On June 26, Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1 as a public preview; but before installing Win8.1 Preview, you should know a few important facts.
Plus: It’s time for the end-of-the-month, nonsecurity patch cleanup; and if you’re running Java, check that it’s up to date.
Preparing for Windows 8.1 Preview’s release
As anyone who reads technology news must know by now, Windows 8.1 makes its initial public debut at this week’s MS Build Conference in San Francisco, Calif. Reportedly, Windows 8.1 Preview will be a free download from the Windows Store. The final version is due out sometime late this year.
But before you click that download button, keep this firmly in mind: migrating from Win8.1 Preview to the final Version 8.1 release will require reinstalling all apps not downloaded from the Windows Store. Reportedly, you’ll need to use the Windows 8 Refresh feature to remove Win8.1 Preview.
For Windows RT users, a Windows 8.1 Preview FAQ has a special warning: “If you’re running Windows RT you won’t be able to restore Windows RT after you install Windows RT 8.1 Preview. You’ll be able to upgrade to the final version of Windows RT 8.1. If installation of Windows RT 8.1 Preview fails on your PC, you may need to contact your PC manufacturer.
Two Microsoft articles detail what’s in Windows 8.1. The May 30 Blogging Windows post lists changes for end users, and a TechNet story, “What’s new in Windows 8.1,” provides an IT perspective. As has been widely reported, the Win8 Start button has been modified — but not the way most Windows users had hoped.
I was surprised that Explorer 11 is among the updates in Version 8.1. Most of us are still grappling with IE 10 for Windows 7. There’s no information yet on whether there will be an IE 11 for Win7.