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Download the Windows 8.1 public preview version today

by Mark Tyson on 26 June 2013, 14:00

Tags: Windows 8, Windows Phone, Surface

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabx5n

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It’s been exactly 8 months since the first computers with Windows 8 installed went on sale and today Microsoft will make available the preview version of Windows 8.1 for anyone to try out. It will be a central feature and discussion point at the three-day Microsoft’s BUILD conference, which kicks-off today at 9am (5pm in UK) in San Francisco and runs until 28th June. We also hope to see, hear and read about the Surface Mini and Windows Phone 8.1 developments.

The finished Windows 8.1 update, meant for general consumption and to update your workaday computer, is expected to be fully ready for retail in autumn. However for those who have the time and inclination the Windows 8.1 OS, in time-limited preview version, will be available to download today (remembering the time differences between US and the UK; it may be tomorrow in the UK).

We have seen and read about many of the new features of Windows 8.1 which will feature in this OS preview version; in previous screenshot leaks, official  information blog posts and more recently, an official Microsoft video featuring showing UI tweaks. Everyone must by now be aware of the headline changes including a Start Screen button, 50:50 split screen modern UI multitasking and boot to desktop options. There’s a lot more changes within the OS which are thoroughly detailed on Microsoft’s Technet.

The recent release of Windows Server 2012 R2 preview has given us more insight into subtle but useful features of the Windows 8.1 preview. PCWorld News notes the new Start Button will offer you restart and shutdown options from a right click menu from either the new desktop or Start Screen. It will also be possible to deactivate the upper ‘hot corners’ which you may have found popping up when you didn’t want them when mousing around.

An article today on CNBC reminds us of the importance of Windows 8.1 for Microsoft. In the face of the reception given to Windows 8 by many users and the overall decline of PC sales as tablets and smartphones rise in popularity “it's crucial that Microsoft sets things right with Windows 8.1”. But it is speculated that we might see more Microsoft tablets at BUILD…

We saw a few smaller Windows tablets at the recent Computex 2013 show and it is possible that we may see the Surface Mini unveiled at the conference about to start today. The new 50:50 split screen multitasking mode is purposely made with the smaller screen in mind so it would be a great time to see it in action on such a device. Further announcements at the conference are expected to concern Windows Phone 8.1 updates.


Microsoft has now made available .ISO files of the Windows 8.1 Preview installation media so that people who aren't already using Windows 8 can have a play around with the updated OS. Go here to download the .ISO for the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 in your preferred language.

HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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Hopefully, DPC latency will be fixed, then the last reason for me to dual boot will be gone.

Adding windows image-based backup in would be a great bonus also…
The windows 7 style system-image backup is still present in win8, just tucked away. It seems to be called Windows 7 file backup, but it still created a system image on Monday for me ;) That said, the backup size is significantly larger than Easeus for basically the same job.

Edit - that said, I still find it hard to find any love for Win8 (desktop user), and 8.1 doesn't really make any headway in dealing with the fact that Win8 made the desktop user's life more cumbersome/clunky than it needed to be.
Grabbing from Technet now, won't have time to muck around with it now next week, but I might just get time to build a couple of client VMs. Also SQL Server 2014.

It's like Christmas for me here.
and Server 2012 R2….

and XenDesktop 7…
“The update is not applicable to your computer”

Running Windows 8 just fine, is this something to do with the lack of English (UK) support?