New ecosystem opportunities, Windows 8.1 updates shared at Computex

New ecosystem opportunities, Windows 8.1 updates shared at Computex

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Today during Microsoft’s keynote at Computex Taipei 2013, the world’s second largest computer show, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s OEM division Nick Parker reinforced the potential the Windows platform can offer for partners. As part of the keynote, Windows CFO and CMO Tami Reller joined him onstage and shared the ongoing progress we’re seeing with Windows 8 and what that means in terms of opportunities for the ecosystem. 

Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president of Windows program management joined Tami and other top Microsoft executives on stage to give our very first public demo of the upcoming Windows 8.1 update – touching upon many of the exciting improvements Antoine highlighted in his blog post from last week. You can see some of the highlights of what to expect in Windows 8.1 for yourself in this short demo video featuring Jensen Harris from the Windows User Experience Team:

Additionally, Tami announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be coming to Windows RT tabletsas part of Windows 8.1. Windows running on ARM architectures has enabled an exciting new category of mobile-first, instant-on tablets that are thin and lightweight, with amazing battery life. We know that the addition of Outlook for those using ARM-based Windows devices such as the Surface RT, Dell XPS 10, Lenovo Yoga 11, and ASUS VivoTab RT as well as new tablets to come in the future has been a popular request from consumers and businesses alike. As Tami said in her keynote address, we’ve listened and Outlook will be joining the other Office applications currently available on Windows RT, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Our commitment to Windows on ARM doesn’t stop with the addition of Outlook 2013 RT. We announced a number of other enhancements with Windows 8.1, earlier this week at TechEd North America, including new manageability, networking, and security capabilities that will make Windows RT an even more compelling option for enterprises.

Tami also shared that new small screen x86 tablets including the recently announced Acer Iconia W3, will come with Office Home and Student 2013 right out of the box. For both businesses and consumers, we’re committed to making all Windows tablets, both x86 and ARM, great options for work as well as play.

We’re only weeks away from the public preview of Windows 8.1, which will be available starting June 26th.

29 Comments
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  • i have installed windows 8.1 preview update then i cannot find windows 8.1 on windows store to complete installation  :/ can anyone guide me please !

  • Hi, Microsoft! My name's Alex, 29, and I'm from Russia. After reading a lot of negative reviews about Windows 8, I just couldn't help but post this - I LOVE IT! I've been a devoted Windows user since 1997, tried everything from Win 95 including Vista, and I've never experienced any problems. Bought Windows 8 on the release day from Microsoft Store website and liked it immediately! Did a clean installation on my desktop as well as my 3.5-year-old Sony laptop. Everything runs great, I didn't encounter any serious problems, freezes or BSOD (I don't even know how it looks, though people say it's different in Win 8). All drivers I installed were stable, and my laptop didn't require any drivers at all, everything works great out of the box. The Metro interface...well...yeah, it is unusual and requires a bit of learning but it's so convenient really with a mouse and keyboard. I'm not even speaking about tablets, tried one at a store, much better than the iPad, which I also have. First of all, the idea itself is so fresh and cool, it's incredible! One operating system for tablets and PCs, why not?! Windows 8 has true multitasking on tablets, you can pin 2 apps side by side, e.g. watch a video and surf the net simultaneously, there's nothing like that on iOS or Android! iPad is a beautiful toy good for internet browsing but with lots of inconveniences and limitations!  I grouped all my tiles the way I want, named groups (I'm an English translator, so now I always have a column of my dictionaries right at hand). That's it! No problem! SkyDrive and other functions are also cool - I uploaded my translation in the cloud and continued working on it at my friend's home in the Office 2013 environment! And by the way Office 2013 is a masterpiece! I'm saying this as a translator who spends 8 hours a day in Word and PowerPoint. Everything's so smooth, clean, nice, and efficient! Sorry for being inconsistent, I'd better go back to Windows. Using Metro interface doesn't have any 'steep learning curve'! It's bull****! I spent a couple of hours, read the guide available on Microsoft website, watched a few Youtube videos, and in like 3 days I couldn't even remember what a Windows 7 Start menu looked like, nor did I need the famous button in the corner! There is a Windows key on the keyboard, and a 'live' corner, click your mouse there - and there you have it, the highly customizable Start screen appears! People playing Skyrim learn all the items, potions, magic, and they don't say it has a steep learning curve! But when something radically new and original comes for the first time since Windows 95 (apart from the revolutionary Windows 7 taskbar) they say it's crap! People, are you out your mind? Of course there is always something to criticize, fair criticism is necessary, but we need to be more open-minded towards new ideas. And the majority of what people say about Windows 8 is simply ridiculous. A woman sent a post to a Russian website: 'My husband gave me a Windows 8 laptop on my birthday. We spent 2 hours trying to find Desktop and eventually succeeded, but we still couldn't find shutdown button, because the manufacturer simply hadn't built this function into the system. We wiped off this crap and installed Win 7. I will never recommend this nightmare to anyone. 1 star out of 5'!' It's true, I read that myself! All the talk about clutter is also beyond my understanding - Clutter is on the Mac, where all the apps are thrown into one folder with no sorting! Worked on a Mac at my sister's for a week, just couldn't get used to it! Windows is much simpler and more logical. You want Metro - press Windows key or click your mouse in the lower left corner, you need desktop environment - no one takes it away from you, press the tile, and here you go - work like you did in Windows 7. Some people say that Windows 8 reminds them of a mobile phone. Why don't Macs with their taskbar on top remind you of them? I don't know, I simply like Windows 8! I think that people are just too lazy and conservative, they don't want to change anything or learn something new preferring to stick in the mold they were given in 1995. Pity! I love the improvements of Windows 8.1, though I like Windows as it is! I'd like to sincerely thank the Microsoft team for staying fresh and moving forward no matter what. Don't listen to stupid opinions and subjective reviews. Nothing is perfect in this life, but Windows 8, Office 2013, and Internet Explorer 10 are truly great products! THANK YOU!        

  • if you are listening to ur customers Microsoft then here are the few expectations from the 8.1 as a user

    1. please think about the desktop interface also. windows 7 had a better desktop UI compared to 8 so think about desktop UI in 8.1

    2. please provide the search by pressing keywords in music and other apps

    3. try to make IE11 more better in 8.1 and concentrate on navigation from links to links in IE11

    4. should be some change in windows media player also.

  • if you are listening to ur customers Microsoft then here are the few expectations from the 8.1 as a user

    1. please think about the desktop interface also. windows 7 had a better desktop UI compared to 8 so think about desktop UI in 8.1

    2. please provide the search by pressing keywords in music and other apps

    3. try to make IE11 more better in 8.1 and concentrate on navigation from links to links in IE11

    4. should be some change in windows media player also.

  • fansoft
    0 Posts

    your ecosystem is desktop which you destroy app by app. in mobile you are totally invisible. i quote your mrs. renner: "business customers are buying Windows 8 licences but actually install the older Windows 7"

  • crvenk
    0 Posts

    I think this is a good development. I am looking forward for the release globally. Currently I am a Apple fan and I think its time for a changeover.

  • dlgross
    0 Posts

    The existing Mail app in Windows RT is barely adequate and a huge step backward in functionality so this news about Outlook RT is welcome, however, I don't understand why providing a new app needs to connected to the release schedule for an OS update. Providing Outlook RT should be independent of Windows 8.1

  • KLJay
    0 Posts

    - Hi.

    But I think it must be cool if we can run windows 8 apps in desktop. So, if we run a windows 8 app, it will be cool if that windows 8 app is not covering the whole screen and desktop will be its background, not just a blank screen. It is like desktop program but open with modern transition. It is 'windows', isn't it?

    It is just my humble opinion.

  • please add the ability to switch between black and white and color printing in the metro print settings.  thank you.

  • MoWeb
    0 Posts

    @Anchel - I agree, but I would still prefer the Taskbar to remain on screen when the Start Screen is launched from the desktop. Think of it like adding a bit of 'chrome' around the Start Screen to make users believe that they haven't left their desktop. make it work like the full-screen "File" menu in Office 2010. That, combined with the reintroduction of the Start button (from the Developer Preview) would resolve a lot of issues about the demise of the "Start menu". IMO.

    @KLJay - As the Modern apps can't be launched in a window on the desktop (without buying a 3rd party app), it makes no sense to do that. Modern apps appear on the left side of screen (of via WIN-Tab). You could consider this a "Metro Taskbar that auto-hides" if you like.

    @hohansen - Install KB2770917 (support.microsoft.com/.../EN-US). This KB article is for the update rollup (for Windows 8 and for Windows Server 2012), dated November 2012. Aside from performance and reliability improvements, it also includes the ability to "Enable enterprise customers to customize the default lock screen". Also, if you don't want to use a GPO for this, let's just say that there is a HKCU registry key for this, that you can put into a default user profile as well :)

    @smallmountain - Hahahaha, true. I think the Mail client only needs a little bit of improvement to be good though. I want a few more options similar to those in the "outlook.com" client, then I'd be happy. Oh, and POP3/IMAP support would be nice too. I've pretty much abandonded Office in favour of Wordpad, OneNote, EverNote, Mail, Skydrive, Office Web Apps, etc. Won't really miss Outlook - except for on my work desktop.

    ---

    Loving Windows 8 and think that Windows 8.1 will be even better. Congrats to Microsoft. Boo and hiss to the haters! Now, hopefully, Microsoft wills tart to tell us more about Server 2012 R2 and Windows Phone 8.1.

  • Wow! Finally, a Start Button on Windows 8.1. I'm sure a lot of customers will be delighted by this update. It probably would prompt long-time Windows XP customers to finally switch to Windows 8.1. Good job on this update :)

  • xpclient
    50 Posts

    There is no need to not put Modern apps on the Taskbar for always powered PCs. Apps need not be suspended to save power on a powered machine and the taskbar will allow better switching.

  • Looks great! Can't wait to try it out on my Surface RT. Keep up the good work MS

  • Ian
    0 Posts

    MS should run a survey, how do you rate your Metro/Modern UI/Desktop GUI experience

    10. To infinity and beyond

    09. A night I'll never forget

    08. A night she'll never forget

    07. Way cool

    06. "Bing!"

    05. whatever

    04. I felt ashamed in the morning

    03. truly stupid

    02. the reoccurring nightmares stop over time

    01. oh the insanity  

  • k dia podra salir windows 8.1 a la windows estore

  • mounsey
    0 Posts

    Looking good so far, definite improvements to be enjoyed. -John.

  • P40L0
    0 Posts

    Hello Microsoft!

    I want to talk about Surface RT, and give you some useful feedback for Windows 8.1 RT and improving your Product as best as possibile.

    The latest May Updates were great for my Surface RT!

    Although some old and new issues are still present, and I would like to report them with some new suggestions too.

    Well, let's start:

    -When I switch between open apps and I'm listening to music or audio (Music app, or Others) the sound lags and crackles for seconds before going back to normal. Many times it happens when launching intensive CPU apps like Office, and it's very annoying: please fix that;

    -After waking from Standby (after many hours) the screen fickers with horizontal black bars before going back to the normal Lockscreen. Very ugly thing to see: please fix that too;

    -Many 3D games performance are not so solid, please improve the 3D drivers and its performance;

    -I noticed that the SoC inside the Surface RT, the NVIDIA Tegra 3, is using only 4 of the 5 Cores of the SoC, and having the 5th companion core Disabled, and not only that: all the four cores are "downclocked" compared to the official Tegra 3 Specs. Please, take advantage of the full Tegra 3 capabilities (5th Companion Core and Full Clock speeds of the 4 Cores), cause Surface RT, despite is already pretty good, needs to be faster and snappier;

    -Going to Previous Page in IE10 Metro reload it and fade it for too many seconds: please, stop reloading it and just let it to be loaded back directly from the offline cache, for a faster and more fluid navigation;

    -Please, support WebGL APIs in IE;

    -Please, don't block "Torrent Clients" from the Store: they are really useful even outside the piracy area, and are totally legal;

    -Please, make a valid "Windows Movie Maker" alternative for Windows RT. It really misses a basic video editing tool, and it cannot miss it considering the Surface "producivity" feaures;

    -Please, improve "File History" including in its backups even all the System and Apps settings and personalisation (even the most advanced, like the Registry and Servicies ones), so that we can Backup and Restore the Surface even more easily. Or even better: create a "Skydrive Full Settings Backup"!

    That's all for now.

    And despite all of that, I still consider my Surface RT the best Tablet ever made, and even my best Laptop too, in one single device, and Windows 8 the best OS available yet.

    Keep up the great work!

    And Thank You. ;)

    -Paolo

  • I am loving Windows 8 more and more every day.  I would, however, like to see the option to change between black and white or color printing in the metro print menu.  This has been a frustration for me.  Keep these great updates rolling!

  • BTG1957
    0 Posts

    Quick clarification - does the inclusion of Office Home & Student on smaller devices exclude Outlook 2013? Outlook on smaller devices is so critical to the users...

  • hohansen
    10 Posts

    Is it possible in 8.1 to change the default lock screen image when no user is signed in? If I lock my account and go to the list of all users, it will have a default image (Seattle) and it will have a blue background, will it be possible to easily change this? Many people want this, see social.technet.microsoft.com/.../82e7ae0f-1b6e-4d04-ae05-8278911af3e2

  • hey guys check amazing windows 9 who come in september this year and download now for free,

    on http://sfinx.me

  • That's awesome! 3 weeks to go!!

  • I, for one, don't really want a desktop e-mail client for Windows RT.  I want the Metro Mail app to not suck.  Can you take care of that please?

  • The updates to 8.1 seem like really great changes, and they are definitely positive changes for those who have been critical of the modern UI experience. I know there will be people who continue to hate on the new UI, but I hope they will see that it's an evolving standard.

    I'm even more thrilled about the addition of Outlook... this is fantastic news! I had four sticking points with Windows RT in the beginning... no Outlook, no universal Flash support, limited enterprise manageability, and no desktop applications. Now I'm down to a lack of desktop applications, but with Outlook and better Flash/Web experience... I may not need desktop support.

    Great job listening to users... now it's time to court developers for better apps!

  • Do you have a copy of the video hosted elsewhere other than YouTube/Vimeo? Both are blocked here.

  • worldwide exclusivity!!

    discover windows 9 look

    first look: http://sfinx.me

  • KLJay
    0 Posts

    The desktop background in Start Screen. It's nice. But, can Windows developer place all apps in one taskbar? (Windows 8 apps and desktop apps) Please...

    Thanks

  • Anchel
    2 Posts

    Actually the way the Start Screen switches to Desktop and back to Start again (when using the Desktop background) looks really nice and makes the entire Windows 8 experience feel way more cohesive.

  • iand
    170 Posts

    Looks good, I like the all apps view and side by side apps. I am looking forward to trying this on my Surface RT

    thedigitallifestyle.com/.../windows-8-1