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All you need to know about Windows 8.1 OS update

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Are you planning to opt for the newly released Windows 8.1 update? Before going for the update, you need to know what new have been added to the Windows 8 OS with this update. In this article you will get all relevant and important information about the recently released Windows 8.1 OS update.

Know about 8.1

Windows 8.1 is the first release by Microsoft under the 'rapid cadence' update cycle for Windows. The rapid cadence update cycle aims to accelerate the pace of Windows development at an annual basis instead of traditional 2-3 years cycle which has been adopted by Microsoft.

Improved/Added features in Windows 8.1

Below listed are the changes that have featured in the newly released Windows 8.1 OS update:

  • A Start button with Windows logo appears on the taskbar, where previously the Start button of Windows 7 was located
  • More customization options for the Start screen
  • Facility to go to the desktop instead of the Start screen
  • New first party Windows 8.1 apps
  • A redesigned Windows Store
  • IE 11 with significant improvements to enhance security and handing of tablets
  • New capabilities to enable on-screen keyboard on touch devices
  • Integrated search.

Windows 8.1 system requirement

All devices that can run on Windows 8 would be able to run the Windows 8.1 Windows 8 Preview. The Windows RT 8.1 Preview requires that the Windows RT is installed on the device and it must have at least 10GB of free storage space. The Windows 8 update released by Microsoft can support 14 languages including English (both US and UK), Arabic, Chinese, French, German etc. Users can also opt for language packs that will be available after installation for other languages via PC settings.

Media Center in the Windows 8.1

If Media Center has been already installed on the PC which is to be upgraded then it will remain there as it is even after the OS has been upgraded. But if you are installing the Windows 8.1 Preview by using an ISO file then you essentially require your Windows 8 Pro Pack of Media Center Pack product key to re-install the Media Center.

How to install Windows 8.1?

If you are presently having a Windows 8 PC and plan to install Windows 8.1 upgrade then the ideal way is to get it through either by pre-installing it on a new device or via the Windows Store. When you visit the Windows 8.1 Preview page on a PC running Windows 8, you will be guided with the required steps to install the OS. Once you install the update through the Windows Update installer package, you will be prompted to restart your PC after which it will come into effect.

If you are installing the update via the Windows Store, you need to use a Microsoft account. However, you can switch to a local account later on. Remember, if you are running Windows 8 Enterprise you will not be able to update the OS via Windows Store. In such cases, you require using an alternative mechanism if you want to set up a dual boot system or perform a clean installation.


Brooke M. Perry is an ardent technician associated with Qresolve computer security with wide experience of fixing issues with PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. With a strong track record of devising effective ways of tech support and system security, she has so far helped thousands of users across the globe. Her writings on tech issues are the reflection of her in-depth interest and command she carries as a online computer support technician. Her blogs and articles have been rated high for their lucid style and easy to understand language.

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