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Monday, July 1, 2013

Windows 8.1 Preview




Single Search (Powered by Bing)
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.

More in Customizing

Set up a slide show on your lock screen by picking your favorite pictures. Arrange the stuff on your Start screen so it's just the way you want it. Choose from more tile sizes, more colors, and more backgrounds—including animated backgrounds.

Lock Screen using your own pictures

StartScreen - More tile sizes, colors, & backgrounds (+animated background)

More Apps
New look from Windows Store, which makes it easier to discover and download new apps. And the apps that are included with Windows 8.1 Preview let you do a bunch of cool things. For example, with Reading List you can save articles and stories across apps and devices, and the updated Photos app gives you fast and fun editing.
New look from Windows Store

Built-In Cloud Storage
SkyDrive is now the default location for saving documents. So you always have your files wherever you go, even when you’re offline. And with the included SkyDrive app, you can manage both local files and SkyDrive files in one place.

Internet Explorer 11: Touch the web
Internet Explorer 11 is the browser built for a touch-optimized web with Windows 8.1 Preview. With faster tab switching, improved Frequents list, and better navigation of favorite sites, IE11 is perfect for touch. You get real-world site performance for websites and Windows Store apps, and IE11 implements more web standards than ever. The web experience is integrated better with Windows, and IE11 provides industry-leading security, and redesigned developer tools that help you test across devices, browsers, and Windows Store apps.

Full Screen Browsing
Check out the new Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 11 Preview is built for touch, with faster load times, a full-screen experience that includes side-by-side browsing of your sites, and real-time info delivered on your Start screen through live tiles for your favorite sites.

Internet Explorer 11 Preview

Programmatic access to Contacts and Calendar
With Windows 8.1 Preview, you get convenient APIs to interact with a user’s contacts and calendar. The Contacts API enables a source app to query the data store by email address or phone number, returning the Contact Card UI for the matching contact. It also defines contact related action types that can be used by apps that handle the target action. The Calendar API allows you to add appointments, replace appointments, remove appointments, and show the user’s default appointment provider app side-by-side with another appointment provider app programmatically.

New window states
With Windows 8.1 Preview, there are now more ways to resize apps:
  • App sizes are determined by the user with a minimum width of 500px, and apps can state in their manifest that they support a smaller minimum of 320px.
  • More than two apps can share the screen at the same time, and a single app can also use multiple monitors. As a result, users are more productive, and apps work more efficiently together to complete complex tasks.
  • Windows Store apps can remain open and in the foreground when another app is launched, sharing the screen and staying in memory, instead of moving to the background.

3 apps remain opened in one screen

Games and media are even better
Windows 8 ushered in a new era of immersive gaming with support for DirectX 11.1. Windows 8.1 Preview takes it further with extensive improvements to the graphics rendering pipeline for both 2D and 3D apps. Microsoft improved media support too, by providing new formats and standards, as well as improving media playback and PlayTo.

DirectX enhancements

With Windows 8.1 Preview, microsoft made some changes to make your DirectX games look even better and run more smoothly.
With GPU scaling, you can dynamically resize your frame buffer to keep your 3D graphics smooth, while hardware multi-plane overlay support keeps your gorgeous 2D art and interfaces looking their best in native resolution.
Tiled rendering gives you better performance from mobile and newer GPUs with little effort.
The new low-level Direct3D Trim APIs for managing resources efficiently make transitions from different hardware states smoother and faster.
A map default buffer operation lets you access a GPU’s default buffers directly from your app (if supported by the device) without the intermediate copy operation.
Shaders can now be compiled and linked at runtime. Shaders can be procedurally composed inside your app, linked, and run without separate HLSL files.

Media optimization and playback

Windows 8.1 Preview introduces audio and video support for additional file formats, improved performance, and better battery life. The platform now supports playback of DRM protected CFF video, as well as Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) for HTML5. With EME, you can play protected content without plugins. Transcoding is now supported as a background task, so users can continue to use their PC during lengthy transcode sessions. And improvements to PlayTo ensure better compatibility by supporting more devices than Windows 8.

Note: If you’re using an English version of Windows, you can only install Windows 8.1 Preview from the Windows Store if your OS base language is English (US).

Enterprise and volume license users: If you're running Windows 8 Enterprise or the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation on your PC, you'll need to download the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files.

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Free HDD space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
Graphics card: MicrosoftDirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Upgrade Package* (15 MB)
1. Download the Upgrade Package and install
2. Restart your PC when prompted, and then tap or click the message that appears to get the update from the Windows Store
3. In the Store, follow the instructions to download and complete the installation

(Key: )
English 32-Bit (2.8 GB)                 English 64-Bit (3.8 GB)
Arabic 32-Bit (2.8 GB)                  Arabic 64-Bit (3.8 GB)
CHN (Simplified) 32-Bit (2.9 GB)   CHN (Simplified) 64-Bit (3.9 GB)
CHN (Traditional) 32-Bit (2.9 GB)   CHN (Traditional) 64-Bit (3.9 GB)
French 32-Bit (2.8 GB)                   French 64-Bit (3.8 GB)
German 32-Bit (2.8 GB)                German 64-Bit (3.8 GB)
Japanese 32-Bit (2.8 GB)              Japanese 64-Bit (3.8 GB)
Korean 32-Bit (2.8 GB)                  Korean 64-Bit (3.8 GB)
Portuguese (Brazil) 32-Bit (2.8 GB)   Portuguese (Brazil) 64-Bit (3.7 GB)
Russian 32-Bit (2.8 GB)               Russian 64-Bit (3.7 GB)
Spanish 32-Bit (2.8 GB)               Spanish 64-Bit (3.8 GB)
Swedish 32-Bit (2.7 GB)               Swedish 64-Bit (3.7 GB)
Turkish 32-Bit (2.7 GB)                Turkish 64-Bit (3.7 GB)


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