Windows 8.1 has been out for several days now. It is available to download directly from the Windows Store (on current Windows 8 devices) and then executes itself. I tried out the preview a couple of months back, and I thought that it was great, so I really wanted to get the full version.
This turned out to be a bit trickier than expected. The download took about thirteen hours. This is quite a long time for a 3GB download. Partially this was due to my slow connection speed, but the delay was also caused by the Windows Store’s strange download “techniques”: it requires you to check back every twenty minutes (or it closes) and the app itself is buggy. Occasional glitches cause the download to appear more or less complete than it actually is.
Once it was downloaded, however, it worked fine! The updated is automated and finished its work within fifteen minutes, leaving me with a shiny, new OS! Actually, there aren’t too many changes. There are a few new apps: Health and Fitness, Food and Drink, Help and Tips and a Reading List (but with no offline reading feature??). Also included is a calculator (with scientific mode) and a voice recorder. The search feature has been much revamped, and of course there are plenty of performance updates. The lock screen now allows you to take pictures without entering a password, and the “PC Settings” menu is now much more comprehensive.
Oh, and did I mention that The Start Button, in all its humble majesty, has returned?
Currently all it does is returns you to the Metro screen, but it should give a few months of ease to all the Windows 7 fanboys!
Perhaps the best features of the new update relate to customisation. There are now FOUR tile sizes on the Metro Screen: 1/2 x 1/2, 1×1, 1×2 and 2×2. The colour theme settings are much more detailed. Now (one of my favourites) you can also have your metro background the same as your desktop!
I still need to check and see if the Windows Experience Rating is there.
N.B. The Messenger App IS still there, contrary to previous reports!
To conclude, I think that (as long as your connection speed is decent) the 8.1 upgrade is very worthwhile. Get the newest Windows OS in the world now!