Sadly for Microsoft, the Modern interface hasn't been a hit. In particular, many enterprise and consumer buyers of Windows 8 laptops and desktops complained that it was hard to navigate and inconvenient to use with a mouse and keyboard.
Microsoft hopes to address the main complaints with Windows 8.1. For starters, it's adding something very close to the Windows 7 Start button, which the company took away in Windows 8, triggering an outcry.
In Windows 8.1, toggling between the Modern and traditional interfaces will be smoother. Many users have described the interplay between the two interfaces in Windows 8 as rough. It will also be possible for Windows 8.1 users to boot directly to the traditional desktop interface if they prefer, whereas booting to the Modern interface is the Windows 8 default.
In Windows 8.1, users will be able to view all the applications installed on their device and sort them by name, date installed, most used or category. The OS update also has an enhanced search engine powered by Bing that will return results from a variety of sources, including the Web, applications, local files and the SkyDrive cloud storage service.
Windows 8.1 also comes with Internet Explorer 11, a new version of Microsoft's browser that the company has said will load pages faster and offer better performance in touchscreen mode.
Other Windows 8.1 enhancements include the ability to make a Skype call and take photos with the Windows 8.1 device while the screen is in Lock mode without having to log in. It will be possible as well for users to select multiple applications at once and perform bulk actions on them, like resizing, uninstalling and rearranging them.
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