Really, though, if you’re a power user and have some free time to play around, check out how to install Windows 10 Technical Preview in a virtual machine.
When it came to updating its struggling Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft took the mantra "change is bad, unless it's great." At least that's what Windows Principal Program Manager Chaitanya Sareen told me in a meeting last week.
If you want to skip the Start menu entirely, being able to set Windows 8.1 to boot into the desktop is a big change (although you'll still use the Start menu to launch any programs you haven't pinned to the taskbar).
The other big new interface changes are the new smart search and the way Windows 8.1 handles multiple modern app windows on screen - especially on large monitors.
Microsoft's launch of Windows 8.1 Update (read the full review!
) at the Build conference in San Francisco seems centered on this philosophy—there are no huge changes to the baseline features of Windows 8.1, but every difference in Update is designed to please rather than surprise the world's 1.5 billion Windows users.
If you haven’t already installed the latest system updates, you should do so — Microsoft has said that users won’t get any security updates if they stick with older versions of Windows 8.1. As we previously mentioned, the quickest way to get the latest update is to use the PC Settings control panel.Windows 8.1 search provides with a good indication of how Windows is moving towards the tablet form factor.