensen Harris of Microsoft's Windows user experience team. It deals mostly with the tablet-centric features of the OS, such as the new lock-screen slideshow and the new Live Tile sizes on the Start screen.

Of particular interest are Harris' demos of the improved Apps view, the new semi-animated backgrounds for the Start screen, and enhanced multitasking of Windows Store apps (which Harris says you can now do with "three or even four" apps).

Unfortunately, most of what's on display here feels mainly cosmetic. We do get a brief glimpse of the restored Start button at around 2:12, but by now we know that it's no big deal, and Harris doesn't bother to demo any changes to the desktop environment (if there are any).

Harris closes out his demo by confirming something else we already knew, which is that the Windows 8.1 Preview will be made available to all Windows 8 and Windows RT users on June 26, the first day of Microsoft's Build developer conference in San Francisco.

Not the Start button and boot-to-desktop you were hoping for

According to Redmond-watcher Mary Jo Foley, users will receive a notification that the update is available via Windows Update, which will then take them to the Windows Store for the actual download.

Watch out, though – Foley says the Preview version of the update will be different enough from the final version that you'll need to reinstall all of your apps when you eventually migrate from the Preview to the shipping release (although your files and other data will be preserved). Users who stick with plain Windows 8 until the final version of Windows 8.1 arrives won't need to reinstall their apps. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.