Ever since Microsoft announced that the upcoming update to Windows 8 will be called as Windows 8.1 and will be available for free to all Windows 8 users, many users who aren’t closely following Microsoft, seem to have confused Windows 8.1 as a service pack.
For those who’re under the impression that Windows 8.1 update is a service pack, a service pack mainly contains previously released updates and fixes, but doesn’t include new features. So, Windows 8 isn’t a service pack as includes new features.
As some of you may know, when Windows Vista was released back in 2007, it didn’t do well in the market and two years later, Microsoft released a polished version of Vista and named it as Windows 7, which went on to become the highest selling operating system in the history. The only major difference (leaving aside features) between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 is that Windows 7 wasn’t a free update to Vista users and Windows 8.1 is absolutely free to all Windows 8 users.
Windows 8 vs Windows 8.1
As the “.1” in the Windows 8.1 name suggests, Windows 8.1 is based on Windows 8. Windows 8.1 update adds hundreds of new features and functionalities to Windows 8 without removing existing features, and is completely free to all Windows 8 users.
Windows 8.1 update is largely based on the feedbacks that Microsoft received by millions of Windows 8 users over the last year. According to Microsoft, this update will encourage XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users to upgrade to the newest version of Windows.
One can say that Windows 8.1 is what Windows 8 should have been, or we can also say that “.1” completes Windows 8!
Windows 8.1 adds the missing Start button to easily switch to the Start screen, an option to boot directly to desktop by skipping Start screen, settings to customize the Start screen, option to automatically set desktop background as Start screen, an easier way to shutdown and restart PC, and hundreds of other features.
Go through the below chart to know some of the key features present in Windows 8.1 that aren’t part of Windows 8: