Windows 8.1 Update 1 Released

Microsoft have finally released Windows 8.1 Update 1 today, with a few nice touches to improve the user experience and also make the new metro interface more friendly for corporate environments. Iconic have already deployed this update and the effects are quite refreshing but are still being explored.

One of the key areas of Windows 8.1 Update 1 is to the desktop experience (shown below)

Here is a quick list of the improvements in Windows 8.1 Update 1 that can make life more effective when using the desktop.

Improvements include:

On certain devices the Power and Search buttons now appear at the top-right corner next to the account picture. This enables the ability to search and shutdown / restart more easily and is available from the Start screen. (See below)

Taskbar improvements – You can now pin both desktop apps and Windows Store apps to the taskbar, making it easy to open and switch between apps right from the desktop. When using a mouse, you can also see the taskbar on any screen by moving the mouse to the bottom edge of the screen.

Boot to desktop as default – At last something that makes Windows 8.1 more accessible for corporate users. Showing the desktop and icons is usually the preference for work environments and makes the transition from previous operating systems a little more palatable.

The Start screen and the desktop are more aligned – On the Start screen, if you right-click on a tile, you will get a context menu next to the tile that shows what you can do with the tile, such as pin to Start, or unpin from the taskbar, change the tile size or even uninstall the app.

Right-clicking on an app tile on the Start screen works just like right-clicking on something on the desktop which improves the end user experience.

Internet Explorer 11 Updates – With Windows 8.1 Update, Internet Explorer 11 detects your Windows device and input type, and adapts the browsing experience (such as the number of tabs on screen, the size of the fonts, and the size of the menus) accordingly. The most important feature though aimed at the corporate environment is the inclusion of IE11 Enterprise Mode. This mode will encourage businesses to transition to Windows 8.1 because of the Internet Explorer 11 Enterprise Mode This is a compatibility mode that runs on Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 Update and Windows® 7 devices, that allows legacy websites render using a modified browser configuration that is designed to avoid the common compatibility problems associated with web apps written and tested on older versions of Internet Explorer, like Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8. IE 11 Enterprise Mode can either be enabled using Group Policy or by using a Registry Key.

For full details on how to use Internet Explorer 11 Enterprise Mode follow this link to TechNet

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