Microsoft has released the beta version of its much hyped upgrade of Windows 8 OS. So what Windows 8.1 brings to the user’s platter? If you are expecting a total turnaround, then it may be a disappointment and nowhere near the expectations. The 8.1 preview just incorporates few minor changes to the existing OS. The upgrades may even go unnoticed if you are among the people who don’t worry about the metro tiled apps and rarely use them. It’s already out in the various surveys that Microsoft may have brought a great deal of sophistication by bringing in the metro user interface, but it has not been very popular with the users. Majority of users use their 8 OS like 7 and find it easier to do so since the desktop technology still out bowls the metro apps. So what is generally wrong with the Metro apps? I’ll say nothing; it’s just beyond the times at least for personal and desktop users. Moreover in a country like India and other developing countries where we still don’t have the fastest of broadband and optic connections using the windows 8 metro apps is time consuming and exhaustive as well .
Top 5 of the Major Tweaks Windows 8.1 preview brings
1) Boot to desktop – This again adds up to the credibility and popularity of Windows 7 had , since people still want their desktop to pop up after the boot process . Thankfully Microsoft has come in terms with literal practicality that majority of the notebooks and desktops available in the market are not touch prone and thus I’ll regard this as a very useful tweak.
2) Start button – I personally have not got this option but the market release says it supports a start button. Yeah, the one from Windows 7. In case you don’t get this option there are series of apps already in the market which would help you get one. You can download apps like ‘Pokki ‘ & ‘ istartmenu ‘ to get a start button and have the old world experience of using the lovable Windows 7 .
3) Resize your metro apps – I don’t really see this upgrade to be of much help. It enables you to size your metro tiles and provides one with the option of making the tile larger, wider, medium or smaller. Unless you have time to worry about the size of the tiles you may not even notice it.
4) New Bing search – This is the most exciting update and according to me the only exciting one. The new Bing search brings a more improvised search and incorporates an environment where everything comes to a single place and gives it a hippie and cool appearance. The image search is more enticing you get filters like color, layout, size, type and people to choose from making the search more improved and offbeat.
5) Start Screen personalization – If you are among few of them who really use the start screen of Windows 8, you may like it. The standard Windows 8 had a very limited templates and colors which could be used as the background for the start screen. Windows 8.1 brings in a better and customizable option of styling the background of the start screen with a color palette providing virtually every possible color and few new skins and animated templates as well. But I don’t again call it a real improvement since there is ‘stardock ‘which already provides a better and customizable options of customizing the windows 8 start screen
Final Verdict – Windows 8.1 preview has not managed to bag too many stars. People still see windows 7 a better OS and Windows 8 apart from providing a faster boot up hasn’t met the expectations of a typical PC user. Windows 8 may work great and may be a big hit with mobile and tablet users but still it has a long way to go in the desktop computing scenario. The desktop sale has been dipping since the introduction of not so expensive notebook computers and laptops. Microsoft has come a long way but it still has a longer way to sustain its popularity among the desktop users.
P.S – I don’t find any option by which the installation of Windows 8.1 preview can be undone. Sadly , the only way to undo the installation is either by restoring the system to a valid previously stored restore point or by totally refreshing the system and that would restore system to a complete default.