The familiar made better.
The desktop you’re used to—with its familiar folders and icons—is still here. And not just still here, it’s actually better than before, with a new task manager and streamlined file management. And you can always get to your desktop—and back to your Start screen again—with a tap or click.
Use them the way you always have. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other programs you count on work the way you’re used to. Use a mouse and keyboard and organize your stuff in folders on the desktop.
Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen can help guard your PC against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software in real time. Family Safety gives your kids some independence while still keeping tabs on them.
Better Mouse and Keyboard Options.
PCs today are evolving for a world of mobile computing where people interact with their devices through touch, and Windows 8 was designed for this. But there are also many non-touch devices in use today – especially in the commercial setting. As such they have focused on a number of improvements to ensure easier navigation for people using a mouse and keyboard.
The Start Button.
Microsoft have improved the way you navigate to Start with the mouse by changing the Start “tip” to be the familiar Windows logo. The new tip appears anytime you move the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen, and is always visible on the taskbar when on the desktop. There are also options to change what the corners do, and options to boot into alternate screens. For example, if you prefer to see the Apps view versus all the tiles, you can choose to have the Start screen go directly to Apps view.
Make it yours.
Photos, news from friends, your favorite apps and sites—put what’s most important to you on your Start screen. Choose your colors and move stuff around until it’s just the way you like it.
Your favorite apps, sites, and people: Make each one a tile you can resize, move around, and organize the way you want. Some tiles animate with the latest information so you see live updates at a glance. Get status updates, weather forecasts, and Tweets as soon as you sign in.
Personal lock screen.
Your lock screen displays a slide show of your favorite photos. Plus, you can answer Skype calls, and take photos before you even unlock your PC.
Instead of typing a password, you can unlock your PC by drawing shapes on a picture with your finger or mouse. Three taps or clicks on your dog’s nose? Tracing the smile of your toddler? The choice is yours.
Search once. Go anywhere.
A single search now brings you results from your PC, your apps, and the web. See results in a clean, graphic view that lets you take immediate action and launch apps. Search, click, do. Find a song and start playing it, or find a video and watch it right away. Powered by Bing.
See more. Do more.
Windows 8.1 lets you work the way you want, and flow smoothly from one thing to another. Pull up a Wikipedia article during a chat with a friend to settle a debate. Play a music video while polishing your resume. Depending on the size of your screen, you can see up to four apps at once.
Your Windows. Everywhere.
Use your Microsoft account to sign in to any of your devices running Windows 8.1, and you’ll see the same layout, apps, and settings. Signing in with your Microsoft Account (which is simply an email address and password of your choice) also gives you access to a world of apps from the Windows Store, and lets you save, view, and edit your documents and photos online with SkyDrive.
Built-in cloud storage.
SkyDrive is free online storage that’s built into Windows 8.1. Save documents, photos, and other files to SkyDrive automatically, and get to them anytime, from any of your PCs or devices. And you can use SkyDrive to protect your files if something happens to your PC.
You can also use SkyDrive to share and collaborate with others, and see your stuff on mobile and non-Windows devices.
Internet Explorer 11.
Internet Explorer 11 is built for touch—now with larger tabs, simpler controls, and fluid response to gestures. Internet Explorer harnesses the power of hardware acceleration, so sites load faster and browsing’s smoother.
The always-on app that makes staying in touch with all your contacts easier than ever. Keep in touch with video and voice calls and instant messaging, all from one app. Call any phone quickly and easily. All Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls are free, and your messages are delivered straight to you no matter what you’re doing. Snap Skype left or right and do more while you IM, video call, or keep an eye on your home screen.
More apps to love.
Open the Windows Store right from your Start screen to browse and download apps for cooking, photos, sports, news, and a lot more—many of them free. Sort by price, rating, and category. Find old favorites and hot new apps.
Watch the video.
Windows 8.1 N
|Windows 8.1 Pro
Windows 8.1 Pro N
|A beautiful new Start screen with live tiles, plus the familiar desktop and Start button.|
|Designed for touch, mouse, and keyboard.|
|Great built-in apps like Mail, Calendar, and Photos, with many more available from the Windows Store.|
|Built-in cloud storage for easy access to your pictures, files, and settings.|
|Includes Internet Explorer 11 for faster, more secure web browsing.|
|Keeps you up to date and more secure with Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, and Windows Update.|
|Provides enhanced data protection with BitLocker and BitLocker To Go to help keep your information secure.|
|Enables you to host a Remote Desktop Connection on your own PC so you can connect to it when you’re using a different PC.|
|Allows you to join a domain so that you can connect to your corporate or school network.|