Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available

The Start Button Returns!!

Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available

When Microsoft first unveiled their successor to Windows 7 to the public most people were a little taken aback. There were those who were totally for it, sure, but the majority of us couldn't fathom why an OS which seemed optimised for the mobile space was finding its way onto our desktops. That was just over 7 months ago now for the general release and things have changed a fair bit since then. Third party mods have been released to amend the big differences, but for the most part people just seemed to move on and adapt to their new tiled workspace. 

Some of the biggest challenges new customers had to face was the lack of the previously ever-present Start button. This was instead replaced with a hot-point on the bottom left hand corner of the screen to drag your cursor, which would then bring up the new Metro start screen. The Metro interface was a whole other bag of worms, with the new tile-based system not conforming to what everyone liked. The tiles were there to provide shortcuts to apps, to show information such as weather reports and calendar appointments, and they were highly optimised for touch screen interfaces. This touch screen optimisation is what left many to feel as if Windows 8 in a desktop environment, where the mouse and keyboard are still the most used peripherals for control, just wasn't well suited.

Roll on today and we see the release of the Windows 8.1 Preview - Microsoft's answer to our questions. At present the only way to download the preview is via Microsoft's Windows Store, but an ISO file should soon be made available for download too. The completed version won't be released until later this year but the preview should allow users to gain an insight into what's to come.

Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available

The new Metro interface shows off greater customisation of tile sizes.
 

First thing's first - the Start Button returns!! Just not in the way most people wanted. The bottom left hand corner of your screen shall once more be blessed with the Start Button's presence, but it's not the same button we all grew to love. It's said that the new iteration is simply a guise for the same shortcut to bring up the Metro start screen. Oh dear. Not quite what we had in mind. Rubbing salt into our wounds we see that the Metro interface has received an update instead, with further options given for tile sizes. This should enable greater personalisation of your start screen while utilising space in a more efficient way. 

Take a look at what Microsoft have to say to their developers:

 

From a developer standpoint this looks to be a huge improvement. Greater flexibility all round and the automatic updates allow bug fixes to arrive far more quickly than before. By promising up to 80% of the total revenue made by an app, 10% more than Apple or Google, it's clear that Microsoft are doing their best to lure more software developers to work with their platform. 

An unlikely addition to the OS is native 3D Printing capabilities. Got yourself a fancy 3D Printer and you're worried about the 3rd party apps needed to run it? Fear no more, Microsoft have you covered. This added support gives hope to 3D Printing becoming more mainstream in the not too distant future as more and more systems cater for their needs. 

So, for those of you using Windows 8 already, what are you waiting for? Get updated and tell us what you think on the OC3D Forums!
For more information about the release please visit Microsoft's website, here.

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Most Recent Comments

27-06-2013, 05:01:14

Excalabur50
Here you go OC3D if you want to try it get it here http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...wnload-previewQuote

27-06-2013, 06:35:57

SieB
Updating now

Now all the haters who moan over the start button and start screen have nothing to hate Windows 8 for now it has a start button and a boot to desktop option. Shame MS has to spoon feed people who can't learn how to do new things Quote

27-06-2013, 07:30:18

vorticalbox
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post
Updating now

Now all the haters who moan over the start button and start screen have nothing to hate Windows 8 for now it has a start button and a boot to desktop option. Shame MS has to spoon feed people who can't learn how to do new things
start button still opens the start screen i believe, still some hate left :PQuote

27-06-2013, 07:36:08

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by vorticalbox View Post
start button still opens the start screen i believe, still some hate left :P
Yeah, just tried it and it does open the start screen. The boot to desktop option is there though.

Anyone that wants to know how to use the boot desktop option (because MS don't make it clear) right click on the task bar, click properties, go to the navigation tab and you will see a tick box with the option to "go to the desktop instead of start when I log in"Quote

27-06-2013, 07:39:30

vorticalbox
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post
Yeah, just tried it and it does open the start screen. The boot to desktop option is there though.

Anyone that wants to know how to use the boot desktop option (because MS don't make it clear) right click on the task bar, click properties, go to the navigation tab and you will see a tick box with the option to "go to the desktop instead of start when I log in"
MS should of made two OS's one with a desktop/start menu for work and one for touch devices start secreen/no desktop.

Still it is good that ms are taking note to our complaints Quote

27-06-2013, 08:26:10

Josh Weston
We saw this and whacked it up on the front page, nice one Excalabur50


http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...070720641l.png

Continue ReadingQuote

27-06-2013, 09:52:18

Excalabur50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Weston View Post
We saw this and whacked it up on the front page, nice one Excalabur50


http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...070720641l.png

Continue Reading
Thanks very much JoshQuote

28-06-2013, 05:21:02

mrapoc
It's all very nice saying all this stuff in the video, basically "yeh we kinda started listening to people"...but they didn't showcase the start button at all. It's almost like they were embarrassed and reluctant to show it..

still gonna use classicshell i think, why oh why can't they just offer it as an optional "theme" or something?Quote

28-06-2013, 05:39:29

ShaunB-91
Who cares, just press the Windows key on the keyboard, are people that lazy.Quote

28-06-2013, 05:51:21

vorticalbox
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunB-91 View Post
Who cares, just press the Windows key on the keyboard, are people that lazy.
my gripe is that it is more aesthetically pleasing having a button there rather than a blank plain bar.Quote

28-06-2013, 05:51:37

mrapoc
From a UI point of view it was terrible. Most people wouldn't know especially the average joe user - why did they choose to have a hidden way of getting back to the start menu. why oh why!Quote

28-06-2013, 06:33:51

ShaunB-91
I understand. Just the majority of people don't like Windows 8 for reasons such as that, whilst I prefer to have a Start menu, Windows 8 is still neat.

One thing that is strange though, say you use Internet Explorer, it's like having two versions, one version in the start screen and one on the desktop. As far as I know, they are configured different as well so you need to do the settings for both!

How well did Windows Surface do by the way? I don't hear of it often.Quote

28-06-2013, 06:51:02

vorticalbox
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunB-91 View Post
I understand. Just the majority of people don't like Windows 8 for reasons such as that, whilst I prefer to have a Start menu, Windows 8 is still neat.

One thing that is strange though, say you use Internet Explorer, it's like having two versions, one version in the start screen and one on the desktop. As far as I know, they are configured different as well so you need to do the settings for both!

How well did Windows Surface do by the way? I don't hear of it often.
yeah that is what i pointed out in another topic, it's annoying jumping from the full screen windows apps to a desktop. you open IE and you get a full screen app that is pretty nice then you open an email attachment then boom there is windows explorer or office.


Surface did.... well the words "firesale" probably sum it up quite nicely.

http://www.zdnet.com/whats-behind-mi...le-7000016200/Quote

28-06-2013, 07:26:44

ShaunB-91
Damn it looked quite neat as well. Can't beat an iPad!

I've got Windows 8 on my laptop but I might put Windows 7 on my new gaming rig once it's finished. I still need to download some stuff on the laptop. If I download a PDF at work, it opens in a full screen stupid app then you have to go back to the desktop.Quote

28-06-2013, 07:33:44

vorticalbox
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunB-91 View Post
Damn it looked quite neat as well. Can't beat an iPad!

I've got Windows 8 on my laptop but I might put Windows 7 on my new gaming rig once it's finished. I still need to download some stuff on the laptop. If I download a PDF at work, it opens in a full screen stupid app then you have to go back to the desktop.
you can just change what default application things open with, i have windows 8 on this PC now and everything opens in desktop apps.Quote

28-06-2013, 07:48:07

ShaunB-91
I'll have to check it out. So has anyone got 8.1 yet? Is it worth an upgrade from 8?Quote

28-06-2013, 08:13:17

Excalabur50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunB-91 View Post
I'll have to check it out. So has anyone got 8.1 yet? Is it worth an upgrade from 8?
I have it and it's goodQuote

28-06-2013, 14:34:40

jaisonx12
I don't know if this has been mentioned anywhere and a long search on google hasn't turned up anything, but has Microsoft mentioned if this is an update or a full on new purchase for people with windows 8?

Edit: Thanks for the reply SieBQuote

28-06-2013, 14:40:24

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaisonx12 View Post
I don't know if this has been mentioned anywhere and a long search on google hasn't turned up anything, but has Microsoft mentioned if this is an update or a full on new purchase for people with windows 8?
It's a free update for Windows 8. If you don't already have Windows 8 then it will be a full purchase and Windows 8 will be replaced by Windows 8.1. Either way you still get the update for free.Quote

28-06-2013, 19:36:06

iiBetrayforAR
Quote:
Originally Posted by vorticalbox View Post
my gripe is that it is more aesthetically pleasing having a button there rather than a blank plain bar.
Being a minimalist to a certain point that is aesthetically pleasing to me actually, all a matter of preference though. I like my desktop as blank as possible while still being functional.Quote

28-06-2013, 23:56:21

JonnySuper
I really have no qualms with the missing start button but with the new update if you right click on the "start button", it is basically the start menu just cleaner.Quote

29-06-2013, 01:49:40

Dicehunter
Is there anyway of completely getting rid of the Charms, Apps screen etc.. ?Quote

29-06-2013, 03:48:53

vorticalbox
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
Is there anyway of completely getting rid of the Charms, Apps screen etc.. ?
You can install classic shell for example but the windows 8 apps are still there you need to change your file associations to make files open in the desktop version.Quote

29-06-2013, 06:54:11

Zoot
It strikes me as a terrible stroke of stupidity to try and blend a tablet interface into what is primarily a desktop OS for the majority using it. I mean, even Apple keeps these separate, OSX looks a lot different to iOS.

Not to mention the fact they put the whole Metro on the server aswell. If I didn't know better I'd swear Microsoft is out to destroy themselves.

8.1 helps somewhat but it doesn't seem to address what people are mostly complaining about. Shame, because I gather under the hood it's a good bit better and more lightweight than Windows 7.Quote

29-06-2013, 07:27:12

d3rrial
It appears as if Microsoft as of late tries to deliberatly destroy their customer base. Windows 8 was bs and continues to be, the XBOX 180 is also disregarded by many as BS, the only nice thing that could possibly come out of the XBOX 180 would be the new Kinect, it has very interesting features and could have many applications BESIDES being used for the obvious xbox 180 stuff, (like medical applications), thats what microsoft heard so they're like: "NOPE" and put off the release of the Kinect for all platforms far into the future at a much higher price... Great thinking Microsoft.

Sorry for this little rant, I just had to shout out my opinion Quote

30-06-2013, 20:19:09

You_What?
Been waiting for this, look forward to the changes.Quote
Reply
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