The first reports have started coming in of users in the UK running the latest update to Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Update 1.
Finally some might say, Microsoft has put the emphasis firmly on improving the desktop user experience. Windows 8.1 Update 1 makes the operating system aware of how you interact with it, so for the first time Windows 8 will optimise itself for a keyboard and mouse if you do not have a touchscreen installed.
The PC will now boot to the desktop by default if you are using a keyboard and mouse, the Windows Apps now appear on the desktop removing the jarring experience when opening a file of being thrown into the Modern UI interface. Apps can now also be pinned to the taskbar making them useful on the desktop, working happily alongside traditional Windows programs with all the features you would expect such as a hover-over preview.
Right click context menus on the Modern UI start screen make it far easier to organise when using a mouse and keyboard, App Title Bars make it easier to work around full screen Modern UI apps when you don’t have the convenience of swipe gestures and dedicated power and search options on the Modern UI start menu make it easier to shut down your PC or search for files if you do not just type when loading the start bar.
Windows 8 was already a lean system on par with Windows 7, but with 8.1 Update 1 it has taken a further giant leap. Minimum RAM requirements drop from 2GB to 1GB while the install footprint drops from 32GB to 16GB making this perfect for use on tablets or SSD equipped PCs.
Microsoft has finally acknowledged Windows 8 needs to work on the desktop and with these further updates to Windows 8.1 we are very close to removing the majority of the complaints users had with Windows 8 on launch. The future bodes well for Windows 8.2…