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Windows 8.1 update 1 available; brings security patches, UI changes

04/08, 3:10pm

Build-promoted 'Start' menu changes not implemented yet

Microsoft has started making the latest major update to Windows 8.1 available to end users. The mandatory update for Windows 8.1 users comes in a series of patches, and requires that the user have a fully-patched existing 8.1 system before the update commences. Failure to properly install the patch has dire consequences, according to Microsoft -- engineers claim that "failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014."

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Microsoft Windows 8.1 Update 1 seen on Microsoft servers, downloadable

03/06, 11:14pm

Update not officially available, but user-downloadable anyhow

Microsoft has, perhaps inadvertently, made the next version of Windows 8.1 available for download. Windows 8.1 Update 1 has been discovered, requiring either registry changes to automatically obtain the update, or a manual install by way of direct download.

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Microsoft reportedly signs off on Windows 8.1 Update 1 for RTM

03/04, 6:56am

Windows Update claimed to be in hands of manufacturers before April release

Microsoft has reportedly finalized the incoming update for Windows 8.1, ahead of a release in early April. The final version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 has apparently been signed-off for a Release to Manufacturing (RTM), namely to computer and notebook manufacturers to include in their products, with devices offering the update pre-installed likely to appear at the same time as the update's release to consumers.

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Asus VivoTab Note 8 goes on sale through Microsoft Store for $329

02/10, 6:58am

32GB version of VivoTab Note 8 hits retail, 64GB version missing

The Asus VivoTab Note 8 has gone on sale in the United States, with Microsoft's online store being the first retailer to offer the Windows 8.1 tablet. Originally confirmed by Asus itself via a leaked user manual before its launch at CES in January, the VivoTab Note 8 has an 8-inch IPS 800x1280 display using a Wacom digitizer, offering over 1,000 levels of pressure sensitivity.

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Windows 8, 8.1 made up 21 percent of systems using Steam in January

02/03, 12:17pm

Increase in Windows 8.1 usage still not enough to beat Windows 7 on Steam

The adoption of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 by gamers has broken 21 percent for the first time, up from 20.06 percent for December, according to the latest figures from the Steam Hardware & Software Survey. Last month, Windows 8.1 systems made up 10.75 percent, with Windows 8 existing on 10.56 percent of reporting systems, though this is still far behind the older Windows 7.

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Windows 8.1 Update hits file sharing sites ahead of official release

02/03, 5:13am

Update to Microsoft OS leaks before expected March 11 launch

Microsoft's first major update to Windows 8.1 has leaked ahead of its expected March 11 launch. The update, appearing in a number of file sharing sites, is said to have been compiled on January 14th and is not the final version that will be supplied to users, but at the same time it does not appear to include many more updates other than what has already leaked out.

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Windows 8.1 Update 1 rumored to boot to desktop by default

01/31, 5:19am

Change to booting will minimize visibility of Metro Start Screen

The incoming update to Windows 8.1 could see the operating system load to desktop by default, according to a report. Though Windows 8.1 gives the user the option to boot to the desktop instead of the Start Screen, by making the desktop the initial view, it appears to be a far greater attempt at appeasing users who dislike the Metro user interface style by minimizing the amount of time it is visible.

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Windows 8.1 update could land on March 11, more tweaks leaked

01/25, 1:58pm

Power, search options moved to Windows 8.1 Start Screen

More rumors for Microsoft's first major update for Windows 8.1 have surfaced. A more accurate date for release has been touted, along with more screenshots claiming to show the upcoming changes to Windows 8.1 Update 1, including a seemingly simpler way for users to shut down desktops, and a new search button at the top of the screen.

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Microsoft Windows 8.1 update could add Metro apps to taskbar

01/22, 10:47am

Option to add Metro apps to taskbar spotted in leaked screenshots

Microsoft's first major update to Windows 8.1 could bring more integration between Metro-style apps and the Windows desktop, according to leaked images. Icons for Metro apps, typically running separate from the desktop itself, have been spotted on the taskbar in some screenshots, suggesting that users will be able to switch quickly from desktop mode to the app through an alternative means to what is currently offered.

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Acer ships Iconia W4 Windows 8.1 tablet in United States after delay

01/03, 10:51am

Iconia W4 ships with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013

Acer has allegedly started shipping its Iconia W4 tablet in the United States, months after its initial expected shipping time in October last year. Though the computer producer states the eight-inch Windows 8.1 tablet will be available later this month in both the US and Europe, it has apparently been listed by a number of online retailers as available to purchase.

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Asus confirms VivoTab Note 8 in manual leaked from own website

01/02, 7:58am

Name of Asus Windows 8.1 tablet confirmed in website error

Asus has accidentally confirmed the existence of the rumored VivoTab Note 8 tablet, by publishing its instruction manual. The PDF on the company's website, still accessible at the time of writing, confirms the tablet's name and Windows 8.1 as its operating system, as well as giving a general view of the front and back of the tablet, and basic operating instructions.

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SlingPlayer app hits Windows Store with free trial

12/13, 2:41pm

Windows 8, RT users can take advantage of Slingbox

Slingbox announced in a post to its blog on Friday that its SlingPlayer app is now available for Windows 8.1 and RT devices. The new app pairs with a Slingbox in order to transmit video content from a user's home computer or other device directly to a user's mobile device. Users downloading the app will have access to a free test-drive period of 24 hours before it will require them to decide whether they wish to purchase it for $15.

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First Look: Dell's Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 tablet

11/22, 5:22pm

Dell delivers a surprisingly suitable tablet so far

We've made no secret of the fact that we're fans of mobile devices with styluses, as evidenced by our raves about Samsung's Galaxy Note series. So it should come as no surprise that we were interested in checking out Dell's new Venue 8 Pro device and its active stylus. The 8-inch tablet runs Windows 8.1 – the full Windows – so we're also interested to see how well Microsoft's struggling platform works on an 8-inch slate form factor. Dell sent us a review unit, and you can check out our initial impressions by clicking on through.

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Windows RT 8.1 update returns to the Windows Store

10/22, 12:06pm

Microsoft restores Windows 8.1 update after fixing problem

Microsoft has reenabled the Windows 8.1 update for Windows RT, following the update having been pulled temporarily due to its crashing some users' computers. Microsoft announced the return of the 8.1 update in a tweet on Tuesday. The update is available in the Windows Store as a free download.

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Microsoft Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 now on sale

10/22, 5:15am

Microsoft Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 pick up key enhancements

Microsoft's revamped Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 productivity tablets are now shipping to customers. The revised devices both incorporate a number of enhancements designed to boost performance and improve overall usability. Both devices incorporate the latest silicon and an improved dual-position kickstand, while each also ships out of the box with Microsoft's refined Windows 8.1 operating system.

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Microsoft globally launches Windows 8.1, update available to download

10/17, 7:14am

Free, paid downloads of Microsoft operating system upgrade commence

Windows 8.1, Microsoft's upgrade for Windows 8, is now available to download and buy. The update, which reintroduces the Start Button to the desktop among other changes, can be downloaded from Microsoft directly or bought as an installable DVD, with current Windows 8 users able to download it via the Windows Store at no charge.

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Dell intros Venue 11 Pro tablet with Windows 8.1, keyboard dock

10/02, 12:30pm

Choice between Bay Trail, Core i-series hardware

As part of Dell's renewed push into the tablet market, the company has unveiled a 10.8-inch model that serves as a convertible device powered by Windows 8.1. Several internal configurations are available for the Venue 11 Pro, ranging from Intel's 2.4GHz quad-core Bay Trail processor to a 1.6GHz Core i5 chip.

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Microsoft commences pre-orders for Windows 8.1, Pro upgrades

10/02, 12:10pm

Downloads, DVDs of Windows upgrade shipping on October 17th

Microsoft has started accepting pre-orders for its next operating system, Windows 8.1. The DVD and downloadable versions of the install disc, costing $120 for Windows 8.1 and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro, will serve for both full installs and upgrades from earlier versions, with the discs themselves set to ship on the October 17th release date.

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Microsoft prices upgrades to Windows 8.1, to ship full installations

09/17, 5:02pm

Windows Media Center still a paid-for upgrade in Windows 8.1

Microsoft has revealed its pricing strategy for Windows 8.1 sales, when it is released on October 18th. While users of Windows 8 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8.1 at no charge, Microsoft will not be providing a heavily-discounted Windows 8.1 Pro discount similar to the one it had at Windows 8's launch.

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Hands on: Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet with Bay Trail, Windows 8.1

09/12, 11:15pm

Take makes second push into tablet market

After struggling to gain traction in the tablet market with the XPS 10, Dell is making a fresh push with its upcoming Venue 8 Pro. The eight-inch tablet promises to deliver a full Windows 8.1 experience and competitive battery life, thanks to Intel's new Bay Trail platform. Electronista met with the company this week at IDF to check out the upcoming tablet in person.

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Toshiba targeting Google Chromebooks with Satellite ND15t

09/05, 6:32am

Toshiba tries netbook reboot with Satellite ND15t

Toshiba has debuted a new Satellite netbook running Windows 8.1. The Satellite ND15t is a compact 11.6-inch touchscreen notebook aimed at the entry-level notebook targeted at users who might otherwise be tempted by a Google Chromebook. Although netbooks have all but disappeared from the market, Toshiba's new ND15t moves is being pitched as both affordable and offering more productivity than Google's Chrome OS notebooks.

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Toshiba launches 8-inch, 13.3-inch tablets running Windows 8.1

09/05, 5:51am

Toshiba Encore 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet includes Office preinstalled

Toshiba has launched two new tablets at IFA, both of which will be compatible with Windows 8.1. The Satellite Click is a 13.3-inch detachable tablet that can convert to a notebook by attaching a keyboard dock, while the Encore tablet is an 8-inch model with multi-touch capabilities and a budget-oriented price tag, that attempts to mimic the functionality of larger versions.

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Parallels sets Sept. 5th release date for Desktop 9 for Mac

08/29, 11:32am

Will support Mavericks, Windows 8.1

Following up on an earlier announcement, Parallels has revealed more details of Desktop 9 for the Mac. The virtualization software will ship September 5th, and support not only OS X Mavericks but Windows 8.1. Parallels is promising substantial performance boosts, including a 40 percent jump in disk performance, and a 25 percent increase in virtual machine startup and shutdown speeds. VM suspension times should be 20 percent shorter; web browsing and 3D graphics, meanwhile, should each run 15 percent faster.

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Microsoft confirms Windows 8.1 launch on October 17th

08/14, 10:38am

Global roll-out of free Windows 8 update just before launch anniversary

Microsoft has revealed the date for when it will release its free major operating system update for Windows 8. Confirming earlier rumors, Microsoft will start offering downloads of Windows 8.1 from October 18th at 12am in New Zealand, or 4am on October 17th in Redmond, with the update globally available to download through the Windows Store.

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Microsoft releasing Windows 8.1 to manufacturers by late August

07/08, 1:27pm

Miracast to be included as part of Windows 8.1 update

Microsoft will be shipping the final version of Windows 8.1 to computer producers in late August, claims Windows CFO Tami Reller. The version heading to OEM partners comes after the software giant made its free Windows 8.1 Preview available to download and test, and in theory will allow for computers running Windows 8.1 to go on sale before the holiday season.

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Microsoft makes Windows 8.1 update preview available to download

06/26, 12:52pm

Update returns Start Button, Start Screen gains updates, new apps

Microsoft has released the preview edition of its free Windows 8.1 update, making it available to download. The prerelease version of the codenamed Windows Blue software introduces an improved search system, a revised Windows Store, and updated core apps, as well as the previously hinted-at interface tweaks, and the return of the Start button.

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New leak shows Xbox Music redesign, returning apps for Windows 8.1

06/16, 9:53pm

Calculator, Sound Recorder return to Windows 8 in update

Details have emerged over possible updates for built-in apps in the free Windows 8.1 update. A reworked interface for Xbox Music, a redesigned Windows Store, and the reintroduction of apps seen in previous incarnations of the desktop operating system are shown in images, ahead of the update's preview release later this month.

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