It has been less than a year since Windows 8 (v6.2.9200) was made publicly available for consumers on October 26, 2012 and now the first major update has arrived. Windows 8.1 (v6.3.9600) was officially released for current Windows 8 users, as an update, on October 17, 2013 and a full version is now available in stores for purchase (check with your local retailer and look out for some great deals).
The best news for current Windows 8 and Windows RT users is that the update is FREE through the Windows App Store. I recommend setting some time aside to download and update as it is around 3GB, the install process should take no more than an hour. Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen issue with Windows RT, the 8.1 update for RT is on hold whilst Microsoft fix a bug that is affecting the upgrade process for a "limited number of users".
UPDATE: Windows RT 8.1 update available again for free in Windows Store.
Windows 8.1 brings with it a host of new useful features including an old 'feature' that was removed: the 'Start' button! Windows has become more user intuitive by introducing 4x multitasking across the interface as well as 50/50 application multitasking. Stock Windows applications have undergone a refresh, including Mail and SkyDrive which now include deeper OS integration. Microsoft have also introduced some emerging technologies in Windows 8.1, that have not been widely publicised, such as 3D printing, and NFC printing.
The Metro UI is now more customizable and is able to be more personal/prettier with the introduction of expanded color choices, new tile sizes, new backgrounds, the ability to use the desktop wallpaper as its background, and the ability to default to the "All Apps" view. New Metro UI stock applications, that look very neat, have also been introduced in Windows 8.1: Calculator, Sound Recorder, Reading List, Scan, and Help + Tips.
We welcome you to share with us a screenshot of your newly renovated Metro 'Start screen' which may be Featured! It's great to see all of the contributions to the Group! Q&A in 'Comments' are welcome.
[Blog post: blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bl…