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Windows 8.1: Here at last, but is it good enough?

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Live Chat The de-cloaking of Windows 8.1 at Microsoft's BUILD conference was greeted with cheers from attendees as the company finally confirmed changes following a major U-turn.

Yes, there's a Start Button but it's really no more than an onscreen version of your keyboard's Windows key. Metro loosens the ideological shackles: you can skip booting straight to desktop and you can scale Windows Store apps to arbitrary sizes, just like any normal versions of Windows.

Not that there was anything wrong with Windows 8, you understand. Microsoft is just, er, "refining the blend", according to chief executive Steve Ballmer using a coffee metaphor.

"Customers who have Windows 8 on touch systems are much, much happier than other Windows 8 customers," Ballmer said of Windows 8 until now, "and in fact they're even happier than our Windows 7 customers."

Yes, folks, everything is beautiful, gorgeous, delightful, beautiful and absolutely beautiful.

Or is it?

All-About-Microsoft blogger Mary-Jo Foley joined IT Writing's Tim Anderson back from BUILD, Reg software ed Gavin Clarke and Reg readers for the post-BUILD Live Chat.

Looking for our review of 8.1? Tim Anderson was at Build conference and came away with a Surface Pro devices upgraded to Windows 8.1 preview... Click here for the skinny.

We were Live Chatting on 2 July at 2pm BST, 9am Eastern, 6pm Pacific. Click below for the transcript. ®

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