windows 8.1

Let us be honest, what people really want when they ask for Windows 7 back is that it be done with the modern Windows 8 Start Screen and make their machine more mouse and keyboard friendly.

Windows 8 has placed a large amount of its reliance on touch based PCs that is the Microsoft future. If you do find yourself without a touch screen and are yearning for the days of Windows 7, then read on as we bring you as close to the experience as we can.

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Microsoft recently released the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers and introduced a collection of new features, including an updated version of the mobile Internet Explorer 11. The new software update brought forward a collection of new exciting features along with an ability we have had for quite a bit in Windows 8.1’s IE11 browser – Reading Mode.

The Reading Mode embedded within IE11 on Windows 8.1 has spent quite a bit of time being overlooked, but in fact, can provide a simple and distraction free reading experience for your favorite news and blog sites (including Windows Phone Central!)

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Today, Microsoft has kicked off the release of Windows 8.1 Update 1, the highly anticipated release for the desktop operating system and RT devices like the Surface 2. What makes this update special to consumers is the vast array of improvements implemented for mouse and keyboard users.

Windows 8 was a major step forward for touch, introducing numerous Windows-based tablets, but it’s time the classic peripheral setup received some much needed attention. If you're rocking Windows 8 and/or Windows 8.1, be sure to check the store and/or system updates to see if it’s available in your region.

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The Windows 8.1 April Update is just around the corner, but should you wish to force through the upgrade early on your machine, you can once again do so thanks to Microsoft publishing the release. Neowin has compiled a list of download links for consumers to access should they wish to make the plunge and see what's new in the next update for the popular desktop operating system.

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Microsoft’s lineup of Surface tablets can be an excellent solution for those either looking for a tablet companion or to replace their existing PC. With the recent launch of Microsoft’s Power Cover, the abilities of Surface have expanded, but new hardware is not the only way Surface is improving. Today, as part of Microsoft’s March 2014 update, a stream of firmware updates and software fixes have been released for the Surface 2, Surface Pro, and Surface Pro 2.

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A couple of days ago India’s leading daily, Times of India, carried a report quoting a Microsoft India executive that the company is looking forward to make available Windows tablets with a price of INR 10,000 (<$175) in India by middle of this year.

While that sounds pretty darn good, like the maxim, it is too good to be true. I met the quoted executive, Amrish Goyal, Director of the Windows Business Group at Microsoft India yesterday. Goyal clarified that he was misquoted and a forward looking statement like that would be inappropriate.

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Last night, Microsoft inadvertently leaked Windows 8.1 Update 1 on its own Windows Update servers. They’ve since pulled the links, but you can find the update mirrored on various file sharing websites. A lot of you were fast and were able to update a few of your Windows 8.1 machines to Update 1. Now we’re curious what you think about the new changes.

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We’re a few short weeks away from Microsoft rolling out Update 1 for Windows 8.1. The update comes to your tablet, laptop and desktop in order to make Windows 8.1 a little friendlier for users that heavily rely on mice and keyboards. April’s Patch Tuesday, April 8th, is the expected day for when regular folk will get the update. But you’re not regular and if you want it, you can get it today. Window 8.1 Update 1 has apparently been accidently leaked by Microsoft.

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Microsoft has finalised the development stage of the first major update for Windows 8.1. According to a report over on the The Verge, Redmond has recently completed and signed off on a final version of Update 1, releasing the upgrade to manufacturing partners (RTM - release to manufacturing). What this means is Microsoft has begun sharing Windows 8. Update 8.1 with PC vendors ahead of next month's expected release after the company's Build conference.

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Yesterday, Microsoft made Service Pack 1 for Office 2013 available to the public. The package of updates includes content for Access, Excel, InfoPath, Lync, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word. The first Service pack for Project, Visio, and SharePoint was also released separately. Overall, the Office 2013 Service Pack 1 offers a collection of bug fixes, with a few slight use improvements.

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Microsoft recently has been on the offense against perceived competitors in the form of the Apple iPad and Chromebooks powered by Google's Chrome OS , and now they're taking the fight straight to their Windows licensees by slashing the cost they'll be required to pay by 70%. The reported cuts bring the cost per device for Windows 8.1 down to $15 for devices that will retail for less than $250. The standard licensing cost is $50, though it can be brought down closer to $30 when marketing incentive funds are factored in. Bloomberg's "people familiar with the program" said:

Microsoft is seeking to speed up development and introduction of new devices. It won’t require products that use the cheaper licensing to complete logo certification, a process that verifies hardware compatibility, one of the people said. Devices aren’t required to be touch-screen compatible, sources said.

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In the world of Windows devices, there is usually an ongoing promotion of sorts to let you dive in into the experience headfirst, while saving a bit of your hard-earned cash. The latest offer comes directly from the Microsoft Store and offers up the opportunity to grab Dell’s XPS 12 2-in-1 Ultrabook convertible, along with a free Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet with 32 GB of storage.

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At times, the success of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8, can seem questionable. While Microsoft was able to sell over 240 million Windows 7 licenses a year after the software’s launch, Windows 8 is just beginning to see any figures close to that number. It has been fifteen months and Microsoft has just now acknowledged that they have sold over 200 million licenses.

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We know that Windows Phone 8 moved 10.9 million handsets during the fourth quarter of 2013 and by doing so saw a year over year growth of 104% for the platform. But how’s Windows 8 doing? Some new numbers out from Net Applications show how Windows 8 (including Windows 8.1) are doing when compared to other platforms like Windows 7, Windows XP, OS X, and Linux. Time to see check out the current market share for desktop operating systems.

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With all of the Windows 8.1 Update 1 screenshots that have been leaking onto the web over the past couple of weeks, it wasn’t long before we expected a copy of the actual operating system to show up for us to jump on. A pre-release build of the upcoming update from Microsoft entitled “9600.16596.WINBLUES14_GDR_LEAN.140114-0237”, has made its way onto the World Wide Web in the 64-bit architecture flavor.

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Build is right around the corner. It starts on April 2nd to be exact. Build is going to bring a flurry of news for the Windows Phone faithful, but there’s also going to be some cool info on Windows 8 and Xbox One. On the Windows front, here’s a new report to tide you over another few months. The next update for Windows 8.1, called Update 1, will boot straight to the desktop by default.

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