Screenshot tour of new Windows 8.1 features

81 start screen

Microsoft is busy showing off the new Windows 8.1 features today at BUILD. Unfortunately almost everything they’ve shown we already know about from previous leaks. But it’s always nice to hear something from an official source. Below we have some screenshots that Microsoft showed off from some of the cool new features of 8.1.

81 xbox music

This is the brand new Xbox Music app for Windows 8.1. The previous version focused a lot on discovery, but the new version focuses more on actually playing music. The default view shows what music you own, and it is easily sort-able from the left pane. There is also a crazy new feature that can play music from websites.

81 search

The Search charm gets much more useful in Windows 8.1. As you can see from just typing “S” above there are many new results. First it shows apps installed, then settings, and lastly web results. When you click on web results you are brought to the beautiful search screen shown below. It is absolutely chock full of information to answer your search query.

81 search 2

81 monitors

The image above is not a screenshot, but a look at Windows 8.1 running on multiple monitors. There are 8 applications running simultaneously, displayed on the two monitors exactly how you want it. Multi monitor support was very lacking in Windows 8. This is a welcomed new feature, but we’re still a little unsure how the desktop plays into this set-up.

8.1 email

Up above is the new Mail experience. The bar on the left is called the “Power Bar,” and it puts a lot of tools right at your fingertips instead of being hidden in menus. This will not be available in the 8.1 preview, but it will be there in the Fall for the official release.8.1 gestures

Since Windows 8.1 can run on smaller screens they have made some changes to the keyboard to make it easier to use. As the presenter was typing above suggestions appeared under the text. Instead of moving her hand to the top of the screen she can just swipe from left or right across the spacebar to select an option.  You can also swipe up on keys to use the secondary character, such as numbers.

81 all apps

Last but not least is the all apps screen. There are new options for sorting the list to make it easier to find the app you’re looking for. A swipe up on the Start screen will display all apps, and you can even set the all apps screen to be the default Start screen if you would like.


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