Windows 8.1 Preview provides a window into the future of Windows Video
Windows 8.1 Preview provides a window into the future of Windows Video Transcript
-And what seems to be becoming kind of a trend these days, Microsoft has listened to user feedback and with its Windows 8.1 update is directly addressing some of the missteps it took with Windows 8. First up, the Start button makes its triumphant return. Left clicking on it will switch between desktop and touch interfaces, but a right click gives you options you probably been missing for the past 8 months. Another off requested change was the ability to boot directly to the desktop and now you can. Simply right click on the taskbar, select properties, choose the navigation tab and under start screen, check go to the desktop instead of start when I sign in. And after that everything will be all old timey for you. Search was already really powerful in Windows 8 but now gets a level of increase. Search now delivers results from your PC, apps, and the web in one fell swoop. Popular searches like known actors get a hero page. Less popular search queries like me get typical web stuff mostly completely unrelated to anything I actually do. No, that's not my Wikipedia page. I don't even have one. Settings get a complete overhaul with Microsoft adding plenty of options like power and sleep and display options among plenty of others. Previously these were only available through the desktop but now make an appearance in touch. The built-in Camera app now does more than just crop, a lot more. You can change the brightness and contrast of a pic, rotate the image, and my favorite is the new color enhancement tool. Just select the color you want to enhance by dropping the cursor on an asset that shares the same color and then enhance or de-enhance to your heart's content. Snap view is now more flexible and can fit up to 4 apps on screen at once. If your screen has at least a 2560x1440 resolution that is. Otherwise you'll see a maximum of 3. Xbox Music gets a facelift and now you can create radio stations based on the type of music you like, much like Pandora or Spotify. And a new interface makes it easier to do things like make playlist. Finally the Windows store gets a redesign with a cleaner and somewhat more sophisticated look and instead of having to always update your apps, they'll be updated automatically and only the system admin for the computer you're using can change that option. App pages surfs more pertinent information about the apps like reviews, ratings, and app details. There are plenty of other changes but those are kind of the big picture ones that really stood out to me. Windows 8.1 will be available later this year as a free update to Windows 8. Check out CNET.com for further coverage. I'm Eric Franklin and this has been a First Look at Windows 8.1 preview.
Microsoft previewed its upcoming Mango update for Windows Phone at a special event in New York today. The update brings more than 500 new features. CNET brings you some of the main highlights in our First Look video here.
WindowBlinds is a software utility that allows you to completely change the look and feel of Microsoft Windows. It works by applying new visual styles, also called skins, across the entire user interface of the operating system. As a result, you gain complete control over the way Windows looks. WindowBlinds comes with a number of visual styles to get you started. From there you can modify them by changing the color, adding a texture, wallpaper, changing fonts, adjusting transparency, or blur. Create, edit and apply textures. Use UIS0 to apply textures to the Windows Aero visual style. Live previews of skins and transparencies. In addition, you can download thousands of free visual styles from the popular WinCustomize.com. With the addition of the separate SkinStudio, you can create your own skins for use with WindowBlinds.
Microsoft isn't expected to ship Windows Phone 7 devices till the holiday season but CNET has a preview of what to expect from the new OS. Check out our First Look video for more.
Power Director 11 Ultra provides an easy and fast way to create home videos. Packed with innovative video technologies to automate and speed up video processing time, PowerDirector 11 Ultra comes with more than 100 built-in effects and access to more than 300,000 free effects at CyberLink's online community, allowing you to create pro-looking home videos with ease. Also includes the PowerDirector Windows 8 App to compliment your editing needs on-the-go.
"LittleBigPlanet" is one of the most ambitious games to come along in quite some time. The title is more than just a straightforward platforming adventure. It allows you to create and share custom-designed levels with the rest of the gaming world. Those levels are then rated by users and the best rise to the top. "LittleBigPlanet's" art-style, combined with its unique gameplay, truly give PlayStation 3 owners something to cheer about. "LittleBigPlanet" lands into stores October 28.
The year is 1191 A.D. and you are a highly trained assassin. From the makers of the 'Prince of Persia' series comes 'Assassin's Creed'--a game in which you must secretly navigate the streets of the Holy Land looking for specific victims. 'Assassin's Creed
Microsoft is spreading the Windows Phone 7 love to international markets. CNET editor Bonnie Cha takes a look at some of the devices that will be available overseas, and gives you a sneak preview of another handset coming to the U.S.
Facebook organizes your friends into Smart Lists, Google Flight Search takes off, and Microsoft previews the next Windows operating system with a new touch-screen mode.
We're packing our bags and heading to Las Vegas for CTIA 2009. Take a look at what we're expecting--and hoping--to see there, including Skype for the iPhone, a slew of new handsets, and more hands-off demos of the Palm Pre.
Facebook adds Timeline to brand and product pages, iPad 3 secrets are reveled next week, and Microsoft takes a leap with Windows 8.
Microsoft Windows 8.1 Review
The good: Windows 8.1 adds many useful tweaks and fixes, including a new version of the missing Start button, better searching, the ability to boot directly to the desktop, and a much-improved app store. Plus, it's free for current Windows 8 users.
The bad: The split between the touch-friendly tiles and throwback desktop mode is still awkward, and the OS is hard to use without a touch screen. While welcome, the new Start button doesn't behave like the classic version, and the Windows app store still lacks serious software, especially for gamers.
The bottom line: If you're a dedicated Windows 8 hater, the update to Windows 8.1 isn't going to change your mind. For everyone else, this collection of tweaks, fixes, and new features is useful, but everything here should have shipped in the original version last year.
Microsoft Windows 8.1 Specs
Part number: CNETWin8.1
- Product Basic Spec