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 Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available

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PostSubject: Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available   Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:36 pm

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Back in May, Microsoft announced the first major update to Windows 8. While the free upgrade was once codenamed Blue, a public preview of Windows 8.1 is available starting today. Most notably, Windows 8.1 brings back the Start button, a point of sincere contention for many Windows 8 users. The full release of Windows 8.1 is still scheduled for some time later this year.

Writing on the Windows Blog, Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc runs through some of the basic improvements included in the Windows 8.1 update. The "Metro" tiles in Windows 8 are now more customizable in terms of size, allowing users to set the tiles as "really big" or "really small." LeBlanc notes this change is most applicable to tablets, where scaling down the tiles allows for more screen real estate.

"The best part is my Start screen customizations, apps, and files get synced across all my Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets, which is awesome," writes LeBlanc. "If I change my Start screen, install new apps, pin new apps to my Start screen on one PC – that all gets synced to my other PCs."

The Windows Store has also received a redesign, and beyond obligatory updates to some Windows 8 apps, Microsoft is planning to announce new applications sometime today. You can download the Windows 8.1 preview right now from the Windows Store, but as always, be sure to back up all your data before installing. As an additional note, the preview is not available for Windows RT users at this time.

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