A sneak peek of Windows 8.1

Microsoft granted us a sneak preview of Windows 8.1 here in Manila before it was made available as a free upgrade last Oct. 17. The seemingly incremental update includes many small adjustments that improve overall usability and user experience that add up.


Kazuhiro Arai, Microsoft Philippines Marketing and Operations Director; Mae Moreno, Microsoft Philippines Windows Client Business Lead

Some notable changes are the return of the start button, better customizable tiles and background, easy enterprise access, app locker, and improved multitasking split screen.

Yes the Start button is back but it works different in Windows 8.1. What’s nice is that now we can shut down the device without using the power button by using a menu option when we right-click the Start button. The right-click menu also allows other “traditional” options like bringing up the control panel, search, run, task manager, and file explorer just to name a few.

Now we can also customize and organize the Live Tiles much quicker. This is done be allowing us to select multiple tiles, resize them as needed, and organize then in groups. The background can now also be changed by using a wallpaper that we can further customize by “tweaking” the color. It’s not clear though how the color changing will work if we use an actual photograph as the background, or if it is possible at all.

Another demoed feature is the improvement in the multitasking split screen interface. In Windows 8.1, we can now adjust split by dragging it left or right to allot more screen space for an app we’re running. Also, Microsoft removed the resolution limitation for split screen multitasking; so now it doesn’t matter how small the resolution on your tablet is.

Microsoft Philippines also showed how simple it is to setup a Windows 8.1 device in an office network. They made an interface in the setting menu where all we have to do is put in the company domain and that’s it. No more troublesome trips to the IT support team just to enable our personal device from accessing the company network. But we’ve yet to see an actual run of this process to confirm exactly how seamless this is gonna be.

Another enterprise or business feature is the ability to control the applications that employees access through the App Locker. This is also nice for parents so that we can control what apps our kids use. Other security measures that are already present in previous Windows version include the Microsoft Defender anti-virus and a BitLocker file encryption app.

So how can we get this update from Microsoft? This update is free for all Windows 8 devices and can be downloaded online via the Windows Store.

For more technology news and gadget reviews, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Luca

    Finally, I have not done the update but I hope everything works well. The last was a Vista pc and when I did the update it crashed everything. I had to format and lost everything. I was with Vista for years and when I decided to change pc I took Win8. So I’m not lucky because Win8 is not the best …

  • allen

    SKYPE won’t work. boohooo! and I think a lot is having the same problem. it keeps on restarting and won’t run. when you click the skype tile, it’ll look like its loading but after awhile, you’ll end up in the start screen. something to do with the webcam (based from the people talking about it in the net). tsk.

  • wut

    HUGE pain in a** to update! always getting 0x80240031 or something like that ;(
    –ASUS X202e Vivobook

    • Allen

      Got my vivobook updated already. And downloading took all night, plus the installation part took more than 2 hours. PLUS their built in app for skype doesn’t work. TSK.

  • Enya

    BLUETOOTH WOES on my Acer Aspire P3

  • Windows 8.1 requires a lot of patience, I think. lol

  • Hi everyone, it’s my first visit at this web site, and piece
    of writing is really fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these types of articles.