By: Patrick McNamara
In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed some of the improvements to the functionality of Windows 8.1. We talked about the smarter search engine, automatic cloud back-up, and Skype. In this blog we are going to take a closer look at some of the user interface changes in Windows 8.1, for example, the improved organization of the Start screen (home screen), return of the Start button, and Internet Explorer 11.
Customizable Start Screen and Multi-tasking Views
Windows 8.1 makes your start screen even more customizable than before, therefore, making your device work even better for you. You can use the touchscreen or mouse and keyboard or both to navigate the interface. You can also configure your PC to boot to desktop (we’ll talk more about that later) or the start screen whichever mode you prefer to work with. Multi-tasking views have been improved, you can display up to 4 apps side by side with flexible window sizing.
Return of the Start Button and Ability to Boot Directly to the Desktop
For those of you who are looking to work in the comfortable interface of the Windows desktop and Start button your wishes have been granted. The Start button is back and available from the desktop. By right-clicking on the Start button you can reveal traditional options like accessing programs, system settings, control panel, and the device and task managers, file explorer, restart and shut down. You also have the ability to set Windows up to boot directly to the old-style Windows Desktop. This is especially convenient for PC users who work more comfortably in a desktop environment.
Internet Explorer 11
Internet Explorer 11 is built for touch. It has larger tabs, simpler controls, and fluid response to gestures. Accelerated hardware and improved performance allows sites to load faster than ever. This speed improves your browsing experience overall allowing a smoother environment to browse in.
Windows 8.1 offers a modern interface perfect for tablet users and PC users alike. Microsoft has instructions for upgrading on their website and a Windows Upgrade Assistant is available to help you determine if your PC can run Windows 8.1.