At BUILD 2014, Microsoft officially revealed Windows 8.1 Update features and has released the Update to MSDN and TechNet. That is, MSDN and TechNet subscribers can now officially download the first major update to Windows 8.1. Microsoft has also announced that it would bring back the Start menu to Windows 8.1 in a future update this year.
Windows 8.1 Update
Those of you closely following Microsoft should know that the Windows 8.1 Update has already been leaked to the web and is available to download for the past few weeks. The Windows 8.1 Update adds a couple of new features to Windows 8.1, mostly features that will help mouse and keyboard users.
To start with, power and search buttons have been added to the Start screen, meaning that shutting down or restarting your PC is much easier now. The newly added search button should help users who’re not sure how to search from the Start screen, as one can always switch to the Start screen and start typing to see search results.
Other than that, when you right-click on an app tile on the Start screen, a context will pop up with unpin from Start, pin to taskbar, uninstall and other options. The other important feature of this update is that all apps installed from the Store can now be pinned to the taskbar. In other words, you can now pin your favourite Metro or Modern apps to the Start screen as well as to the taskbar. To pin an app to the taskbar, right-click on the app tile and then click Pin to taskbar option. Besides that, all apps now come with a little title bar that lets you close and minimize apps, just like traditional desktop applications.
One can access the title bar and also the taskbar by moving the mouse cursor to the top or bottom edge of the screen.
Downloading Windows 8.1 Update
If you don’t have a MSDN or TechNet subscription, you’ll need to wait until April 8th, as Microsoft has announced that the update will be made available to everyone on April 8th.
The download size of the update for Windows 8.1 x64 is 770 MB and x86 is 330 MB. Windows 8.1 RT Update size is 314 MB. Windows 8.1 with Update full ISO is also available to download from MSDN and TechNet.
For those who’re curious, you don’t need to enter your Windows 8.1 product key in order to download or install this update.