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This blog post is part of a series of guest posts we’re publishing in the coming weeks from Windows 8.1 experts across Microsoft. – Ben
Over the past few months, we’ve talked about the improvements that we have made in Windows 8.1 to improve the overall user experience, with the return of the Start button, new Start screen configuration options, a new “Help+Tips” app to help discover what Windows 8.1 can do, and much more. We believe that with these improvements (combined with the advancements in security, manageability, mobility, and more) Windows 8.1 is ready for business, whether you are using tablets, laptops, or desktops.
With the new Start screen configuration options, you can adjust the behavior to different working styles. These options are exposed through a new tab on the Taskbar and Navigation properties page which you can get to from the desktop by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting “Properties.” On the “Navigation” tab, you can see the new choices:
Let’s review these options briefly:
For those who primarily use the desktop in Windows 8.1, a combination of these settings can be used for the behavior that best suits how you work. For example, you might choose to turn off the upper-left and upper-right corners, show the desktop background on Start, set the apps view as the default, configure “boot to desktop,” and show desktop apps first.
Of course we also provide Group Policy options for setting most of these too, so as an IT pro you could mandate a specific configuration by setting the appropriate policies. These policies can be found in the Group Policy paths:
Edge UI Settings - User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Edge UI
Start Menus and Taskbar Settings - User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar
As you may have noticed, Windows 8.1 no longer presents the “how to use Windows” animation to users the first time they log in. Instead, Windows 8.1 provides some on-screen help tips that pop up as the user is starting to use Windows 8.1:
These can be disabled using the policy “Display help tips” in the Start Menus and Taskbar Settings group policy path mentioned above, if your users don’t need this assistance.
With these enhancements, we believe that regardless of how you use Windows 8.1, you’ll be able to configure the Start screen and Edge UI to behave the way that suits you best. Try it out!
Michael NiehausSenior Product Marketing ManagerWindows Commercial
The ADMX files are not currently published, this will be coming soon. However the spreadsheet that outlines each setting is now available here - www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx
FYI - admx files for Win 8.1 or Win 12 R2 could be found in C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions
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I have placed the Windows Server 2012 admx template files (www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx) into our SysVol which gave me some new Windows 8 group policy options but not the ones you've mentioned here. Is there a new admx pack? I searched the Microsoft site and couldn't find any newer ones.
I like my Windows phone and lap top yes there is a but, I have issues with pictures. Skydive app is great but doesn't work for what I have to do. As my work needs a certain type of Java, I have to email my pictures to my self then download them to my desktop folder then upload them to my work sight. If I had and Android I could do it all on my phone but the app won't download on my phone as its to new to them. Frustrated.
Please respond on this topic: answers.microsoft.com/.../eff81f5d-049c-4644-9caf-4490fe274de8
Is Microsoft aware of this problem. We are a group of people who cannot use Windows 8.1 because of the new dpi scaling issues on Windows 8.1.
Where can I download the GP Templates for Windows 8.1 for use with older AD controllers?