Windows 8.1 Information Center

 Windows 8.1

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Windows 8.1 — Quick FAQ

Traditional Windows + more …

Microsoft Windows 8.1 is traditional Windows improved. There is no need to fear loss of productivity or inability to control Windows when you upgrade.

How to Begin!

PC users … setup Windows 8.1 to open on the traditional Desktop.
Touch users will want the new Start screen as the entry point.


Windows 8 Start Screen
Don’t get flustered! The new Start screen is simply the old Start menu revised.

Click a tile (icon) and your application opens. Your most-used applications are easily accessible as the first tiles on the new Start screen. Its really that simple.

Where are my applications?

Your favorite and most used applications appear first on the new Start screen.
Pin an application to your desktop’s Taskbar or quickly find them using Search.

What is Windows 8?

This version of Windows runs both the new Windows 8 apps as well as traditional Windows applications. Its the “full” version of Windows and can be purchased with new hardware or installed as an upgrade.

What is Windows RT and can I run my all my applications?

RT is the version of Windows 8.1 that:

  • runs on low-power ARM processors
  • instant startup
  • long battery life
  • silent (no fan)
  • runs cool
  • light weight
  • includes free Office Home & Student 2013 RT (w/Outlook as of 8.1)
  • lower purchase price than Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro

For more information, see the Windows RT FAQ.

Note: Windows RT only runs built-in apps or apps that you download from the Windows Store.


  • Keyboard users press the Windows Key
  • Tablet users press the Windows Button


Hey, I’m Lost!

No problem. Press Windows + D (for desktop) or your Windows key … or press your tablet’s Windows button.

New type of programs … Windows Store Apps

Windows 8 Store
The built-in Windows “Store” tile is your built-in download location for the new apps. Take a few free apps such as the New York Times, eBay, or Amazon for a test run.

The left-to-right screen scrolling may seem unusual at first but you’ll quickly find it very comfortable.

Where are the menus?

Windows 8 usability designers decided that menus should only be visible when you need them.

To make menus visible in the new Start apps … simply press your right mouse button, or swipe up from the bottom of the touch screen.

Is Windows 8 perfect?

Of course not. The integration of the two modes needs a bit more work … but by starting at the traditional Windows desktop you can accomplish 100% of your usual activity. Then, at your own pace, learn to take advantage of the new added functionality.

What are the critics saying?

Technical reviewers almost invariably tout the improvements and design of Windows 8, the high quality of the tablet hardware, and the functional integration across the whole of the Microsoft ecosystem.

At the initial release of Windows 8, the new Start screen apps were limited. But Microsoft now has 170,000 apps in the App Store with more being added daily.

Microsoft logo
Finally … should I upgrade?

Windows 8 is the better, faster and touch-compatible new version of Windows. If you are considering upgrading your current hardware … first run the Upgrade Assistant.

For new purchases visit a Microsoft Store, Best Buy, Walmart, or your favorite computer retail outlet and take a test drive on an in-store model.

But remember … like all new things there is a learning curve. You’ll find it to be much faster and easier than you expect.


The Start Button is back!

Windows 8.1 is bringing back the Start button. Its function is a bit different than earlier versions but its renewed presence will provide navigational comfort, especially for the desktop user.


Windows 8 available in two flavors

  • The full version of Windows 8 is able to run all your recent older Windows programs, plus the addition of new applications on the revamped Start Screen. Its the Windows you already know it, but with a whole new set of added features.
  • Windows RT, the second variation, supports the new Windows 8 apps and runs on power efficient hardware. However a built-in limitation of the RT model is that it cannot run traditional Windows application on the Desktop nor join a work domain. The good news is that a special version of Office 2013 is included with RT at no additional cost.

Moving to a new version of Windows always has a learning curve, and more operational improvements are in the pipeline … but for now Windows 8 is fast, dependable, good for work, leisure and mobility … and finally it has the excitement of the new built-in features.

10 Advantages | Windows 8 Tablets Over iPad and Android |  ZDNet


Today’s Featured Windows 8 Device

HP ENVY Rove20 Mobile All-in-One

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See specifications

Getting Started with Windows 8.1

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